I've recently started doing a B major scale as part of my practjse for the first time in a long time. When I go up, intonation is sort of okay ish. Coming back down, the intonation shifts to a C major scale and its driving me crazy. Any thoughts?
FYI, its only a 2 octave scale
A lot of my students do this for D flat major, which slowly morphs into D major. Practice slowly and quietly, focusing on just your intonation.
I've done it with D flat as well haha. Thanks!
Buri, its funny you should say that. I used a technique of his that I had read in one of his other books (Violin Lesson or Basics, can't remember which) for a different scale recently But I'll take a look. Thanks!
Odd. B morphing into Bb is easier to understand.
I think you're right there Gordon. Buri, I found his video about that really interesting, but have never found myself inclined to use it for some reason
Or the D string may be the major problem - you have three full tones, and maybe after you play the A#, your fingers are not staying far enough apart.
I should have mentioned, this is on the viola
Yes, you should have!
You could also try practicing the scale with a drone: https://fiddlerman.com/fiddle-learning-tools/drones-for-intonation-practice/
A frequent danger zone is the four wide apart fingers e.g. Eb-f-g-a, or E-F#-G#-A.
For me, the easiest way to implant the steps of major and minor scales in my mind was with the G major and minor scales. However, since those fingering patterns apply only to scales starting on an open string, I suggest familiarizing one's ears and fingers with the A major and minor scales with no open strings. Then move up one position and play the B major and minor scales. Then if you want to play it with different fingerings, your ears should be able to detect pitch errors.
Andrew, that is the exact finger pattern one of my previous teachers suggested and its something I (try and) do every time I practise scales
Jake and Andrew, that's what I do too.
Jake, you have to figure out if there is a certain pitch that is consistently throwing you off, which could be because of where it falls in the scale, or could be because of an unfamiliar hand position (or possibly other culprits), or whether you are slowly drifting out of key over time.
Agree with Adrian; the problem might be the half-step between 4th and first finger. Depending on the size of your hand, length of the 4th finger, and the string length, we should not do all of the extensions that we can do on violin--too dangerous. Descending scales are always a little more difficult than descending. Two ways to "cheat", break the rules a little: do the half-step as 1-1 instead of 4-1. Or, try fingering it as Cb (!) which puts you into 1/2 position. Intonation drift happens when we do not have the resonance of open strings to keep us on track. Singers have the same problem when doing an unaccompanied solo line. Another cause of intonation drift when playing alone is the very small differences between our 3 systems of intonation; melodic-chordal-tempered.
@--Adrian. "quarter-tone shift" ?!. I have not heard of such a thing. Please expand---. I think of the all whole step pattern, W-W-W as either a 4th finger extension in one position or a 1st finger extension in a position a half-step higher. --jq
I agree with Christian. If you record yourself I bet you will find one interval that is causing you the most trouble, rather than the trouble being distributed evenly.
Given that it's in 5th position and it's drifting sharp, the pinky is the obvious culprit on the way down - any of the other fingers is more likely to drift flat.
Use a B drone and go slow.
I don't dislike the idea of a drone, but it may make the exercise more mechanical and less musical.
The drone is probably the fastest way to internalize the key, and staying in key precedes making any kind of coherent musical statement. Once Jake can stay in key, and he can hear the key in his head as he plays, he can drop the drone. I've never played with a drone, so I probably took the slightly longer route when I was running into issues like Jake. This is likely to be a quick stage to pass through, even if it is frustrating in the moment.
I have just read the OP properly! The main problem is downward shifts?