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#1729972 - 08/10/11 08:52 AM Scales Bootcamp
ShiroKuro Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3235
Loc: not in Japan anymore
My copy of Scales Bootcamp, by Philip Johnston, arrived and I started working with it yesterday.
Scales Boot Camp

I though it would be nice to have a thread here for people to share impressions and talk about how they're using it. I'm temporarily without a teacher, so I'm just starting at the beginning, A minor, and slowly doing the twists and so on, it seems like for easier scales I'll probably spend a week on them but for more difficult ones it will take more. We'll see how that prediction holds up!

Also, yesterday I used the Boot Camp book with the Palmer book
Palmer Complete Scales book

The Palmer book has all the chords, apes and cadences written out , which I need, so I don't think I'll want to stop using it, but the Johnston book's way of teaching the fingering and all the achievements are really helpful.

Other people please share your thoughts!
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#1729991 - 08/10/11 10:07 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 351
Scale Bootcamp, that's brilliant lol.

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#1731675 - 08/12/11 11:32 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
Shiro,

I loved the Practiceopedia so much I ordered the Scales Boot camp and also the Palmer book.... hurry up mail!! I'm at a point now where (perhaps because I'm not taking exams and my teacher doesn't push for it ).... I feel I need to become more fluent in scales and arpeggios etc.... hopefullly this will help..

I think and my piano buddy keeps telling me... that to be better at sightreading we need to be familiar with all the scales and chords and variations.... I'm finally beginning to believe her because my sightreading is pretty slow....
_________________________
It's the journey not the destination..

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#1731825 - 08/12/11 03:48 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: SAnnM AB-2001]
cubop Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 28 2012


Registered: 12/17/10
Posts: 368
Loc: Norway
The book arrived today, so I have now joined the Bootcamp. That book makes you really want to practice them scales. It would have been fine to have more than the harmonic minor scales, but it should be easy to fill in the other two. In case anybody should need a good book on chords, the Mel Bay Pianochords uses almost the same color coded system as the Bootcamp. The book contains a lot of information, but is small enough to fit in any pocket.
I also bought an acoustic piano today, but that is another story.

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#1742418 - 08/29/11 02:00 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Arctic_Mama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
I wanted to bump this thread up and ask how everyone is liking the book? I have been told to work on scales and thought this might be a solid resource, as I need a little more guidance than just notes on a page to be efficient at them (my fingering is where I stumble).

Any reviews from users?
_________________________
Starting over after a decade-long hiatus from playing!
Yamaha CLP320

Burgmuller - Inquietude

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#1742424 - 08/29/11 02:47 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Dave B Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Philadelphia area
I'm curious as to just what information the books offer. A scale is a scale, no? Move it from key to key?

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#1742624 - 08/29/11 01:20 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Arctic_Mama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
I was under the impression it was just a systematic approach (more of a curriculum than just scores, Czerny-style) with fingering hints. I discovered long ago that not all scales should be fingered the same way!).

I've been impressed by the other Johnston resources I've seen, and if this one is a fraction as helpful as his practice books I am hoping to get a lot out of it smile
_________________________
Starting over after a decade-long hiatus from playing!
Yamaha CLP320

Burgmuller - Inquietude

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#1742627 - 08/29/11 01:31 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: Dave B]
Sedona Drum Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/11
Posts: 32
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: Dave B
I'm curious as to just what information the books offer. A scale is a scale, no? Move it from key to key?

Go to the links that ShiroKuro provides, Dave. There are short videos that explain the book and its techniques.

It looks interesting and seems to provide structure, something important to me. I may give it a try.

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#1742635 - 08/29/11 01:44 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: cubop]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2978
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: cubop
It would have been fine to have more than the harmonic minor scales, but it should be easy to fill in the other two.

Fingering for natural vs. harmonic vs. melodic minor scales sometimes differs from each other. I'll post the differences when I'm home again.

I use the Faber Achievement Skill Sheets 5 and 6 for scale fingerings.
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#1742639 - 08/29/11 01:52 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2978
Loc: Maine
For those of you working on this book, how does it differ for you from just working through scales in some systematic order that you decide?

A few orders are: circle of fifths through the sharps, then through the flats. Or trios based on black/white appearance of the I triad: F, C, G; D, A, E; Eb, Ab, Db; B, Bb, Gb. Or similarities of fingering: C, G, D, A, E; F; B, Db, Gb; Bb, Eb, Ab. This last is the order I'm using.

Fold minors in as desired; I'm doing them all after the majors.

What order does Scales Boot Camp use? Does it include skills besides parallel motion (e.g. contrary motion or pattern, cadences, arpeggios cross-hand or one-hand, others....)?

[ETA: I just read Sedona Drum's post more closely. I'll go look at the videos, which may answer my questions.)


Edited by PianoStudent88 (08/29/11 01:53 PM)
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#1742684 - 08/29/11 03:13 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2978
Loc: Maine
OK, I viewed the videos and I'm convinced. I ordered a copy. (Also ordered Practiceopedia while I was there: it looked like it will have some techniques to help with my persistent practice problem, which is having one or two passages in every piece that I consistently fumble-finger no matter what I do.)

I already knew the 123/1234 system, but the visual highlighting of the scale presentation has me thinking I will highlight my Achievement Skill Sheets of scales, to help me see the 123/1234 patterns of similar scales clearer, and of major and their related (either parallel or relative) minor scales.

What really convinced me to buy is that, although I could in principle round up a cartload of different ways to practice scales, I figure I'll save time by getting a trainload all in one place in the Scales Boot Camp.

I want to be sure I practice these carefully and not just blow through to achieve a checkmark for a poorly done rendition.
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#1743124 - 08/30/11 08:44 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoPraise Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/11
Posts: 72
I just ordered my copy.

I hope it doesn't take too long to get.
_________________________
Started lessons 03/22/11

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#1743138 - 08/30/11 09:33 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2978
Loc: Maine
Piano Praise, I hear you! I was so eager for my copy that I did what I never do, which is pay extra for shipping to get it here by Priority instead of Parcel Post. Here's to scales!
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#1743139 - 08/30/11 09:36 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2978
Loc: Maine
As promised, here are the differences in minor key fingering. The keys that start on a white key have the same fingering in major and all three minors. The keys that start on a black key have different fingering from the parallel major in either the LH or RH, but not both.

Bb: LH differs.
major: 321 4321
minor: 21 321 43

Eb: LH differs
major: 321 4321
minor: 21 4321 3

Ab: LH differs
Ab major: 321 4321
G# natural minor: 321 321 4
G# harmonic minor: 321 4321 (same as major)
G# melodic minor ascending: 321 4321 (same as major and harmonic minor)
G# melodic minor descending: 34 123 12 (same as natural minor)

Db: RH differs
Db major: 23 1234 1
C# natural and harmonic minor: 34 123 12
C# melodic minor ascending: 23 1234 1 (same as major)
C# melodic minor descending: 21 4321 3 (same as melodic ascending), OR 321 321 4 (same as natural and harmonic minor).

Gb: RH differs
Gb major: 234 123 1
F# natural and harmonic minor: 34 123 12
F# melodic minor ascending: 23 1234 1
F# melodic minor descending: 21 4321 3 (same as melodic ascending), OR 321 321 4 (same as natural and harmonic minor).

(I'm trying to work out a pattern for these changes. For example, maybe the fingering matches key for key the relative minor? Or some other pattern to explain the changes. I'd love to hear if anyone else has an overarching pattern.)


Edited by PianoStudent88 (08/30/11 09:38 AM)
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#1743172 - 08/30/11 11:00 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
samasap Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/10
Posts: 607
Loc: UK
I like the sound of that and may adapt my scales I teach people and use that name!

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#1743257 - 08/30/11 01:47 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Arctic_Mama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
Pianostudent88, I honestly think that with some of those the changes just need to be memorized. There's no system or reason for them except convenience/practicality. If there's an overarching system, I haven't heard of it!
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Starting over after a decade-long hiatus from playing!
Yamaha CLP320

Burgmuller - Inquietude

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#1743522 - 08/30/11 10:18 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2978
Loc: Maine
Arctic_Mama, what, no system? Eeeek! smile

I discovered at my lesson today that there's more to playing in a key than just knowing the scale. I also need to be able to connect the visual appearance of the notes with which ones should be sharped or flatted. Oh, for a book of pieces in all keys, major and minor, to practice this. Wait, there is such a book. Oh, to have the skills to play WTC.

Are there any other collections in all keys like WTC, but easier?
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#1743685 - 08/31/11 08:09 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
GlassLove Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 769
Loc: Michigan
Yes, there are collections easier than WTC written in all major and minor keys.

Have you every played Robert Vandall's preludes? Some of the early ones are really quite easy. Alfred publishes all 24 in one collection. You can also buy them in three separate volumes (with volume 1 containing the easiest pieces of the collection). They are really beautiful pieces too!! smile
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Christine











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#1743823 - 08/31/11 12:53 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: PianoStudent88]
PianoPraise Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/11
Posts: 72
PianoStudent88

I paid for Priority too, but it was only 5 cent more. LOL


Edited by PianoPraise (08/31/11 12:54 PM)
Edit Reason: added who I replied to
_________________________
Started lessons 03/22/11

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#1743828 - 08/31/11 01:00 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: PianoPraise]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2334
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: PianoPraise
PianoStudent88

I paid for Priority too, but it was only 5 cent more. LOL


Shame I didn't notice that option when I bought Practiceopedia. It took 8 days for USPS to get it from Northern PA to Northern VA. That's probably slower than a package would have taken in the 18th century!!!
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  • Bartók - Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56
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#1743885 - 08/31/11 02:24 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Arctic_Mama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
That's downright speedy! Up here to Alaska the packages sent by standard post either come in three to five days (when they end up on a plane) or two to three WEEKS (if they get stuck on the barge). Priority is the only way to guarantee delivery inside a week or so, short of second day air.

One of the very few downsides of living up here.

I'll be putting my in order for Practiceopedia and Scales Bootcamp this Friday, after pay day. I'm excited!
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Starting over after a decade-long hiatus from playing!
Yamaha CLP320

Burgmuller - Inquietude

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#1743889 - 08/31/11 02:35 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2978
Loc: Maine
GlassLove, thanks for the suggestion. I'll get the Vandall Preludes. Give my music store a reason to love me again, now that I've switched lessons from the store to my teacher's home wink.

PianoPraise, priority was over $2 more expensive for me. For 5 cents it would have been a no-brainer. I'm hoping it will get here before the weekend, and I can take it on my Labor Day trip with me.

I'm eyeing The Practice Revolution too, because for whatever reason I'm completely fascinated by materials for teachers. But at $30, and assuming it's sort of the teacher's version (how to motivate and guide others) of Practiceopedia (how to motivate and guide yourself), I'm resisting for now.

Heck, I even want to get the Promoting Your Teaching Studio book too, and I'm ages away from being a teacher. (My idea would be to play well enough and take up piano teaching in retirement. I have no idea why this is my dream right now, but there it is.) But that's another $30 it's hard to justify spending while I'm only a student.
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Ebaug(maj7)

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#1743910 - 08/31/11 03:26 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: PianoStudent88]
Sedona Drum Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/11
Posts: 32
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

(My idea would be to play well enough and take up piano teaching in retirement. I have no idea why this is my dream right now, but there it is.)


It's a nice one.

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#1743943 - 08/31/11 04:27 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: Sedona Drum]
Arctic_Mama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: Sedona Drum
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

(My idea would be to play well enough and take up piano teaching in retirement. I have no idea why this is my dream right now, but there it is.)


It's a nice one.


+1!

That's a great idea to aspire to. And it will keep your brain engaged during retirement, which is really critical for continued mental acuity and physical health. There can never be enough passionate piano teachers smile
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Starting over after a decade-long hiatus from playing!
Yamaha CLP320

Burgmuller - Inquietude

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#1746720 - 09/05/11 08:00 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoPraise Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/11
Posts: 72
My copy arrived on Saturday. I started with the C Major scale, It will probably take me a while to get through. I have only been playing since 03/22/11.
_________________________
Started lessons 03/22/11

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#1749931 - 09/10/11 12:36 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Arctic_Mama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
I have to bump this thread with a hearty recommendation. My Scales Bootcamp finally came and it is PHENOMENAL! Clever, consistent, thoughtfully constructed and well written. This is sucker is THE best and easiest systematic approach to scales I have seen.

I am working through it and have nothing but glowing reviews. I'll report back as I progress more with it, but I can already tell it was money well spent.

Bravo, Mr. Johnston.
_________________________
Starting over after a decade-long hiatus from playing!
Yamaha CLP320

Burgmuller - Inquietude

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#1750786 - 09/11/11 03:29 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2978
Loc: Maine
Back from my trip, to be greeted by Scales Boot Camp waiting on my doorstep. I'm working on the first few tickmarks on the scales in order of difficulty. Except I think Db and Gb are easier than Bb and Eb (Johnston thinks the reverse), but I guess I have to confront Bb and Eb sometime, so maybe I'll use Johnston's order for those anyway.

I've completed the 24 Hour ScaleStorm (30 Achievements in one day) and am working on the 7 Day ScaleStorm (150 Achievements earned in one week). I figure at the start with the easier scales and achievements gives me the best chance to earn this Bonus. (The Bonus Achievements are on page 94.)

I'd been learning the scales 1 octave before, and fortunately seem to have just now gotten skilled enough that I can easily up the ante to Johnston's 2 octaves. 4 octaves is still a challenge: I lose my way between sets of 3 and sets of 4 fingers.
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#1750879 - 09/11/11 07:35 PM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: ShiroKuro]
Arctic_Mama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
I'm working through it one scale at a time, in order. So right now it is a minor and I ws able to get to 10 in a row, both hands, in about an hour yesterday. All the rhythm, articulation, and speed challenges are on the docket for tomorrow and hopefully I can check that one off and move onto A Major.

Good stuff smile. I love the flexibility of how we can use the book, too... As it suits us!


Edited by Arctic_Mama (09/11/11 07:35 PM)
_________________________
Starting over after a decade-long hiatus from playing!
Yamaha CLP320

Burgmuller - Inquietude

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#1751195 - 09/12/11 09:04 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: Arctic_Mama]
PianoPraise Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/11
Posts: 72
PianoStudent88 and Artic_Mama,

How long have you been playing?

I started on the C Major scale, but I have only been able to do the first playthrough on Left, Right, then together, and the memory part of the Left and Rights, not together yet.

My lessons have not included scales at this point, I have added these on my own. I haven't spent a lot of time on the book because by the time I spend time on my assignments, I just don't take the time for the scales.
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Started lessons 03/22/11

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#1751246 - 09/12/11 10:17 AM Re: Scales Bootcamp [Re: PianoPraise]
Dulcetta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/11
Posts: 75
Loc: U.K.
I've just ordered a copy this morning.
I have the ABRSM complete manual of scales, which I intend using as a starting point for learning to play piano. This looks like a good motivational book to accompany it. I'm in the UK so it will probably take a few weeks though.
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