Feeling overwhelmed by all those piano scales?! Ever wondered the best way to tackle them all?

Today’s new video has got you covered!

In today’s new video, I cover:

  • The exact order you should learn your scales and why.
  • The essential fingerings to ensure you learn your scales correctly.
  • Tips for tracking your progress across all scales.
  • How to set goals for your scales — how many octaves to learn, at what metronome tempo, and more.

Consider this your personalized roadmap to conquering all 24 major and minor scales. 

Ready to learn your piano scales with less confusion?

WATCH THE NEW VIDEO NOW

Happy playing! 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION:

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of piano scales that you need to learn? I know I have. But don’t worry, today I’m going to show you exactly how to tackle all of your major and minor chords. Yes, you heard that right, all of them. I’ll show you what order to learn them in, how some of them are surprisingly similar, and how to not feel so overwhelmed like you’re drowning in notes.

The order I’m presenting these scales in is an order of difficulty. They’re going to start off easier and get harder as they go. But before we dive in, let me give you this very, very crucial tip. Every single scale has very specific fingerings that you must use. No questions asked, you have to use them this way. So be sure to grab my favorite scales book. The link to that book is in the description below. That book is a lifesaver because it’s going to give you all of the scales fingerings that you need.

Now, don’t freak out. There are 24 major and minor scales, and honestly, even more scales than that in this world. But today we’re going to focus on getting the basics down with just major and minor. I’m going to show you how to navigate all 24 major and minor scales in the most productive ways possible.

Now, let’s get started with the first scale. It’s a bit unconventional, but it is D-flat or also known as C# major. The reason I suggest that one first is because your fingers curve around at the same time and you will learn later in this video that they don’t always do that. So here’s what I mean. With the D-flat major scale, we’re going to have fingers 2 and 3 and they’re conveniently curving around at the same time like this. Curving both hands at the same time and they’re all on black keys like this, which is also very helpful. So it’s just easier for a beginner. Some people even practice it blocked like this, which is not very pretty, but it’s one way to learn your scale. All right, so that’s why I recommend D-flat first, again, because your hands are curving around at the same time and you’re not going to see that later on.

The next scale is going to be G-flat major or F# major, and it’s going to be for similar reasons as D-flat. Your hands are curving around at the same time, like this. And again, we’ve got these black keys that can help us navigate a lot easier as well. So black keys can actually help us. They’re not always scary.

Now our third scale is going to be for similar reasons our fingers are curving around at the same time, and that’s going to be B major. And again, we’ve got black keys that you can use to help block and really just get around the keys a lot easier. So these three scales, D-flat, G-flat, and B major are the best ones to start with because you’ve got the black keys helping you and also your hands are curving around at the same time, so it’s going to be a lot easier for a beginner to tackle.

All right, before we move on, let’s talk about our friend, the circle of fifths. Again, do not freak out. We’re going to use the circle of fifths to help us navigate the rest of our scales. You might’ve heard about it before. I’m going to give you a really brief explanation of what the circle of fifths is. Think of it as our musical roadmap and it shows us how different keys are related to each other. So basically, it lays out all of the major and minor keys and how they are related. Why is it called the circle of fifths? Because it moves around in fifths. What is a fifth? Again, this is a brief summary, but a fifth is basically when we have notes that are five notes apart. For example, C to G is a fifth. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Another example is A to E is a fifth. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

So if we move around from the top, C two G is a fifth, G to D is a fifth, and it goes around like that. Also, as we go around the circle, we add more black keys. C major has none, G major has one, D major has two and so on. The outside we have major keys and on the inside we find the minor keys.

Now let’s zoom in a bit. Let’s take C major for example. It’s like buddies with A minor because they share the same notes, just the white keys. We call A minor it’s relative minor. And then you can see G major and E minor. Their relatives because they both have an F# in their keys. Do you see the pattern? So we can really use the circle of fifths to navigate all of these 24 major and minor keys very effectively.

So let’s check it out again. We’ve got D-flat, G-flat, and B major done. Cross those out. We did those first as our warm-up because our hands cross around at the same time. So what’s next? Now we’re going to tackle a pretty big chunk of scales and basically get into level two. We are going to tackle C major, G major, D major, A major and E major.

I say these five because the fingerings of these five are the same. That makes things easier. In every one of these scales, the fingering is this, your right hand is going to be 1, 2, 3, curve under. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. And your left hand is going to be 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, curve finger, 3 over. 3, 2, 1. If I put both hands together, my hands are not going to be crossing over and under at the same time, which makes it harder. So watch. Curving my right hand. Now, my left hand. My left hand. My right hand. So that’s why these are level two. It’s a little bit harder, but thankfully with all five of these, it’s the same fingerings, remember? So watch it as I do it with G Major.

Remember there’s an F# with G major. And same thing, I could keep going, D major. The order of the fingers are the same And so on. So it’s good to bunch those together because all the fingerings are the same. It will be less overwhelming for your brain. So that just crossed off a bunch of scales. Let’s look at our circle of fifths again.

So now we can cross off C major, G major, D major, A major and E major. My next major scale is actually going to be F major. And again, we’re going in order of a difficulty, okay? The reason I picked F major is at least your left hand is the same as the ones we’ve done before, which is 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. 3, 2, 1. So that’s the same fingerings as the last five that we’ve done.

But our right hand is a little bit different and it’s going to be 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4. But I don’t think F major is too bad because actually your hands are crossing over at the same time. So it might even give you a little bit of break from the last scales that you just did.

The last ones are going to be B-flat, major E-flat major, and the very last major scale is going to be A-flat major. And the reason those are last are because they are more challenging, they all have different fingerings. And because the black keys are kind of mixed up, it makes it just feel a little bit more challenging than the other ones.

So here’s what I mean. Here’s B-flat major. You see how the black keys, it’s B-flat and E-flat, they’re kind of placed randomly. I think that makes it a little bit more challenging. And as I said, E-flat and A-flat are also kind of funky like that. So again, I would make those last. So that is the order of how to tackle all of the major scales on the piano. Before I discuss minor scales, let me know in the comments how many scales do you know. Let me know.

Now at this point, you know all of the major scales, so let’s tackle the minor ones. I do not recommend tackling the minor scales until you have learned all of the major scales. That is because with the major scales, you can just get used to playing scales in general, used to playing all kinds of different fingerings and things like that. So don’t learn the minor scales until you can play at least one octave of all of the major scales.

After that, grab your circle of fifths again and we are going to learn the relative minors. So I would recommend going around the circle of fifths and learning the relative minors of each major scale. And with the minor scales, I would just go in order of all of the circle of fifths.

I’m aware that this is a lot of scales, so this is how I recommend practicing them. Set little goals for where you would like to be. So for example, your first goal could be to learn all of the major scales, one octave to 80 at the metronome. And what I recommend doing is making some type of chart that shows all of your major keys. Then different metronome markings, for example, 50, 60, 70, 80, things like that, and check off where you are with your metronome. That’s going to really help you keep track of where you are at with all of your scales. So just get one to two learned at a time, then keep adding more. So if you know C major and G major, then you could start adding D major and so on.

After you can play one octave with all of your scales, including major and minor, then start playing two octaves. You’ll have another chart for this with your metronome goals. Two octaves, maybe to 80 at the metronome. Then you can make a goal of three octaves. Then you can make a goal of four octaves. We usually stop there with four octaves with playing our piano scales. And over time, keep bumping up that metronome over time over the years. Be sure to be patient with learning scales. It’s going to take a long time, it’s normal. And again, I recommend grabbing that scales book that I have in the link in my description. That is my personal favorite.

Scales are a huge part of learning the piano and building good technique, but what if you can’t play any songs? After all, that’s why we want to learn the piano anyway. We want to be able to play our favorite songs. Just like with learning scales in a good productive order, I have made a training that shows you exactly what to learn on the piano in order. The link to that training is in the description of this video. And when you learn piano in a productive way, you can learn faster.

Check out my student Jim, who has been in my program, the Piano Accelerator, for six months. He even claims to have paused the program for two months and these are his results. To watch my free training and a full video testimonial from Jim, head to the links in my description below. If this video helps you, be sure to like and subscribe and I will see you next time.