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Firstly I have to tell you,I can not read music sheets.so today I was Practicing all twelve major scales on my saxophone.still I am practicing two octave for each scale(ascending and descending).but each scale I am reading as C scale in my mind.I mean,when I playing D scale using different fingering D to D.but I am reading C scale.Is that will be issue for my saxophone learning like when I creating arpeggios.can you explain right way to scale practicing if I am getting wrong.

Thank you
 

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Why not take the opportunity to learn to read the notes while you practice your scales. Like any practice, start slow and read each note as you play it. When you read the note and play it say it’s name to yourself in your mind. If it helps write out the names of the notes in pencil above the dots.
 

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You are to be commended for figuring out all the scales on a saxophone "by ear". That is no small accomplishment!
If you can read the "alphabet" and can recognize the symbols for sharps and flats you can first learn how to "spell" the scales without having to learn to read the notes on the staff. The "Circle of 5ths" below can help. The musical alphabet goes from A to G.
You see at the top of the circle at 12 o'clock is the C scale which has no sharps or flats. It is "spelled":

C D E F G A B C When the scale gets to G it goes back to A and starts over.

Going clockwise around the circle is the G scale spelled G A B C D E F G, but in order to sound like a major scale it has one sharp which is F#. The order of sharps in key signatures is F# C# G# D# A# E# B# (same fingering as C). If you look to the left of C at 11 o'clock you can see the circle gives you this order. The G scale is:

G A B C D E F# G


View attachment 259436

The D scale is next with 2 sharps, then the A scale with 3 sharps and so on.

Write down the alphabet for 7 characters starting with D, A, E, B, then F# and C# for those scales at the bottom. Next add the number of sharps shown in the circle to the note names in the order shown in the circle going clockwise beginning with F. That gets you through the sharp keys.

The process is the same for the scales that have flats which go in the opposite direction around the circle. Start with the F scale: F G A B C D E F. You see by the circle it need one flat which is Bb. The order of flats are Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb (same fingering as B), Fb (same fingering as E). The circle gives you this order going counter clockwise. I've done the first few to get started:

F G A Bb C D E F


Bb C D Eb F G A Bb


The 3 scales at the bottom of the scale are called "enharmonics" and can be confusing at first. We see 15 major scales on the circle of 5ths, but because 3 of them are "enharmonics" we say there are only 12 major scales. Don't worry if this isn't clear right now. As we become more experienced musicians it gradually starts to make sense---at least it did for me.

Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb Cb sounds the same and is fingered the same as B C# D# E F# G# A# B
Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb sounds the same and is fingered the same as F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#
Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db sounds the same and is fingered the same as C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C#
 

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Firstly I have to tell you,I can not read music sheets.so today I was Practicing all twelve major scales on my saxophone.still I am practicing two octave for each scale(ascending and descending).but each scale I am reading as C scale in my mind.I mean,when I playing D scale using different fingering D to D.but I am reading C scale.Is that will be issue for my saxophone learning like when I creating arpeggios.can you explain right way to scale practicing if I am getting wrong.
I don't quite understand what you're saying here. Is the problem that you know the note names, but cannot reliably read them when represented as marks on a staff, or is it that you're unfamiliar with the mapping between note names and fingerings?

In either case, as long as you can reliably distinguish the sound of a major scale by ear (i.e., determine by ear whether you're playing the correct degree within each scale), then you should be fine. Note that if, as you say, you're playing each scale over a range of two octaves, then you should be playing at least up to altissimo A.

I agree with AddictedToSax that it's probably worth using the time while you're learning your scales to get used to what they look like in music notation, but if not, you should still make an effort to learn the names of the different notes as you play them. If nothing else, it will make it easier to communicate with other musicians.
 

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Firstly I have to tell you,I can not read music sheets.so today I was Practicing all twelve major scales on my saxophone.still I am practicing two octave for each scale(ascending and descending).but each scale I am reading as C scale in my mind.I mean,when I playing D scale using different fingering D to D.but I am reading C scale.Is that will be issue for my saxophone learning like when I creating arpeggios.can you explain right way to scale practicing if I am getting wrong.

Thank you
If you are thinking C for all scales, do you mean you play your D scale D E F G A B C D? If so, that is wrong. D major scale is D E F# G A B C# D according to the excellent rules Saxoclese posted for you. Every music student must learn these basic rules. So commit that circle to memory just as you memorized you multiplication tables or your phone number. Picture it in you mind and learn it backwards and forwards starting from any point. When you play any scale or arpeggio you should be thinking those note names, not just the C scale note names. Imagine you play the Gb scale, which is Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb. Thinking C D E F G A B C is completely useless. What's the 5th of a Gb arpeggio? You have to know instantly that it's Db. Thinking in C won't get you there. But the circle of 5ths will.

To learn your major scales and arpeggios by ear, without any theory about note names or key signatures, you have to play the intervals. Know that all keys of a certain scale follow the same interval pattern. The pattern for all major scales is root-whole step-whole step-half step-whole step-whole step-whole step-half step (WWHWWWH for short). So in C, there is a whole step to D, another whole to E, a half to F, whole to G, whole to A, whole to B and half to C. That same pattern applied to D gives D E F# G A B C# D. Minor scales have a different pattern.

If you have access to a piano, these intervals are easy to see. Starting on any key, the next key up is always a half step, and two keys up is a whole step. Sometimes the next key is black, sometimes white.

For arpeggios, think of numeric intervals where C D E F G A B C is 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1( or 8). An arpeggio in major will always be 1 3 5 (possibly 7 if you want to play more than triads). In C, that's C E G B, and in D it's D F# A C#. Jazz players like to go all the way to 9 or higher, i.e., C E G B D.

I also highly recommend you learn to read. As a beginner, you're killing two birds with one stone if you work through a beginner lesson book with written notes. You'll learn the reading part automatically with almost no extra effort. Every child in music class masters this in the first few weeks, at least in terms of learning where all the notes are on the staff.
 

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Best to think of numbers. So any major scale is 1234567 knowing where the whole and half steps are(like lesacks says). Then later you can translate that into notes, first knowing the root of the scale, the third....an so on. So you get to know the notes and the chords.
In the beggining, coming from guitar, I learned by fingerings and position, and followed the numbering method little by little memorizing all the notes and chord notes and tensions of any chord. This is totally compatible and also helps visualizing, which is very helpful when you can´t see directly your fingers, like in piano or guitar.
Other scales come from adding sharps or flats to the number system.
So natural minor or aeolian is b3b6b7, meaning that you have to play 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Hope this helps.
 

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If you play completely by ear is any of that really necessary, other than for knowing what you are practicing/playing (which, if you're truly playing by ear is totally irrelevant)?
 

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If you play completely by ear is any of that really necessary, other than for knowing what you are practicing/playing (which, if you're truly playing by ear is totally irrelevant)?
Also true. But nothing wrong in putting names to the things you learn by ear.
 

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Firstly I have to tell you,I can not read music sheets.so today I was Practicing all twelve major scales on my saxophone.still I am practicing two octave for each scale(ascending and descending).but each scale I am reading as C scale in my mind.I mean,when I playing D scale using different fingering D to D.but I am reading C scale.Is that will be issue for my saxophone learning like when I creating arpeggios.can you explain right way to scale practicing if I am getting wrong.

Thank you
OK, first I'm assuming when you say you're playing the D major scale you are playing D,E,F#,G,A,B,C# and not D,E,F,G,A,B,C which is the Dorian Minor. If you are going to play by ear the way you're practicing is OK but then you are limiting your potential as a musician as well as being able to play with other musicians.

I strongly suggest learning to read music. The benefits to reading music are just like the benefits you get from learning to read any other language. If you want to understand instructions you have to know how to read them. If you really want to understand music, then you need to learn some theory as well, and reading music will help you with that also.

You seem to me to be just starting out, and you may think reading is too difficult or unnecessary for some reason. But then ask yourself this, why do you want to play scales? Why not just play along with recorded music? That's the best way to learn by ear. I know for some people they can't afford a teacher but that's always the best way to advance. There's a lot of free lessons you can watch online as well. Good luck to you.
 

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I agree completely with those recommending learning to read music. It isn't all that difficult to do. It will open up more possibilities for you. Some day you may want to play in a concert band or a big band and for that the ability to read music is a must. It also provides good visual reinforcement for those who are beginners. You could even answer your own question by learning to read. I'd get the book Universal Method for Saxophone by Paul DeVille and just start from the beginning and work your way through. You'll learn a lot to your benefit.
 

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The more you learn the better. Not a bad idea learning to read but be careful and don´t miss the chance to learn the theory, harmony so you understand what you are doing when reading. I know a lot of players who read like machines but don´t know what an interval is. Understating, knowing, hearing and singing helps ingraining anything on the deepest level.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It was helpful and you have send me answer for all the questions.thank you very much
 

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Discussion Starter #16
yes.finally i thought that when I reading all the answers.thank you very much
 

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Discussion Starter #17
completely truth that all you said.I knew theory as all major scales creating.(tone/tone/semi tone/tone/tone/tone).so I plaid c scale memorizing CDEFGABC.then I changing D scale like this,
DEF#GABC#D .but I memorizing notes of the c scale because one of the reason what I play correct notes as exercise.so I thought note name memorizing is useless.but now I know why we need to read music and it is very usefull.thank you so much
 

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completely truth that all you said.I knew theory as all major scales creating.(tone/tone/semi tone/tone/tone/tone).so I plaid c scale memorizing CDEFGABC.then I changing D scale like this,
DEF#GABC#D .but I memorizing notes of the c scale because one of the reason what I play correct notes as exercise.
If I understand what you're saying here, you are playing the scales correctly because you are hearing the major scale, the correct intervals, in each key. That's great and very important. In a way, you are also using the 'numbers system' that Atratr mentioned (post #9). Meaning you recognize the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 notes in each key. This is very useful for a lot of reasons I won't go into right now. However, at some point you may need to communicate with other musicians or at least use a chord chart, etc, so knowing those note names in each key is also important (for ex, knowing that C#7 is the V chord in the key of F#, etc). And it can be helpful to read music even if you mostly play by ear. Again, not enough space to go into all the reasons why.
 
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