I Bet You Didn't Know Piano Scales Could Sound Like This!

How to make practicing scales musical and fun

Scales are like vegetables.

 

If you don't do them you'll DIE!!

 

Okay, that's a bit dramatic. But scales are super important for your development as a pianist. If you want to develop a better understanding of the piano and be able to play faster, scales are a must.

 

But ... they can be boring to practice (I hope I haven't upset all the traditionalists!)

 

Playing endless scales up and down the piano is no fun. So I have a way to practice scales that will help improve your technique while sounding beautiful at the same time.

 

The key of G

 

We're going to be in G major, just to make things a little more interesting than the usual C major.

 

That means we have one black key, F#. Here's the key of G:

 

 

Nothing wrong with it, and you should definitely practice it up and down, hands separately and hands together.

 

But there's a way we can...

 

Make it more fun

 

We're going to make this scale sound like music, not practice.

 

To do that we'll add a chord progression underneath the scale. The progression I'll use here is the 6-4-1-5 progression. If you don't know what those numbers mean, click on this lesson here.

 

So in the key of G, the 6-4-1-5 progression is Em-C-G-D. That's what we'll be playing in our left-hand while we practice the scale in our right.

 

Try playing the scale up and down over those chords. See how beautiful it sounds?

 

You can also try playing the notes in random orders to find some beautiful patterns. This is especially useful when learning how to solo :)

 

Exploring with rhythm patterns

 

Once playing the scale over the chords becomes easy you might be wanting to spice things up a little bit.

 

Not it's time to introduce rhythm.

 

But first a warning. This is seriously cool, and once you start trying this you might get lost for hours playing scales!

 

It involves playing the notes in various orders, and with various lengths. Play some short and hold others.

 

You're still playing a scale, but you're also now improvising!

 

Scales CAN be fun

 

Scales are super important for the development or every pianist, but they don't have to be a chore.

 

With these exercises, you can turn scales practice into something you look forward to.

 

And the best part?

 

You won't die ;)

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#Lisa Witt

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Hi, I'm Lisa Witt

Lisa has taught in a variety of settings from beginners just getting started to recording artists preparing their songs for the road. While her background is classical, she loves helping students play the music they love by ear and is excited to be a part of YOUR journey.