Scaling Up

I’ve been warming up with scales for a while now.  I think one major benefit to the practice is becoming accustomed to hearing the correct pitch.  Moving stepwise through the notes makes it easier to hear when I’m out of tune.  It’s also a way to mark progress – as I slowly get better, the scales are sounding sound better and better.

Perhaps naturally, I tend to start at the bottom and go up.  On the violin, that means starting with G major, starting on the lowest note the violin can play.  I then play through A, C, and D major.  Finally, I go back down and do G minor.  Recently, I’ve been taking D up two octaves – the beginner D major scales only go one octave (the standard tests for level one violin, whatever that means in the non-Suzuki world) because you have to shift up to get to the high D on the E-string, which is not a beginner trick.

I play scales and also arpeggios, with single notes first, then slurring 2, 4, and even 8 notes together on a single bow stroke.  Overall, I’m finding scales to be a terrific way to warm up, and I appreciate the subtle improvement over time.

As I’m trying to work vibrato into my repertoire, I’m using scales as a great way to practice the technique.  I don’t have to worry about which note comes next or any other issues except making my hand move correctly.  Of course that’s plenty for me to keep up with.

Thanks for reading.




  1. Scales are somewhat addictive!:)

    1. These days I’m totally hooked on warming up with them.

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