Stop wondering whether you're playing enough scales, or "doing them right". Invite me into your studio to guide the most important minutes of your practice time.
After a round of scales with me, you'll be energized and finely tuned for whatever playing your day might bring.
Heifetz practiced scales six days a week... and on the seventh day, he rested! When your hands have "seen it all" in your scale work, you can step onto stage comfortably. Or take a day off to enjoy the finer non-violin things in life. Your foundation will be there waiting for you.
Playing the violin or viola shouldn't tire you out! Scale time is when you learn to relax, and to draw maximum sound out of your instrument with minimal effort. I can show you how to let the notes fall right under your fingers.
And let's not forget that warding off tension is the best way to avoid injury!
Forget slowly "working passages up" with the metronome. If you want to play fast in pieces, it all starts with fast scales. And you can get there much faster than you think.
In fact, once I learned the secrets of note grouping, I couldn't believe the time I'd wasted practicing the old way!
I had just arrived at Curtis, and my new teacher told me to get through the entire book that week.
But I couldn’t even get past the first line! It went all the way up the G string, and it was as intimidating as any concerto I’d ever played.
Well, I forced myself to get through four hours of scales the first day… and the next day, and every day that week. I could tell I was close to getting injured.
And then it happened: my scale moment. Desperate to play some music again, I picked up a Kreisler piece I hadn’t played in ages.
I felt like I’d borrowed someone else’s hands! I’d gotten my first taste of the virtuoso life, and I never wanted to look back. But I couldn’t face another week like that one.
Every key has its own quirks; I include them all, for violin and viola, with my fingerings. Plus I let you know how to switch them around, as I do!
Who needs another scale book with the same old sequences? Spice up your routine with the tips and tricks I've taught for the last 20 years.
Do you want to practice scales just to get better at scales? Or do you want to play music too? This book is the Road to Repertoire, after all!
New to scales? Not shifting yet? An old hand at 3 octaves with double stops? I include sample routines for different levels.
…and I’ve been helping violinists and violists, online, for the last 10 years.
It all started because I couldn’t bear to say the same thing about the Schumann Scherzo in one more lesson! So I made a video and put it on YouTube. 2 million views later, my videos have helped players the world over to reach their next level and win auditions.
Last summer, I created and hosted the first ever Violympic Games, with more than 400 participants worldwide.
And when I’m not teaching, I sit First Associate Concertmaster in the Los Angeles Philharmonic… just a few feet away from my wife Akiko, who’s Assistant Concertmaster! Together we host the podcast Stand Partners for Life.
It is if you've ever seen someone who plays as though they were born with the instrument in their hand... and you wanted that same feeling. After just a few weeks of your new scale routine, you'll find that many days you wake up... warmed up! Your hands will begin "seeing into the future": they'll find their places as if by magic.
It is if you struggle with pitch... and who doesn't? But when you change the way you listen to scales, degree by degree, you'll bring fresh ears to your repertoire. Even pieces that have always seemed "stuck" out of tune will yield to your newfound confidence in pitch.
It is if you've always wanted to learn pieces more quickly. When you have gaps in your technical foundation, they'll quickly show up in pieces. And then you'll have to practice those passages time and again. But when you're a scale ace, it's as though you've learned that passagework in advance. You can get straight to the music!
It is, even if you've never played a scale before. Open up a normal scale book and you're confronted with page after page of dense black notes, whizzing up and down. If scales are supposed to build your technique, how do you build your technique to face those scales? My routines start by examining how we tune each of the eight tones in a scale: no shifting necessary!