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#1557606 - 11/14/10 03:11 PM practicing scales Q
KurtZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 894
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
Hi,

Is there an advantage to playing the tonic note at the top of a scale a second time before going back down?

Just curious about this. I tend to do it both ways depending on the day and wondered if there's an advantage to one way or the other. My teacher has never expressed a preference.

Kurt


Edited by KurtZ (11/14/10 03:15 PM)
Edit Reason: missed an apostrophe
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#1557626 - 11/14/10 03:39 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: KurtZ]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Sure, each way can have its benefits. I think most pianists practice scales without repeating the top note, because on the piano it's clumsy and inconvenient to replay that note. On some other instruments, the custom is the opposite, because on THOSE instruments it's clumsy and inconvenient if you DON'T.

It would be easy to create sophisticated rationalizations for this, but I think the convenience factor is the truth, and everything else just made-up stories.
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#1557645 - 11/14/10 04:22 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: KurtZ]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
David, I don't know about sophisticated rationalizations, but I always thought it had to do with rhythm. When playing 16th notes, repeating the top note just isn't very smooth. There are 7 groups of 4 going up, and again, 7 groups of 4 coming down. Adding an extra top note would royally screw up the rhythm, don't you feel?
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#1557669 - 11/14/10 05:13 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: KurtZ]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
The rhythm of repeating the top note works fine for violinists all over the world. It's just fingering convenience/bowing convenience/whatever.
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#1557720 - 11/14/10 06:26 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: KurtZ]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I wasn't aware that violinists did that. I never did. Well I did for one octave scales, but don't recall doing it for higher octaves. Now I'll have to pull out my Galamian tapes and check it out. Perhaps we extended the top note to fill out the beat.
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"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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#1557772 - 11/14/10 07:10 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: John v.d.Brook]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I wasn't aware that violinists did that. I never did. Well I did for one octave scales, but don't recall doing it for higher octaves. Now I'll have to pull out my Galamian tapes and check it out. Perhaps we extended the top note to fill out the beat.

In the RCM technical book, as of gr. 6 the top note isn't repeated, and that is when 3 octave scales start. The way they pull it off in groups of four involves the way it starts. for G major: GBAG.... or G (quarter) AB ... (eight), or GAGABC.....


Edited by keystring (11/14/10 07:10 PM)

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#1557902 - 11/14/10 10:21 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: KurtZ]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Perhaps my violin scales experience has been limited to the one-octave variety. I play a mean Happy Farmer. Mean, as in approximate. smile

In any case, it would be very easy to re-jig the rhythm of scales to just about anything we like, on either instrument.
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#1557909 - 11/14/10 10:30 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: keystring]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5932
Loc: Down Under
When I was doing 3-octave scales (violin & viola) they were grouped in 3s (the requirement for the exams I did), which meant the top note was neither repeated nor elongated.
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#1558196 - 11/15/10 11:20 AM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: KurtZ]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
There is a fingering rule that says always play repeated notes with a change of finger.

If you apply that rule to the scale (and yes, there are people who think scales teach fingering) then I think you will get some interesting results.

Personally I like doing them turning around, with one longer note at the bottom. First note is a quarter, then eighths up and back down to the tonic and up to re which is a quarter, then up and down on eighths, etc. Like the wind instruments do. Takes you through all the modes.
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#1558227 - 11/15/10 12:14 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: TimR

Personally I like doing them turning around, with one longer note at the bottom. First note is a quarter, then eighths up and back down to the tonic and up to re which is a quarter, then up and down on eighths, etc. Like the wind instruments do. Takes you through all the modes.

Cool! I have to try this! cool

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#1558250 - 11/15/10 12:51 PM Re: practicing scales Q [Re: keystring]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: TimR

Personally I like doing them turning around, with one longer note at the bottom. First note is a quarter, then eighths up and back down to the tonic and up to re which is a quarter, then up and down on eighths, etc. Like the wind instruments do. Takes you through all the modes.

Cool! I have to try this! cool


That's straight out of the Arbans.
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