Bowed scales for beginners

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by whatsgood, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. whatsgood


    Sep 1, 2019
    Request for advice: it’s pretty universally recognized that bowing scales is good for beginners. If you were going to choose one method for someone with limited practice time, would it be in whole, half or quarter notes? And why?
  2. whatsgood


    Sep 1, 2019
    By way of further clarification: With an hour to an hour a half of practice in which I want to get in scales, Simandl and some music—like a tune from the real book.(Demanding professional day job). I’ve timed doing all 12 majors in whole notes at 60bpm and it takes roughly a half hour—for point of reference.

    Taking this up late in life after giggling for years on another instrument—primarily jazz. I’m not going to become Dave holland or even close. Would like to be able to gig jazz and singer/song writer stuff without embarrassing myself or others. Modest but, I think, reasonable goal.

    Also, lest you admonish me, I do have a teacher. but I’m curious to tap the collective wisdom here.
  3. BarfanyShart


    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    Whole notes, start at 60 bpm, get them sounding okay, then go down a bpm each practice session till you're down below 40. Slow scales make you powerful, smart, and irresistible to the gender you are attracted to.
    mtto, Joshua, M0ses and 1 other person like this.
  4. BrotherMister


    Nov 4, 2013
    PVG Membership
    Bowing scales is good for all levels, you'll never be above that.

    Long tones. Long long long tones. I call them brushing your teeth exercises because they should be happening daily. The longer the tone the more you have everything under the microscope and have to really work at developing stuff. I always start with long tones because the benefits are numerous. Having said that you should practise them in whole, half, quarter, eights, sixteenths, triplets, groups of 3, slurs in 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 etc etc there is no end to it and it's all good stuff. I've not even mentioned in 3rds, 4ths, 5ths etc. It's just a lifetime of possibilities. Just go slowly and focus on one at a time for a while - starting with long notes and a slow slow tempo. Don't push on until you have gotten a solid grip on time, tone, shifts, intonation and all that stuff. There isn't any rush and being thorough will only improve your playing quicker.
  5. Chef's kiss.