Give Us A Call

Store Hours
Mon - Fri 10-6, Sat 10-4

How to Practice Scales

Hello everyone,

Today is the 3rd video of my 8 video series about effective practice techniques. Today I am talking about scales. Warming up with scales should be a normal part of every practice session.

Scales are great because:

1. They are an excellent way to warm up your body and mind.

—By starting out slow, you are not taxing your mind or your body and giving it a chance to slowly warm-up.

—You can avoid injury down the road and by warming up, you will have more success while practicing.

2. You can improve several aspects of your technique and set-up with scales.

—You will be teaching your fingers where to go for every note possible. Your body memorizes this and this makes it easier to play your pieces in tune.

—You will have time to focus on your intonation. You will have the time to make small adjustments and you will teaching your mind what perfect intonation sounds like.

—You will be taking the time to focus on your technique and set-up. How are you holding your bow and instrument? You will have the time to make adjustments and teach your body the correct way to do EVERYTHING.

How do you practice scales? Below is a simple rhythm pattern that I personally use and have taught to every one of my students. It get’s fairly advanced but you don’t have to do all the patterns. Just work up to it!


—Make sure you ALWAYS use a metronome.
—Place fingering tapes on your instrument if necessary.
—Always use 4th finger to warm up your hand faster and to build the strength for that finger.

1. Scales: Play scales with the metronome. Start out slowly and then build speed. You can increase the speed like the example below:

@62 BPM (beats per minute)

—Play whole notes, 1 note per bow
—Play half notes 1 per bow
—Play quarter notes, 2 per bow
—Play quarter note triples, 3 per bow
—Play 8th notes, 4 per bow
—Play 8th note triplets, 6 per bow
—Play 16th notes, 8 per bow
—Play 16th triplets 12 per bow
—Play 32nd notes, 24 per bow

I hope this helps and happy practicing!