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#2017252 - 01/19/13 01:13 PM What is this way to play scales called?
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 905
Loc: Thunder Bay, On Canada
My teacher gave me homework to learn how to play my scales differently. She couldn't remember what its called.

I'm only doing this in one octave with C scale:

The pattern is:

play up together,
apart,
back together,
up together,
down together,
apart,
back together,
and down together.

I really like learning this just want to know what it's called! (formula, pattern etc.)
_________________________
Becca
Began: 01-12-11


Floundering and Lost
Roland RD300NX

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#2017267 - 01/19/13 01:42 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
neildradford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 148
Loc: United Kingdom
You mean like similar motion scales followed by contrary motion scales etc, but not stopping between each type?

Neil.

Edit: No idea if there is a proper name for the whole thing but it sounds like similar motion and contrary motion joined together.


Edited by neildradford (01/19/13 01:44 PM)
_________________________
Venables & Son Custom 133 Upright Acoustic Piano
Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
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Started lessons: January 2012
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#2017271 - 01/19/13 01:46 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
It's called the Grand Scale.

Up 2 Octaves
Contrary Motion 2 Octaves
Reverse Contrary Motion 2 Octaves
Up 2 Octaves
Down 4 Octaves
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#2017273 - 01/19/13 01:51 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
neildradford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 148
Loc: United Kingdom
Ooooooooo its got a proper name. So much to learn..........

Where would you start? Around the middle?

Neil.
_________________________
Venables & Son Custom 133 Upright Acoustic Piano
Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
Started learning: October 2011
Started lessons: January 2012
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/neildradford

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#2017275 - 01/19/13 01:53 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 905
Loc: Thunder Bay, On Canada
Yep you start where you normally would. I'm sure next week I get to go to two octaves. smile

Thanks Jazzwee! Neil if you haven't tried it, you gotta. It's lot's of fun! smile

I love you guys. Someone always has an answer. smile
_________________________
Becca
Began: 01-12-11


Floundering and Lost
Roland RD300NX

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#2017279 - 01/19/13 01:56 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
neildradford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 148
Loc: United Kingdom
I think I'll do that actually Becca, it does sound like fun, watch my fingers fall over themselves!
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Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
Started learning: October 2011
Started lessons: January 2012
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/neildradford

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#2017283 - 01/19/13 02:05 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2397
Loc: Virginia, USA
My teacher just calls them contrary scales. Of course only part of it is contrary. I've stopped doing regular arpeggios and just do these now. Surprising tough - particularly when your hands are at opposite ends of the keyboard.
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#2017291 - 01/19/13 02:16 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
neildradford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 148
Loc: United Kingdom
Do you mean you've stopped doing regular scales? Arpeggios are something else aren't they?
I can imagine it is pretty tough if your hands are at either end of the keyboard, must try this tonight.
_________________________
Venables & Son Custom 133 Upright Acoustic Piano
Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
Started learning: October 2011
Started lessons: January 2012
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/neildradford

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#2017300 - 01/19/13 02:24 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 905
Loc: Thunder Bay, On Canada
I think you might be pleasantly surprised Neil! I'm a beginner and doing it in c scale for one octave is very simple! (other scales, well I'm betting not so much lol.)
_________________________
Becca
Began: 01-12-11


Floundering and Lost
Roland RD300NX

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#2017301 - 01/19/13 02:25 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
I think it starts two octaves below middle C, the two hands an octave apart and then the contrary motion starts when the LH reaches middle C. And then on the way back you continue up 2 octaves up.

So basically the full scale is a 4 octave practice. It is quite difficult to do well. Even after many years of doing this I can still improve.

BTW this is an example of where you have to move your bottom to play this well. If you sit without moving your body at middle D then you will be all twisted up.
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#2017303 - 01/19/13 02:26 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
neildradford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 148
Loc: United Kingdom
Wohooo, just did a 'Grand Scale' two octaves (exactly as jazwee wrote above) and it was A LOT of fun, like you said Becca. I know it's silly, but that was quite exciting haha.

Thanks guys!
_________________________
Venables & Son Custom 133 Upright Acoustic Piano
Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
Started learning: October 2011
Started lessons: January 2012
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/neildradford

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#2017304 - 01/19/13 02:28 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: BeccaBb
I think you might be pleasantly surprised Neil! I'm a beginner and doing it in c scale for one octave is very simple! (other scales, well I'm betting not so much lol.)


BeccaBb, I see your teacher is introducing you to a subset of the Grand Scale then.

I only do this in C scale (the full Grand Scale). Doesn't work easily otherwise with contrary motion.
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#2017308 - 01/19/13 02:30 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: neildradford]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: neildradford
Wohooo, just did a 'Grand Scale' two octaves (exactly as jazwee wrote above) and it was A LOT of fun, like you said Becca. I know it's silly, but that was quite exciting haha.

Thanks guys!


Well I think it would be 4 octaves to be called a 'Grand Scale' smile In case there's some lingo police around...
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#2017330 - 01/19/13 02:52 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 905
Loc: Thunder Bay, On Canada
I figured mine was a simplified version. smile After I learn that I think I'll beg to try the full one. I have a pile of of other scales to learn too (speaking of I better get my butt in gear!)

Later gators!
_________________________
Becca
Began: 01-12-11


Floundering and Lost
Roland RD300NX

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#2017331 - 01/19/13 02:54 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
KeysAngler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 254
Loc: The Fabulous Florida Keys
I'm playing the Grand Scale in C

Another variation my teacher has me doing is only playing the C, E and G notes on the scale ... it's a little more difficult than doing the full octave of notes ...

I've noticed that if I look at my right hand and think about my left while doing contrary portion I can make fewer mistakes when my left hand is out of sight

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#2017337 - 01/19/13 03:04 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
jazzwee, I play the Grand Scale with my body centered at middle D, and I don't experience problems.
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Ebaug(maj7)

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#2017351 - 01/19/13 03:24 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
torquenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 314
Loc: Italy
I sometimes play the Grand Scale in C (I just learnt the name) and I find it difficult but fun.
In other keys the problem is that my contrary motion scales are awful, I should practice them more but I really hate them. I don't remember having learnt them as a child, so they are quite new and difficult for me.


Edited by torquenale (01/19/13 03:24 PM)
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#2017396 - 01/19/13 04:33 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: PianoStudent88]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
jazzwee, I play the Grand Scale with my body centered at middle D, and I don't experience problems.


By the time you get to the 4th octave, your fingers will be at an angle to the keys. Now as you play it faster and faster it will be a lot of gyration.

I still can't play the grand scale at 150bpm (16ths) -- which I can do easily with the RH only. I fail at the top of the 4th octave. And as I examined the problem it's the LH that is severely angled. So the only solution is to move the body from side to side.

I was taught to improve the angle of the fingers by moving my upper body (which as a consequence causes the lower body to shift).
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Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP
My Blog

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#2017398 - 01/19/13 04:37 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
So here's another hand independence exercise I do in addition to the Grand Scale. You alter the LH note rhythm vs. RH.

For example you play a scale at a LH:RH ratio of 1:2 (2 notes on the RH for every 1 on the LH). Then you do it 1:3. Then 1:4.

I do this mostly with the C scale.
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#2017406 - 01/19/13 04:56 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
If I play a four octave C scale, for example, starting with RH on middle C and LH an octave lower, I do lean my body, and I lean towards one side of my bottom and the other side unweights from the branch. But when you said you had to move your bottom to play these, I took you to mean that you actually moved your bottom from one spot to another on the bench.
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Ebaug(maj7)

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#2017430 - 01/19/13 05:46 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: jazzwee]
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1397
Loc: Dallas, TX
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
For example you play a scale at a LH:RH ratio of 1:2 (2 notes on the RH for every 1 on the LH). Then you do it 1:3. Then 1:4.

You can also play scales 2-against-3 and 3-against-4 for practicing polyrhythms.
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Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718

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#2017464 - 01/19/13 06:48 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
pizza4058 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/19/13
Posts: 3
Loc: Colorado, USA
Originally Posted By: BeccaBb
My teacher gave me homework to learn how to play my scales differently. She couldn't remember what its called.

I'm only doing this in one octave with C scale:

The pattern is:

play up together,
apart,
back together,
up together,
down together,
apart,
back together,
and down together.

I really like learning this just want to know what it's called! (formula, pattern etc.)



Hi everyone, my FIRST post. Back in the day, my mom pushed me to take piano lessons. And I did for almost 9 yrs. Jump ahead 50+ years and I had a serious itch to start playing again. Bought me a spinet, 42 yr-old piano. Fingers a little stiff, ha!

So question; will someone explain to me this pattern in more detail? I'd like to try it but I don't understand/know where to start. I'd appreciate any input.
_________________________
Carl J.

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#2017531 - 01/19/13 09:16 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Here's a video. Sorry for the poor quality from the Computer camera. But doing this reminds me how hard it is to do evenly and perfectly synchronized with both hands.

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Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP
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#2017565 - 01/19/13 10:32 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: pizza4058]
zillybug Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/11
Posts: 131
Loc: USA
hi Carl,
My teacher also recently started me on the grand scale.
Here is the pattern he uses-
start down low and go up 2 octaves
out 2 octaves
back in 2 octaves
up 2 more octaves
down 2 octaves
out 2 octaves
in 2 octaves
down 2 octaves and you are back where you started.

I started with C major. I have now done F, b flat, E flat, and A flat major scales this way. I thought it would be more difficult as the scales had more flats but I actually found E flat and A flat easier than F and B flat. I usually practice the contrary part of it alone first. It is difficult when your hands are way apart at difficult ends of the piano. My teacher is talking about doing the scales in 3rds, 6ths and 10ths next.
I'm not sure how to do that yet.

Judy

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#2017569 - 01/19/13 10:43 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: neildradford]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2397
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: neildradford
Do you mean you've stopped doing regular scales? Arpeggios are something else aren't they?
I can imagine it is pretty tough if your hands are at either end of the keyboard, must try this tonight.


No, I do some arpeggios of different patterns from a book by Peskanov (The Russian Technical Regimen for the Piano, book 2); contrary arpeggios similar to the grand scale pattern and then scales in either thirds or sixths (either the right hand starts a third above the root of the scale or the left hand starts a sixth down from the root of a scale). Occasionally I'll replace those with chromatic or the grand scale.

We're slowly working up from C in a chromatic fashion - right now I'm on F#.
_________________________
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  • Scarlatti - Sonata in D minor, K. 213

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#2017604 - 01/20/13 12:06 AM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: jazzwee]
pizza4058 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/19/13
Posts: 3
Loc: Colorado, USA
Nice! Thanks for posting the video. Hearing the sound of the notes really helped! It'll be awhile b4 my efforts sound like yours. But I like a challenge!
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Carl J.

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#2017605 - 01/20/13 12:12 AM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: zillybug]
pizza4058 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/19/13
Posts: 3
Loc: Colorado, USA
Thank you. I now get the gist of the pattern. Sunday will be a more exciting day of practice for me. For now I'll stick to the original pattern on the grand scale.
_________________________
Carl J.

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#2017625 - 01/20/13 01:29 AM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
I hope you don't start at my tempo! smile Start very, very slow. At half that speed perhaps or even less and concentrate on evenness and accuracy and synching both hands.
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Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP
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#2017811 - 01/20/13 12:43 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: BeccaBb]
stumbler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/10
Posts: 280
Loc: Toronto
The RCM curriculum calls it "Formula Pattern Scale".
Its part of their exam technical requirements.
Depending on grade level it is either 2 octaves (half the compass of what Jazzwee described), or four octaves.
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#2018045 - 01/20/13 09:09 PM Re: What is this way to play scales called? [Re: packa]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: packa
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
For example you play a scale at a LH:RH ratio of 1:2 (2 notes on the RH for every 1 on the LH). Then you do it 1:3. Then 1:4.

You can also play scales 2-against-3 and 3-against-4 for practicing polyrhythms.


Although this sounds good in theory, there will be dissonance and the pattern doesn't lend itself to repetitions and up and down motion. At least the way I did it.

I tend to practice these types of rhythms with some LH ostinato pattern instead of scales. But that's just me.



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