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Topic: Scales.

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Question Scales.

    How important do you feel learning scales, at least Major and minor, are for new students regardless of how tedious?
    My argument is simple; if you don't learn the scales you cannot build a solid understanding of how chords, progressions and all-important technical of music work and are formed. My argument goes further but this morning I am pressed for time.
    I'm excited in hearing from as many of you as possible in debate! Let's Rock!
    Styxx

  2. #2

    Re: Scales.

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    How important do you feel learning scales, at least Major and minor, are for new students regardless of how tedious?
    My argument is simple; if you don't learn the scales you cannot build a solid understanding of how chords, progressions and all-important technical of music work and are formed. My argument goes further but this morning I am pressed for time.
    I'm excited in hearing from as many of you as possible in debate! Let's Rock!
    It's as important as water is for our body.
    Sincerely,
    Falcon1


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  3. #3

    Re: Scales.

    at least 90% of all music passages are made up of scales.
    If you can't play a scale then you can't play music! D'Uh!
    (god did those scales come in handy when it was time to play one of the cadenzas in Ravel's piano concerto)

    All musical passages are some combination of scales and arpeggios, so it's pretty fundamental, no?

    I remember having to practice scales: in octaves, in 3rds, in 10ths, in octaves in each hand, in 10ths in each hand.
    I wish I'd had to do 6ths... would have helped with the Barber piano concerto

  4. #4

    Re: Scales.

    Styxx, you didn't mention what type of students these are. If they are instrumentalists or vocalists, scales go without saying. Well, it may go without saying for any type of musical training, but performers should be playing/singing them night and day!
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  5. #5

    Re: Scales.

    And would-be composers must have knowledge of how all types of scale are constructed, in all possible keys.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Scales.

    I am so glad there are so many who agree upon the importance of scales! I like what Falcon1 stated, "It's as important as water is for our body."
    My son is learning bass guitar. His instructor insists scales are not important to learn as much as just learning to read notes and learn bass lines. What the heck are "bass lines" any way? Some form of scale built off of a major or minor or other model scales, right?
    I am so glad I learned scales and still practice them as much to remember as to exercise my fingers. The best part is being able to sing from a note, intervals and just plain figure out (even if crudely) music I haven’t experienced yet.
    Don’t bother learning scales … indeed! What a fish!
    Styxx

  7. #7

    Re: Scales.

    As a bassist I can say, that your son's teacher is cracked.

    Not only should he learn major and minor, but he should work on pentatonic scales, the notorious blues scale, and most of the modes. And with every scale in every key, he should also learn the arpeggios. Since I played in a blues band, I can honestly say I used my fair share.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  8. #8

    Thumbs up Re: Scales.

    Scales are so basic patterns that it's hard to think music without.

    But pattern learning is the base of every performance technic. So yes every kind of scales, arpeggios, and formulas ( e.g. the "hanon" as the "jazz" patterns) are useful for every style.

    Even early music study is heavily based on patterns (embellishments, coloriture e diminuzioni).

    Poolman's point is the final sentence: theory of intreval structures is the base of every Composer's background. Scales and keys are the first.

    I still play scales to warm-up, and keep a little of finger agility
    (...I would like I had studied more when i was young... ...)

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Re: Scales.

    Scales are a basic for a musician. Scales are not needed for dabblers who would play one instrument (type) in a modern rock band...which particularly specializes in covers.

    I am one who has not had the patience or ability to concentrate on scales early on -- and this has limited me severely in composition and has led to a lot of tedious re-writing of things that never get finished.

    Having said that -- I wonder today how you would relate scales more efficiently to the non-notated sequencer type person than the classic drill and practice.....

  10. #10

    Re: Scales.

    Quote Originally Posted by chmara
    Scales are a basic for a musician. Scales are not needed for dabblers who would play one instrument (type) in a modern rock band...which particularly specializes in covers.

    Actually, this would be where knowing scales is most important. When learning a cover song from listening, if one was well versed in scales and arpeggios, they would easier be able to pick up those patterns in the music and learn it quicker and better.

    And also the most important thing scales help with is technique and fingering. This is especially important on optional fingering instruments such as guitar or keyboards.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

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