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Broken scales in thirds (Read 18340 times)

Offline keithb

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Broken scales in thirds
« on: May 21, 2013, 03:07:16 PM »
I would like to practice major (and minor) scales in broken thirds (eg. Eb major: Eb G F Ab G Bb…). Does anyone have experience doing this and can offer recommendations for fingering? I have searched for recommendations and cannot find any. I've started to think about alternatives but see no need to "reinvent the wheel" if someone has already figured this out. Thanks!

Offline quantum

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Re: Broken scales in thirds
«Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 10:38:22 PM »
You could start with scales in thirds fingering and try it broken - just as it is common to do with chords.  Modify if necessary. 

Chopin Op 25/11 may give you ideas. 
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Offline nanabush

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Re: Broken scales in thirds
«Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 03:17:20 AM »
I'll try ripping up and down the scales using 1-3-2-4 over and over.  This is a sort of application of the broken alternating chords (Liszt uses these SO MUCH!)

Also try broken thirds using just two fingers (this is a kind of cross training for trills, because you can get these really fast by kind of wiggling or oscillating your hand rather than hammering the fingers down).

But ya, the Winterwind is kind of what I'm talking about for 1-3-2-4 (or any variant: 1-3-2-5, 1-4-2-5, etc.)
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Offline ted

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Re: Broken scales in thirds
«Reply #3 on: May 24, 2013, 10:41:44 AM »
These can make a really good exercise in coordination and concentration. Play them hands together, up and down, but not in unison; say a tenth apart, or even in another random key. Play in light, precise finger staccato, not too fast, and use all five fingers where possible. This is surprisingly difficult, at first anyway, for some reason I've never been able to fathom. Good coordination practice for improvisation though.
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Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Broken scales in thirds
«Reply #4 on: May 24, 2013, 11:52:19 AM »
I'll try ripping up and down the scales using 1-3-2-4 over and over.  This is a sort of application of the broken alternating chords (Liszt uses these SO MUCH!)

Also try broken thirds using just two fingers (this is a kind of cross training for trills, because you can get these really fast by kind of wiggling or oscillating your hand rather than hammering the fingers down).

But ya, the Winterwind is kind of what I'm talking about for 1-3-2-4 (or any variant: 1-3-2-5, 1-4-2-5, etc.)


That might be a worthy fingering to practise in the spirit of an exercise, but it sounds really quite impractical for regular usage.

Forget individual fingers and start with big chunks in mind. Standard thirds fingering is based on two  five finger positions per octave plus a 12 to bridge the gap. In c major rh I have a c to g position, 12 on f and a then a g to d position.  You can do e flat the same way by simply adding the flats to each position. Any more than two chunks per octave and you're introducing extra mental effort and risk.

Offline keithb

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Re: Broken scales in thirds
«Reply #5 on: May 24, 2013, 06:09:11 PM »
To nyiregyhazi: Thank's for your practical suggestion--I'll try it later today. I had also thought about using 1-2-1-3 (right hand) for runs of white keys, trying to keep my thumb on white key-black key pairs and reserving 2-4 and 3-5 for situations where the first of two notes was a black key. For example, using the Eb major scale starting on Eb:
2-4 1-2 1-3 2-4 3-5 1-2 1-3 and 2 again on Eb.

I'm an amateur jazz pianist and have never studied Liszt or the suggested Chopin piece. I'm interested in doing scales in broken thirds to speed up my improvizatory runs.

I appreciate everyone's advice.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Broken scales in thirds
«Reply #6 on: May 24, 2013, 10:33:23 PM »
To nyiregyhazi: Thank's for your practical suggestion--I'll try it later today. I had also thought about using 1-2-1-3 (right hand) for runs of white keys, trying to keep my thumb on white key-black key pairs and reserving 2-4 and 3-5 for situations where the first of two notes was a black key. For example, using the Eb major scale starting on Eb:
2-4 1-2 1-3 2-4 3-5 1-2 1-3 and 2 again on Eb.

I'm an amateur jazz pianist and have never studied Liszt or the suggested Chopin piece. I'm interested in doing scales in broken thirds to speed up my improvizatory runs.

I appreciate everyone's advice.

I think that could work, but I'd strongly recommend saving 12 to 13 as something that comes only once per octave - particularly if you also want to attempt unbroken thirds. I'd say start on whatever you like for the first third and then go as written until the second 1-2 where I'd go straight to 13 and do a whole position. That will get you to 35 on the e flat to g for the rest.

It's not impossible to do as you suggest, but the more successive thumbs there are the harder it is. The 12 to 13 is by far the hardest part of parallel thirds, but a necessary evil once per octave. I just wouldn't allow it to come in any more frequently but would instead make the use of a whole 5 finger position every single time, aside from a single 12.

Offline fftransform

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Re: Broken scales in thirds
«Reply #7 on: October 17, 2018, 11:34:52 PM »
Is there really no public domain scale book with the broken third fingerings?  Here is Babayan's masterclass in them.