Learning Scales


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I was talking to a friend online who plays Piano and i think quite well (compared to me) lol Anyway he thought it was great that i had taken up keyboard. Anyway we was talking about learning scales and he told me that his teacher never taught him all the Scales just the ones he thought he might need, which kind of shocked me. He also told me he was never taught Arpeggio's, i don't fully understand Arpeggio's but thought they were quite important to learn. To say he was never taught these things he knows his way round a Piano. So i said i would ask on here, does Scales and Arpeggio's matter, i would of thought yes but now i am unsure. Thanks In Advance
 
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Yes and No.

There are many great keyboard players out there who play only by ear, they know of scales but do not necessarily learn them. It is therefore totally dependent upon what and how you want to learn. Pick up a book on playing a keyboard like those by Kenneth Baker and it is straight into playing a song via reading printed music, learning the notes, durations and practice at playing them. Learning scales is very low priority but again it depends upon how you learn and what you want to achieve.

Arpeggio, that is easy to explain, and the definition will say it all. It means Broken Chord and in practice in say a triad (three note chord) of say an F chord to arpeggiate the chord is to play the individual notes separately. So F, A, C in any order and as these are the root, the third and fifth in an arpeggio you can also play a second, forth, sixth, seventh etc. There are therefore thousands of Arpeggio Patterns available to play.

I practice scales, it is a good warm up for the fingers and it is good for improvisation. Look at the easiest scale a C, dead easy its all the white notes. Play a C scale C to C with the correct crossover going up and down. Now look at the notes, some are whole steps between each note of the scale, some are 1/2 steps between, the thing is this relationship stays the same in a major scale.

I would certainly not practice all scales at once, a major and a minor scale then move on. As it is I would suggest learning C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, and Bm to start off with then progress on from there.

Now of those scales playing the Am notes will give you a Blues feel, so just think of a Blues rhythm and improvise playing just the scale notes.

Learning scales as part of theory will also help with your understanding of the structure of music. You learn a song in say C but the singer wants to sing it in A, you need to transpose your playing and a knowledge of scales will help that transposition.

So do learn scales as part of a structured regime, what that regime is we cannot tell you, it will be what works for you.

There are many threads on practice routines you can also look at for guidance.
 
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6 years of formal classical training. My piano teacher was 80 years old. EVERY lesson started with scales. I learned them all. We used the John W. Schaum books. My books are 50 years old but still effective. search online.

 
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Thanks Guys I have just ordered a book from eBay called :- Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences: Basic Book (Alfred's Basic Piano Library, copied and pasted that so it's the full title. I won't ask what Cadences are just yet but will follow your Scales advice @Biggles and learn them, I have had a Mechanical, Wind Up Metronome for quite a few years that i actually bought for learning Guitar but never used but will use it for the Piano. Found it a bit weird trying Middle C to C with it having more notes than fingers but came across the Thumb Crossover which i am finding harder than it looks but will keep practicing it. Some people say learning Piano is easier than Guitar but i have to disagree so far, there is so much to remember and learn. I am enjoying it though, i have been doing a C Scale from Middle C to G and back and thought that was the full Scale till the other day lol. It has helped a lot having the Keyboard and Bench at the Correct Height as i had it too high at first. I am slowly learning though and finding it hard not to over practice. It's a great instrument i think.
 
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I was talking to a friend online who plays Piano and i think quite well (compared to me) lol Anyway he thought it was great that i had taken up keyboard. Anyway we was talking about learning scales and he told me that his teacher never taught him all the Scales just the ones he thought he might need, which kind of shocked me. He also told me he was never taught Arpeggio's, i don't fully understand Arpeggio's but thought they were quite important to learn. To say he was never taught these things he knows his way round a Piano. So i said i would ask on here, does Scales and Arpeggio's matter, i would of thought yes but now i am unsure. Thanks In Advance
At age 15 my first instrument was the piano accordion and I too was shocked to discover that the (zebra-) piano Kbd. layout requires learning of 24 scales (+its chords) !! -So, I decided to only learn to play the C-maj + A-min it by ear.
It's only many years later (with the advent of the internet) that I had the chance to discover the existence of uniform keyboards.
The one I particularly found interesting was the JANKO Kbd. layout, for it was the nearest to the (zebra-) piano Kbd. layout.
In this forum search for JANKO... and you'll see my project, which helped me to overcome this problem. Of course, you still will have to practice the JANKO Kbd. layout, but it obviously requires far fewer efforts to master it than the totally irregular (zebra-) piano Kbd. layout.
 

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