*Scales and **arpeggios are just a couple of techniques that musicians use as an exercise before practicing.
The same way a quarterback and receiver practice throws and catching, and various plays, musicians train with these various exercises to bring their expertise up. It may be fingering, from piano to oboe to tuba, the slide of the trombone, breath control, and going over difficult passages until these passages become smooth and second nature.
And so a writer can do various exercises to practice techniques, or find one’s center of gravity, so to speak. I am pulling all this out of thin air, and encourage you to come up with your own ideas to play with your creative muse. Consider it as in sketching, mixing different colors or mediums.
Here are two snippets for you to compare:
The scent of wildflowers and blossoms filled the air. “Here,” gestured Mabel, “this oak tree is perfect for shade for our picnic.” She beamed as she and Josiah set the basket filled with delicacies on the cheerful- colored blanket. They sat, quietly munching and conversing in the contented spring air, as birds serenaded them and the breezes wrapped them in an idyllic interlude.
The smell of the outdoors filled their noses. “This looks level enough—I don’t think there’s any rocks here,” sighed Heather. She and Keegan plunked the somewhat heavy backpack on the slightly uneven ground, plopped themselves down, and chewed their food, not saying much as they shooed bugs away and watched a few pigeons eyeing their burgers and fries jealously. The air was a bit chilly and prickled on Heather’s arm.
Note the differences and similarities in the images. Both are very valid and fully communicate, though one lends a gentler aesthetic than the other. ‘Chewing’ and ‘quietly munching’ give way to different concepts. These are two different couples, leading different lives and having different experiences, very possibly in the same location.
Now try your own scales and arpeggios!
*Simply put, a scale, in music is a sequence of notes (sounds). They can have a multitude of configurations, and these range from simple to very advanced. They help musicians become more adept at various fingerings for passages on various instruments, and as well, are used for general warm-ups.
**An arpeggio is a chord (two, though usually three or more notes) that are played ascending or descending sequences. They are found in musical pieces, but are also put together for exercises that musicians employ for higher expertise, and for warming up before playing.