Scales, Arpeggios and Broken Chords
Scales unfortunately have the potential for putting people off playing an instrument completely. They are often practiced without engaging the brain, and become strictly technical exercises. The benefit gained from this approach is negligible. The best way to learn, and really know a new scale, is to play short tunes that you know well, especially Christmas tunes or Folk tunes, in that new key. In our scale guides we have included the same little tune in each key, in order to get you started with this approach.
Scales can be useful to improve your technique, but it is, in our opinion, the least effective and least important way of improving your technique. When you do practice your scales however it is important to get your fingering right in order to improve the fluidity of your scales. In our guides we offer the fingering for one, and two (and therefore several) octaves, as well as a description of how you can memorise, or visualise the scale. In order to make sure that you really know the notes of a scales, play the scale with just your index finger. That way you will find out whether you have merely internalised the fingering, or actually know the scale, and know how to play in it.
Our Scale Sheets include:
- An ascending and descending scale over one octave with fingering.
- An ascending and descending scale over two octaves with fingering.
- Arpeggios - these are the notes of the tonic triad, played ascending and descending one at a time.
- Broken Chords - the notes of the tonic chord again, but played in each inversion separately, ascending and descending.
- Chords - the chords that are part of each key.
- A short piece to help you practice the new key. This is the best way of really learning and knowing a key, and you should try and play short pieces, even if it is just the melody, in this new key.
Further information on key signatures, how to create chords and so on can be found in our guides.