Scale Fingering – Chromatic

The chromatic scale is unique in that it uses all the white and black notes on the piano covering the full range of notes from lowest to highest (also know as the Chromatic series). Although this may sound complicated it is one of the easiest scales to learn as it uses only your first 3 fingers in both hands. Just like every other scale it’s best to start 1 and 2 octaves hands separate and only once this is mastered try them hand together. As you’ll see from the demonstration below, finger 3 is always used on the black notes and finger 2 is used to bridge the gaps between them in both hands. As the chromatic scale covers all the notes on the piano you can start on any note as well as increase the octave range very easily by simply repeating the same fingering pattern. The Chromatic scale is a requirement at almost every ABRSM piano grade level and you will be expected to start on any note and play the scale in many forms including up to 4 octaves, contrary motion, staccato (both similar and contrary motion) as well as a 3rd and 6th apart.   

Here is the piano fingering for the chromatic scale (starting on C) as taught in my lessons:

One octave R.H (up) 1313123131312 (down) 131313213131

One octave L.H (up) 1313213131321 (down) 231313123131

Two octaves R.H

(up) 1313123131312313123131312 (down) 131313213132131313213131

Two octaves L.H

(up) 1313213131321313213131321 (down) 231313123131231313123131

Watch video demonstration of the teacher playing the Chromatic scale:

Scale Fingering – F Major

The F Major scale can be tricky to begin with as the right hand fingering starts with thumb under the 4th, instead of the 3rd, which is different to most other scales that start on a white note. I would suggest lots of hands separate practice to begin with (1 and 2 octaves) followed by hands together very slowly when you think you’re ready. In the earlier ABRSM piano grades you will be required to to play the scale 1 and 2 octaves hands together and in later grades you’ll be expected to play it up to 4 octaves hands together or contrary motion (2 octaves starting with both thumbs on F). To increase the number of octaves in the scale scale all you need to do is simply put the thumb under again in the right hand and 4th in the left hand and repeat the fingering pattern again. Also note that your right hand should be on finger 4 when you reach the top of the scale. The left hand hand fingering is the same as the C Major scale. It may be helpful to follow the notes along using a scale book as a guide. You can obtain ABRSM piano scale books from most local music shops in Swindon as well as online.  

Here is the piano fingering for the F Major scale as taught in my lessons:

One octave R.H (up) 12341234 (down) 3214321

One octave L.H (up) 54321321 (down) 2312345

Two octaves R.H (up) 123412312341234 (down) 32143213214321

Two octaves L.H (up) 543213214321321 (down) 23123412312345

Watch video demonstration of the teacher playing the F major scale:

Piano Lessons for Adults and Tuition Books

Learning the piano can be a fulfilling hobby for adult’s and I believe regardless of whether you had a music lessons as a child you can still progress and achieve in music. For adult students I use “Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course” to cover the basics of piano technique through a range of progressive and enjoyable pieces. Books 1-3 are available from Amazon, or from local music shops in Swindon:

Holmes Music, 21-23 Farringdon Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 5AR

Brian Taylor Music, 151 High Street, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts, SN4 7AB

Piano Lessons for children and tuition Books

Learning the piano can seem quite daunting for many kids at the start, so as a teacher I always make every effort to ensure lessons are as fun and relaxed as possible. For my younger student’s I go through “Chester’s Easiest Piano Course” to cover the basics of piano technique through a range of fun and progressive pieces. Books 1-3 are available from Amazon, or from local music shops in swindon as listed below:

Holmes Music, 21-23 Farringdon Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 5AR

Brian Taylor Music, 151 High Street, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts, SN4 7AB

Scale Fingering – G Major

The G Major scale is normally the second major scale I teach students and follows on very well after learning the A minor scale which is very similar in shape (having one sharpened note at the top). The G Major scale has the same fingering as the A minor and C major scale and I would suggest starting with 1 and 2 octave hands separately followed by hands together once this has been mastered. You can increase the G major scale to 3 and 4 octaves by putting the thumb under again in the right hand and 4th in the left hand and repeating the fingering pattern again. In the earlier ABRSM piano grades you will only need to play the G Major scale 1 and 2 octaves hand together however in later grades you’ll be expected to play it up to 4 octaves hands together. Although a lot of lesson books cover scales, it is well worth buying a seperate scale book for the ABRSM piano grades to refer to if needed. ABRSM piano scale books can be bought online as well as purchased locally from music shops in Swindon. 

Here is the piano fingering for the G Major scale as taught in my lessons:

One octave R.H (up) 12312345 (down) 4321321

One octave L.H (up) 54321321 (down) 2312345

Two octaves R.H (up) 123123412312345 (down) 43213214321321

Two octaves L.H (up) 543213214321321 (down) 23123412312345

Watch video demonstration of the teacher playing the G major scale:

Scale Fingering – A Minor (Harmonic, Melodic and Natural)

The A minor scale is the most easy minor scale to learn on the piano and follows on quite nicely after learning the C major scale. The A minor scale is the first minor scale I teach students starting with 1 and 2 octave hands separately and only once this is mastered would I suggest trying them hands together. There are 3 variations of the A minor scale including Harmonic, Melodic and Natural. I generally start students off on the harmonic minor scale (as demonstrated below) as this is the most simple to grasp as it use the same notes up and down the scale and is required for the earlier ABRSM piano grades. The Melodic minor (which has a raised 6th going up) and the Natural minor (which has a lowered 7th) are typically used in conjunction which each other playing the ascending Melodic minor going up the piano followed by the Natural minor going down the piano. However the Melodic/Natural minor scales are not a requirement to Grade 6 ABRSM piano and beyond. As required in the later grades you can also increase all variations of the A minor scale to 3 and 4 octaves by putting the thumb under again in the right hand and 4th in the left hand and repeating the fingering pattern again. You may want to consider obtaining an ABRSM scale book to give you a better understanding of scales. These can be sourced locally from music shops in Swindon as well as from online music retailers.

Here is the piano fingering for the A Minor scales as taught in my lessons:

One octave R.H (up) 12312345 (down) 4321321

One octave L.H (up) 54321321 (down) 2312345

Two octaves R.H (up) 123123412312345 (down) 43213214321321

Two octaves L.H (up) 543213214321321 (down) 23123412312345

Watch video demonstration of the teacher playing the A Minor scale:

Scale Fingering – C Major

The C Major scale is considered to be the easiest scale to learn on the piano as it uses only the white notes of the piano starting on C. This is normally the first scale I teach students (both children and adults) starting with 1 and 2 octave hands separately and only once this is mastered would I suggest trying them hands together. You can increase the scale to 3 and 4 octaves quite simply by putting the thumb under again in the right hand and 4th in the left hand and repeating the fingering pattern again. In the earlier ABRSM piano grades you will only be expected to play the scale 1 and 2 octaves hand together or contrary motion (starting with both thumbs on middle C) however in later grades you’ll be expected to play it up to 4 octaves hands together. ABRSM piano scale books can be easily obtained locally from music shops in Swindon as well as online. Note that finger 3 in both hands are used at the same time when playing hands together.

Here is the piano fingering for the C Major scale as taught in my lessons:

One octave R.H (up) 12312345 (down) 4321321

One octave L.H (up) 54321321 (down) 2312345

Two octaves R.H (up) 123123412312345 (down) 43213214321321

Two octaves L.H (up) 543213214321321 (down) 23123412312345

Watch video demonstration of the teacher playing the C major scale: