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MP Days 6 & 7: Too Good for Scales in Fifths

I think I've really started to hit my stride with the regular scales and arpeggios. I don't seem to run into the issues I had earlier and every time I play through them I up the tempo a little bit. Overall I'm pretty pleased with how they're progressing. The whole practice regimen outlined in the book is actually the same thing repeated. Once you get through exercises U, V, X, and Y the whole thing starts all over again, giving you a 26-day cycle. Maybe he was supersticious and 13 days was a bad omen? Anyway, the plan for me once I hit day 14 will be to do A, B, C, and D on piccolo, altering as needed to avoid low C and C-sharp. Timely, as piccolo auditions are in my future.

There were two things that surprised me about day 7: firstly that Moyse skips scales in 5ths and moves straight from 4ths to 6ths; and secondly that I did not struggle nearly as much as I thought I would. There is something about the interval of a 6th that just seemed to click for me. Maybe it was the lack of complicated fingerings going around the top? I don't know, it was just so far the easiest variation. Coming down the scales I seemed to forget what scale I was doing, but after the first few scales I clued into the pattern.

The broken triads were set in intervals of a perfect 12th, so these were really an air stream challenge. Anything starting on a G or higher gave me real trouble - my fingers got in the way of the air a lot and nothing came out the way I wanted it to.

The broken 7ths were in octaves, which, after the triads in octaves, no problem at all. Getting around the bottom was a challenge, but that's the point. Large, downward leaps are a weak point for me so this gives me ample time to improve on that skill.

I've started to trust my finger technique more, taking my own advice that I give to my students. I always say that the fingers don't like to be micromanaged, and if just left to do the job you give them, will almost always do what's needed of them. Training is necessary, of course, but the training needed is not usually as extensive as we think. It's a mind over matter thing, I think. This proved itself with the chromatic scales in 6ths. When I just focused on what note I had to play next, things worked much more smoothly. It's not a difficult pattern, no matter how complicated it looks on the page. The same thing happened with the whole tone scales (yet I kept forgetting A-sharp when starting on C. Just a mental block I guess.), augmented 5ths, and diminished 7ths.

The next two days are A, B, C, and D, followed by E, F, G, and H again, which should be interesting. I hope to get through the second set a little bit faster than before, and improve upon what didn't work so great the first time around.

Until then!

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