3.W2xD, Bigger Chunks

Two new notes - a high D, written on the fourth line, and a low D, written just below the stave. You can now read a full octave -

This full octave range means that we can start to explore some of the bigger chunks that underpin your reading skills and all of today's work is an exploration of the scales and patterns that you should be able to play on your instrument and recognise in notation.
BTW, these patterns are not only helpful for reading - they are raw materials for improvisers and composers, too.

Scales & Their Sub-Chunks

The first chunk is 'all the naturals'. This set of notes could be C major, of course, but also A minor or the D Dorian mode, as here. Whatever your instrument, you should be able to play this with a beautiful, even tone and clean transitions from pitch to pitch. Go slowly. Listen forensically.
You should commit these patterns to your 'muscle memory' but you should also be able to recognise them in notation. This can't be achieved in one session so incorporate it into your regular practice routine.

  • After simply playing up and down the scale, play the rising and falling thirds. Be conscious that jumping in thirds means moving from space-to-space or line-to-line.
  • Vary the articulation and expression each time you play these.
  • You could also apply different rhythm patterns.

When you've done that, repeat it with a one-flat key-signature, then with a one-sharp key signature.

Other patterns

Writing patterns out for yourself has many benefits. Rewrite and complete each of these common patterns and then play and learn them. The first is two chains of thirds, rising and then falling . . . Repeat all of the following with a one-sharp key signature, then a one-flat key signature.


This is similar, but this time chains of fourths . . .


A common melodic device is to repeat patterns / motifs, but with each repetition a step higher or lower than the last. This is called sequence. Here are two simple three-note patterns to extend.


And here's a slightly more complex sequence . . .