How to Study-Practice Scales: Performance

Never, ever play scales as mere “exercises”, like mindlessly lifting weights or doing jumping jacks. This is not good preparation for performance.  Scale study, done right, should make your brain, not your body, tired. To that end, keep the following points in mind…

  • Always play scales musically… with musical phrasing, articulation, and dynamics.
  • Always play with good rhythm. In order to check your time, play with a metronome, count out loud, tap your feet, or clap time on your lap with your off-hand.
  • Always play with good technique. Never accept any tension or awkwardness in your execution. If needed, experiment with different ways to move your body, ways that go in the direction of physical ease.

That said, here are some study-practice ideas that will take your musicianship to the next level… by combining fingering, musicianship, technique, and interpretation all at once…


LEGATO NINE-NOTE SCALE

Ascending and descending with crescendo and diminuendo…

piano-ology-scales-how-to-study-practice-performance-b-flat-major-legato-nine-note

Variation: Play staccato instead.


STACCATO NINE-NOTE SCALE

Descending and ascending…

piano-ology-scales-how-to-study-practice-performance-b-flat-major-staccato-nine-note

Variation: Play legato instead.


DUPLETS over TWO OCTAVES…

Ascending…piano-ology-scales-how-to-study-practice-performance-b-flat-major-duplets-two-octaves-ascending

and descending

piano-ology-scales-how-to-study-practice-performance-b-flat-major-duplets-two-octaves-descending

Variation: Play with or without accent on every odd note…


TRIPLETS over THREE OCTAVES…

ascending…

piano-ology-scales-how-to-study-practice-performance-b-flat-major-triplets-three-octaves-ascending

and descending…

piano-ology-scales-how-to-study-practice-performance-b-flat-major-triplets-three-octaves-descending

Variation: Play with or without an accent on every third note…


BROKEN THIRDS

Ascending…

piano-ology-scales-how-to-study-practice-performance-b-flat-major-broken-thirds-ascending

Descending…

piano-ology-scales-how-to-study-practice-performance-b-flat-major-broken-thirds-descending


DUPLETS

Ascending…

piano-ology-scales-how-to-study-practice-performance-b-flat-major-broken-duplets-ascending

Descending…

piano-ology-scales-how-to-study-practice-performance-b-flat-major-broken-duplets-descending


TRIPLETS

Ascending…piano-ology-scales-how-to-study-practice-performance-b-flat-major-broken-triplets-ascending

Descending…

piano-ology-scales-how-to-study-practice-performance-b-flat-major-broken-triplets-descending


And you can mix and match each of the above. Can you think of some more? Always let the music that YOU want to play be the source of musical patterns that YOU need to study and practice!

LEARN MORE… How to Study-Practice Scales: Scales as Chords

About Frank J Peter

A uniquely burdened and blessed citizen of the world thinking and acting out loud!
This entry was posted in How to Study-Practice, Music Theory, Performance, Scales and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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