January 18, 2011 – First Postion Scales in All Keys

Playing scales on your violin is like eating your vegetables. I guess you could get by with having fewer scales, but in order to really have strength and a well-nourished technique, you have to play scales and arpeggios. For years, I have been searching for first position violin scales that train the ear and the left hand for different key signatures.

In my opinion, Flesch violin scales are too advanced for students learning basic fingerboard geography. One octave, one string scales or three octave scales should be saved for a later date. Besides. Initionally, students need some help playing in the keys with copious amounts of flats or sharps in the lower positions.

The first exercises in the Hrimaly scales have recently taken my interest, but I don’t like how they go above and below the scale. When training students to play scales, going above and below the scale just confuses the ear.

Then I found Sevcik’s Opus. 1, Exercise No. 12. Thank you, Sevcik, for being the completest you were. Here, in this line of my blog in 2011, I thank you for all of the work you did for violin pedagogy. Exercise No. 12 starts in C Major, moves to the melodic relative minor, then proceeds to go through every key in the circle of fifths. These scales stay in first position, so almost every student can play some of the scales. The chords are somewhat challenging, but could be simplified if necessary depending on the student. These scales work for a variety of reasons. I really enjoy the fact that they teach the melodic minor. Two octaves are played if they can be done in first position.

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