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 Danny Boy
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2019-04-26 01:54

I downloaded Danny Boy by Bernard Dewagtere from FreeScores.com and it was in Bb. A C# and an F#. Never had something so difficult to play with about 35 sharps. Need LOTS of practice forming them. All it did was squeak and squawk. Returning to my version in G with one F# that is in the lower register starting with F#3. Lots easier to play. This new one will take some work.

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-04-26 04:04

Time for basics.
Learn the scales! They are the foundation that you build on. It really is worth the time to know them well enough that you can play any piece in any of the fifteen major scales. No scales and you will be fumbling forever.

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-04-26 04:44

What resource do you (and others) recommend for working on scales, Ken? Baermann, I'm guessing?

(I've got Galper's scale book, because I figured it'd complement my Galper method book. I'm slowly starting to become familiar with a few scales -- mind you, I'm s-l-o-w.)

(Edited to fix a typo. Egad!)



Post Edited (2019-04-26 17:03)

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2019-04-26 06:37

I was afraid of that. I knew I was neglecting the scales and some notes show up so seldom in songs I forget how to form them, let alone play them. But like Beth says, is there a recommended way of working with scales or do you simply just go through the chart playing them? I never was really sure so I guess I neglected doing it. I have to admit I take the easy way and play easy songs. (Sorry, Beth...I used a small "B" and had to go back and edit).



Post Edited (2019-04-26 06:39)

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-04-26 17:01

Ken Lagace wrote:

> ...play any piece in any of the fifteen major scales. No scales
> and you will be fumbling forever.

Agreed, certainly, but ... 15? What scales are there beyond the 12 (one for each note of the chromatic scale)?

And to BGBG, I think learning some of the minor scales is useful, too. A lot of Western music is based on minor rather than major mode.

Karl

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-04-26 17:02

Don't worry about mistyping my name. I've had worse done to me. :)

Michelle Anderson of Clarinet Mentors talks about the importance of learning scales in order to program note patterns into what she calls the "lizard brain," the automatic, non-thinking part of the brain. (Her YouTube videos might be a good resource for you, if you're not familiar with them.)

Most scale books also include arpeggios and other patterns for each key. Baermann is the book I've heard most serious musicians talk about using, but like I said, I picked up a copy of Avrahm Galper's Scales and Arpeggios to work with. (That said, I'm not doing much with it yet, since I'm still a beginner.)

If I were you, I don't think I'd use a fingering chart to practice scales. It's important to start forming a connection between the notes on a page of music (those patterns I talked about) and what your fingers are doing. That's where there's great value in an actual scale book.

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-04-26 18:24

kdk >> Agreed, certainly, but ... 15? What scales are there beyond the 12 (one for each note of the chromatic scale)?

There are 12 sets of fingerings but music theory says there are 15 major scales.
A 'western' scale has one alphabetic letter in each scale so there are 7 sharp scales and 7 flat scales, and the C scale.
Yes, the B and Cb scale, the C# and Db and the F#and Gb scales have the same fingerings, but they look different on the page.

And of course, The majors are just the beginning of a good foundation. There is the chromatic scale, the 3 minor scales, the whole tone scale, then arpeggios of all the above, and scales played in 3rds, 4ths, etc. etc. The more your fingers learn of these, the easier it is to play most of Western music.

In my teaching, after 'learning' a scale, I have players make up a different short melody every time and play it in all the scales. This teaches the fingers to 'feel' a scale like the "lizard brain" idea mentioned above.

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-04-26 18:49

Thanks for the clarification. I've always made my students aware of the intersection on the "circle" of the flat and sharp scales at Gb/F#. I actually ask them sometimes as a mind game to play the enharmonic equivalents of even "easy" scales - A# major, B# major, Abb major - to keep the scales from being too dry. I confess I don't ask them to spell a B# major scale and once they get the hang of it they just play C major. I've always thought of Db/C# and Cb/B as part of that category of re-spellings of "standard" scales, but I understand what you meant. I do teach them to work out the actual key signatures of the enharmonic versions.

Regarding minor scales, I'm always a little surprised at how little exposure many new private students, even one of high school age, have had to minor scales. Surprised may be the wrong word - I've come to expect the deficit. The Music Educators' Associations in the area only require 9 *major* scales for auditions. Most of the nearby school band directors I'm aware of - with one exception - likewise only require their students to know the same scale list of majors "up to 4 sharps and 4 flats."

Karl

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2019-04-26 19:28

I heartily agree with everything Karl and Ken have stated - especially as it pertains to classical music/standard instruction.

However, I never could efficiently learn scales from notes written on paper. Don't know what my block was. As soon as I put the paper aside, it was much easier for me to understand the scales, and they didn't intimidate me anymore.

I'd learn a song (by ear) which had two sharps in it (F#, C#). Then, I'd play another song which had two sharps in it (F#, C#), etc. Eventually, I'd come back and try playing the D scale, and it was really easy. The same was true for more complicated scales. Then, it became a fun game to play a familiar song - starting from a random note. Eventually, this resulted in reaching the same point referenced by Ken, where it became a fun game playing the same song in every key.

I might have had the same progress if I had simply read the scale from the paper a few times (to get the "sound" in my head), and then pushed the paper aside and repeated the scale several times. I don't know - but I know that I had tried being fluid in my scales for years, and it never fully "snapped" into place until I quit looking at printed music.

This isn't to discount anything Ken or Karl said. It's just another path to the same understanding. If your goal is classical-type music, I highly recommend their approach because it suits the music you'll be playing - you're going to be seeing lots of intimidating notes, and it is better to get used to it so they aren't intimidating. If, on the other hand (as BGBG has posted in the past) your goal is more jazz/pop oriented music, then I believe either method works just fine - whatever method gets you to the goal quickest with the cleanest results.

However, the importance of putting in the work - to gain the understanding - cannot be overstated.

Kindest regards,
Fuzzy

[EDIT: spelling correction]



Post Edited (2019-04-26 19:57)

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-04-26 19:46

I saw the piece for an upcoming audition, a section of one of the Uhl Studies. Everyone was having trouble and said it was too difficult - until I mentioned that it used one of the two whole-tone scales. After it was practiced enough, the piece came together easily.

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-04-26 22:01

Fuzzy wrote:

> However, I never could efficiently learn scales from notes
> written on paper. Don't know what my block was. As soon as I
> put the paper aside, it was much easier for me to understand
> the scales, and they didn't intimidate me anymore.
>

I actually agree with you. I don't generally teach scales from print to young or even intermediate students. First comes the concept that a scale includes one of every "letter name" (staff degree) then the key signature needs to be applied to tell the student which letter names need to be sharped or flatted. Then they practice the scale - by ear and by applying those two basic structural principles - until they're comfortable with the finger pattern.

One thing that results is, I think, that they learn the sound to expect much faster and therefore they're able to hear their own mistakes, which is essential to practicing and learning almost anything.

"Learning" scales from a printed page invites some learners to recite the scales mechanically with no thought given to what they're doing or to the sound that's coming out.

When the key signature is given followed by a series of ascending and descending notes, they're not seeing anything different from the aural approach - one of each staff degree to which they have to remember to apply the chromatic changes. They may as well ditch the print entirely, as you did.

When the chromatics are printed with the notes, as they are in the Klose circle of fifths exercise, the process can be even more mindless as some students just read note to note with no attention to the structure, which makes "memorizing" them even harder for many students.

Of course, as a teacher, my priority - most of my overall function - is to help the student find his or her best learning mode. Printed scale sheets can be a guide that helps some learners, but they can for many be distracting crutches that are never fully discarded.

Karl

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-04-26 22:16

BGBG wrote:

> I downloaded Danny Boy by Bernard Dewagtere from FreeScores.com
> and it was in Bb. A C# and an F#. Never had something so
> difficult to play with about 35 sharps.

By the way, if it has 2 sharps (F and C) in the key signature, it's in the key of D (not Bb) major, so practicing a D major scale could be a great help. (To be more accurate, it's in D major for the clarinet - it's in the concert key of C major, which is how the piano accompaniment is written). Say the names of the notes to yourself - going up the alphabet from D - but saying F-sharp and C-sharp instead of F and C. Then play what you've just said - I'm assuming you know the fingerings for the two C#s you need - one (the first note) is probably the note below the note you'll start the scale on. Practice one octave. If you run into a block, go back and say the notes out loud again.

Karl

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2019-04-26 22:40

Karl said:
Quote:

One thing that results is, I think, that they learn the sound to expect much faster and therefore they're able to hear their own mistakes, which is essential to practicing and learning almost anything.


I could have quoted many things from your post - they are all so helpful.

I relate especially to the above quote. At least in my personal learning, I had to come to a point where I understood certain finger patterns match certain aural sounds/effects FIRST - and then I could come back to printed music and make something of it (not that I use a lot of printed music, but I can understand it much better than I did when I studied it in the various educational institutions). Basically, (paraphrasing what you stated), It had to make sense to my ears before it made sense to me on paper. Sadly, the journey to that realization took me a very, very long time.

I appreciate the fine instructors on this board; yourself, Ken, Tony F, Tony P, Seabreeze, et al. I don't wish to diminish any of the instructors I had...but I do appreciate the ability of those on this forum to help folks look at things from different perspectives.

I look back at my instructors with fondness, but if I were to try to find fault with them, it might be that they didn't realize I was caught up in the minutia...and that I was missing the overarching concept(s) of what that minutia was supposed to help me achieve.

Fuzzy

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2019-04-27 01:32

kdk: I am sorry. I am no music whiz and it said Clarinet in Bb and I thought that was the key, but since you wrote that I guess I was wrong. So I will call it D. Have to add this to my study list. Thanks for the clarification.

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-04-27 03:22

BGBG - this might be useful.

http://www.howmusicworks.org/210/The-Major-Scale/Key-Signatures-for-All-Keys

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-04-27 16:41

Your clarinet is most likely a Bb clarinet. And the arrangement is written for a Bb clarinet, also known as a "Clarinet in Bb" to differentiate it from one in C, A or even Eb. That identifies the instrument, not the key of the piece. I didn't mean to be disparaging, and I'm sorry if my comment came off sounding that way, but thought you might want to know about the key of the arrangement in case you wanted to work on the scale (D major for the clarinet) it's based on.

Karl

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2019-04-28 03:04

I am not even sure what the scales consist of. Is it the whole note range from lowest to highest, or different groups of 12 notes beginning with each note. Never really sure.

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: Green Henry 
Date:   2019-04-28 10:58

On scales, I discovered with alarm that for an exam I had coming up, there was an expected speed for the scales and I set the metronome on that speed. At first it seemed impossible but after starting slower I built up and it was easy. The benefit was that I didn't have time to think what the notes were, and instead my fingers just ("magically") learned the patterns. Sort of like running down stairs, you couldn't do it if you had to think about each step, but your feet know what to do. I've found that learning a new one (very slow at first) has got easier, too, as the sound of the next note seems to be in my head just before I play it.

The speed was quaver = 168, by the way. But I started at 120, then 144, and with a new scale 100. 168 isn't flashily fast, just even and concise.

The metronome is a great invention!

(Re-reading I think I should say eighth note - most of you are in the USA, right?)

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-04-29 02:37

The arrangement of 'Danny Boy' you have is written out in the key of D Major, therefore it uses a D Major scale which consists of the following notes ascending:

D - E - F# - G - A - B - C# - D

And the following notes descending:

D - C# - B - A - G - F# - E - D

All Major scales in every key have the same relation from note to note - the intervals (tones and semitones) in between each note being (when ascending):

[D] Tone [E] Tone [F#] Semitone [G] Tone [A] Tone [B] tone [C#] Semitone [D]

which is what gives every Major scale its character.

The notes from that D Major scale you need to play in order to turn them into a recognisable tune, in this case being 'Danny Boy' are (the | and || are just the bar lines):

C# D E || F# - - E | F# B A F# | E D B - | - D F# G | A - - B | A F# D F# | E - - - |
| - C# D E | F# - - E | F# B A F# | E D B A | B C# D E | F# - - G | F# E D E | D - - - |
| - A B C# || D - - C# | C# B A F# | A F# D - | - A B C# | D - - C# | C# B A F# | E - - - |
| - A A A | F# - - E | E D B D | A F# D - | - C# D E | F# B A F# | E D B C# | D - - - | - ||

Chris.

Post Edited (2019-04-29 02:42)

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 Re: Danny Boy
Author: pewd 
Date:   2019-04-29 23:11

I have a set of all 15 scales (major and their associated minors) written out, along with arpeggios and thirds, in all 15 keys, which I used to give to students before I retired.

Email me offline if you want a copy. (pdf's)

- Paul
private teacher - Dallas, Texas


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