The Scale Test Deadline Is Approaching…

Four Year Scale Plan

(Due by Friday 5/11)

We will be continuing a successful four year scale program that will allow you to graduate knowing all your major and minor scales through the full range of your instrument.  This program is structured so that each year you are learning a little bit more than the previous year.  Scale assignments will be given based on the number of years you have been in the high school band.  The progression will look like this:

1st Year        Major Scales up to 4#’s and 4b’s (9 scales)

2nd Year       All Major Scales & Chromatic Scale (3 scales + previous year’s scales)

3rd Year       All Melodic Minor Scales (12 scales)

4th Year       All Natural and Harmonic Minor Scales

Music is often referred to as a foreign language.  If this is true then notes are equivalent to letters of the alphabet, and scales are the words.  When you have command of a complete vocabulary you can begin to form more complex sentences and effectively communicate with others.  Likewise, it is essential that you work to develop a complete understanding of our musical language. 

THIS YEAR
Juniors and seniors are on the 3rd Year assignment.  Each student will be asked to commit to memory their assigned scales (you probably know many already).  You will need to perform your scales in a steady tempo using the all-state rhythmic pattern, without music, by May 11th, 2012.  Playing tests will be graded as pass or fail. 

You may play for Mr. Smith alone, in groups of two or three, or by recording your scales in Smart Music.  The first five minutes of each class will be available for any student who wishes to test out in front of the class.  Other times (before school, during lunch, after school, or by appointment) will be available until the deadline of May 11th.  You should take your test only when you are sure you are prepared.

Major scale sheets and fingering charts (chromatic scales) have been distributed to all students.

Minor Scales are based on major scales.  To play a major scale simply think of the major scale that starts on the same note, and lower the appropriate scale degrees (lowering can be achieved by removing a sharp or by adding a flat).  See examples below:

Melodic Minor Scale (lower the 3rd of major scale on way up; lower the 3rd, 6th, and 7th of major scale on way down)

          Example:

                                         1   2    3   4   5    6   7   1    7    6   5   4   3   2   1

          C Major Scale       C   D   E   F  G   A   B  C   B   A  G   F   E   D  C

          C Mel. Minor         C   D   Eb  F  G   A   B  C  Bb Ab G  F   Eb  D  C

 

Natural Minor Scale (lower the 3rd, 6th, 7th of major scale – up and down)

          Example:

                                         1   2    3   4   5    6   7   1    7    6   5   4    3    2   1

          C Major Scale       C   D   E   F  G   A   B  C   B   A  G   F   E    D  C

          C Nat. Minor         C   D   Eb  F  G Ab Bb  C  Bb Ab G  F   Eb  D  C

 

Harmonic Minor Scale (lower only the 3rd, 6th of major scale – up and down)

          Example:

                                         1   2    3   4   5    6   7   1    7    6   5   4   3   2   1

          C Major Scale       C   D   E   F  G   A   B  C   B   A  G   F   E   D  C

          C Har. Minor         C   D   Eb  F  G  Ab  B  C   B  Ab G  F   Eb  D  C

 

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