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Editor’s Note: This version of Michel

Debost’s original Scale Game has been
revised by Molly Alicia Barth. Some
dynamics and tempo markings have been
altered, and numbers 10, 11, 17, 48-50,
and 57-60 have been added to reflect the
current need for flutists to be trained in
contemporary flute techniques. Please
refer to Taffanel and Gaubert Exercise
No. 4 from 17 Big Daily Exercises.
The 60 Style Drills (see the right
two columns on the chart) are applied
to Taffanel & Gaubert’s Exercise #4,
which is repeated twice through in its
entirety. Six keys are actually repeated
more than once because they are also
played an octave higher. By starting
with a different scale each day and
continuing down the left side of the
chart in order, you will be thoroughly
entertained by playing all scale pat-
terns with all sorts of styles (dynamics,
articulations, and rhythms). The tran-
sitional passage at the end of each key
should played as fluidly as possible,
slurring all notes together in a slow,
gorgeous manner.
At first this may seem a lot to take
in, but after getting the hang of each
Style Drill, you will be able to make it
through the entire 60 scales (24 keys +
6 octave transpositions x 2 = 60) in 30
minutes. This is a great to play the
Scale Game through in its entirety
each day, when your schedule allows.
First and foremost, have fun!
Stretch your limits. For example, when
pianissimo is indicated, see where the
breaking point is. When does sound no
longer come out? Once you find that
point, you can ride along the line just
above this breaking point, while push-
ing the breaking point softer and soft-
er each day.
Similarly, if a passage is to be played
slur four/tongue four (#24), ask your-
self: “How short can the staccato notes
be? How connected can the slurred
notes be?” By carefully considering
these ideas, you will soon discover in
yourself a beautifully centered tone
that you can play in all ranges, at all
dynamic levels.
Each day I enjoy choosing an emo-
tion with which to play each drill. For
example, I might convey Anger while
playing #40 (halves and 16ths, slur,
forte, fast) on a D-flat major, 8va scale.
I might choose to soar through a B-
minor scale during #34, playing as if
riding on the wind, or I might be a
mouse quietly scurrying through my
rural house during #43. I could possibly
curl up by the fire, lulling me to sleep
with its warmth, during #3.
While it is important to be critical
with yourself so that you play these
drills as accurately as possible, this
game is not designed for you to sit on
one drill for an hour until you get it
right. That would quickly lead to bore-
dom, which is entirely not the idea
here. Keep going; make a mental note
of problems that arise, and fix them
the next time the same problems pop
up. Enjoy the Scale Game!
Key Rotation
Taffanel & Gaubert #4 is played all
the way through, twice every day, but
each day you start in a different place
in the exercise. The style drills you
apply, however, always begin with #1
on the chart. Therefore, you are apply-
ing various articulations, dynamics,
and tempos to different keys than you
did the day before. Where 8va is
marked, replay the section you just
played at the higher octave, then pro-
ceed to the next key.
For Example:
First Day: Begin at C major with
style drill #1 (Slur, mf, medium). After
playing the C major section, go back
to the beginning and play the C major
key again an octave higher. As you
reach the next key marked in the key
column, change to the next style. So C
major 8va would be played in the sec-
ond style of slur, ff, fast. When you fin-
ish this key, begin playing the A minor
section using style drill #3. Continue
through the keys and style drills
through #30. Don’t forget to include
the keys marked to be played an octave
higher. You will play the first 30 style
drills on the first time through the
exercise. Then repeat the key column
(C major through E minor)with style
drills #31-60.
Second Day: Begin at C Major 8va;
with Style Drill #1 (Slur, mf, medium);
work on down the key column, chang-
ing keys and octaves as indicated while
also moving through Style Drills 1-30,
which are now displaced by one num-
ber. In other words, C major 8va, with
style drill #1, A minor with style drill
#2, F major with style drill #3, D minor
with style drill #4, and so on. When
you finish the E minor section (playing
#29), go back to the beginning of the
exercise and play the C major key with
style #30. Then start back at C major
8va with style #31 and continue
through the keys again.
Third Day: Begin at A minor in
the key column with style drill #1, and
continue through the keys, their repe-
titions, and style drills, which are now
displaced by two numbers. In other
words, A minor with style drill #1, F
major with style drill #2, D minor with
style drill #3, and so on.
Continue in this fashion for 30 days
until you have once again reached the
first day. You can keep track of your
daily key starting point by placing a
paper clip next to the key for the next
day’s starting place.
Michel Debost’s “Scale Game”
with revisions by
Molly Alicia Barth
How to Read the Chart
TT = single tongue
TK = double tongue
TKT = triple tongue
KK = single tongue using “K” as the
only articulation
“Hu Hu” = short, pointed articula-
tion using only breath and
abdominal muscles
pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff = dynamic indi-
cations
very slow, slow, medium, fast, very
fast = tempo indications
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When you are pressed for time, just
play through the key column once
with the first 30 style drills (15 min-
utes) and play the other 30 style drills
on the following day.
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C major
C major, 8va
A minor
F major
D minor
D minor, 8va
B
b
major
G minor
E
b
major
C minor
C minor, 8va
A
b
major
F minor
D
b
major
D
b
major, 8va
B
b
minor
G
b
/F
#
major
D
b
/D
#
minor
B major
G
#
minor
E major
C
#
minor
C
#
minor, 8va
A major
F
#
minor
D major
D major, 8va
B minor
G major
E minor
1. Slur, mf, medium
2. Slur, ff, fast
3. slur, pp, very slow
4. TT, mr, very slow
5. TT, p, medium
6. TT, ff, fast
7. TK, mf, fast
8. TK, pp, medium
9. TK, ff, fast
10. KK, mf, medium
11. “Hu Hu”, f, medium
12. Duplet on each note (TK), mp, medium
13. Duplet every other note (TK), mf, medium
14. Quadruplet every note (TK), mf, medium
15. Triplet on each note (TKT), f, fast
16. Triplet every other note (TKT), mp, medium
17. Flutter Tongue (flz) Slur, F, slow
18. Slur (Sl) 2, tongue (tng) 2 (TT), f, slow
19. Sl 2, tng 2 (TK), mf, fast
20. Tng 2 (TT), slur 2, f, slow
21. Tongue 2 (TK), sl 2, mp, fast
22. Sl 2, tng 6 (TK), f, very fast
23. Sl 3, tng 5 (KTKTK), p, very fast
24. Sl 4, tng 4 (TK), f, fast
25. Tng 4 (TK), sl 4, p, fast
26. Tng 1 (staccato), sl 2, tng 1 (stacc.), mf, medium
27. Tng 1 (stacc.), sl 3, ff, medium
28. Sl 3, tng 1 (stacc.), pp, fast
29. Mixed tonguing, TKTT, mf, medium
30. Mixed tonguing TTTK, mf, medium
31. Tng 2, then slur all by 2s, p, medium
32. Slur by 4s, accent 1st of each group, mf,
medium
33. Slur by 2s, ff, fast
34. 2 8ths slurred, 6 16th triplets single
tongued (TT), f, fast
35. As #34, mf, medium
36. As #34, double tongued (TK), mf, fast
37. As #34, triple tongued (TKT, mf, fast
38. 8 32nds slurred, 1 quarter tngd, f, very
fast
39. As #38, tngd (TK), 1 quarter tngd, mf,
very fast
40. Halves and 16ths, slurred, f, fast
41. Halves and 16ths TK, ff, very fast
42. Halves and 16ths, slurred, p, fast
43. Rests and 16ths TK, pp, very fast
44. Quintuplets slurred, mf, medium
45. Quintuplets tongued (KTKTK), f, fast
46. Septuplets slurred, ff, medium
47. Septuplets tngd (KTKTKTK), mp,fast
48. Pitch bends on each note (ascending-
bend up/descending-bend down),
mf, very slow
49. Pizzicato tongue, pp (minimal air),
medium
50. Pizzicato tongue, ff (Maximal air),
medium
51. Slur 4 ff, tng 4 pp, medium
52. Tongue 4 ff, slur 4 pp, medium
53. Mixed thythm slur, f
54. Mixed rhythm tongue, ff
55. Mixed rhythm slur, ff
56. Mixed rhythm tongue, mf
57. Inverted double tongue (KT), mp, fast
58. Sing/play simultaneously, use as much
vocal range as possible
59. Sing pedal tone, play 16ths, f
60. Tongue ram-covered tone hole, f
Key: Style Drills:
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The Scale Game:
Examples on how to play Taffanel & Gaubert #4
Numbers refer to the Style Drill column.
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