Benjamin Coy

Trombonist

Scale patterns

July 9, 2018 at 9:44 pm

In my studio at South Texas College, students enrolled in the first three semesters of study are asked to learn a set of six scale patterns in all twelve keys. In a fifteen-week semester, that means they basically learn one key each week, with a little extra time if they need it on a tough key. I provide the patterns written in the key of C, and ask students to be able to play them in whatever key they’re studying while reading only the original version in C to remind them of the pattern if necessary. They are welcome to transpose the patterns on their own, but in order to “pass” the key, they have to leave their transposition behind. I advocate learning to play these with both a drone and a metronome. This exercise teaches the basic vocabulary of tonal music and promotes facility in all tonal centers. I’m posting the files for all three levels here in case anyone else might find them useful.

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