Scale practice methods

This is both for learning a scale for the first time and for a scale you’ve been working on for years.

  1. Set metronome to 60
  2. Play whole notes with a quarter note equaling 60 bpm, then half notes, then quarter notes, then eighth notes, then 16th notes.

Listen to yourself.

Play the trickier speeds with different articulations. This also will improve your tonguing, especially with the faster speeds.

Breathe as much as you need to, and experiment with breathing – things like try using all your air in 8 beats, or 12.

Vary the volume, not only between runs but also between notes. For example, one way to build up breath control and embouchure is doing whole notes and then crescendo for one whole note and decrescendo for the next whole note. Make it as smooth as possible, and with consistently good tone.

Rhythms – use for difficult passages in general to increase finger control and speed. Start slow, speed up the quarter note as you improve. Practice with different articulations.

  • dotted eighth, sixteenth
  • sixteenth, dotted eighth
  • quarter, 3 triplet eighths
  • 3 triplet eighths, quarter
  • quarter, quarter, 2 eighths
  • 2 eighths, quarter, quarter
  • quarter, 2 eighths, quarter

And for your convenience, a printable version! Use it well. – C Major rhythms

Sectionals – things to do

  1. Remington’s. Start on a different note each sectional. Do different volumes. (tune)
  2. Two-octave major scale.
  3. Five minutes of talking about music theory. Teach something new, or review.
  4. Work on a specific excerpt and make it as good as possible
  5. At the end of the sectional, (on the way back to the band room), review what was practiced. Everyone contributes something. Decide a goal for what should be accomplished before the next sectional.