Thursday, July 20, 2006

How to learn flute scales

Hi, I'm a highschool student, and I've played flute in the band for three years, and I have an all-state audition coming up where I have to play scales as part of the audition. I've never played scales before. Where should I start?


Learning scales for the first time

If you've never studied scales before, a good place to start is with the help of a private flute teacher. What many band students don't at first realize is that it's not just a question of knowing scales and being able to whip them off; it's a question of playing them absolutely breathtakingly beautifully, just as though they are a piece of real music.

Why? Because real music is chock a block full of beautiful scales (not ugly horrible ones ;>), and if you play the scales wonderfully, you'll play at lest 75% of any piece of music wonderfully.

To prove the truth of this to yourself, have a look at the PDF free version of the Mozart Concerto in C+ for flute and harp;, or at any piece by Haydn, Bach or, even more modern composers. What do you see? Tons and tons of scales that make the music beautiful and flowing and emotive.

Think to yourself: If I already knew these scales by heart, and played them beautifully, I could SIGHT-READ these pieces of music much much faster without so much hard work learning note-by-note.

So, where to start?
First, download a PDF of either easy major scales in one octave or two octaves, or some basic highschool level scales.

Start working these few scales very carefully by first warming up your longtones (while you're waiting for the download and printer) and then concientiously apply your best tone to learning these few scales by heart.

Play these scales slowly, stopping and pausing on any note just when you're just starting to feel out of breath, then breathing and restarting on the note you stopped on. It's not important to go fast or to get to the top note your very first time.
It's also very important not to feel strained or massively out of breath.

One Inch Chunks are EASIEST: Instead of feeling frustrated or tired, make your work ridiculously easy:
Break each scale into easy one-inch chunks, and play each one-inch chunk ALL-SLURRED (very important; tonguing can tend to wreck the tone if added to quickly.)

Working slowly on bite-sized portions of each scale gives your body many more chances to memorize the scale, too. It gives it more time to make the connections it needs to in order to OWN the scale, eventually.
Going too quickly and making poor sound quality and slamming fingers makes more work in the longrun for you. It'll cause you to have to un-do all that bad work you did.
Don't teach your body how to play badly! :>)
As one teacher said to me: Let your "computer" take its time to download the scale into its "hardrive". Don't break the computer by breathlessly pounding away at it.

As you're working one inch chunks of a scale, only proceed if your tone remains fabulous as you go up or down a scale. If your tone goes wonky at any point, back-track to where your tone was fabulous,longtone around, and hang out there for a minute or two going up and down over the rought spot in careful longtones (all-slurred) going right through the notes where the tone seems to get worse, and fixing the tone. Improve the tone before you continue upwards or downwards.

Another way to work scale chunks, if the tone is already pretty good, is for fleetness and lightness of fingers. Fast and agile fingers aren't learned by pounding the flute, or racing up scads of notes; fast fingers come from a well-balanced flute in the hands, and very precise and easy finger motions where the fingers don't lift too high.

Trilling for fun:
A great way to improve finger technique (and to lighten the heart when you're climbing up what might seem like a mountain of scale chunks) is to stop and trill very delicately and precisely between only two notes that you're looking at in the scale. Here's a sample page showing F major in pdf (but you can be much more creative then just playing the sample page straightforwardly--so do be creative!)
ie: FGFGFGFGFG. Start the trill very very very slowly (half-note F, half-note G) and only speed it up very gradually, lightening the finger and making its position very accurate and with the easiest motion possible.

You can stop and delicately trill slowly, and then more gradually faster on any two notes in any scale.
This is a great way to break up your work into different skill areas, and never get bored too. :>)

After you've played each scale for at least 10 minutes a day, move on to learning a new one. The first few should go easily (C Major, G Major etc.) and the last few with the zillion sharps and flats may need a week of ten minutes or more a day just for each complexly sharped-flatted scale.
Don't let that bother you. Take the time to learn B-Major or F#- Major a few minutes a day for a week. Afterall, you only need to learn them by heart ONCE, and after that you'll have each one for LIFE!! :>)

Once you've taught yourself about ten scales by heart, all other scales are much much much easier, and you can rest assured that you'll find ALL music much much easier.
It's like learning to speed-read a book; now that you have the alphabet learned, and you are starting to recognize words and sentences (scales), you will get faster and faster and faster at reading.

Just make sure you get specialized help from your flute teacher for any areas that you have questions about (Tone, Breathing, adding pauses to scales when they're slow, Finger venness, Tricky finger-switches, Keeping the right-hand pinky on the Eb key, or raising the left-hand index finger when required, Tuning, Whether to play one-octave or two-octaves, Tonguing, Slurring, Arpeggios that go with scales etc....)

When the basic scales are fully learned, add one new scale every few days.

Some really great resources are below:
Part one of a basic flute technique book by Herbert
Lindholm (in PDF).

See pg. 1 and 2 for the basic one octave scales, and proceed on in the book for two octave scales and forms for practicing them in for the future.

After you've memorized all the major scales (with the help of your private teacher who will assist with tone, fingerings, and fleetness of fingers etc.) begin the three forms of minor scales:

1) Natural Minor is a simple minor scale. Take any major scale and count up to the sixth note; ex: CDEFGA...."A" is the 6th note.
Start the natural minor scale on that 6th note, and go up to the "A" one octave higher. Descend again (all-slurred up and down.)
ABCDEFGA = a natural minor scale.

2) Harmonic Minor is a natural minor scale with the 7th note raised by a semi-tone.
Ex: ABCDEFG....G is the 7th note. Add a sharp to it to raise it a semi-tone:
ABCDEF[G#]A. This is A harmonic minor.

3) Melodic Minor is a natural minor scale with both the 6th and 7th notes raised by a semi-tone on the way up, but lowered back to their natural position on the way down.
Ex: ABCDE [F#] [G#] A and back down: AGFEDCBA

If this all seems like greek to you, check with your private teacher or at the theory links below.

For flute scale pages that show the different forms of
minor scales: Harmonic and Melodic, see:

_______________________
FREE SCALE BOOK FOR FLUTE by Jen

For a copy of Major scales,and Harmonic minor scales and scales in thirds, as well as all kinds of other useful exercises, in free pdf book by Jen, download
and print out:

Part 1 - (chromatic warmup, wholetone, dim7 and major/minor scales.

Part 2 - Arpeggios made of any three notes; dominant, diminished and augmented 7th chords for easy practice.

Part 3 - Major and Minor scales in thirds; a fun exploration with improv/etudes.


Explanations of the above simplified Moyse Exercises Journaliers re-writing for novice/intermediates.

How to re-write scales for self-created and more interesting scale patterns.
__________________________
For the musical theory (explains the difference between harmonic
and melodic minor scales) see:

Minor scales in three forms: easy music theory lessons online for beginners.

Scale theory for intermediate level flute players.

More "how to" information on flute scales from Jen's webpage.


Samples of how to teach scales to young beginners.

Good luck with your audition!

Best,
Jen Cluff
Comments (51)
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Looking forward to hearing everyone's comments!! Please feel free to comment on these blog pages.
I LOVE feedback; it helps me write better.
Thanks, Jen Cluff

Thursday, July 20, 2006 11:30:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jen,

Thankyou so much for this informative information. As an adult re-learning the flute (and with no access to a teacher), I was worried over the scales that I was doing. Your site has lots of really useful tips that I've found invaluable.

Cheers,

Cassie

Monday, November 27, 2006 10:16:00 PM

 
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Thanks Cassie,
I'm so glad the info. was helpful!!
Best,
Jen

Monday, November 27, 2006 10:57:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How would you practice and memorise extended scales in 3rds?I feel like i know my scales, but when im in an exam or even in a lesson with my teacher I have a brain freeze - how can i ensure i really know them under pressure?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 12:46:00 AM

 
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

I think it's normal to feel like "you freeze in exams" when you've only recently learned a new technique like scales-in-thirds.
When you've REALLY learned something by memory like all scales in thirds, and practiced them for many many months as a daily routine, you can play them as easily as you can say your name and address.
It's a question of familiarity.
The brain will memorize them if you take them one by one and create a game of memorizing them.
Ask your private teacher for the best way that they suggest to do it.
I personally recall memorizing one new scale-in-thirds every two or three days and then reviewing them for six months before each exam at th RCM.
After the first two or three, all the rest of the scale-in-thirds get much easier.
They become familiar quite quickly.
So don't worry, just keep at it.
Jen

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 1:17:00 AM

 
Blogger Sheila said...

Marvelous! This is something I'm really trying to get back into. In piano, it's just been a regular occurance: practicing includes technique, period. I'm really glad, however, that I wasn't forced to do what seemed like hours of technique everyday from day one with flute, though. It would have been different if I had had no idea about it, but I did (piano). Now it's quite a breeze to learn them. I know them, note-wise, from piano, and I know most of them, just from playing pieces in that key, and the hard ones (F# maj., etc.) just take time.

Like you say, I think taking one a day, or even one every few days, and really learning it solidly is such a good thing to do. I've had my piano students (who had previously announced that they did NOT like technique) play them lower or higher than normal, or in different rhythms, or with different dynamics. Before you know it they have learned the scale by heart, and are already writing music. Marvelous!

For little kids, another good inspiration to keep playing scales, is to name them. Take, for instance, A minor. My one little student came up with calling it the Alligator scale. (using the first letter of the real name) Then we drew a picture, and tried playing it so it sounded like an alligator. All good ideas, anyway. Thank you for sharing all the wonderful information and links!

Sheila

Sunday, June 03, 2007 9:10:00 AM

 
Blogger caroline mcmullen said...

hi my name is caroline. im am 13 nearly 14 and i play the flute aswell.iv benn playin since i was 11.i kindof had the same problem. i still am finding it hard to learn scales. this is how you learn them. get someone who knows them, write them down and learn 1 each night. every hour keep going over it so you know it.
p.s. next year im doin grade 3. i already done grade 1.
p.p.s cassie there is the finglas concert band and they teach flute there. that is where i am learnin the flute

Friday, May 16, 2008 12:19:00 PM

 
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Hi Caroline,
Yes, to start off you'd want to learn one scale at a time.
Some teachers use scale books which layout the scales in easy-to-medium difficulty. These can be fun because you learn a scale and then play a scale-etude immeidately afterward, USING the scale you just learned.
I enjoy the Brooke Flute Method for this. (vol. 2 for intermediate flutists)
Lots of time to learn to USE each scale in a little piece or study of that scale. Very fun.
Best,
Jen

Friday, May 16, 2008 2:24:00 PM

 
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Here is a link to:

THE BROOKE FLUTE METHOD book.

http://www.musicstudents.com/cmd/cfcu20.html

It is sold in any music store (just ask the store to order you in a copy.)

best, Jen

Friday, May 16, 2008 2:26:00 PM

 
Blogger poppyblog said...

I've just started last week to learn flute.
My memory is the worst!...is there any easier way to possibly learn the flute fingering? it really takes me FOREVER to learn just ONE note to memory.
HELP!.......

Thursday, August 07, 2008 10:03:00 AM

 
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

A week isn't very long at all when it comes to learning a new skill. Think how long it took you to memorized the alphabet when you were a child. Didn't it take more than a week? Fingerings are the same. Take one at a time, learn it really well. Then add the new fingering to the one you learned most recently, and go back and forth between those two notes (B and A for example.) Play little tunes with two notes or three notes ( The beginner book: Abracadabra flute by Pollock with CD is a fun way to do this.) And definitely sign up for some flute lessons. Good flute teachers know how to make this kind of thing easy for beginners; get lessons for sure.
Best, Jen

Thursday, August 07, 2008 12:50:00 PM

 
Anonymous Douglas said...

Jennifer, Thank you so much for your sight. You are such a joy to watch.
When I was 12 and I started playing the Bass guitar. A salesman from a music store taught me the Major and Minor scales. He said,"Learn them frontwards and backwords,know every note and enjoy the sound of every note." You say the same. Every note is beautiful.

Saturday, September 06, 2008 7:47:00 PM

 
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Thanks Douglas for your comment! :>) J

Saturday, September 06, 2008 11:02:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am one of the more advanced students at my high school and lately one of the younger students has been coming to me asking for help. Currently we are working on scales and I was wondering if you have any advise on how to teach flute scales? Thank you for your time.

Candy

Thursday, October 23, 2008 8:02:00 PM

 
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Dear Candy,

Have a read here:
http://www.jennifercluff.com/novscale.htm

Best,
Jen

Thursday, October 23, 2008 9:44:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jen ,
I really need all of the scales in 2 octaves with the arpeggios.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 9:30:00 AM

 
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Dear Anon.
The link is in the above blog post:

http://www.rdbflute.com/HSFluteS.pdf

Two octave flute scales with arpeggios. It was given in the above article as "Basic highschool scales".
Jen

Sunday, October 26, 2008 12:41:00 PM

 
Blogger kristin(: said...

Hi this is Kristin and I've only been playing the flute for about two years. At my old school scales were a big thing so i learned 7 or the 12, in one octave. but last year i moved to a school were scales werent so much focused on so i sort of slacked off. Now im moving back to a school where we have to know all 12 scales in two octaves. Im panicking because our audition for chair placements are June 15th. How am I supposed to learn all scales in two octaves?!

Friday, June 05, 2009 10:03:00 AM

 
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Dear Kristin,
To learn all 12 major scales in two octaves in ten days might be a little stressful. You can only make a plan, and then see if the plan works. If it doesn't work, you can keep improving, even if you don't get the best seating afterward. It's really about continuing to learn every day, and not just about who gets what seat.

The plan I'd use would be the basic "divide and conquor" strategy.

Firstly, I'd decide to focus on the scales they're most likely to ask, that you could actually learn in ten days:

C Major
F Major
Bb Major
Eb Major

then...

G Major
D Major
A Major
E Major

If you play all the above well, and musically, and happily, and confidently, you will do better than if you go crazy AND play everything all messily.

Now to the "conquor" part:
Since you already know one octave scales, it's easy to extend them one note at a time.
So start with an all slurred, GREAT tone quality, one octave and add one note at a time, every time you go up and down:

Ex:

F G A Bb C D E F *G* (then go back down.)

F G A Bb C D E F G *A* (then go back down to F again.)

Do this slowly and listen listen listen to the QUALITY. Don't practise fast and furious, practise deep and meaningfully.

Doing one scale a day all slurred, then articulated, once the tone is good, and gradually increasing to two full octaves, still with with great tone, by memory will give you eight strong scales in eight days.

The next day review the scale of the day before, and add slow work on a new scale.

On the final two days, practise them in any order (randomly select them from a list as though you're at the audition) and play each one with the articulation that is being asked.

If you get a chance to speak at the audition, tell them that you're prepared to play up to four sharps and four flats in two octave scales, but that you're still working on the remaining scales with five and six sharps and flats, and will learn them all by September.

Then, no matter where you place as a result of the audition, you'll come across as a person who can get good quality work done by dividing, conquoring, and sticking with it.
Return in September with the remaining scales memorized too. Make good on your goal; that goes a long way in the long run. :>)
Best, Jen

Friday, June 05, 2009 12:09:00 PM

 
Blogger J said...

hey.
your site has helped loads.
i have 2 questions too ask though, if you wouldnt mind :)

for trilling, do you tongue or slur to the next upward note?

and

are there any exercises that would improve my breathing skills?

many thanks.

J.

Sunday, July 05, 2009 4:38:00 PM

 
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Dear J.
For breathing help see:
http://www.jennifercluff.com/breathe.htm

For trilling help, check with your teacher. There's no rule about trills and articulation. The composer writes a slur if a slur is meant, but some older printed music infers a slur when none is written. Your teacher will know for sure from seeing the page of music. Jen

Sunday, July 05, 2009 9:51:00 PM

 
Anonymous Zav said...

hey love your bloggies...
have a question...
is it ok to study the flute without a flute teacher... cuze i cant find one here(not in the us)... ^^

Thursday, July 16, 2009 2:56:00 AM

 
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Hi Zav,
On the flute discussion groups we've been able to find flute teachers for almost everyone who's ever written in looking for one.

So my question is: Have you REALLY looked for a flute teacher yet? Or do you just think there are none where you live?

The reason every player needs a teacher is that there are common human errors in playing the flute that almost every self-taught player ends up with. These errors take a long time to correct; time that is then wasted in frustration.

If you want to learn the flute quickly, well and without the common flaws that everyone always teaches themselves, then check with the local college, university, music conservatory, music school, and ask all the piano teachers "Are there any good flute teachers in town?"
I bet you'll save yourself loads of time and trouble by finding one.
Give your location....

Best, Jen

Thursday, July 16, 2009 7:07:00 AM

 
Anonymous Zav said...

Hi its zav again... i have been looking.. I live in the philippines(i don't know if you know that country, somewhere is South east asia) There are some but they don't do home service where I live...
Thanks^^

Thursday, July 16, 2009 6:10:00 PM

 
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Dear Zav,
Usually you go to a music school once a week for a private flute lesson, or you go to the teacher's studio once a week.
MOST flute teachers do not travel to their student's homes.
Students travel to the teacher's studio.
To find a teacher, phone the music school nearest your town.
J.

Thursday, July 16, 2009 8:30:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I was wondering how you play high d,e,and f.
I am doing it for band and i am trying for honors band i need to know those notes you should post a video on youtube so other people and me can know how they are suppose to sound i know the fingering but not how it is suppose to sound
thanks i really need to know how they sound and within a week thank you

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 4:33:00 PM

 
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Dear High-D-E-F,

I'm guessing that you mean SUPER high D, E and F (above the highest C on standard fingering charts)?
Or do you mean two leger line D, and three leger line E and F?

All fingerings are found on the fingering charts at woodwind fingering guide.org (link is at my fingering chart page at http://www.jennifercluff.com/fingering.htm) and you want to look for the fingerings called "fourth octave" or "altissimo" if you're looking for the super-high, fourth octave (many many leger lines.)
I'm surprised your band teacher is testing you on the fourth octave. Most flute players never use these notes as they all sound:
a) just like high C- all shrieky and uncontrolled
b) ear-splitting
c) much better on piccolo than on flute (played an octave lower on picc.)
d) very sharp, windy and out of tune.

Anyway, look for the woodwind fingering guide and try the fingerings.
The mouth position is best if lower lip covers 1/4 of the blow hole and you blow very fast air.

J.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 5:09:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi!

I'm 11 and i'm doing my grade 4 in june/july. I need to learn all my scales and arpegios. I can remember the ones that i did in g3 but i can't get g4s to stick in my head!!! Have you got any advice for how i can remember them?

Many thanks Alice :p

Friday, April 09, 2010 2:42:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi!

When i do high f, f#, g, g# and a it almost always squeeks and i need to do a chromatic scale for my grade 4. Can you help?

Many thanks,
Alice :p

Friday, April 09, 2010 2:46:00 AM

 
Blogger jen said...

Hi Alice,
Don't worry, you will start to memorize the scales if you work at it a little bit every day. You'll be surprised!!

For help with the squeaky high notes see:
http://www.jennifercluff.com/tone.htm#highregister

Best,
J.

Friday, April 09, 2010 9:16:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,
In your texts you often talk about the half note - ie half-note Bb scale and for eample in the extract below.
"you're looking at in the scale.
ie: FGFGFGFGFG. Start the trill very very very slowly (half-note F, half-note G)"

What are you meaning when you talk about the half-note in tis way?
Regards
Robert

Thursday, April 15, 2010 12:18:00 PM

 
Blogger jen said...

Dear Robert,

Here is a sample page in pdf:

http://www.jennifercluff.com/samplememoriz.pdf

Best, Jen

Thursday, April 15, 2010 1:31:00 PM

 
Anonymous Music Theory Grade 5 said...

Hi Dude,

Substantially, the article is really the greatest on this deserving topic.This is the place from where one can easily found his/her scale in musical ground.Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the wonderful lucidity in your writing.

Friday, December 10, 2010 8:32:00 PM

 
Blogger iholly said...

Thank you! I play flute as a secondary instrument (oboe is my primary) This was very informative and easy to read. I will be able to apply the same techniques to learning scales on the oboe as well as my flute. Now I just need to make myself practice... =/
Anyway, thanks again!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 5:15:00 PM

 
Blogger jen said...

You're very welcome Holly, and thanks for writing. Jen

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 5:46:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi i have been playing flute for around 7 years and have my ABRSM grade 8 in 4 weeks and im getting stressed over all the whole tone scales, dominant 7ths and diminished 7ths etc. any tips?

Monday, June 13, 2011 1:27:00 PM

 
Blogger jen said...

Luckily the whole tone scales are so few in number.
Diminished 7ths are easier to think of as a series of minor-thirds, and dominant sevenths are a 1-3-5 chord with a flatted seventh. Do you think of these scales in terms of intervals?
Or are the intervals new to you as well.
I remember taking the theory at the same time as preparing the practical exams, and the theory really helped me remember these.
The whole series took about 6-8 weeks to learn confidently.
Where are you in your learning?
Best, Jen

Monday, June 13, 2011 2:51:00 PM

 
Blogger jen said...

Dear Anon with whole tone scales and dominant and diminished seventh chords for ABRSM grade 8 exam.
Here's a link to the speed learning method I use:
http://jennifercluff.blogspot.com/2011/06/whole-tone-scales-dom-dim-sevenths.html

Practice samples playable right off the computer!

Best, Jen

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 2:17:00 PM

 
Anonymous Cherry said...

Hi Jen,
Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU, your blogs, videos (especially the tone part 1).. helped me so much. I am only starting to learn the flute at 34!!
I must remind myself to learn scales properly, and not just jumping in to learn my favourite tones! =)
Good day to you and your blog readers. You can expect me to come back to your blog pretty often.
Cherry

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 1:16:00 PM

 
Blogger jen said...

Wow, thanks Cherry! You make my day! :>)
Great news!
Best, Jen

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 2:15:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I am 13 and doing my grade 7 this term I am worried for this exam because my scales are not up to scratch.I work hard on them but always get bored is there any fun way to learn scales?

L.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 11:41:00 AM

 
Blogger jen said...

Dear Anonymous 13,
The most fun way to learn scales is to make them your OWN.
Seriously make them come out the way that YOU want to play them.

I play one note, then two, then three, and then descend 3-2-1.

Then I play four notes, and descend 4-3-2-1.
This way the tone quality is easy to hear and each newly added note is acquired gently and easily.

You can create a scale starting anywhere, and pausing anywhere, and just focus on your tone and the ease of finger changing.
The length of the notes and the speed are totally up to you.

You can control the breathing and make it suit yourself.

This way the scales become familiar almost through "improvising" on them.

Try it and send feedback.

Lots of articles on how to make scales more fun on my blog and website; google Cluff flute scale fun to find them all.
Best, Jen

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 1:21:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you this method really works I am finding scales alot easier now
from Lily.
(p.s. I am 13 years old)

Saturday, June 16, 2012 11:46:00 AM

 
Blogger jen said...

Dear Lily,
Such a happy piece of news!
Makes my day!
Thanks for writing back.
Best, Jen

Saturday, June 16, 2012 2:59:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I struggle learning scales i know how to play them but i forget i am at Grade 4 and have always struggled with the other Grades as well.
(I am 12)

Saturday, April 11, 2015 7:16:00 AM

 
Blogger Lindsy Carmen said...

This is a great resource. i am looking forward to practicing slowly with the scales you have given. I am 24 and just beginning to play the flute. I am living in Asia teaching english. This is well written, planned out and clear. Also, not overwhelming even though it has a lot of information. Thank you for your time!!

Thursday, August 04, 2016 8:20:00 AM

 
Blogger jen said...

Thankyou Lindsy! :>)

Thursday, August 04, 2016 2:12:00 PM

 
Blogger Mike Shaw said...

Jennifer-
Thanks for all the great help over this last year (many topics). I've improved a lot due to your advice!

I would like to learn how to do a glissando down. I see this a lot in jazz pieces I'm working on (example Pink Panther - that first gliss down fades so nicely).

When you hear these it's like magic (Tim Weisberg, Stan Getz on sax, and others) and I cannot figure out how to do it. It's not a scale per se, but the breathing is tricky and which notes to play are a mystery. D3 to D2 for example. Whaaa? You'd think it was easy.


Please advise some bit by bit, step by step cool smooth technique for the volume fading out as the tone drops down.

Thanks!
Mike

Friday, August 19, 2016 8:15:00 AM

 
Blogger jen said...

Dear Mike,

A glissando is either a regular scale, or, more usually, a chromatic scale.

The gliss is all slurred and the fingers just peel off and on, in a sped-up scale.
You get fast fingers by putting them very close to the keys and not rising them up too high.

The chromatic scale going downward goes:

D, down to C#, down to C, B, Bb, A, Ab, G, Gb, F, E, Eb, D.

Best, Jen

Friday, August 19, 2016 12:29:00 PM

 
Anonymous emily said...

I need to learn my scales in 1 week


how

Monday, October 24, 2016 12:00:00 AM

 
Blogger jen said...

Dear Emily,

There are twelve major scales; Learn one "harder one" a day. After you've learned a harder one (like B major), add two easy ones.
After six days you'll know six hard ones and will have reviewed all the easy ones. Divide and conquer.
Best Jen

Monday, October 24, 2016 8:12:00 AM

 

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