• FAQ  • Search  • Memberlist  • Usergroups   • Register   • Profile  • Log in to check your private messages  • Log in 

How Do YOU Approach Learning Scales??


Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    trumpetherald.com Forum Index -> Fundamentals
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
mrhappy
Veteran Member


Joined: 03 Dec 2018
Posts: 306
Location: Port Jackson, NY

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:10 pm    Post subject: How Do YOU Approach Learning Scales?? Reply with quote

So I got inspired by the Jazz improv/ Aebersold thread in the Jazz /Commercial forum and decided that I would try once and for all to learn these darned Major scales ‘Like the back of my hand’ as advised in the thread. I’ve been going at this for a few weeks now, running up and down scales, 9th chord arpeggios. etc. and while it IS coming along (slowly)… I must say… I really feel retarded!!! I seemingly have to BASH these things into my head!! I don’t think I’m naturally wired for this sort of thing but I’m continuing to move along hoping that at some point it will all come together!

So here’s my questions for those of you that are good at this sort of thing:

When attempting to learn a new scale/ passage or whatever, do you…

Mentally name or think of what note it is that you’ll be playing next? (This really slows me down going up the scale and grinds me to a halt coming down!! I’m sure my lack of theory knowledge is no help here.)

Do you visualize the notes on the staff while playing?

Do you just hammer through without much thought to get the required coordination into your fingers until it just becomes second nature?

Just use ‘The Force’?

Some or all of the above?

I guess I’m wondering how you music scale wizards go about learning this type of stuff… how you MENTALLY approach it??

Thanks!
_________________
MH
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Richard III
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 22 May 2007
Posts: 1831
Location: Amador County, CA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What jazz music do you love listening to? Who is your favorite artist? There is a fork in the road depending on the answer.
_________________
Richard

For Sale: Cornets: Conn 77A, 80A, King Long Cornet Silvertone, Roth-Reynolds Professional, King Cleveland Superior.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
CJceltics33
Veteran Member


Joined: 24 Aug 2017
Posts: 302
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best thing I did while learning scales was practice the Arban scale chapter. If you work on a scale a week, you’ll have them down backwards and forwards with zero thought. Just work up your speed and START SLOW. In little to no time at all, you’ll be fingering your scales while you drive, in your sleep, etc etc...

Another thing I did was finger along to a metronome beat/music without playing. I’d go through all 12 keys, spending a few minutes or so on each depending on how much work I needed. Sometimes going super slow if needed, but I got through all 12, however rough! I’d often to this in mornings before my warm up. Slam those valves!

If you do these two things you’ll be in good shape and ready with all 12 scales whenever needed.

Mentally, think as little as possible. It’s just like music. Don’t think about the fingers or note names. Instead, sing the pitch in your head and think about it stylistically.

Now I just pretty much practice my scales with Clarke. But I wouldn’t recommend those to start.

Good luck!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Crazy Finn
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 27 Dec 2001
Posts: 7115
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankly, having to play anywhere from 6-12 of them every day in my band in college as a warm-up (fast, too) was what did it for me.

You don't like being the person in the section who can't hack it, so you shed it for a couple weeks until you don't suck at it. Slow, accurate practice is the key - speed is after that. If you have to think of each note, for a while, or play them as half or whole notes, that's fine. Eventually, the finger patter is burned into your head and you can just play them.

At least that's how it worked for me.
_________________
LA Benge 3X Bb Trumpet
Selmer Radial Bb Trumpet
Yamaha 6335S Bb Trumpet
Besson 709 Bb Trumpet
Bach 184L Bb Cornet
Yamaha 731 Bb Flugelhorn
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
HERMOKIWI
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2008
Posts: 1648

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be fluent it has to be automatic, you have to be able to go up and down the scale without thinking about it. The only way that happens is by repetition and it can be a very slow process.
_________________
HERMOKIWI
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jhatpro
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 17 Mar 2002
Posts: 9129
Location: Chicago area

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the most common method which simply to play them a lot both ascending and descending and from any note, not just the tonic.

I work mainly on the major, minor, diminished, and whole tone scales and use different tools along with my horn including playalongs, keyboard, flash cards, and iPad and iPhone apps.

None of this is to say that I've completely mastered them, which is why I'm always looking for books on how to use them better.

Here's one of the best:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004M8S3XW/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
_________________
Jim Hatfield

"The weapon should be practiced every day." Old French swordsman's manual
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
JayKosta
Veteran Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2018
Posts: 400
Location: Endwell NY USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:47 am    Post subject: Re: How Do YOU Approach Learning Scales?? Reply with quote

mrhappy wrote:
So I got inspired by the Jazz improv/ Aebersold thread in the Jazz /Commercial forum and decided that I would try once and for all to learn these darned Major scales ...

--------------------------
To just 'learn the scales', it's good to know a little 'music theory' - especially the 'circle of 5ths'.

But if you're striving for 'improv' playing, you might need more info - such as the 'blues scale', 'jazz scale', 'pentatonic scale', and various chord progressions.

Jay
_________________
King Super 20 (S2 1048, HN White)
Bach 7
The 'next note' is the most important one.
Don't take a '20 minute mouthpiece' to a 1 hour session.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jhatpro
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 17 Mar 2002
Posts: 9129
Location: Chicago area

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a great thread because it gets to the heart of what jazz is all about. It’s also a complicated subject because it involves some of the deepest mysteries about how we acquire, process and use information.

Questions like the role of hearing, the connection between the mental and physical aspects of playing, and how to put it all together. As HERMOKIWI noted, the process needs to become automatic to enable musical freedom.

Exactly how to reach that level is a challenge and also what makes playing jazz so fascinating.
_________________
Jim Hatfield

"The weapon should be practiced every day." Old French swordsman's manual
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
jhatpro
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 17 Mar 2002
Posts: 9129
Location: Chicago area

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here’s an interesting shortcut:

https://www.themusicalear.com/how-to-learn-new-scales-quickly-easily/
_________________
Jim Hatfield

"The weapon should be practiced every day." Old French swordsman's manual
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
dstdenis
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 25 May 2013
Posts: 2077
Location: Atlanta GA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you’re struggling with scales, you might be trying to play them too fast. Slow down enough so you can play them comfortably with ease. As they become more familiar, your speed will increase. For me, it also helps to spend more time on the ones that are giving me trouble and less time on the others.
_________________
Bb Yamaha Xeno 8335IIS
Cornet Getzen Custom 3850S
Flugelhorn Courtois 155R
Piccolo Stomvi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mrhappy
Veteran Member


Joined: 03 Dec 2018
Posts: 306
Location: Port Jackson, NY

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off I’d like to thank all of you for your thoughtful and helpful replies… It is GREATLY appreciated!!

CJceltics33 wrote:
The best thing I did while learning scales was practice the Arban scale chapter.


I’ve searched for my old Rubank method books to no avail. Must have given them away as I had no intention on revisiting the trumpet! This Arban book has been mentioned enough that it seems to be a ‘must have’ so I’ll order a copy this week.

CJceltics33 wrote:

Mentally, think as little as possible.


Well I've come this far through life using this philosophy so why change now!! Haha!

Crazy Finn wrote:
Eventually, the finger patter is burned into your head and you can just play them.


I guess that's what I was hoping for!

HERMOKIWI wrote:
To be fluent it has to be automatic, you have to be able to go up and down the scale without thinking about it. The only way that happens is by repetition and it can be a very slow process.


Ok I'm IN!!

jhatpro wrote:
I'm always looking for books... Here's one of the best:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004M8S3XW/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1


Thanks for the link Jim... That looks interesting and I've ordered a copy!

JayKosta wrote:

To just 'learn the scales', it's good to know a little 'music theory' - especially the 'circle of 5ths'.

But if you're striving for 'improv' playing, you might need more info - such as the 'blues scale', 'jazz scale', 'pentatonic scale', and various chord progressions.

Jay


Yes I'be been trying to use a 'circle' order when going through the scales and I'm planning on expanding my horizons after I get a handle on some of this more 'basic' stuff!
_________________
MH
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
mrhappy
Veteran Member


Joined: 03 Dec 2018
Posts: 306
Location: Port Jackson, NY

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard III wrote:
What jazz music do you love listening to? Who is your favorite artist? There is a fork in the road depending on the answer.


Soo… Richard III… This is a most intriguing reply as I’m not sure where your heading with this!

When I brought my daughter home from the hospital after she was born, I had the car cassette player cued up so that the first musician that she heard was Michael Brecker! I guess that says enough right there, however I’ll expound a bit more for you.

The first music that I latched onto was was the Dave Brubeck Quartet… ‘Countdown’, ‘Time Out’ and ‘Time Further Out’ … still love that stuff.

From there it probably went to Miles ‘Kind of Blue’ modal type stuff, although I concentrated more on what Coltrane and Cannonball were up to! Still love that stuff too.

I tend to like fairly strong compositional element thrown in there as opposed to just a an improv free for all… and until now it hasn’t really even leaned toward the trumpet! I must say that I’ve been enjoying getting more acquainted with Maynard’s high note heroics, especially some of the earlier stuff…WOW!

OK, I’ve babbled on enough… now get the Terot cards out as I can’t wait to hear my future!!
_________________
MH
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Richard III
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 22 May 2007
Posts: 1831
Location: Amador County, CA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's not babbling. That's lots of good information. I asked because if you said traditional jazz as in early 20th century stuff, the answer would be different. Since you like what you like, the answer is contained in all of the answers others have given you. Except major scales are not what you've been listening to. You need to immerse yourself in the modes and advanced chords that you like. You need to listen until they become your world, until they become normal. Normal? Yup. They are not normal for me. I don't like that style of jazz. Too esoteric for me. But the more you listen, the more the new language will enter your playing. You have to hear it all and for sure don't play by numbers. Too many people already do that.
_________________
Richard

For Sale: Cornets: Conn 77A, 80A, King Long Cornet Silvertone, Roth-Reynolds Professional, King Cleveland Superior.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
mrhappy
Veteran Member


Joined: 03 Dec 2018
Posts: 306
Location: Port Jackson, NY

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jhatpro wrote:
Here’s an interesting shortcut:

https://www.themusicalear.com/how-to-learn-new-scales-quickly-easily/


That looks like it could come in handy as I progress…thanks!

dstdenis wrote:
If you’re struggling with scales, you might be trying to play them too fast


Yes, I'm sure that's part of the problem too. I've been trying to remain patient but have been feeling like it was just taking me too long.

This whole thread has been making me feel MUCH better about the whole process!!

Richard III wrote:
That's not babbling. That's lots of good information. I asked because if you said traditional jazz as in early 20th century stuff, the answer would be different. Since you like what you like, the answer is contained in all of the answers others have given you. Except major scales are not what you've been listening to. You need to immerse yourself in the modes and advanced chords that you like. You need to listen until they become your world, until they become normal. Normal? Yup. They are not normal for me. I don't like that style of jazz. Too esoteric for me. But the more you listen, the more the new language will enter your playing. You have to hear it all and for sure don't play by numbers. Too many people already do that.


Ahhhh... The 'Grasshopper' has listened!!
_________________
MH
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
kehaulani
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Posts: 3720
Location: Texas, by way of Germany and Hawaii

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What has helped me the most, after learning the scales just in pure form, was running a scale, not from tonic to tonic, but from lowest to highestpractical note you can play, changing the tones to stay in a given scale.

Ex: play from low G to high C using Bb, Ab and Eb. The notes belong to the Eb scale but it's covering a normal playing range. Another scale, G: Play from low F# to High C using an F# when you come to it.

The other thing, is playing a scale in 3rds then 4ths and other intervals. You have to really know the scale to get the right notes.

I should add that these exercises are played from memory.

This is not to cover more complex scale work, but I don't think we're there, yet.
_________________
If you haven't lived it, you can't blow it.

"Even if I could play like Wynton Marsalis, I wouldn't play like Wynton Marsalis." Chet Baker

Yamaha YTR-8310 Z, "Bobby Shew", Trumpet
Conn 80A, "New Wonder", Cornet
Hans Hoyer G10 French Horn


Last edited by kehaulani on Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:41 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jengstrom
Veteran Member


Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Posts: 329
Location: Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope I can convey my message coherently. If I haven't, please question it and I'll try to clarify.

Scales (arpeggios, too) are very important, but learning them by rote, in my opinion, doesn't really help us musically. They need to be applied.

If you are constantly thinking about fingerings, or sharps and flats, you will stumble often. You need to be able to play in any key without thinking about those things.

I highly suggest learning to play by ear. Start simple, using songs that have partial or full scales. For example, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Joy to the World (the hymn, not the Three Dog Night tune). Listen to a recording or play it on the piano. Then play it without looking at music. (If you can hum the tune back, I maintain you can figure it out.)

When you can play these and a few other songs without thinking about it too much, try it in a different key.

When I started trumpet, my mother bought me a few Al Hirt records. I was required by the band teacher to play 45 minutes a day and playing along with these was much more fun than the assigned exercises. Later came Herb Alpert and TJB. Because of this, I learned to play in many keys. I don't think in sharps and flats, I think in keys.

Eventually you get to the point where, as you play any scale, you are identifying each note with scale position, not an absolute note. At that point, you are beginning to use scales effectively.

I hope this made sense. I've never tried to express it before. I'm a HUGE believer in being able to play by ear, and playing simple scale oriented tunes is a great way to do that. Learning scales is supposed to help you play music, not be some pain-in-the-^%! on a test.

John
_________________
Bach 43*
Bach 72*
Bach Chicago C
Kanstul 1525
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kehaulani
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Posts: 3720
Location: Texas, by way of Germany and Hawaii

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going along with jengstrom, also what helped me was learning notes in a numerical pattern, then that could be transposed to any key. It's a type of Solfege system.

For example, the tune "Somewhere" starts out with 1 to b7. It's irrelevant what key you are playing it in, the first interval will always be 1-b7, regardless of the notes.

A lot of these posts show how involved you can become but remember, you have to walk before you can run. Do what you can do when you can do it and let the rest follow. Don't be impatient or overwhelmed with information.
_________________
If you haven't lived it, you can't blow it.

"Even if I could play like Wynton Marsalis, I wouldn't play like Wynton Marsalis." Chet Baker

Yamaha YTR-8310 Z, "Bobby Shew", Trumpet
Conn 80A, "New Wonder", Cornet
Hans Hoyer G10 French Horn
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jhatpro
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 17 Mar 2002
Posts: 9129
Location: Chicago area

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like metaphors to help explain and understand things. For me a good metaphor in this case is cooking. At first you rely on recipes because you aren’t sure what various herbs and spices and peppers add or how much to use. Eventually you learn the difference between cilantro and sage and all the other flavor enhancers and how much is too much.

When you really become a cook is when you can skip the printed recipe and just cook!
_________________
Jim Hatfield

"The weapon should be practiced every day." Old French swordsman's manual
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Rapier232
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 1141
Location: Twixt the Moor and the Sea, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
Going along with jengstrom, also what helped me was learning notes in a numerical pattern, then that could be transposed to any key. It's a type of Solfege system.

For example, the tune "Somewhere" starts out with 1 to b7. It's irrelevant what key you are playing it in, the first interval will always be 1-b7, regardless of the notes.

A lot of these posts show how involved you can become but remember, you have to walk before you can run. Do what you can do when you can do it and let the rest follow. Don't be impatient or overwhelmed with information.


And I have no idea what you are saying? What is 1 to b7?
_________________
"Nearly as good as I need to be. Not nearly as good as I want to be".

Smith-Watkins Bb
Flip Oakes Wild Thing Bb
Kanstul 1525 Flugel
Smith Watkins K2 Cornet
JP152 C Trumpet
Besson Bugle
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kehaulani
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Posts: 3720
Location: Texas, by way of Germany and Hawaii

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's the seventh degree flatted. In this case, it would be C (1) to Bb (b7).

The tune, continued, would be these scale intervals, 1-b7-6-4-2 etc.
So, starting on C, it would be C-Bb-A-F-D.
In D, still thinking intervals, it would be D (1)-C (b7)-B (6)-G (4) - E (2).
_________________
If you haven't lived it, you can't blow it.

"Even if I could play like Wynton Marsalis, I wouldn't play like Wynton Marsalis." Chet Baker

Yamaha YTR-8310 Z, "Bobby Shew", Trumpet
Conn 80A, "New Wonder", Cornet
Hans Hoyer G10 French Horn
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    trumpetherald.com Forum Index -> Fundamentals All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group