Lesson Thirteen Fingering Piano Scales On White Notes

Method for Fingering Scales

Basically, you use an alternating method of ‘short group’ and ‘long group‘ for fingering scales.

The ‘short group’ of fingers is the group including thumb, forefinger, and middle finger.

The ‘long group’ of fingers is the group which includes thumb, forefinger, middle finger AND the fourth finger too.

These finger groups alternate.  If your scale starts with the ‘short group’ of fingers, which is the thumb and next two fingers, then you would put your thumb underneath when you play the third finger, and then use the long group of fingers – 1 – 4 on the hand.

Then the short group takes over, then the long, etc etc.

The White Notes All Use This Straight-Forward Method of Fingering for Scales – all except for F Major, which begins with a long group first, and except for two minor scales.

Right Hand: With the straight-forward scales which start on the white notes, using this alternating pattern of groupings, you would begin with the short group first, starting with the thumb.

Left Hand: With the straight-forward scales which start on the white notes, using this alternating pattern of groupings, you would begin with the long group first, starting with the little finger.

Here, to begin, you would play up to the left hand thumb for the long group, then put the third finger over for the short group, then, after you have played the thumb again, the fourth finger would go over to take the next note, and so on. The thumb would be used only to begin the first long group of fingers – after that, the long group is only 4 fingers each time.  The thumb would be played at the top of the scale also, before descending.

Of course, if you are only playing one octave of a scale, then you will only get the chance to play one short group, and one long group.

Generally speaking, for the right hand, you would only use the little finger to end the scale with the last note at the top, before descending.  The thumb would begin and end the scale in the right hand in all cases where the fingering is the standard pattern – Starting with the short group, following with the long group, etc.

For the left hand, you would normally use the little finger to start and end the scale, if the scale has the standard pattern of fingering – Starting with the long group, and following with the short group, etc.

So – the scales on the white notes which use this standard pattern of fingering are as follows:

C Major and its relative minor A Minor – no sharps or flats

G Major and its relative minor E Minor – one sharp F sharp

D Major and its relative minor B Minor – two sharps F and C sharp

A Major- three sharps F C andG sharp (not its relative minor which begins on the 2nd finger)

E Major- four sharps F C G and D sharp (not its relative minor which begins on the 2nd finger)

B Major- five sharps F C G D and A sharp

You will see that, no matter whether you are doing only one octave, or several octaves, that the fingering pattern remains the same for these scales.

The right hand always begins this group of scales with a short group,no matter what.  This short group is followed by a long group, by putting the thumb under after the third note on the short group.  If you are playing several octaves, then the long group will be followed by a short,by putting the thumb under at the fourth finger, etc.

D Major Scale Right Hand Fingering Pattern:  So – for example, if you are playing D Major, you will begin with the  short group -right thumb on D, 2nd finger on E, third finger on F sharp-

Then – thumb under to perform the long group, which will be thumb on G, 2nd on A, 3rd on B, 4th finger on C sharp, then either thumb or little finger on the D, depending on whether you are continuing up the scale, or coming down again after only one octave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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