Simon Fischer "Scales"

Edited: September 20, 2020, 11:21 AM · I finally broke down and ordered this book - all the way from Blackwells (Oxford, England) to have as a reference. My teacher doesn't use scale books as he wants to present everything in the context of pieces, but I wanted a good reference. I do have Barbara Barber's "Scales for Young Violinists" as well that I bought in early 2019.

First of all, I was very surprised at how quickly it arrived from England - I only ordered it from there as I couldn't find an American source that actually had it in stock. They offered to order it for me but of course that would have taken even longer to get it.

Second, I really like how it is laid out, and for some reason that I cannot define, it's easier for me to use than the Barber book. It's likely not fair to compare them however as Fisher's book covers a great deal more, including arpeggios.

I've read that the Fischer Scale book is better for more advanced players, but frankly, from this returning beginner's (early intermediate?) perspective there is plenty of good material.

Replies (4)

Edited: September 20, 2020, 12:09 PM · It is for all levels, beginners to pros. It is just dense, so you must learn to choose what works for your current needs. He explains in the preface how the book is not intended only for advanced players, and viceversa, that advanced players should not deem the easier exercises as beneath them.

I consider the Gilels "advanced" because it is concise, starts with 4 octave scales without apology (no alternate 3 octave option is offered for the lower pitched scales), and pretends you know what you are doing. The Fischer is beginner-to-advanced, but I assume some will be put off by its near endless supply of preparatory exercises. It is indeed an Scale Exercise Manual rather than an Scale Book, if that makes sense, and may need the assistance of a good teacher in some cases.

(The Gilels can also be done at an "intermediate level" to be sure, but likely only under ideal circumstamces.)

Hope you can take advantage of it! Please do not think it is a bad book despite my comments above-I have it myself.

Edited: September 20, 2020, 1:09 PM · Thanks Adalberto - I think I like it for the very reasons you pointed out. I certainly don't need the advanced sections right now - and the preparatory exercises are helpful. I actually like scales - but I am something of an eccentric anyway ;-)
September 20, 2020, 1:19 PM · Have fun with it Catherine!
September 21, 2020, 10:51 AM · It's so good that there is a viola version too!

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