Scale Studies for Beginner and Intermediate Flutists
by Meerenai Shim
Not just another set of up and down scales written out, this book is a collection of scale exercises arranged in a progressive manner so the the flutist will gain facility as well as tonal familiarity in each key.
- Each major scale is paired with its relative minor scales (natural, harmonic and melodic) from the beginning.
- Starts with the limited range of C1 to F3 and gradually introduces new notes so that the student can gain profiency in all registers, including being able to play a 3-octave chromatic scale from C1 to C4.
- Metronome use and keeping a steady pulse is emphasized by requiring the flutist to write down his/her metronome marking for each exercise in the space provided.
- A variety of exercises in different meters, rhythms and articulation are used throughout the book to prevent boredom.
- A thorough review of all major and minor scales is organized chromatically: starting with C major and its parallel minor, C minor.
- Flutists are introduced to low B and C#4 and D4. A basic fingering chart is included to assist in learning the higher notes.
- Prepares flutists for daily scale study books such as 17 Daily Exercises by Taffanel and Gaubert or Complete Daily Exercises by Trevor Wye.
Before working on this book, flutists should:
- be able to read and play all notes from low C to high F (C1 to F3).
- be experienced with playing 16th notes and compound meter.
Who Should Use This Book
- The student who has completed his/her first method book. After my student completes How to Play the Flute Volume 1 (Alfred), I start them on this book (in addition to etude and solo books).
- The junior high or high school student who is only comfortable playing flats or not comfortable with minor scales. In this case, I’d suggest using the book at the beginning.
- The intermediate student who is not yet ready for the Taffanel/Gaubert, Trevor Wye, Reichert or equivalent daily studies book. She/he can start in the middle of the book to gain familiarity with the unfamiliar keys and review all the scales before moving on to the advanced scale study books.
- The adult student who needs to brush up on their scales. They probably already have many of the great scale books but might not be able to get around them as easily as they did when they were in high school honor band. I would suggest that they start generally in the middle of the book for major scales and review all the minor scale exercises from the beginning of the book.
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“Meerenai Shim’s book offers short, varied scale exercises in all keys for intermediate students. The exercises include extended scales, thirds, arpeggios, and sequential scale patterns. The book progresses through all major and minor scales in order, becoming slightly more difficult and increasing in range as the book progresses, and concludes with a review of all scales. The exercises are carefully constructed so as to continually emphasize development of technique, while constantly varying rhythm, articulation and meter to provide new challenges. I especially appreciate that it ventures into unusual meters (such as 6/16 and 5/8) not often seen in exercise books. This book is highly recommended for flute teachers looking for a way to keep students engaged in their scale practice.”
“This well-thought-out and handsomely produced 48-page book presents scale patterns in a progressive order with a variety of rhythms, articulations, scale fragments, and chord patterns to assure that the student masters the difficulties of each key before proceeding. (I especially like the use of the little <3 symbol for those basic scale forms that need to be learned by heart.) Beginning with one and then two-octave scale material, Shim stresses the importance of tracking your progress with a metronome in the spaces provided, and she revisits the scales in A major/F# minor, Bb major/G minor, C major/A minor in order to work on gradually mastering the third octave, applying repeated rhythmic patterns, and the “chunking” of finger patterns that need to be ingrained for further progress in speed and control. She also returns to emphasize two and three-octave scales in the remaining key signatures. The book ends with a comprehensive review of chromatic scales, full-range major/minor scales, and arpeggios. A clear and accurate fingering chart is included. This book is an excellent prelude to the Taffanel et Gaubert 17 Daily Studies or the Trevor Wye Complete Daily Studies.”
- Jerrold Pritchard
The Flute Network
"Overall, I think this is an excellent book for beginners (with the guidance of a private teacher) and intermediate students. It does a good job of preparing a modern flutist, including a variety of relatively complex rhythms, expanding to use the entire range of the instrument, and providing a fingering chart that gives the entire modern range. These are skills that modern students — even the younger ones — are becoming expected to know, and it’s nice to see them addressed in a concise method book."
“This is a creative, yet concrete approach that will encourage consistent practice and memorization of scales while at the same time help to improve counting and rhythm skills. A great resource for teachers and students!”
- Linda Lukas
Flutist, San Francisco Symphony
Lecturer, San Francisco State University
Scale Studies is a great way for students to internalize major & minor scales. My students are really enjoying this addition to the scale routine. The studies are interesting and fun and the exercises reinforce the technical skills that form the foundation of flute playing. I have found that working on a key a week gets the scales soundly under their fingers.”
-Vanessa Breault Mulvey
Flutist and Faculty, Longy School of Music
“One of my 8th grade male students really likes your scale book! He especially likes that there are different formats for the scale each time (he’s really bright and enjoys the variation! …and practices the scales!).”
- Laura Scarlata
Flute Instructor, The Crowden School Center for Music in the Community
“This book is exactly what my students need. It helps them to master all of
their scales while exposing them to new rhythms and time signatures in a fun
and friendly way.”
-Sarah Holzman, flutist