Why Play scales?

Why do we play scales?
One reason is to warm up. Playing scales nice and slow, even painfully so, to the point where getting a good sound is next to impossible, is great practice and warm up.
We need to warm up both the right and left hand.  Play scales at the frog of the bow, not using more than 5-6 inches for smooth bow changes.  Also,  play long full strokes to get used to using the whole bow. Play scales both separate and slurred.  Slur eighth notes, triplets,  sixteenths and using different articulations.  Practice the most difficult strokes while still maintaining concentration on intonation and sound production for each and every tone.
Another reason to play scales is to establish finger patterns for every key signature so that the fingers come down in the right place for the right key automatically. Playing scales in every key signature helps us play in all keys with little thought. Music consists mostly of scales and arpeggios.  Try to perfect your scales as much as possible and to memorize what your hand feels like with the position of each and every finger on all four strings. Eventually these finger patterns will come by themselves though the work towards perfection is forever. Use your warm up time for relaxed enjoyable and calm playing. Don’t be in a hurry to speed up tempos. The opportunity to play fast will come and also perfection after having devoted quality time to your scales.

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2 Responses to Why Play scales?

  1. Late bloomer says:

    Sound advise. Cant wait until it all comes naturally.

  2. Doug says:

    I think Scales are very important even though they can appear to be boring but without Scales to pull notes from, it would be hard to play tunes. 🙂 Could you add some Major Scale audio to your online learning section by chance? It seems it may help to condition the ear to recognize accurate fingering of the notes. Just a thought, maybe others may post addition comments, pro and con.

    Thanks for Fiddlerman.com, it is a great source for learning the fiddle. I once read that the devil made the fiddle but I tend to think that it is more probable that he made the bow. 🙂

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