Master Major Scale Fingerings on Piano
This tutorial is all about how to master major scale fingerings on the piano. I am going to break down the who, what, why and how of major scales and how to master the fingerings once and for all. If you are curious, keep watching!
Build strength and dexterity
Learning and practicing scales are a great way to build strength and dexterity in your fingers and will help you develop your finger’s “intuition” on how to move around the keyboard. Practicing scales properly can help you build your technique and tone and build up some speed in your fingers. This is also a great way to build good technical habits into your muscle memory so that you won’t have to consider fingerings too much in the future.
Practicing your major scales in 12 keys will develop your fluidity and capacity for playing in different keys. It is much easier to play a song in the key of D after you have played through the scale!
Learning scales can also be a long and arduous process that can frustrate the living bejeezus out of you in you’re not careful. In this tutorial, I am going to share some of the fingering rules and show you exactly how you should be practicing this.
Recommendations for beginners
I do not recommend hands together scales for beginner level players. In fact, it can be a huge waste of time as a starting out measure. This is time very well spent for intermediate-level players or people who are looking to fortify their existing skills.
The point of having specific scale fingerings is so our hands can move economically over the keyboard. People have been studying this for hundreds of years and the fingerings that I will be showing you in this video are almost universally agreed upon. Many of us have worked out way through this and we don’t really understand WHY the fingerings are the way they are.
1. Thumbs and pinkie fingers do not play black notes.
Ever wondered why? Those two fingers are substantially smaller than the other three and it is much harder to get an even tone and play virtuosic runs while trying to use the thumb and pinky on black notes. Bear in mind, that I am a jazz player and since I spend the majority of my time improvising, I take more of an anything-goes approach to my fingering, but since I was classically trained I know that some of these fingering strategies are naturally engrained in my work.
2. Try to move with the largest finger groupings as possible. This will prevent you from just going 1-2-1-2-1, etc.
3. Fingering will stay the same in both directions.
The fingering you use on the way up will repeat on the way down, just in reverse.
My dark scale history
I decided to make this tutorial for you because honestly, I never learned my scales properly until I got to university. Yep – 13 years of classical piano training, including Royal Conservatory exams and I faked a lot of the scales. And I think the biggest reason that it never clicked for me was that I was presented a list of scale fingerings that I had to memorize. I wish that someone had talked me through all that I have talked you through today. You’re welcome!