The Right Way to Practice Scales for Violin
Regular practice of scales is highly essential in developing a fluid and smooth violin tone. Here are a few ideas
that you can incorporate into your scale practice routine.
1. Development of Right Hand Technique:
Instead of just robotically playing all the notes of the scale, concentrate on the other aspects that go into
producing great tone. Use different accents, rhythms and bowing styles. This will get you comfortable with various
sounds and ideas. Practicing with different dynamics is also very important. It will help you get much better
control over the sound of the instrument. It is important to use crescendos and diminuendos. One idea is to play
the first half of the scale as a crescendo and the second half as a diminuendo.
Keep in mind that your intonation should be spot on while practicing scales. Each note should be clear, even and
perfectly in pitch. Listen carefully and make adjustments whenever you seem to be going too sharp or flat. Also
listen to each note of the scale and find its relative position in the key. Each note of the scale has a different
function and feel. Understanding and hearing this will take your playing to a much higher level. Here are a few
exercises you can do to apply this concept.
Begin by playing just the perfect intervals. These would be the first, fourth and fifth notes of the scale. So for
C Major you could play the notes C, F, G and the octave C. Listen to each note carefully and understand how it
sounds and feels in the context of the scale. Then play just the tonic followed by each scale degree. Following
this exercise will really improve your ears and in turn will provide much better intonation when you play the violin.
3. Practice Rhythm:
Another very important idea while practicing scales is to ensure that you practice with a metronome. This is the
best way to get good time feel, which is one of the key components in delivering a great sounding solo. Whether you
are playing solo or in a string section, having good time is one of most important qualities you should cultivate.
For this, it is most important that you always practice with a metronome. Do go through our World Music Conservatory
Blog for more tips and ideas to improve your musical skills.