Why Scales and Arpeggios?

Home » Why Scales and Arpeggios?
Why Scales and Arpeggios?

I have students ask me questions along the lines of “Why should I practice scales?” or “Why should I practice arpeggios?”

It’s possible that it may not be as exciting as your new shiny solo, or as they say in German “langweilig” which basically means possibly tedious and repetitive, but scales and arpeggios are not only important, but super-duper CRUCIAL.

Let me use some analogies to put into perspective.

“Scales are brick foundation for your flute playing.”

When you build a house, you pour a foundation of concrete first, and the amount of rebar or metal spikes you set in the scales are brick foundation for flute playingconcrete decides how strong your foundation will be. Your scales and arpeggios are like the rebar in the concrete foundation of your technique.

YOU decide how strong it will be, through practicing and healthy and positive expectation.


Not practicing your scales and arpeggios is like trying to cross the Sahara Desert with only one water bottle. There is no guarantee that you’ll find water.

Or diving down to the ruins of the Titanic (13,000 feet down) in a shuttle that has only a partially filled oxygen tank.

Your technique will not hold you through all stages of your education unless you practice your scales and arpeggios regularly.

Every piece of music is made up of patterns and intervals. Scales and arpeggios are the most efficient and helpful way to practice those intervals. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get better and more comfortable with your technique just because it’s seems like it could be boring.

Don’t forget that it is only as boring as YOU choose to make it. There are hundreds of ways to make your scales interesting.  But that is an article for another day. 🙂


Have any questions? Comment below and I will help you out.

Rebecca FullerRebecca Fuller
Get Flutie with us! Learn and enjoy every musical minute.

9 thoughts on “Why Scales and Arpeggios?”

    1. Hi Glenn,
      There are many different scale exercises available out there. My favorite, however, is the scale pattern I teach in the modules. In all my years of playing and teaching flute, I have found this pattern to be the most helpful to learn the notes, memorize the scales, and help your fingers move quickly. Keep up the good work! -Rebecca

  1. Since I’ve joined new horizon band I have discovered a good reason to practice scales. It seams that a lot of flute parts think scales, runs and arpeggios dress up marches. Of course flutes. Have a lot of those embellishments. Learning your scales and practicing them at a fast speed is essential.

    1. Rebecca Fuller

      Yes, thank you so much for sharing Judy! Scales are so so important. Glad you’re here, and applying what you’ve learned! – Rebecca

  2. Pingback: Why Do I Have Inconsistent Tone on My Flute? - Learn Flute Online: Flute Lessons for Learning Beautifully and Fast.

  3. Thanks for this convicting reminder. I am quick to getting straight to my pretty music. I will purpose to put my scale music on top from now on. I am pretty sure it has at least a little to do with my lingering tight embouchure.

    1. Hi Sue, yes the scales are quick and easy once you learn them. They keep your fingers nimble in just the right way. 🙂 The embouchure is something we constantly work on. I’m glad you understand well. Keep it up! ~Rebecca

  4. I do play the scales everyday. I learned that when taking piano as a young child. I look forward to hearing some of your variations. Sounds like I should do more with the arpeggios. There is just the short run at the end of the early scales you gave us – C, F, G, and B. D is in one of the practice pieces.

    1. Hi Carol, yes I’ll show you some fun scale patterns to learn. The possibilities are endless… So. Good. For. Us. ~Rebecca

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Step 1 of 3

Choose which best describes your flute level:

Step 2 of 3

Where should I send your lesson info?

*Step 2 of 3

Where should I send your lesson info?