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Band Scale Expansion Studies
I began teaching my tonalization study scales to my students in the 1980’s, soon after I had begun practicing them myself. The tonalization studies work. They work far better than traditional band scale ever did. So that’s what we do in the lessons and have been doing it this way for decades now.
But sometimes the students still need to play their band scales for chair tests or for grades and stuff like that.
One year in the early 90’s, three high school students came to me in a panic. They had to pass off their band scales for a grade and for chair tests. First thing I did was reassure them that panic was not necessary. They had been practicing the tonalization studies and the ability to play the band scales was already in their minds and in their fingers. Then I quickly made up a set of exercises that would make the band scales more comfortable for them.
That’s when the Band Scale Expansion Studies were born.
I have taught those same exercises to students many times in the past 25 years. Last year we finally formalized the studies into a book so trumpet students around the world could use them.
Mastering the Major Scales
After practicing the band scale expansion exercises, those three students went from sitting in the middle of the section to sitting first, second and third chair in the band. They stayed in those chairs for the rest of the year.
These scale studies are not for JUST learning the scales. You don’t need a book to try to get the scales right and do a mediocre job of it. No, this book is for mastering the major scales. This book is for serious students who want to “own” the scales and play them like they’ve been pros for thirty years.
The Book’s Contents
The Band Scale Expansion Study book has a series of exercises for each major scale. The range is up to high C above the staff. The scales that can be done two octaves have exercises for both octaves, but you don’t have to do both octaves if they are not required. It is setup so that it works equally well for two octave scales as it does for one octave scales.
The exercises also include the optional arpeggios at the end. If your band scales don’t have the arpeggios at the end, then you don’t have to do them. You can stop on the fermata just before the arpeggios begin.
The book concludes with expansion exercises on the chromatic scale. Some bands require the chromatic scale along with the twelve majors.