My Scale System

I wanted to explain the source of the scales that I will post. In my education, I was taught to play scales in several ways:

Chaim Taub based his scale exercises on the Flesch book. But he added a second octave in numbers 1-4 where possible. Basically, if a started within the first fourth of the string, 2 octaves are played. Any higher than that and only one octave is played. For example on the C-string, scales starting on C, C#, D, Eb, E and F use 2 octaves, and anything higher than an F# is one octave.

To many of my students this seems very "difficult" at first. But every students finds quite quickly that the paradigm of higher positions being "harder" is false. Players learn quickly to feel comfortable in higher positions. In No.5, a fourth octave is added in C, C#, D, Eb, E and F scales.

The sound production in high positions is also quite different than in the lower positions. As the string gets shorter, the point of contact must also get closer to the bridge and more weight must be used to produce a ringing sound. This is a great discipline to develop.

Pinchas Zukerman also spent a lot of time with his students on scales, but used the Galamian approach. Nos.1-4 are dismissed and more emphasis is placed on the bow in the 3/4 octave scale.

Finally, The double stops are an essential part of playing scales. It's hard to convey the advancement seen in students who start to seriously practice scales in general, but double stops in particular. Thirds, sixths, and octaves help the hands form into more precise positions.

Finally, slow and patient work on tenths, help us develop and maintain flexibility. But special care has to be given to stretching in a relaxed way, without forcing, and avoiding practicing this for too long.

More on all of this as I write more.