Practicing scales and arpeggios, especially with regards to a pianist’s ability to play pretty much any genre of music, cannot be over emphasized. Many pianists agree with me that including scales and arpeggios in your daily practice routine is the most efficient way to hone and transform both your technical and expressive skills to a higher level of mastery. Not only that, but when you practice scales and arpeggios on a regular basis, it also improves your hearing, pitch recognition, knowledge of musical theory, musical patterns and your understanding of tonalities and harmony.
The best way to go about practicing scales and arpeggios is to first start out by learning and practicing (with separate hands) both the major and the minor scales (in the treble and bass clef). Then, after you are able to play all of the scales (without making mistakes) with both of your hands together, you can move on to learning and playing all of the arpeggios.
For those of you who might not be familiar with scales and arpeggios, here is a brief description of these two technical exercises.
Practicing and playing scales and arpeggios is also a great form of mental training. It improves your ability to concentrate and focus on any particular task at hand and it also increases your self awareness. To help you out with learning along the way, I have included a list of the Major scales and the relative Minor scales (along with the correct fingering notation).
Here is a list of arpeggios to play in all Major and Minor keys as well (Start out with exercise number 41). Numbers 21 through 40 are part of Hanon’s Virtuoso Exercises which will help you to build finger independence and strength. Number 39 includes the 12 Major and Minor scales in two octaves.
It is very important to always practice and learn how to play your scales and arpeggios by starting out at a very slow pace (especially in the beginning). If you are a beginner with no prior knowledge of scales and arpeggios, it is best to start out by learning to play one or two scales, like C Major and G Major before learning any of the other scales. As luck would have it, the fingering pattern is the same for the C, G, D, A and the E Major scales. Here are some additional good reasons for practicing this way:
Remember that consistency is key when it comes to learning practically any and everything. This recommendation is also of utmost importance when it comes to practicing scales and arpeggios. With consistent and careful practicing of scales and arpeggios, not only will you end up becoming a much more proficient piano player, but you will also be able to add much more expressiveness, personal emotions and selective dynamics to help further enhance your musical performances.
Below is a video of the concert pianist, Robert Estrin, from Living Pianos, explaining why practicing scales and arpeggios are so important.
Greetings to Everyone and A Big Welcome to Infinity Music Studio! My name is Suzanne Brittania. I have been teaching piano and voice lessons for over 40 plus years. It is my hope that you will find all the following information, along with the music videos listed within my blog, to be very interesting, helpful and inspiring all throughout your own musical journey.
The videos listed below are of famous opera stars (that I performed with extensively all throughout my earlier musical career) especially during the 1950's and 60's.
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