Piano - scales - grade 6(8 Posts)
Does anyone have any tips for really mastering scales techniques? ds2 always had a real strength in his scales/arpeggios, but has just done gr5 today and said his scales were his weakest point (as I was already aware).
There just seem to be so many of them for piano! And he hasn't really mastered them.
For gr6 he has to do both minors - harmonic and melodic; and various other extras as well. And they all have to be a lot faster! Eeek! :-o
This site might help you- there are podcasts about piano examinations.
I know it's for the Royal Irish Academy of Ireland, RIAM Podcasts but they do the same board exams in ireland as the UK.
And after that it practice, practice, practice.
Oh man.. I will never forget the moment in my Grade 7 exam when the examiner said 'and F# minor contrary motion please'. I don't know how I had the nerve but I said 'I'm really sorry, that's the only one I can't do, could I do a different one please?' She let me do C# and I passed by 4 marks!
But she was a very lovely examiner and liked my jumper a lot .
Practice is the only option really, spend an hour on scales and find another hour a day for pieces + sight-reading...Spoken from bitter experience
there are a couple of Apps and websites that randomly choose scales for you and you rate your performance on them and it keeps track of which ones you've mastered and so on. Scale Box I think is one, but there are several out there. It has several common instruments built in with the various exam board requirements, and piano is one of them. Aonther website that I can't remember the name now allows you to enter your specific requirements, if you play a different instrument. I think you can set metronome markings for them as well that you've mastered and then gradually increase the speed.
Very important to know which finger pattern is used for each. Also practising them with different rhythms to encourage quicker movement between notes and then trying them with 'straight' semi quavers should improve fluency. Never accepting a 'fudge' in weaker parts of the scale but working on those sections extra slowly and carefully before trying to speed up.
My daughter has a pot with every scale and arpeggio on a small piece of paper. To ensure she is practising and improving what she needs, she chooses about 4 -6 each practise session and when she can play the chosen one perfectly 3 times in a row she puts it in another pot. If one of them isn't quite properly learnt or she is not 100% confident with it, it goes back in the original pot to work on another day. When eventually the first pot is empty, she then does the process in reverse...this ensures she works more on her weaker scales/arpeggios but also keeps all of them ticking over. She isn't working toward a particular exam at the moment, but just focusing on her technique and breadth of repertoire so it is an important exercise in many ways!
Now, if anyone had any tricks for sight reading, she would love to hear them!
If you think that's a lot, just wait till Grade 8!
They don't necessarily have to be fast but they should have a good, even rhythm. Practise them hands separately at first and SLOWLY making sure of the correct fingering.
Oh and tell him to vary the order of the ones he practices, there is a tendency for the earlier ones in the book to be better than the later ones!
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