It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I have been busy making things! Sometimes I look through my website for material for my students, and I notice gaps or things I thought I posted but didn’t. That’s what happened as I was looking for the “write your own scale fingering” files.
Unfortunately, I don’t use the software that I originally used to make the files, so in order to remake them, I had to start all over. By this I mean really start all over, drawing white and black rectangles for the keyboards on a blank document. I know there are keyboard graphics and fonts to use, but I am picky and like to draw my own.
I also made some blank two octave keyboards to make whatever scale we need, such as one octave scales, natural minor, melodic minor, chromatic, whole tone, the blues scale, and modes. There is a line above each scale to write in the name. These are great for student composition. Some students like to make up their own scale. For a bonus, I made a plain grayscale version for teachers who do not use a color printer.
The idea behind the “write your own fingering” scales is that if students write in their own fingering they will understand the fingering better. Also, some teachers use different fingering than I do.
These are big files, so give them time to download. If they don’t print correctly, download the latest version of Adobe Reader, which is a free program. If you don’t want to print all of the scales, check out my tutorial in the FAQ to learn how to select pages to print.
As usual, if you see a mistake please let me know, and I’ll fix it right away!
Two Octave Keyboard Labels
I really have enjoyed using the keyboard pentascale labels I made a a few weeks ago. However, some of my readers asked if I had thought about making two octave labels so they could write out full scales. Click here to get to my website and then click preview to print.
At first I was afraid they would be too small for the size label I have, but after trying it out, I think they are big enough to at least put dots on the keys. You might not be able to write in finger numbers. If you don’t want to buy 1″ X 2 5/8″ address labels, you can cut them out and tape them on your student’s assignment books. That is what I did when I first tried them out.
There is a wonderful 3M Scotch™ brand tape that is removable. It’s rather hard to find, and more expensive than regular tape, but I always keep some on hand. You can tape one of these little keyboards on their assignment book and the next week remove it and place it on a new page. If you do this, you won’t have to buy labels, and the tape is a lot less expesive than buying adress labels. The tape works like those little yellow sticky notes that teachers love so much. It is sold in either a roll that you have to put in your own dispenser, or sometimes I find it in a plastic dispenser like regular Scotch™ tape. I think I usually buy it at craft stores, and when I do I stock up. It lasts me a long time, because after all, you can move things around and use them over and over!
I made the octave labels in brighter colors than the pentascale labels to help from getting mixed up. The pentascale labels can be found here. If you have any questions about how to print out these lables, contact me!
Two Octave Minor Picture Scales
I always had trouble reading scales. I could never line up the fingering with the notes. The finger numbers were too small and seemed to keep moving from note to note. Fortunately, it didn’t matter because I played scales by ear and memorized the fingering easily.
When a few a my students had the same problem reading the scales, I got the idea for my first picture scale. This is the 2 octave harmonic minor version. While I’ve received some criticism for not insisting students read the scales, I don’t let it bother me because we all have different students with different needs. If you have a student who is helped by this, I would love to know.