Make Scales Fun (I Bet You Didn’t Know They Could Sound Like This!)

Lisa Witt  /  Practice  /  UPDATED Jan 13, 2023

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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 🙂

🎹 Piano Technique Made Easy ✨

Technique is the foundation to piano playing. If technique has been holding you back from playing the songs you love, check out Piano Technique Made Easy with Cassi Falk. This course, free with your Pianote membership, will take you through all 12 major and minor keys as you master scales, arpeggios, chords, and more.


Exploring 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!

Make Scales 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 😉

P.S. If you’d like a more detailed and structured approach to learning all your scales, try Piano Technique Made Easy.

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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