3 Tips to Make Your Scales More Exciting

Lisa Witt  /  Practice  /  UPDATED Jan 16, 2023

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Scales can be a very love/hate relationship. We need them, but we don’t always love to practice them. In most cases, scales are neglected for more exciting practice options. Or perhaps we know all our scales and have simply become stuck… In a rut… Bored.

Regardless of your situation, scales are SO IMPORTANT for daily practice.

They are what allow us to learn to play in all the different keys and give us the ability to move up and down the keyboard with ease and grace. Up your scale game and your skills will increase big time. Not joking. So in order to keep scales more interesting and prevent you from avoiding them or getting into a rut, you can use these 3 tricks!

1. Staccato/Legato Mashup

This one is a brain bender for sure and so great for hand independence. Play one-hand legato (which means smoothly), then play the other hand at the same time – but staccato. Staccato means disconnected (pretend the keyboard is on fire). To be able to do this at the same time requires tons of focus and ability. Good luck!

2. Harmonized Scales

Pick a scale! Any scale!  Let’s say you choose G major.  Play this with your right hand and play the relative minor of G major in your left hand! This will create a harmony and make a beautiful sounding scale exercise.

3. Eyes Closed

How well do you know your scales? Can you play them with your eyes closed? That is the true test! Have you played it enough times that your fingers simply know where to go without you looking at the keys? Try it!

There you have it. 3 ways to make your scales more interesting, challenging, and engaging. These ideas will help you to get the most out of your scale practice.



Lisa Witt has been teaching piano for more than 20 years and in that time has helped hundreds of students learn to play the songs they love. Lisa received classical piano training through the Royal Conservatory of Music, but she has since embraced popular music and playing by ear in order to accompany herself and others. Learn more about Lisa.

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