Playing piano scales can be made easier with some clever strategies.
Did you think C major was the easiest scale? Then you're in for a surprise! Learn how to practice piano scales in this tutorial directed to adult beginners.
The technique of playing scales is simpler than you may think.
Basically, when we play major and minor scales, we only play a combination of 2 patterns with three, vs four notes up and down the piano.
Connecting these two patterns is where one of the difficulties lay:
Another challenge is that all fingers are not alike.
If you look at your hand stretched out in front of you, you’ll notice how all fingers are of different length and thickness.
You probably also have noticed that some fingers are easier to use than others.
Part of this problem is solved if you learn how to keep your hand in a rounded or «cupped» position, like holding a ball.
The first thing you’ll notice is when the hand is in a rounded position, is that all fingers can line up to an equal length!
Placing your hand in this "cupped" position on a table, you should also notice that the three middle fingers are standing on the tips, your little finger leans a tiny bit to the outer side of the tip, and the thumb rests on the side.
This «perfect hand position» gives you the possibility to use each finger with its ultimate strength and flexibility.
It is also the most correct for piano playing and especially important when playing scales for an even sound and smooth playing.
The best way to start practicing scales is by playing the black keys. Yes, really!
Scales are played with finger groups of 3 and 4 fingers, using finger 1 for transition from one group to the next, and finger 5 only for stopping or turning.
So, a very easy way to begin is with the black keys since those are already organized i 2 and 3 note groups!
Have fun, but remember to keep your hand «cupped» and in the correct position, and to play on your fingertips.
Now practice the patterns you learned in 3 different major scales, B, Db (or C#) and Gb (or F#) major.
Don't worry- they're really easy!
They all use all five black keys. Practice to play the scales all over the piano, both up and down:
Hah! Perhaps you thought you should start playing piano scales with C major, didn’t you?
The C major scale may be easier to read, but the scales you just learned are actually easier to play technically!
I recommend you get a Piano Scale book to have as a reference when playing piano scales. Try for example this: Complete Book of Scales, Chords and Arpeggios (Amazon)