How Should You Practice Piano Scales Fingering?

Piano scale fingering is one of the fundamentals that every beginner must be aware of and practice. The principles of scale fingering were created and proposed by Bach in 1753. Since then, no major changes were required in these principles. Here are the main principles that you may need to know.

  • Thumb and little fingers should not be used on black keys but only in E flat minor and F sharp arpeggios.
  • Every scale is divided into small and long groups as 123 and 1234, respectively.
  • Index, middle, and ring fingers are known as long fingers, while the thumb and little fingers are known as short fingers.
  • Thumb, index, middle, ring, and little fingers are also regarded as fingers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively.
  • Long fingers are usually used on black keys and short fingers are used on white keys.
  • You are going to use your ring finger only once in each octave.

Keeping these in mind will significantly contribute to your learning process. Below, you are going to find all the major scales that you can practice on your own. Mastering these practices will help you to learn how to play the piano quickly and get better every day.

How to Practice Piano Scales Fingering?

Below, you are going to find detailed information you need to know before practicing. It is important to practice them as often as you can until you feel comfortable playing the scales. As a beginner, you can practice without any written notes.

Group 1 Piano Scale Fingering Guide

All the major scales in Group 1 start on the white keys. Keep in mind that the first five have the same patterns as 123-1234 (5th finger for turning and stopping) for the right hand and 4321-321 for the left hand.

C Major Scale

C Major

This is the easiest major scale for beginners since there are no black keys. We highly recommend you focusing on this one well since it will help you a lot during your learning process.

G, D, A, and E Major Scales

GDEA Major

You are going to use the same fingering patterns you practiced in the C Major scale in these 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Major scales. Unlike the previous major scale.

G major scale has one black key, which is F#,

D major scale has two black keys, which are F# and C#,

A major scale has three black keys, which are F#, C#, and G#,

E major scale has three black keys, which are F#, C#, G#, and D#.

F Major Scale

F Major

This major scale has one black key, but it is Bb, which means it is a flat key. This requires you to change your fingering at the right hand.

B Major Scale

B Major

This major scale has all the black keys. However, this should not make you afraid since it is regarded as the easiest major scale to learn for your right hand.

Group 2 Piano Scale Fingering Guide

As opposed to Group 1, Group 2 major scales start on black keys. Since some of these major scales in this group are enharmonic with major scales in Group 1, it is relatively easier to get better in these scales. Major scales are accepted enharmonic when they both have the same patterns and sound. The only difference is the notes are written differently.

Bb Major Scale

Bb Major

You need to change your fingering because it starts with the black key. It will be better if you start playing with your ring finger on Bb to get used to it. Your left hand remains the same and starts with 321 – 4321.

Eb or D# Major Scale

Eb Major

This major scale has three black keys, which are Bb, Eb, and Ab. Just like the previous one, the fingering changes. It is enharmonic with D#.

Db or C# Major Scale

Dd Major

This one has four black keys, and it is enharmonic with C#. The biggest advantage of Db is, it has fewer flats and makes it easier to play when compared to C#.

Ab or G# Major Scale

Ab Major

Apart from two white keys, Ab and B major are very similar and you can easily play the other one once you are comfortable with playing any of them.

Gb or F# Major Scale

Gb Major

This one has five black keys, and it has many common points with B major.

Conclusion

Practicing will only make you get better as quickly as possible. Although you need to practice a lot to get better at all instruments, you need to go the extra mile while learning to play the piano. However, unlike most of the instruments, you can observe your progression quicker, which will help you to boost your motivation to learn.

We have also provided sheets to practice both groups. You can download and print them to assist you in your practice sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What fingers do you use for piano scales?

Some teachers and learners might prefer to use fingers from both hands to play scales. However, others might disagree with this approach because it can cause some limitations. You need to have a lot of space between your fingers to do this which means that your technique won’t be as fluid as if you were using only one hand at a time.

What is the fingering for a major?

In piano, there are many ways to finger a note. Although this totally depends on how comfortable you feel, in general, the fingering for a major can be any of your fingers. This is mainly determined by the scale you are playing.

What is the fingering for a flat scale?

The fingerings for a scale on a guitar are the specific notes that you use in order to play the scale. This can vary depending on the scale you are going to play. For example, the fingering for a minor pentatonic scale is 1-2-3-4-5-1.

Is fingering important for piano?

Fingering is a technique that allows individual fingers of the hand to play successive notes or chords. It’s important for piano players, especially beginners because it helps them know which finger to use when playing a note and where to put their fingers on the key. Piano players use different types of fingering techniques depending on the difficulty of the song they are playing.

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