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Playing along with pre-recorded scales for intonation practice?

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Jack Clark, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. For intonation practice, I used Finale NotePad to make myself some recordings of a "cello" playing each of the 12 sounding Major scales in arco from the bottom of my instrument (E1) to the top (F4) and back down. Being electronically produced, the intonation is spot-on (I used a 440 Hz A), and I also checked them with a Laidman & Katsura Lab Meter.

    I picked a "cello" so it would be playing an octave higher as I play along with it, so the recordings themselves are actually E2 to F5. I have these files in both .midi and .mov versions. Eventually, I intend to make these in the various minor scales, dominant, diminished, half-diminished, etc.

    The sound quality is excellent on both the .midi and .mov versions. It really does sound like an excellently-played cello. I can use the .mov version with Audiolab for my Mac so I can speed them up or slow them down without changing key. QuickTime plays them both, and iTunes plays the .mov versions excellently, but neither of those two programs can alter the speed.

    If anyone else is interested in these recordings, I could extend these scales by two semi-tones to cover G4 on a double bass. Then I should be able to email them to you, if you want.

    I made these things because as a beginner when practicing scales on a fretless instrument I don't want to train my ear wrong if, for instance, I have a tendency to sharpen the 4th or flatten the 7th, or whatever. Of course, maybe some of you think this project is a bad idea, so . . . comments? . . . suggestions? . . . any interest?
  2. If you want to save yourself some work, I did pretty much the same thing and have them downloadable as a free podcast here:


    You can also get them through iTunes. Do a search on Double Bass Scales.

    I included scales down to B for people with 5 strings.
  3. Hey, great! I'll check out your website. Thanks! I have a strange bass instrument, though, so I've made recordings specifically for it. I also ordered a copy of Don Hermanns' Accompanied Rudiments Course, but it hasn't arrived yet, so I don't know what all is in it. He's a double bass pro and a teacher, of course, so I expect that his course will have a good deal of valuable instruction to go with his recordings.

    Thanks again.
  4. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Yes, Bills site is excellent. Just wanted to post that.

    His play along scales are great practise!
  5. Accompanied Rudiments is fantastic. The book is large but it covers all 6 cds I think. It's incredibly helpful for intonation. It's actually piano chords for each scale tone at varying speeds (whole, half, eighth, etc.), intervals (3rds, fourths, etc.), plus more great stuff I haven't yet explored. So far my ears have opened up quite a bit. I use it in tandem with Vade Mecum by George Vance which has a bunch of fingerings for each scale.
  6. My copy of ARC arrived. The book looks great and the piano recordings sound great, too. My bass is at the luthier's, so I've only tried it out with a little left-hand piano. (Boy, does it need tuning.) I think this is going to be good in that it will make practicing scales at least palatable, if not outright fun. I hope I can begin to hear intervals with this course.

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