Alright so tomorrow I got a test on B flat major scale patterns. The problem is though when We learned this I somehow completely missed it and have no idea what to practice. There are three variations: one that goes at a normal pace and has a slightly different pattern, one that goes a lot faster, and one that starts on low B flat and ends in high B flat but has two notes in between. If those variations are an actual thing please tell me because I don’t know if it’s a thing my teacher made or if it actually exist in the music world.

closed as unclear what you're asking by MattPutnam, Richard, jdjazz, Dom Jan 20 '18 at 17:50

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    Do you have any sheet music? There are LOTS of patterns; nearly infinite actually. It sounds like the first is just quarters and the second is probably all eighth notes, with the exception of the Bbs, which would be played as quarters, to make the scale symmetrical. That is a very common pattern. The last sounds like you may be describing what is called a chromatic scale. If you practice the Bb scale such that you can play it with good tone quality and good time the pattern probably isn't super important. Play every note between one Bb and the other and you have a chromatic scale. – mkingsbu Jan 19 '18 at 1:04

The "normal pace" and "a lot faster" descriptions can be nearly anything, but here are some ideas:

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The above pattern is a very common rhythm for playing scales, especially early on in your musical career. I would bet this is at least one of the patterns you're asked to play, but it's impossible to know for certain without sheet music.

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The "one that goes a lot faster" is almost impossible to know, but the above is one possibility. This one skips the opening quarter note and immediately starts with eighth notes; in doing so, it goes up to the C before descending again. In no way is this certainly what you're looking for; it's just one idea, based only on common scale patterns that I've heard in my lifetime.

If it really goes a lot faster, it might be the following pattern (but again, due to the limited information, these are just guesses):

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Thankfully, the final pattern---"one that starts on low B flat and ends in high B flat but has two notes in between"---is definitely an arpeggio, shown below.

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An arpeggio simply plays the first, third, and fifth pitches of a scale; I'm as certain as I can be that this is what you meant by your final pattern, even if the rhythm may be slightly different.

Once you figure out the specifics of the first and second patterns, we'd love to hear what they are!

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    That last one may be more commonly played in 6/8, for a one octave - and even a two. – Tim Jan 19 '18 at 9:25
  • Agreed 100%! I only wanted to make the notation as simple as possible, given the nature of the question. But I've always played arpeggios as triplets (ie, 6/8). – Richard Jan 19 '18 at 12:53

I expect you've already been tested on C major, since it's most unlikely that Bb would be the first thing you'd be tested on.

So transpose the known C-major patterns down a tone into Bb.

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    Most (all?) trombones are pitched in B-flat major; it's a much more "natural" key for them to play in, as it involves more notes in "home position". It's highly unlikely that the OP has already been tested on C major. Moreover, "transposing down a whole step" is not a trivial matter; the sequence of slide positions is completely different and difficult to figure out on the fly, and the OP is (presumably) being tested on quick recall of these patterns. – Michael Seifert Jan 19 '18 at 13:36
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    Depends whether you're playing brass band treble-clef transposing trombone where first position is a written C and sounds concert Bb or whether you're playing bass-clef concert-pitch trombone parts where a written C sounds a concert-pitch C. As a Bb trumpet player I saw written C major scales before I saw Bb major scales - I expect this trombonist is the same. OP doesn't state whether he's playing a written Bb scale or a sounding Bb scale. – Brian THOMAS Jan 19 '18 at 13:58

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