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#2405015 - 03/31/15 04:44 PM Problem with evenness in scales
CowNorris Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/20/14
Posts: 9
(posted in pianist corner but I figured its the wrong section after browsing through other topics)

Over the past few weeks I've been trying to speed up my scales to around 160bpm, and what I found that the evenness starts to break down after around 110bpm.

The places I've most difficulties with is right hand ascending and left hand descending where the thumb finger strikes too hard (especially on scales such as Dmaj, Bbmaj, Gmaj etc with an isolated black note the 4th finger has to hit and cross my thumb on). Also, with Dbmaj I've found that sometimes my 4th finger holds down for a tad too long & this happens only when crossing the octave in the middle of the keyboard. I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this problem and if anyone knows a fix?

(I would ask my piano teacher but school term's ended and I won't see him for 3 weeks)

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#2405052 - 03/31/15 06:12 PM Re: Problem with evenness in scales [Re: CowNorris]
earlofmar Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 2084
Loc: Australia
sounds like you are trying to go from somewhere less than 110bpm to 160bpm in too short a time.

You should consider that you will be playing scales for the rest of your life so what is the rush to get to a fast speed in a few weeks? Our fingers tend to increase speed naturally when the piece or scale is secure and we are not tense. You may just have to be a little more patient and take it a little slower.
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano

#2405117 - 03/31/15 10:49 PM Re: Problem with evenness in scales [Re: CowNorris]
fizikisto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 842
Loc: Hernando, MS
I agree. if your technique is failing you, it likely means you are trying to go too fast too soon. Slow down, and work on getting it right. speed will come with relaxation and time.

Also, note that you may find that your speed waxes and wanes. on tuesday you might struggle with a scale at a particular tempo...on Wednesday find that you play it flawlessly, and then on thursday find that you're all thumbs again and have to slow down. it's just the nature of the beast.

just keep at it....and strive for small bits of progress....over time they add up with compound interest.
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

#2405162 - Yesterday at 01:55 AM Re: Problem with evenness in scales [Re: CowNorris]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1782
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
. . . I agree. if your technique is failing you, it likely means you are trying to go too fast too soon. Slow down, and work on getting it right. speed will come with relaxation and time.


The reasoning is by induction:

. . . You can only work on smooth playing at X + 1 bpm,
. . . after you can play smoothly at X bpm.

There are no shortcuts.

How fast can you play your scales now, evenly and accurately? Work up _gradually_, from whatever that is.

. Charles

#2405530 - Yesterday at 10:16 PM Re: Problem with evenness in scales [Re: CowNorris]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7153
Loc: So. California
Actually, when you start hearing your unevenness, you've already begun to solve it. #1 Problem is hearing it.

As you advance further, you'll notice that you can't hear unevenness. That's actually bad because you're not listening closely enough. Even as you improve, unevenness (in smaller and smaller increments) will be noticed.

So as you hear the problem, slow it down to the point that you cannot (currently) detect unevenness and then start increasing from there.
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My Jazz Blog
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP

#2405594 - Today at 04:46 AM Re: Problem with evenness in scales [Re: CowNorris]
Celdor Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 102
The best for you is to practise at the tempo where you feel confidence, making sure all notes are even in loudness, gaps, accents in staccato are equal (try to control it) and all notes in legato are nicely joined. Playing hands together, make also sure the keys are hit at the same time by LH and RH. You will also need to make sure you can play forte and piano. If any of these fails, the tempo is too hight.

Sometimes practising all scales to overcome one problem is not efficient. You mentioned a problem with your thumbs. It might help to play this pattern over two octaves: 1212121212... then 13131313 ... and 14141414 starting slowly. If there is a problem with thumb this may help. It's just a suggestion. Again, don't rush and makes sure the notes you play are even.

In general, I always do sort of little exercises to help me overcome single problems. A quick warming up makes practising much smoother smile
\\o o//
Yamaha P105, AKG K141 MKII, Focuserite Saffire Pro 24


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