Analysis of Carl Flesch Scale System

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See also:
  • Carl Flesch, Memoirs - free download from Universal Library
  • Carl Flesch: Scale Studies: Violin | Viola
  • Handout: Violin/Viola, Piano - 3 octave scale fingerings
  • Free one- to three-octave Printable Violin and Viola Scales
  • John Krakenberger: Galamian Scale System - Methodology

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    One octave:
    A Major
    D Major
    d minor
    e minor
    Two octaves:
    A Major
    Bb Major
    C Major
    D Major
    G Major
    g minor
    a minor
    d minor
    Three octaves:
    Aflat Major
    A Major
    Bflat Major
    B Major
    C Major
    Dflat Major
    D Major
    Eflat Major
    E Major
    F Major
    Gflat Major
    G Major
    a minor
    bflat minor
    b minor
    c minor
    c# minor
    d minor
    e flat minor
    e minor
    f minor
    f# minor
    g minor
    g# minor
    Analysis of Flesch [See G Major section]
    #1-4: One octave shifting studies on one string:
  • one-octave scale
  • one-octave arpeggios: i, I, vi6, IV6, iv6, #ii 4/2, I7
  • one-octave thirds
  • one-octave chromatic
    #5: Three octave scales and arpeggios:
  • three-octave scale
  • three-octave arpeggios: i, I, vi6, IV6, iv6, #ii 4/2, I7
  • three-octave thirds
  • three-octave chromatic
    [#6-10 are Double-stops]
    #6: Thirds
  • thirds
  • chromatic thirds
    #7: Sixths
  • sixths
  • thirds in sixths
  • chromatic sixths
    #8: Octaves
  • octaves
  • octave arpeggios: i, I, vi6, IV6, iv6, #ii 4/2, I7
  • octave thirds
  • chromatic octaves
    #9: Fingered octaves
  • fingered octaves
  • fingered octave arpeggios: i, I, vi6, IV6, iv6, #ii 4/2, I7
  • fingered octave thirds
  • chromatic fingered octave
    #10: Tenths
    #11: Artificial harmonics
  • two-octave scale
  • arpeggio: I
  • thirds
    #12: Chords with artificial harmonics

  • Galamian has a scale study method covering much the same material, but includes more contemporary harmonies, more diverse choice of fingerings, and a separate book with bowing options. Notes are only note heads, which is different than the Carl Flesch.

    An even more contemporary scale and arpeggio study book with a jazz/rock influence is Mark Wood's Electrify Your Strings. This may be studied with an acoustic instrument and is well worth examining.

    For fiddlers, I recommend the Mel Bay Fiddling Chord Book.

    Violin Scale Books
    Barbara Barber Violin Scale Books:
    Scales for Young Violinists
    Scales for Advanced Violinists

    • Lisa Berman: Violin Scales and Arpeggios in One, Two, and Three Octaves: Based on Carl Flesch
    • Susan Brown: Two Octave Scales And Bowings For The Violin
    • JoAnne Erwin, Kathleen Horvath: A Scale In Time
    • Simon Fischer: Scales
    • William Fitzpatrick: Scale Workbook (2 Octaves)
    • Carl Flesch: Scale Studies - violin
    • Ivan Galamian Contemporary Violin Technique: Vol. 1, Vol. 2
    • C. Paul Herfurth: A Tune A Day Beginning Scales for Violin
    • Jan Hrimaly: Scale Book - violin
    • Paul Rolland, James Starr: Three Octave Scale Fingering Alternatives
    • Henry Schradieck: School Of Violin Technics: Bk. 1, Bk. 2, Bk. 3
    • Hans Sitt: Scales Studies For Violin, Op. 41
    • William Starr: Scales Plus!
    • Ritter-Stoessel: Scale and Chord Exercises for the Violin
    Viola Scale Books
    • Julia Adams: Scales for the Intermediate Violist

    Barbara Barber Viola Scale Books:
    Scales for Young Violists
    Scales for Advanced Violists

    • Kathy Blackwell: Viola Time Scales: Pieces, Puzzles, Scales, and Arpeggios
    • George Bornoff: Finger Patterns for Viola
    • Susan Brown: Two Octave Scales And Bowings For The Viola
    • Castleman/Koob: Tonal Applications of Finger Patterns
    • Mary Cohen: Scaley Monsters
    • Carl Flesch: Scale Studies – viola
    • Samuel Flor: I Like to Play Scales for the Viola
    • Ivan Galamian: The Galamian Scale System For Viola (Volume 1)
    • Rudolf Haken: Scales and Arpeggios
    • Dr. Michael Kimber: Scales, Arpeggios, and Double Stops for the Violist
    • Leonard Mogill: Mogill Scale Studies - viola
    • Walter Primrose: The Art and Practice of Scale Playing on the Viola
    • Ellen Rose: Extreme Viola. Printed to order. Contact
    • Henry Schradieck: School Of Viola Technics - Bk. 1, Bk. 2, Bk. 3
    • William H. Somach: Accidentals Happen! - First Position, Two Octaves, Three Octaves
    • Stephanie Tretick: Vademecum Scales for Viola

    Accidentals Happen! Scale Books by William H. Somach
    Major & Minor, Modes, Dominant 7th, Pentatonic & Ethnic, Diminished & Augmented, Whole Tone, Jazz & Blues, Chromatic


    Taken from John's essay "Physiological Development for the Future Violinist" [See:
    Articles link,]:

    During the 20 years I have been teaching I have found that the best way to face this problem [of improving coordination] is using a scheme proposed by Galamian in his book. Strangely enough I have met in several places with doubt about how this is to be implemented: People either did not get the idea right or it was just too difficult to do and was dismissed as being something reserved for the top-talents. It isn't easy, by no means, but with some insistence everybody can cope. And the result is surprisingly good. After mastering the scheme students are no longer blocked, and their security in tackling hard passages grows. It is for this reason only, that I spell it out again for everybody to understand:

    The scheme is based on the Galamian's formula of playing three octave scales in order to get exactly 48 notes, 24 going up and 24 going down. (G major: Start g, b, a, g, a, b, c and so on and the same turn at the end). Evidently, 48 notes can be divided into 3, 4, 6, 8, 12 and 24 notes per bow, and you can also choose a rhythm formed by two eighth notes, four sixteenth notes and a sextuplet, totaling three quarter notes, i.e. 3/4 bars. You can then chose any pattern out of the following:


    These rhythmic sequences of the scale can be played 1) in one bow each twelve notes, 2) each note separately (in which case the eighth notes should be a whole bow - a dotted stroke, please - and the rest at the frog with little bow hair) and 3) slurred by quarter values, i.e. three whole bows up and three down. Once you get that straight, you start on the "mind-boggling" exercise, as one of Galamian's students has called the experience. These 6 rhythms can be slurred according to the following table, one note alone, three notes slurred and eight notes slurred (total always the same twelve notes), and the variants, as shown below:

    138Start (always down bow) at the frog
    318Start (always down bow) at the frog
    183Start (always down bow) at the point
    381Start (always down bow) at the point
    813Start (always down bow) at the frog
    831Start (always down bow) at the frog

    It is evident that the left hand shall have to play the scales and rhythms automatically if it wants to achieve the bowing patterns with the right hand, where all our attention is concentrated. This is precisely what we want to learn: The ability to concentrate our whole attention on one aspect of our work, whereas the other matters go automatically. Once achieved, everything will be easier because our subsconsciousness has learned to function with what we already dominate, allowing us to concentrate consciously on those aspects that require our attention. The blocking, which I mentioned before, will disappear. Our liberty to express ourselves freely has grown because we have managed to discharge many other matters to a newly created capacity for automatism.

    Of course there is a vast variety of methods to achieve the same end. But in my experience this system is one of the shortest ways to get the job done. I wish those who will try it the best of luck. They will not be sorry. As everything in life, nothing is given away. The exercise is not easy, but certainly not insuperable. Start with easy scales, and then gradually go to the more difficult ones.

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