Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Magic of Scales

Since I have been playing I have had many people tell me that scales were important. I did believe them, but I still never worked much on my scales, finding them boring and and tedious. I wanted to play pieces and etudes, not put in the work to learn scales. Since starting conservatory, my teacher has listened to me play all of my Baermann scales every week. This is definitely an incentive to start practicing! Well, lo and behold, as I practice my scales, all other aspects of my playing improve. Tone and legato are improved by using more air support as I traverse the different registers. Technique improves as the fingers begin to move with a machine-like precision. Today, I pulled out a piece which is very technical, and I was able to play it without much difficulty. I realized that many of the parts I had had troubles with were simply scales and arpeggios; things that my daily scale work had made easy. I now, more than ever, have total faith in the power of scales to improve a player and to improve them faster than any other kind of practice. Deep and consistant scale work helps players of all ages to improve by leaps, rather than small steps. Scales are the building blocks of all tonal music and must be worked on daily, from new student to seasoned professional.

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