What's the point?

If you're a dog lover you'll know that "A dog is for life and not just for Christmas." This phrase, created in 1978, has a useful parallel in music-making. I strongly feel that 'Scales are for life and not just for Exams!' I don't want to suggest that people should purely play endless scales by rote and with no thought. If you understand the fingering, the different black and white key patterns being used and the various ways they can be played, then this opens up a wide vista of creativity. Playing scales confidently and accurately will certainly give easy marks in an exam, but this is just the beginning. Exploring new pieces, improvising and composing can all be given a tremendous boost if you can instantly play a wide range of scales and modes without much thought. This necessitates playing a small selection with thought and purpose each day. 


I need some help!

Below you will see some printable pdfs. They mostly relate to the Associated Board piano syllabus that came into force in 2021 (that itself replaced a syllabus from about thirty years earlier). However, there will be suggestions here that have nothing to do with Graded Exams, but will enable you to become a well-rounded musician if you regularly listen and evaluate what you are doing.


The Getting To Know You Lists

These sheets will help you to see how you are making progress with all of the Scales and Arpeggios you should know at each Grade for Associated Board Piano Exams. There is space to show when the particular Scale or Arpeggio was originally set, together with boxes to either tick or fill in to show how they are improving. Soon the Lucky Dip Lists will also be below. These will help you to become more fluent when playing them in a more random sequence. The Assessment Criteria and metronome speeds given at the bottom of each page corresponds with what the AB has outlined in their publications. Only the links in blue currently work, with the ones in green being in preparation. 


Initial Grade                Grade One                Grade Two                 Grade Three                Grade Four

                             Grade Five                   Grade Six                  Grade Seven              Grade Eight



Videos to help you learn different Scales





Click the above button where a playlist with sixteen indepth videos will open. They discuss the notes and fingering that need to be used, as well as useful tips to help you remain accurate and confident throughout. Both similar motion and contrary motion scales are demonstrated. 


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