Video:Understand and Play Major Scales on a Pianowith Jennifer Damore
New to the piano? This video teaches a beginner how to play the C major scale and explains the sequence of whole and half steps that make up all major scales.See Transcript
Transcript:Understand and Play Major Scales on a PianoHi, I'm Jen D'amore, for About.com and this video is all about playing and understanding major scales on a piano. What Is a Major Scale? A major scale is a sequence of notes that sounds like this and consists of 2 whole steps followed by a half step, followed by 3 more whole steps and finishes with another half step. What is a whole and a half step? Well, every note on the piano is a half step away from its neighboring key regardless of the color of the key. Whether you're moving between these two keys or these two keys, you're still moving up a half step. Don't be fooled by the color. The distance between C and C# is a half step. The distance between E and F is also a half Step. So, C to D is a whole step, and E to F# is a whole step.
it just so happens that the C major scale is made up of all white keys, making it easier for beginners, so let's start there and learn the C Major scale, with the proper fingering for the Right hand.
Play the C Major ScaleStarting with your thumb on Middle C let your other fingers rest naturally on the white keys. Play the first three notes, C, D, E, with your hand in that position. Reach your thumb under your hand to find the F key allowing your hand to follow and gently rest on the white keys in this new position. Your hand is now in place for completing the rest of the scale up to C. You've just played 8 notes while moving your hand only once. To come back down, use all five fingers in that position. Once you get to F, this time reach your middle finger over your hand to find E. Let your hand follow and rest gently on the keys and continue back down to Middle C.
The under and over moves will feel awkward at first, but with practice will allow you to easily glide up and down the piano.
C Major Scale With the Left HandThe fingering for the left hand is similar. This time beginning with the pinky on low C, cross over with the middle finger to find A, and when moving back down using your first 3 fingers and reach with your thumb to find G. Once you've mastered that and would like to continue beyond one octave, simply crossover reaching for C with your thumb on your right hand, and reach for D with your ring finger on your left hand. This will allow you to seamlessly move up and down the entire piano.
All major scales use the same combination of whole and half steps, so while the fingering will be different, you can now figure out the notes to play any major scale on the piano.
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