Bored with your regular scale practice routine? Try one of these challenges to mix it up.
Backward Scale Practice Challenge:
- Try practicing your scales by starting on the highest note of the scale first. Play down two octaves, then up two octaves.
- Practice each one all slurred, all even eighth or sixteenth notes, depending on your level.
- Use a metronome to help you build speed.
- Try this with all twelve major scales.
Chromatic Scale Challenge:
Is the chromatic scale a little scary when it’s mentioned? All those sharps and flats. All those really high notes. They can be a little daunting. So why not make it a little easier to practice? Try this for a week and see how much your scale improves.
Play only two octaves of the chromatic scale at a time. Start on low C and slur up two octaves to C on the second ledger line above the staff, and then immediately back down to low C. Play all slurred, all even eighth notes. Play 5 times every day, slowly at quarter note = 80-100. Work on fingers staying close to the keys and always get your best sound.
After one week, do you see improvement? I’ll bet the answer is yes.
Week 2: Play low C# and slur up two octaves to C#(second ledger line) in the same method as above.
Week 3: Play low D and slur up two octaves to D above the staff. Continue this pattern each week until you reach third space C.
After a couple of months or so, your chromatic scale will dazzle. Try speeding it up as your fingers are able to play smoothly and evenly. Also, you might vary this by proceeding to the next higher note after two or three days instead of one week. It’s up to you. Have fun!