Scales: Why Study Scales?
Scale study, done right, is essential to understanding how an enormous amount of music works. If you study-practice scales the right way, you will...
- Discover the unique and sometimes quirky patterns of white and black notes in each key, really learning your way around the piano.
- Develop your sight reading skills, learning to recognize when scales or scale fragments are used in written music.
- Transform your sight-reading skills from mere memorization into profound understanding.
- Develop your aural comprehension skills, learning to recognize when scales or scale fragments are used when you listen to music.
- Understand the intimate connection between scales and modes.
- Understand the intimate connection between scales and chords, learning that melody is harmony and vice versa.
- Acquire meaningful melodic and harmonic vocabulary for improvising.
- Develop a second-nature technique and artistic sensibility that integrates fingering, choreography, rhythm, articulation, phrasing, and dynamics.
The time and energy spent mastering your scales greatly expands your musical literacy, deepens your theoretical understanding, heightens your aural awareness, and develops practical performance skills. As your knowledge base and skill sets grow, you will spontaneously and confidently start to apply them in practical playing situations like sight reading, playing by ear, learning a piece by heart, improvisation, and transposition. Enjoy the process!