Scales: Ways to Know a Scale: Performance

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever play scales as mere “exercises”…

… like mindlessly lifting weights or doing jumping jacks.

Doing so is not good preparation for performance.

Scale study, done right, should make your brain, not your body, tired.

To that end, keep the following points in mind…

  • Always play scales musically… with musical phrasing, articulation, and dynamics.
  • Always play with good rhythm. In order to check your time, play with a metronome, count out loud, tap your feet, or clap time on your lap with your off-hand.
  • Always play with good technique. Never accept any tension or awkwardness in your execution. (see Piano Technique)

That said, here are some study-practice ideas that will take your musicianship to the next level… by the way, combining fingering, musicianship, technique, and interpretation all at once…

Legato 9-Note Scale

Ascending with crescendo, then descending with diminuendo…

piano-ology-scales-ways-to-know-a-scale-performance-nine-note-legato-up-down

Descending with diminuendo, then ascending with crescendo…

Staccato 9-Note Scale

Ascending with crescendo, then descending with diminuendo…

piano-ology-scales-ways-to-know-a-scale-performance-nine-note

Descending with diminuendo, then ascending with crescendo…

Duplets over 2 Octaves…

Ascending…

Descending…

Triplets over 3 Octaves

Ascending…

Descending…

Broken Thirds

Ascending…

Descending…

Broken Duplets (Two-Note Slurs)

Ascending…

Descending…

Broken Triplets…

Ascending…

Descending…


Many other musical patterns are also possible, but at this point you are better served by getting your study-practice material directly from the kinds of music that YOU want to play!

learn more… Ways to Know a Scale: Chords