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Scale Study Page

Is practicing your scales really that important?


Love them or loathe them there's no getting away from them. Scales practice is important... but not only for the reasons you may think! Practicing scales helps us think in a certain key. When we are sight reading or just starting to learn a new piece it is much easier to focus on the notes (and get them correct) if we know the piece is in Ab major and everything that entails, instead of trying to remember Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db and either forgetting some of them or constantly repeating the flats or sharps in our heads - which is rather distracting! Scales practice also help us hear tonalities, that is hearing what key a piece of music is in. This helps internalize music later on and also helps with memorization. It is much easier to memorize a piece when we are aware of which key each section is in and where it is likely to move next. All scales are related in one way or another.

Scale practice does not directly make playing pieces better. Scales practice makes your scales better. Practicing pieces makes those pieces better. Having said that scales practice does improves playing and therefore it does help your pieces in the long run. And practicing scales can be fun - in a challenging kind of way.

Scales played in the correct musical way
are very exciting and rewarding

James Galway - Flautist

Special Thanks to Mr. Andrew B. Spang of Folly Quarter Middle School
for his preparation of these scales sheets.

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