Books to work on my scales and arpeggios

December 29, 2020, 12:28 PM · I went through some free resources and found some books to work on my scales , arpeggios and on third position like introducing the position (third and fifth), sevcik school of violin techniques book 2. Guys I want some scales books. Help!

Replies (17)

December 29, 2020, 1:37 PM · Barbara Barber - scales for young violinists, scales for advanced violinists.
Carl Flesch Scales

I use these for myself and with students. Great stuff to start with! I often warm up with a full Flesch or Barber scale system.

Edited: December 29, 2020, 2:43 PM · Was just coming here to make the same recommendation. If you’re still working on becoming comfortable in third position, then I think you should start with the Barbara Barber Scales for Young Violinists before taking on the Scales for Advanced Violinists. And I would do the second Barber book before tackling Flesch.
December 29, 2020, 3:14 PM · Greetings,
the historical development of scales books is interesting. Those written by Carl Flesch became a kind of standard for a large part of the 20c . In Japan it may well still be the most common I have seen it used from a surprisingly young age. Galamian’s scale manual the burst on the scene with its emphasis on mental correlation through mixing boeing’s , fingerings and so on. It was kind of the second wave in scale learning. It pushed out the Flesch to some extent but for many players it has remained unnecessary because Flesch can be approached din the same way and develops very solid technique anyway.
The 3rd wave in scale manuals wa s(In my opinion) Simon Fischer’s ‘Scales.’. This departs from it’s predecessors in not only filling in the gaps in Flesch and Galamian (There are a fair number) but also offering a method of practicing scales to really get them in tune, smooth, rhythmic and so on. Up until now, =how= to actually practice scales had never been spresented to the student . THis work starts from the very beginning with one octave scales but offering detailed, readable, easily understandable explanations of what to do and why that are suitable for someone just starting out on the scale journey and advanced players and professional.
(Yes, you might be surprised to hear that some professionals are not actually that good at scales because they never had decent information about the ‘how and why’ of practicing scales with the result they learnt bad habits for a lifetime. These same bad habits were/are then taught to successive generations of violinists with the result that a large part of the violin world still mum’s and aaaaahs about the value of scales, how much scale practice you need or even if you need it at all)
Simons books is not just a scale manual, but also a treatise on violin playing and a study book too. It has everything you nee din it and will last you a lifetime. So if you have the money, forget all the other sand just buy this one.
There is a blog by Simon about it on this site and I also wrote one which is in here somewhere. You can get the book on Simon Fischer’s website as far as I know.
Edited: December 29, 2020, 7:57 PM · I'm not a teacher, but as a (2-year) returnee after a 45 year hiatus from the violin, I've found the combination of Fischer's Scales and Barbara Barber - Scales for Young Violinists very helpful. I will never outgrow Fisher's Scales, that's for sure, and I use the Barber book less and less often. My teacher doesn't use scale books or etudes as he prefers to teach everything through pieces, but it's nice to have these two books around both as a reference and to explore.

For me it was quicker, and a little less expensive, to order the Fischer Scales book from England via AbeBooks - at the time I couldn't find a stateside store that actually had it in stock. It arrived in something like 5 days - and that was well past the start of the pandemic.

December 29, 2020, 7:39 PM · greetings
Fischer not fish.that would be a different ’'scale’ book :)
December 29, 2020, 7:43 PM · Buri!!! Holiday greetings to you!
December 29, 2020, 7:56 PM · Buri - thanks for catching the typo.
December 29, 2020, 11:50 PM · Flesch shows you the range of possibilities with scales. Thirds, sixths, broken thirds, all kinds of fun stuff, with fingerings! Fischer shows you how to get more from the basic three-octave scale, how to work on smoother string changes, how to be systematic about intonation. A great one-two punch.
Edited: December 30, 2020, 1:09 AM · Hi Paul,
I think you are right about emphasizing the value of Flesch and it is certainly deservedly used all over this world up to the highest levels. However, it is quite conservative in some ways so I would personally be reluctant to say it show the full range of possibilities. Notable major omissions are one octave scales without shifting in all positions; four octave scales (at least in the original; the whole gamut of one / 2 finger scales; two octaves on one string; scales in 4ths fifths and sevenths Of course, as you say, the double stops are not dealt with in Simon’s book except as they appear as a means to improving the scale. The gap in Galamian he actually avoids less common rhythm patterns in his acceleration exercise,
It is true that the Fischer’s manual emphasizes the three octave scale (with all arpeggios as well) but the crucial point is thatthis is the final result of many different kinds of work. What makes it unique is that it is the first book to explain the fundamental technical elements of scales and how to practice them. Up until its publication students had generally just been handed a shopping list of stuff and each week the teacher would listen to a few items from the shopping list which may or may not have improved , smile and encourage the student to work harder. This also applies to the Flesch which is essentially one of the most compact and intelligent scale shopping lists there is. (Actually my favorite `shopping list scale manual` is the one by Kogan used by soviet violinists. )
In short I think Fischer comes first and then Flesch becomes self explanatory, a linear rather than simultaneous progression.
Has Simon produced his double stopping book yet? I know he was talking about it a few years ago....
December 30, 2020, 4:12 AM · Thank you everyone ??
Edited: December 31, 2020, 7:40 AM · Rudransh, also have a look at Hrimaly.
Edited: December 31, 2020, 1:40 PM · Buri, I liked your term "boeings." I have certainly had enough crashes to qualify.
December 31, 2020, 5:58 PM · Greetings,
the ipad decided that was what it was a going to write. Who am I to argue? It’s nice to find an entity that writes in the same weird way as me. I may christen it Hal....
(You may be too young to get the joke :))
Happy New Year
December 31, 2020, 10:18 PM · Happy New Year to you all as well! [79 is not too young to get the Hal joke...]
Edited: January 8, 2021, 9:29 AM · The last six pages of the Hrimaly Scale Book are very helpful when I’ve been away from my violin for a bit and need to ease back into playing shape. The Flesch scale book is very comprehensive, but a bit too overwhelming for me. My favorite scale book is by Elisabeth Gilels, Leonid Kogan’s wife and a great violinist in her own right. You can order it from Sikorski Press. I also like the Heifetz Scale Book, edited by his former pupil Endre Granat, very much.
Edited: January 3, 2021, 10:28 PM · Barber then Fischer then Flesch. Also learn the standard fingerings and use Galamian acceleration method, which you can do as soon as you start doing three octaves.
Edited: January 4, 2021, 1:51 AM · It's a secret to everybody

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