Learning and practicing piano scales is an important part of learning how to play the piano. Good news are that the most common scales used for piano playing are actually not that many, and doesn’t take very long to learn either!
When you learn scales, you should play them by heart. A book with scales and chords is good to have as a reference, but always aim to learn them by heart.
First of all it’s easier! But it is also the best way to really check what you are doing and to pay full attention to how it sounds and feels to play.
How do you learn them by heart? Easy, simply learn how a scale is built, and the logic behind it will help you to remember them!
Starting at a slow tempo and then gradually building up speed is also important.
You will not learn scales faster if you start playing them fast! You need to gradually build up control and balance.
Learn how to use a metronome and check how your speed improves day by day.
Although playing scales is a good idea to do every day as a warm up and technique routine, don't overdo it.
Obviously, just learning scales will not make you a great pianist! Try to not spend more than about 20% of your practice time for scale practice.
Tip: A great and fun resource for mastering scales is: Scales Bootcamp: The fastest, clearest way to get to know you scales, and then master them.
The charts show you exactly how the scales look like on the piano keyboard. Great for visual learners, and to learn them quickly by heart: