Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Euphonium Boy Ben, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. Euphonium Boy Ben

    Euphonium Boy Ben New Member

    Does anyone know a quick way to learn scales and arps.? I have my grade 6 on tue, and looked at the scales for the first time today. BIG MISTAKE! There is such a big gap between grade 5 and 6! So... any ideas anyone?
  2. Jacob Larsen

    Jacob Larsen Member

    Practise them by menory... Picture the scale with your eyes closed...
  3. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Well, other than lots of practice (which is by far the best way to do it), you could work out the intervals of each major and minor scale and think them through that way. For example, every major scale is:

    Keynote, tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone, tone, semitone.

    Being a pianist and singer as well as a brass player, I always found scales (and transposition) fairly easy because I used to visualise the piano keyboard while I was playing and always knew what note was a certain interval from wherever I was. I think I'm probably the only person I've ever met that does it like that though!
  4. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    Hmm the way I did it was by putting the name of every scale in a hat, and then picking them out and playing them - the ones I couldn't play went back in the hat. Just learning by rote really.

    Mind you I did fail my gr 8 scales!!
  5. 3 days before the exam, you decide to look at the syllabus. I have to admire your nonchalance :D
  6. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Don't much admire his teacher though for not noticing he doesn't know any of his scales! ;)
  7. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - get practising!
  8. Flutey

    Flutey Active Member

    Agreed. I made the same mistake on grades 4 and 5. Get practising as much as possible and learn the scales. If you know the basic structure of them it is much easier. I tend to let my fingers do the work- if I think about what I'm playing then I'm more likely to mess up.
    Good luck!
  9. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    WOW, that's a good comment Dave. I do the same - but the opposite way around i.e. I am a brass player and when play keyboard (badly) I use a combination of my ear and the intervals on a brass instrument. Same method, just the opposite way around eh!
  10. Flutey

    Flutey Active Member

    I get told to do that- for aural and scales etc I'm always told to visualise the keyborad. It really does help.
  11. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Not sure what the ;) is for - if a teacher is involved in this, they are doing a terrible job of preparing a student for an exam.

    If you are trying to learn all your scales in three days, you are going to have to work hard.
    As you seem to have taken no interest in learning the scales until now, I somehow doubt that you will put in the amount of effort as will be needed.

    I did Grade 8 under a teacher who didn't believe in making me learn my scales. I was very close to failing the exam because of this (and other things that I hadn't truly been prepared for). I didn't put the work in because I was never told that they were useful. I deserved my bad mark - I didn't put the work in, he didn't tell me to put the work in.
    If you don't learn your scales properly, you deserve to fail that part of the exam.

    My students get used to learning scales from their first lessons. By the time they do an exam they will have been tested on all scales each week and will be expected to pass a three in a row test on each of them (very simple test - when you can play a scale three times IN A ROW you pass that scale). My students all achieve much better results than I did.
  12. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Weird as it may seem, I didn't pay much attention to scales and arpeggios as a kid, even when learning piano! I only wanted to play music and usually crammed them in at the last minute if an exam loomed. Easiest way for me to learn them was from memory and not using a tutor book. By visualising and internalising them, it makes it easier for transposition as the patterns are always going to be there. Using ghost fingering helps create a physical memory of them ... you can do this almost anywhere, anytime as you don't need an instrument. After neglecting them way back then I would never dismiss them as part of my warmup presently. It gives a quick indication of where you are in terms of tuning and range.
  13. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    This is describing me and my methods to the letter! Can't believe how similar it really is lol. Having said that, my scales on piano, euphonium (and drums) are now very good considering I nerver really worked on them!!
  14. Sopha

    Sopha Active Member

    Wow! Such The rong Thing To Do Unless Your A Quick learner! i guess a lot of practising for you! well i hope yah do well any way! Good Luck!
  15. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    Scales are "Marks in the Bag", all too often overlooked as part of the exam!!!!
  16. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    All too often overlooked as an essential part of learning an instrument as well.
    Stuff the exams, you need scales for real life as well.
  17. matthetimp

    matthetimp Member

    Just hope you have been good and god will help you out.......................
  18. BrianT

    BrianT Member


    It's really too late to do anything about the scales now, I think. But let's hope you can claw back some marks on the aural and sight reading...
  19. annieds

    annieds Member

    I've always done things that way, too, but I find it a hinderance rather than a help. I just can't stop.
  20. Cornet_player

    Cornet_player Member

    I dont think there are any quick ways- you've just got to sit and learn them!!!

    Good Luck with your exam!

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