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Larryo

Scales

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Would anyone have any recommendations for some scale exercises for Anglo.Some that can be done say after running through the scales themselves. I am not having much joy inventing my own- a bit like setting the exam paper for yourself . Hoping someone might be able to help.

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Exercises - for me at any rate - come out of the tunes themselves. If I hit a tricky passage or have trouble with phrasing in a tune then those few notes or bars becomes my exercise of the day. The exercise is very tune specific.

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We will agree to disagree here David.It has long been my experience that I am better practicing the scales and variations of them.This allows me to improve my instrument playing as opposed to improving my tune playing.It also takes away any subtle pressure to master a tune and allows the instrument itself to be worked on.I suppose a bit like how golfers don't practice their golf in the heat of a tournament( although this environment does develop other skills) preferring instead to practice on a golf range and how the playing of most musical genres are improved by scale practice.As the man said "you can never do too many scales" And that is why I asked

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Exercises - for me at any rate - come out of the tunes themselves. If I hit a tricky passage or have trouble with phrasing in a tune then those few notes or bars becomes my exercise of the day. The exercise is very tune specific.

 

Me too. What better practice is there for playing music than playing more music? Furthermore I really enjoy playing music, which means I put my shoulder into it, whereas scales will always be drudgery, to be over with as simply and facilely as possible. Takes all sorts...

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I find I need to revisit scales periodically to keep my technique clean, especially for harder keys to play on my Hayden. I like using scalar sequences, like C E D F E G F A G B A C B D C and back down similarly. Some of these are useful for runs. Rights of Man commonly has 2 such scalar sequences in it, so they can be musically useful.

 

I've made up my own and used some from books, but these examples should keep you going for a long time.

 

You probably already vary your phrasing (staccato, legato, dotted rhythm, etc.) when you practice these, which relieves monotony and improves technique.

Edited by Stephen Mills

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Tunes instead of scales: these are all hornpipes that offer demanding sequences that are, in fact, etudes, as it were...

 

The Poppy Leaf

The Wonder

The Japanese

The Golden Eagle

The Stony Steps (The Stepping Stone)

 

Let me know what you think....

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I am presuming David that when you say "let me know what you think" that this is for me? If so, I think that yes, I agree totally that there are tunes that have great runs or sequences of notes which can benefit one's playing. And of course there is no doubt that one can improve one's playing by playing lots of tunes and if there is a challenging passage, to "take it out" as it were, practice it and "put it back in".However that is not why I asked for scales and their variations. I asked because I believe that for me and I can only talk for me, practicing scales is the best way to go. Music and specifically in this case, Irish traditional tunes, have so many subtle nuances such as notes lengthened and shortened, hornpipes played with or without swing, reels and jigs played with or without a backbeat etc , that when I practice a tune, it is these aspects I wish to focus on.In another words, when I practice a tune it is the tune I want to focus on.I do not want to be concerned about whether I will get the descending triplets in Harvest Home or the Belfast Hornppipe right or whether I will vanish into the so called Bermuda Triangle of D,E and F# in The Rose In The Heather, Rolling Waves etc. So scales for me, free me up from the need when practicing, to get tricky passages right and still make the tune sound as I want it to.

But it is a case of "whatever floats your boat". I happen to enjoy the feeling of being able to play exercises well and I enjoy even more the feeling I get when I go to play a tune and find that the scale practice has paid off not just for a specific tune but for lots and in looking a those hornpipes, I am reminded that if the scales were mastered that these hornpipes would fall quite handily.And of course, most music is written around scales or arpeggios and if the arpeggio of G for example was mastered then tunes like Kiss Me Kate, I Will If I Can, Thongs By The Fire etc will prove quite easy to play leaving one free to get the lift, the feel of the tune etc sorted. I also acknowledge in saying this that perfection of the scales does not neccessarily leave one able to make Irish traditional tunes sound good, that is another day's work.

However to repeat, whatever works for yea and this is what works for me and I wonder why you say "tunes instead of scales". I don't see any need for an either (i)ther) debate

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:blink: WOW! Most of these tunes are Hornpipes! Hornpipes are good, most of the time, to practise scales... or parts of scales, if preferred. All of the hornpipes I know how to play are usually played in 2 note space, if you know what I mean: D,E,F#, G,D,B,G,D,B,G,D,b,g... etc.

 

It's very handy sometimes, even though I started on scales first on the concertina.

 

The beginning of a tune that I used above for an example is called "Colonel Fraser's" or something. I'll try put up a recording on Monday or Tuesday; depending on whether or not I have an cooperation with my microphone. :lol:

 

Cheers,

Patrick

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