If you want to learn how to play the violin properly, practicing violin scales is inevitable.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned violinist, integrating scales in your practice routine can only do you good.
The benefits of practicing scales are numerous. Apart from significantly improving your intonation and finger speed, scales will help you work on your weaknesses and strengthen your core skills.
Yes, many people claim that scales are extremely monotonous and boring.
This doesn’t have to be entirely true. Although we agree that learning new melodies is much more engaging and fun, mastering the most common violin scales and playing them perfectly is actually very satisfying.
Moreover, playing the scales correctly before dealing with songs will boost your confidence and also warm you up.
So, what are the most common violin scales?
There are several violin scales for beginners and scales that are most commonly used. And once you learn them, you’ll be able to mix them up a little.
Over time, violin scales will (and should) become a natural part of your practice routine.
5 Most Common Violin Scales
- A Major Violin Scale
- G Major Violin Scale
- D Major Violin Scale
- C Major Violin Scale
- B-Flat Major Violin Scale
Every major or minor scale includes all of the notes of the key in which it’s played.
Essentially, violin scales are basic patterns of notes, usually played in ascending or ascending and descending order.
A Major Violin Scale
One of the first scales you will learn on your violin is the A Major Scale.
It’s one of the most common beginner violin scales and it’s played in the first position.
The beginner A Major Scale includes the following violin notes: A, B, C#, D, E, F#, and G#. The key signature indicates 3 sharps.
Once you get a grasp of the notes and correct fingering, you can increase the tempo.
G Major Violin Scale
Another common violin scale is G Major Scale.
This one is slightly more complicated than the A Major since it entails all strings.
Notes you’ll play are: G, A, B, C, D, E, and F#.
The beginner G Major Scale would look like this:
D Major Violin Scale
The pattern of the D Major Scale is similar to the A Major Scale.
It includes D, E, F#, G, A, B, and C#.
You can play the beginner, intermediate, or advanced version of it.
C Major Violin Scale
C Major Scale doesn’t have any sharps or flats, which makes it the ‘basic’ scale.
It’s one of the most common scales in Western music.
Notes you’ll have to play are: C, D, E, F, G, A, and B.
B-Flat Major Violin Scale
Notes this 3-octave scale includes are: B♭, C, D, E♭, F, G, and A.
The key signature tells you it has 2 flats.
This one isn’t hard for advanced players. If you’re a beginner but you’ve mastered all of the scales above, you also shouldn’t have a problem with it.
How to Practice Violin Scales
We’ve already mentioned the value of practicing violin scales and introduced you to some of the most common violin scales. They are essential to master if you want to gain core violin skills.
But how you practice scales on the violin is equally important.
You can spend your time and energy on mindless scale practice, or you can really use them to improve your performance.
Whether you’re taking online violin lessons or hiring a teacher, the amount of practice and focus you’ll put in your scales practice is entirely on you.
First of all, don’t rush. Start with a slow tempo, keep at it, and only when you feel like you really have it at your fingertips, continue with the faster tempo.
Another helpful thing is not to forget about sheet music. You’ll probably learn all the scales by heart in a matter of minutes – one of their charms is that you’ll be able to play automatically very quickly.
However, if you pay attention to the notes you’re playing, and even say them out loud, it will help you memorize the notes.
There are also other things you can work on while practicing scales only if you pay attention to them.
One of them is your posture – think about how you’ll hold the bow and how your back, chin, and elbows look. Make sure that your violin is parallel to the floor.
As you progress and learn more advanced scales, you can make things interesting.
Play with arpeggios, articulation, vibrato, and rhythm. Increase the speed and listen carefully.
This will also help you notice your weak spots and if some notes and pitches don’t sound as they should.
Moreover, this can also help you develop your own playing style. As they are naturally ‘bland’, you can easily add your own touch and see what happens.
Essentially, you can turn your violin scale routine into something that helps you evolve and improve your creativity, musicality, and overall performance.
Benefits of Practicing Violin Scales
Violin scales are repetitive, but they are incredibly useful and, if you have the right approach, challenging and definitely not dull.
Once you master the basics, you’ll be able to play with them and use them to improve your violin technique.
As you progress, your fingers will learn the correct spacing in every violin position. So, you’ll be strengthening your muscle and finger memory.
Next, practicing scales will help you with your sight-reading. If you don’t neglect sheet music while playing scales, you’ll really start to read violin notes more easily. Simultaneously, you’ll get to know the fingerboard.
Also, an effective scale practice routine will affect all your fundamental techniques.
Over time, you’ll significantly improve your left-hand technique. You’ll notice changes in your bow speed and contact. Your fingers will know how to ‘feel’ the violin better, and you’ll apply the correct pressure.
As your intonation and technique improve, your sound will become purer and you will play more confidently.
Yes, scales can be dull if you think about them in that way. But keep their benefits in mind, and you’ll be motivated enough to integrate them into your practice.
And once you do that, you’ll realize you can expand your scale practice routine and make it creative and challenging!
Scales are often considered the most boring part of learning how to play an instrument.
It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, scales are incredibly useful and they can be interesting as well.
Some of the most common violin scales are the A Major Scale and G Major Scale. As you progress, you’ll learn more difficult scales.
Also, you’ll be able to work on specific techniques once you learn them. That means that playing scales doesn’t have to be a simple warm-up, but also a way to develop your playing style as well as strengthen your core skills.
However, to really take advantage of violin scales, you need to practice them effectively. Pay attention to your posture, read notes, and think about how you really sound.
It’s not that hard to learn a scale, but learning how to make them fluid and even captivating is another thing completely.
We hope this article helped you realize that violin scales indeed hold the key to your progress and that they don’t have to be boring and meaningless.
In the end, your attitude towards your practice matters, so we encourage you to practice scales mindfully and creatively.