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#1356739 - 01/23/10 11:34 PM 2 octave scales
keri1223 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Forney, TX
I have a couple of students who can nail any major scale once octave...but as soon as I require them to go 2 octaves they mess up the finger pattern. Is there a trick that you have found to progressing to two octaves with ease in the correct finger pattern???
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#1356851 - 01/24/10 04:25 AM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: keri1223]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Get them to practice in clusters - that way they stop perceiving the tonic at the top as being 'the end', but instead perceive it as being the beginning of the next cluster/pattern.
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Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
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www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1356900 - 01/24/10 08:23 AM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: Elissa Milne]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3241
Loc: Virginia, USA
When I practice a one octave scale, I start on every note (without changing key signature: C to C, D to D, etc)

Guess I thought everybody did that.
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gotta go practice

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#1356925 - 01/24/10 09:26 AM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: Elissa Milne]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Get them to practice in clusters - that way they stop perceiving the tonic at the top as being 'the end', but instead perceive it as being the beginning of the next cluster/pattern.

Thanks Elissa, This is helpful. I'll start doing that.

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#1356939 - 01/24/10 09:52 AM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: Overexposed]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13812
Loc: Iowa City, IA
For some students, it helps to add an intermediate step and have them practice a one octave scale plus one note. This helps them get used to the crossing that begins the 2nd octave.

Recently, I had a student begin two octave scales starting with E Major - it's much easier to see the pattern in E Major. It easy to get lost in C because it's all white keys. In E or A Major, the black keys serve as landmarks so you're less likely to lose track of where you are.

To help teach the idea of patterns, I also find it helpful to start B, F#, and Db Major in two octaves as well.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1357014 - 01/24/10 11:54 AM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: Kreisler]
Rachel J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 325
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
When I teach one octave, I always have them start/end as if the scale was continuing. In other words, I *never* let them use the pinky.

Here's my video about how I teach scales:
http://fundamentalkeys.com/videos/scales.html
_________________________
Rachel Jimenez Piano teacher in Brooklyn, NY / Author of Fundamental Keys method
My professional website: FundamentalKeys.com
Latest blog post: "A marvelous pianist and mentor"

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#1357100 - 01/24/10 01:45 PM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: keri1223]
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 945
Loc: Bulgaria
One thing that helped me master those is to think of the riht hand as a leading hand on your way up and the on your way down think of your left hand as a leading hand. When the leading hand is changing from finger 4 to finger 1 then other hand must do he same in it's next change. That's how it works for me anyway.
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#1357152 - 01/24/10 03:37 PM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: Teodor]
keri1223 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Forney, TX
Thank you...those are some great ideas. I will definitely try them.
_________________________
"The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you!"

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#1357300 - 01/24/10 07:09 PM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: Rachel J]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Rachel J
When I teach one octave, I always have them start/end as if the scale was continuing. In other words, I *never* let them use the pinky.

Here's my video about how I teach scales:
http://fundamentalkeys.com/videos/scales.html


Rachel, I do something similar. Start C major with 1 in both hands and immediately, the left hand crosses over to 4th finger for D.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1357317 - 01/24/10 07:46 PM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: keri1223]
Sparkler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 177
I explain it to them like this:

The fingering is

123, 1234, 123, 1234, over and over again until I want to end on..... 5.

Going backwards it is 5.... 4321, 321, 4321, 321, over again until I want to end.

(It is the opposite for LH.)

When I get them to think of it in that pattern, most of them catch on super quickly. I explain to them that if they can get this, then they can play 6 octaves if they wanted to.

Also, for the most part, I never teach 1 octave scales. I go straight to 2 octave.



Edited by Sparkler (01/24/10 08:10 PM)
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#1358131 - 01/25/10 10:13 PM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Rachel J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 325
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Rachel, I do something similar. Start C major with 1 in both hands and immediately, the left hand crosses over to 4th finger for D.


Interesting! Glad I'm not the only one teaching "unorthodox" fingerings. smile
_________________________
Rachel Jimenez Piano teacher in Brooklyn, NY / Author of Fundamental Keys method
My professional website: FundamentalKeys.com
Latest blog post: "A marvelous pianist and mentor"

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#1358248 - 01/26/10 01:07 AM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: Rachel J]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
My kids' teacher is having my son play this "finger under exercise" starting with C now also G. The fingering is 123 1234 123 1234 1 and 1 4321 321 4321 321 - it says right in his teacher's notebook! For my daughter he's asked her to play the Russian pattern scales with repeating Hanon-like 4 and 5 fingers.

I think our kid's teacher has been watching your videos! Well, just kidding.

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Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#1358437 - 01/26/10 09:31 AM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Rachel J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 325
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Originally Posted By: 4evr88keys
I think our kid's teacher has been watching your videos! Well, just kidding.


Ha ha ha!!! smile
_________________________
Rachel Jimenez Piano teacher in Brooklyn, NY / Author of Fundamental Keys method
My professional website: FundamentalKeys.com
Latest blog post: "A marvelous pianist and mentor"

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#1358549 - 01/26/10 12:01 PM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: Rachel J]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Most students don't have any trouble playing scales HS. It's putting the hands together that starts the trouble.

I do several preparatory exercises. Here are some of them:

HT 1 on C in both hands. Play RH 1 2 1 4 1 (C D C B C) and LH, same keys 1 4 1 2 1. Repeat 3 times.

Play the C Major 5 finger pattern up and down, but have the RH do the crossing to 1 after 3.

Play singing "yes, it's 3" (See Music Pathways Technique 3A)

Some kids are more visual, so I draw a fingering chart and highlight the 3's and the 1's when the meet on the tonic. I draw this chart two different ways and the child chooses which one fits their visual perception. Some kids like reading left to right, some prefer to read from bottom to top. It's too complicated to post here, but if you want to see how they look, send me your email and I'll send you the word doc.
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#1358704 - 01/26/10 03:13 PM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: Minniemay]
foxyw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 298
Loc: New Hampshire
I'm an adult student and as I was learning two octave scales, my teacher had me stop at the tonic of the second octave and organize my fingers again to get ready to start with the next octave scale. We did this both going up and down. This helped to get my fingers used to crossing properly. After a while, I didn't have to slow or stop to reorganize my fingers and could play the octaves through.
_________________________
"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here!" J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 1997.


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#1358806 - 01/26/10 05:18 PM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: foxyw]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
You know, I like this. I have one student with whom I just cannot succeed with fingering. Perhaps this will help.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1358824 - 01/26/10 05:39 PM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: John v.d.Brook]
foxyw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 298
Loc: New Hampshire
I hope this helps John. We always stopped, keeping my hands in place on the tonic, said "reorganize" or "organize" and then played the second octave. I sometimes still think "reorganize" while playing scales and I think it helps keep my scale playing in check.
_________________________
"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here!" J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 1997.


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#1360115 - 01/28/10 10:24 AM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: Rachel J]
Hop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 654
Loc: Hudson, FL
Originally Posted By: Rachel J
When I teach one octave, I always have them start/end as if the scale was continuing. In other words, I *never* let them use the pinky.

Here's my video about how I teach scales:
http://fundamentalkeys.com/videos/scales.html


I like your approach. I've also seen exercises where tones/fingers are blocked. So first the thumb, then fingers two and three (together), then Thumb Under (TU), then fingers two three and four together, then TU. This allows the student to "feel" the shape of the scale.

What do you think?

Hop
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HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130

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#1360148 - 01/28/10 11:18 AM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: Hop]
Rachel J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 325
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Yes, I use this too when students have particular trouble remembering a fingering!
_________________________
Rachel Jimenez Piano teacher in Brooklyn, NY / Author of Fundamental Keys method
My professional website: FundamentalKeys.com
Latest blog post: "A marvelous pianist and mentor"

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#1360248 - 01/28/10 02:21 PM Re: 2 octave scales [Re: Rachel J]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
The fingering of 123 and 1234 is very obvious when you give the first lesson based on finding the black keys (RH fingering 2-3 and 2-3-4).

This sets up 2 things:
1) the black key fingering that will come in scales in the future
2) The C-D-E as 1-2-3 and the FGAB as 1-2-3-4.

This is extremely formative (planting the seeds) and while you are labeling the keyboard with letter names A-B-C-D-E-F-G you are diagramming on blank paper the graphics which are used later.

|_|_|_| |_|_|_|_|

UU UUU

(The fact is that you use this fingering over and over in the C-G-D-A-E major scale is hugely benefitical when the student studies around the Circle of 5th, first clockwise and then counter-clockwise. At B the LH takes on new fingering related to the black keys being used by the inner finger 2-3-4 of the hands. At Bb the RH takes on new fingering.)

When actually starting the C Major Scale, I introduce the RH scaling first based on the groups of 2 black notes discussed above to get the RH fingering established and reviewing it ascending and descending as the first step.

Then at with both thumbs on Middle C, move in contrary motion away from Middle C stopping at the next C. Make sure to say that "the LH is going to follow the same fingering that the RH is leading with". "5 is used as the "brake" to stop with, only 1-2-3 and 1-2-3-4 are used until you want to stop."

Then play 2 handed to the leger line C's, pause, returning to Middle C.

This is all being done without the music page. It is a hands-on, tactile approach. Then when finished, you show the page which now makes lots of sense from the experience of doing it, and the fingering is not going to be the big concern that it was since you have taught a fingering sequence that will in exist in so many of the scales.

Of course, tell them to go slowly enough when beginning so that the thinking is leading the fingers to react to the impulse. Slow and deliberate movement at first can easily be increased gradually to the desired metronomic marking.

Break these ideas down into simple steps and you have a student who easily understands stepwise progressions and good fingering essentials.

I also teach 2 tetrachords and their intervals during the scale learning process using C as the diagram, then writing others as we learn each scale.

Give the definition of tetrachord and each following word:
* keynote
(*) keynote of the next scale in Circle of 5th presentation
Interval
W Whole Step
H Half Step


LH RH
|_|_|_|_| + |_|_|_|_|
5 4 3 2 2 3 4 5 fingering
* W W H (*)W W H Intervals

Betty

added color


Edited by Betty Patnude (01/28/10 02:22 PM)

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