No Responses to “Piano Grade1”

  1. Margaret Berry November 19, 2012 at 4:06 am #

    I am interested in using the Scaleblitzer program with my students & wondered if I can download from App Store to my computer. I have the program itunes but do not have an iphone.

    • Samantha Coates February 7, 2013 at 10:59 am #

      Hi Margaret,
      Unfortunately it only works on ipod/pad/phone. We’ll let you know if we release it for desktop!

  2. Katherine Barnett January 17, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Thanks for these quotes, I’m going to print them out and stick then above the piano. My requests for twenty minutes of scale practice per day will hopefully seem lame by comparison!!

  3. sue February 12, 2013 at 5:29 am #

    Hi. Great app and good to see a new version.
    I expect you are already on the case – but if not – please can we have Stage 3 for Trumpet soon – my son is studying for his Grade 5, so is going to need a bit more than current Stage 1 Trumpet easy scales! Thanks.

  4. Rosey February 20, 2013 at 12:20 am #

    Great app students love it, but we cannot transfer old details across and it won’t allow the same user name to be entered into upgrade- how do you delete a user?
    Rosey

    • Samantha Coates February 20, 2013 at 12:45 am #

      Hi Rosey
      Does your comment refer to the ‘device transfer’ feature? Unfortunately only users created after the update is installed are eligible for ‘device transfer’. There is no way to delete a user.
      Can you give me more details as to the problem you’re experiencing?
      Samantha

  5. Bronwyn March 21, 2013 at 3:21 am #

    It seems every newsletter you keep making this better and better. Only I wouldn’t know as I have an adroid phone. I wish I could download it and be a part of this great product. When are you going to make it available to andriod users. We are important too!!!!

    • Samantha Coates March 21, 2013 at 3:35 am #

      Hi Bronwyn thanks for your kind words and of course you are important! We just need to see how it goes in the iphone market first and if it really takes off we’ll definitely be able to release an android version!

    • Thomas May 19, 2013 at 10:46 am #

      iOS is better than Android anyway!! Don’t let it go onto Google Play! iOS ONLY APP!

  6. Rachel April 3, 2013 at 3:29 am #

    We love ScaleBlitzer, and I think it’s a great promotional video. Clearly appealing more to parents than to kids, but it’s crucial to get the message across to parents as it’s the parents who need to authorise and arrange the initial download. I know I didn’t really understand the program until we went ahead and downloaded it, and this video would certainly have helped. Now my son is loving practising his scales. It’s a joy to watch.

    Thanks Samantha and the whole ScaleBlitzer team 🙂

  7. Mary May 17, 2013 at 2:29 am #

    This is so refreshing! Thankyou for telling us of your experience with the finger/ wrist technique. I have had a similar experience with an examiner and yet the same student received a positive comment on technique the next time.
    Can you comment on fingering for broken chords and arpeggios. I heard that examiners will accept different fingering than that in the scale books for arpeggios. (Not sure about the broken chords though.) Are all examiners accepting different fingering ?
    Mary

    • Samantha Coates May 19, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

      Hi Mary
      I have had students try different fingering before but as long as they are playing evenly I don’t think it has mattered. I’m not sure there’s an official line on this though… perhaps contacting the AMEB would help?
      Cheers
      Samantha

  8. Chris Cummings May 21, 2013 at 7:46 am #

    Thanks for your excellent newsletters, and congratulations for broadening the discussion.
    I found your points on technique, and the way it is appreciated, compelling.
    I think you’re saying there is not really good or bad technique, but only varying grades of musical performance.
    We switched all our students over to ABRSM exams 16 years ago, because of this very reason; we are so much happier having an examiner who is trained to grade according to musical outcomes, rather than often having a very subjective assessment based on personal preferences, which preferences have not been pre-advised.
    Incidentally, I saw Thelonious Monk play piano in 1970, and his fingers didn’t seem to bend at all, and they were definitely not curved. His playing would have warranted a reduced mark according to the standards of some examiners we have had.

    • Samantha Coates May 21, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

      Thanks for your kind words Chris. That’s really interesting about you switching over to ABRSM. And I agree, Thelonius Monk would not fare well in AMEB exams!

  9. Dianna Denley September 5, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    They’re mind boggling for violin students too ;D Thank you for thinking up scale blitzer! Just waiting for the new violin syllabus to come in ;D ;D

  10. Sharon Ellam December 16, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    Thanks Sam,
    This will also be good for the little one’s who ‘accidentally’ add a scale that isn’t on their list. Frustrating.
    Having used this app for almost 12 months with my students (about 16 currently) I’ve found it immensely useful. As I’m reviewing the year I’m also reviewing Scale Blitzer for 2014. I’ve found that most of my students have become lukewarm about Scale Blitzer after they reach about 10-12 000 points ie when the clothes & accessories for their characters end. A trophy or medal each 10 000 points isn’t really keeping their attention. I’ve found it a struggle to keep the momentum & am yet to find the solution. I’m hoping that you can update the character accessories feature in 2014 so my students have something more to work towards ie more ‘carrots’.
    Thanks for a great app & Merry Christmas to you & Abe.
    Sharon

  11. Trudi Hammond December 18, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    Merry Christmas and thank you for the monthly newsletters. It is a great reminder to get onto our scales! We look forward to using the new improved version.
    Cheers Trudi and Adele

  12. Lecia April 3, 2014 at 5:16 am #

    There are all sorts of other considerations too like whether you play all in first position or shift or start in 3rd position and stay there. My son is at grade 2 Ameb level and I learned piano so I am finding all of this boggling too. How long until you have violin and cello (for my daughter) at stage 2?

    • Samantha Coates April 3, 2014 at 5:19 am #

      Hi Lecia,
      Wow, that’s intense. I’m not sure ScaleBlitzer will be able to cope with all these extra options! I do know a couple of string players who are at Grade 3 level who still happily use Stage 1 and find that it helps. Stage 2 may be a while away. Thanks for the feedback though!
      Samantha

  13. Heather Lucas April 4, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

    Hi Samantha, Are you going to make Scaleblitzer available to android users. I have lots of students ready to use it but dont have Apple.

    • Samantha Coates April 4, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

      Hi Heather,
      We would love to release it for Android but we don’t have the budget for it I’m afraid. Developing the iOS version was a mortgage on the house in itself (no kidding)… and what I have learned is that releasing it for another platform such as Android means starting all over again with Android developers! However, we are working on a Windows version which will hopefully be released later this year and so your students will be able to access it on their laptops. Sorry I can’t be of more help!
      Samantha

  14. Ekaterina April 27, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

    Hi Samantha,
    Thanks for your work that you do particular the latests one Scaleblitzer. It’s wonderful!

  15. Kathryn Sciberras July 25, 2014 at 8:08 am #

    Hi Samantha
    I get all inspired when the newsletter comes and am glad it comes monthly. I think learning to play the trumpet is sport, uou have to breathe properly, hold the instrument properly for best result. You have to practice technique to be able to put some flare into your music. I go to the gym most days not because I am athletic, but have noted my breathing improve, the strength in my fingers improve ( I am learning the trumpet) , my lung capacity has improved. I needed these to (a) to get a sound out of the trumpet, to be able to push the keys down (dicky right arm) I just have’nt found the equipment to hone my ombechure on. But it certainly all helps.
    Love your letter
    .
    Kathryn S

    • Samantha Coates July 25, 2014 at 8:12 am #

      That’s fantastic feedback Kathryn, thanks. We have lots of brass players in our house… they are constantly buzzing to improve their embouchures!

  16. Stewart Deans March 31, 2015 at 8:48 am #

    Samantha,
    Thank you for the article, it is very comprehensive.

    I have started to learn the piano in my dottage as a retirement activity. I notice there are a number of things that I need to improve on when playing scales.
    1 Simultaneous playing both hands. It is difficult to get the timing both hands the same on all scale notes. Usually I can hear some some notes are a bit off.
    2. Legato, I would like the get the notes to merge a little better as I often hear one or two notes that are a bit abrupt.
    3. Heavy. I tend to play with too much force.

    No doubt there are a lot of crimes that I am not aware I am committing but it seems that it is hard to concentrate on all the problem areas at once. Concentrating on one distracts from another.
    1. So what is the first thing to address or should I try to do all at once?
    2. Will the timing just improve if I keep playing the scales or does it require concentration and deliberate effort to improve the timing?
    3. Same question applies to the other issues, will they just improve or does one need to first hear the problem and then try to fix it?
    4. Do I slow the playing right down and concentrate on getting the timing correct

    Is there a general set of rules on what to do to improve scale playing.

    • Samantha Coates April 1, 2015 at 11:55 pm #

      Hi Stewart. First of all, good on you for practising scales and getting into it in your retirement!
      Do you have a teacher? All of your concerns are most easily addressed at the piano with a teacher. Timing (i.e. evenness of notes) and coordination are elements of technique that will improve with practice. Slow practice is always good, as well as practice in rhythms.
      There is no general set of rules, but your teacher can hopefully guide you in a direction that best works for you.

  17. Annika April 23, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

    I am a music major on oboe. My teacher assigned me to find a way to motivate me to practice scales, and I found your app. I love it! I just practiced only scales for half an hour, and wasn’t distressed after finishing! There are a few things I don’t like about it, however. I was wondering if you could just make a generic instrument package that had all major and three kinds of minor for every key, scales and arpeggios. Some of the things you added for flute didn’t really make sense to me, and it would help a lot more people if this were the case. (It was also a bit expensive for a college music major, but that’s kind of beside the point.) Thanks for all of your hard work on this!

    • Samantha Coates April 27, 2015 at 1:10 am #

      Hi Annika, thanks for you great feedback. Unfortunately it’s not possible to do a ‘generic’ instrument pack as there are such specific ways of playing scales that are unique to each instrument. I’m glad the flute pack is able to offer some help. We are hoping to produce an oboe pack some time in the near future!

  18. Judith Dolan May 21, 2015 at 2:32 am #

    Hi Samantha
    I am 69 and have just started piano lessons after a break of some 20 years. I’ve got a fantastic teacher and am enjoying it immensely. The Blitz Books are so helpful and I’m sure my brain function has improved. The main thing I have learnt as a resuming adult player is not to compare myself with others but to look at how far I have come since I started playing again. My son in law told me to be very patient with myself (he is an 8th grade player) and he is so right. Thank you for the books Samantha, they are great.

    • Samantha Coates May 21, 2015 at 6:25 am #

      HI Judith, thank you so much for taking the time to post such a lovely comment! You’ve made my day 🙂

  19. Rich June 8, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

    The question about an android version is more than two years old now. I can’t use this app effectively without one. Is it going to happen?

    • Samantha Coates June 8, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

      Hi Rich,
      Thanks for following up.
      Unfortunately we won’t be releasing an Android version. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. We would have loved to but its just not financially viable.
      Samantha

  20. Margaret December 1, 2016 at 6:52 am #

    Major scales on the violin (and viola) are actually very straightforward! There are only 4 finger patterns to learn (each starting on a different finger – utilising the tetrachords) and then you can play any major scale anywhere in any position!! Increasing the octaves means adding the patterns together. Minor scales are a little more complicated, but can still be learnt using several basic patterns. This is probably why grade 3 level players still benefit from level 1!

  21. Margaret December 1, 2016 at 6:54 am #

    These are fun!

  22. Zan December 21, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

    Are you looking at doing an android version?

    • cb December 22, 2016 at 3:44 am #

      Hi Zan,
      Thanks for your interest.
      Unfortunately we don’t have any plans to build an Android version at this stage.