Robert Estrin - piano expert

Why You Should Practice Scales Two Octaves Apart

Learn why you should practice scales this way

In this video, Robert teaches you to practice scales "two octaves apart." Watch this video to find out why it may be helpful!

Released on June 24, 2020

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Welcome to your online piano store. I'm Robert Estrin. And today's tip is why you should practice your scales two octaves apart. Two octaves apart? You might wonder why, what's the value of that? Typically you play scales an octave apart, right?

I mean you might not do it that fast, but the whole... I just wanted to show you quickly. So that's the typical way you practice scales, right? And by the way, if you don't practice your scales in four octaves the way I just did, you should start doing it. It's very important to cover the entire range of the piano, because you might not think it's different playing up here, or playing down here, when it's the same notes and the same fingering. But it absolutely is. Because your body's at a different angle. It feels different. Get comfortable playing the whole keyboard. The good news is once you learn one octave, it's all the same, right? So go for the full four octaves. Like in Hanon 60 Selected Studies for the Virtuoso Pianist. Has all the scales and arpeggios with the correct fingering. So what about this idea of practicing two octaves apart? Well, the whole reason for it, is that you can hear the hands independently from one another when you're two octaves apart.

Much easier to hear sloppiness, isn't it? When you're playing two octaves apart, I talked about playing in contrary motion also. These are all techniques so that you can hear the clarity and evenness of you're playing. So this is a quick video. It's just a quick tip for you. If you have never done it before, try playing your scales to octaves apart. At first it's going to feel a little unnerving. First of all, you can't look at both hands, but you know what? Truth be known, you don't really have to look at your hands so much on scales. The notes are all right next to each other. But you can hear better playing two octaves apart. I'd love to hear from you if any of you have never tried it before, and you try it out, let me know how it goes. And if you find improvement in your scales for practicing this way. Again, I'm Robert Estrin here at your online piano store. Thanks for joining me and subscribing anytime you like.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Milla on June 24, 2020 @5:36 pm PST
I would like to establish a routine of daily technique exercises. Could you suggest what should be included? Thanks in advance!
Robert Estrin on June 25, 2020 @10:25 am PST
Here are a bunch of exercises to keep you busy:;submit=Search+Videos The most fundamental exercises are all major and minor scales and arpeggios. You don't have to work on all of them every day. But you should learn all of them. They make excellent warm-up exercises!
Joyce Beck * VSM MEMBER * on June 24, 2020 @1:14 pm PST
Eek! You are so right. Most days I play the scales and arpeggios of all the major keys first, 3 octaves I admit. I thought I was getting quite good! I tried 4 octaves, two apart. What a shambles. Nose back to grindstone.
Robert - host, on June 24, 2020 @4:25 pm PST
There are countless ways of working on scales. They key is keeping it interesting for you!
Milla on June 24, 2020 @9:21 am PST
Novel idea for me! I was wondering why Junior Hanon edition is written 2 oct. apart, while the original Hanon is 1 octaves apart. Now I understand, thank you!
Robert Estrin on June 24, 2020 @11:36 am PST
I wasn't aware of the Junior Hanon edition - thanks for this!
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