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U T M C l a r i n e t S t u d i o
S c a l e R o u t i n e
1st semester: chromatic scale and all major scales
2nd semester: ADD all natural minor scales
3rd semester: ADD all major chords
4th semester: ADD all minor chords
(subsequent semesters: follow the list of scales for music majors, but more slowly)
1st semester: chromatic scale, all major scales, and all natural minor scales
2nd semester: ADD all major and minor chords
3rd semester: ADD all harmonic & melodic minor scales
4th semester: ADD all whole tone scales, whole tone chords (augmented chords), octatonic
scales, and octatonic chords (fully-diminished seventh chords)
5th semester: ADD V7 chords and extend all scales the full range of the instrument
6th semester: ADD major scales in thirds & melodic minor scales in thirds
(subsequent semesters: scales will be chosen based on the individual needs of the student)
*ALL music majors will follow this routine, regardless of degree; however, performance majors
will be assigned additional scale exercises from the Kroepsch.
All scales must be memorized. Scales must be performed over the full range of the instrument.
The following handout discusses the scales required of UTM clarinetists. Note that major scales & chords are typically abbreviated with capital letters (C = C major) and minor scales & chords with lower-case letters (c = c minor). These conventions are used throughout this handout.
First & Third Semesters The three most common types of scales are major, minor (three slightly different forms), and chromatic. Each of these has a specific pattern of intervals, which is what allows us to hear the difference between them.
Major 1st Semester
W W H W W W H
1st Semester W H W W H W W
3rd Semester W H WW H + H
3rd Semester W H W W W W H W W H W W H W
Chromatic 1st Semester
(all half steps)
These interval patterns can be transposed, or retained, to start on any pitch; this is what gives us 12 major scales, 12 natural minor scales, etc… Note, however, that there is only one chromatic scale: when you transpose its intervals to start on any other note, you get the exact same notes. It’s simple to learn this one!
Second Semester Scales are also presented as arpeggios (also called triads or tonic chords). These are simply the first, third, and fifth notes of the scale, repeated over the range of the instrument. When playing your chords, use this pattern:
Fourth Semester Aside from the chromatic, there are other scales that can only be transposed a small number of times. One of these is the whole tone scale, which is required beginning in the fourth semester. In this scale, every note is a whole step above the previous one. Because of this repeating pattern, there are only two whole tone scales, shown below; notice that each one only has six notes.
The whole tone scale is somewhat different from the majors and minors, since it has six notes instead of seven. Because of this, there’s one place in the scale where you’ll skip a letter, and you may switch between sharps to flats at that point, depending on how you’re thinking of it. The whole tone arpeggio is an augmented chord. As with a major or minor arpeggio, simply play the first, third, and fifth notes of the scale, using the same rhythm as above.
Another scale that can only be transposed a few times is the octatonic scale, which is also required beginning in the fourth semester. It has eight notes in a repeating pattern of whole-step, half-step; because the pattern of intervals repeats, there are only three octatonic scales, shown on the next page.
The octatonic arpeggio is a bit different from the other arpeggios because it has four notes instead of three: the first, third, fifth, & seventh notes of the scale. This is also called a fully-diminished seventh chord and should be played as eighth notes:
Beginning in the fifth semester, you’ll be asked to perform the dominant seventh chord. Begin on the dominant (fifth note) of the major scale, and play a M/m 7th chord, in eighth notes:
Sixth Semester Finally, in your sixth semester, you’ll be asked to play the major & melodic minor scales in thirds in eighth notes (all octaves, even though only one is shown below).