Piano Major Scales

by Lena

Hi, I was recently working on some major scales on the piano. Does every key on the piano have it's own major scale? Ex, C, C#, Cb, D#, Db, E, E#, Eb...etc

Or are there only certain keys with a major scale. Please explain I'm VERY lost.

~Thank You

Maria's Answer:

Yes, it may seem confusing at first, but it is rather easy actually.

Short answer- Yes, every key on the piano can start a major scale.

But to understand better, I will explain a bit more:

The major scale is simply a pattern of whole and half steps. It is like a template. You probably know that the smallest step on the piano is a half step. This is the step from one key to the nearest next key, black or white. If you go two half steps up or down it is a whole step.

OK. A scale, any scale, is a combination of steps in a particular pattern- that is what gives each scale such a different sound!

A major scale is a particular pattern of half and whole steps, like this:


Start from any key, then go a whole step to the right, another whole, then a half, whole, whole, whole and lastly a half. This brings you back to whatever key you began on but one octave higher. This was a major scale pattern.

This pattern, as long as it stays the same, can be transposed or moved to, any key on the piano! So, you can play the major scale from any of the 12 different keys, (5 black and 7 white).

Try to practice to “see” the major scale pattern by starting on any key, then hop one step at time to the right, following the pattern above.

Don’t worry about fingering just yet- simply walk your way up the scale like this. Listen to the particular sound of the major scale- even though you start from a different key each time, it should sound the same.

I have some pages that will show you more how to understand scales. Try them in this order:

1. Print your free piano music scales in major and minor with fingering

2. In this video lesson I will show you how to play a major scale. How it is built and what fingering to use.

3. Here is a very easy exercise to learn to play major and minor piano scales.

I hope this helped. Have fun with your scales!

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by: Lena

Oh OK thank you so much! Ya cleared up my confusion =)

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