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Learning scales

There are two main elements to the learning of each scale:

  1. Learning the "geography" of the scale
  2. Acquiring agility with that set of notes

This lesson is about the "geography", that is to say learning the characteristic shapes under the hands for a particular scale, in this case D major.
Each major and minor scale contains 7 different notes which are fingered by one group of 3 fingers (thumb, 2nd and 3rd) and one group of 4 fingers (thumb, 2nd, 3rd and 4th), The 5th fingers only play the top note of the scale (right hand) or the bottom note (left hand).
To learn the "geography" of the scale the hand must learn the shapes under the hand. This can best be done by practising the "groups" as chords. So, for D major, we would play:

Exercize 1
Bmml file of Example 1

Exercize 2
Bmml file of Example 2

Practise this until the shapes under the hand have become so familiar that you can play almost without thinking.
Next split each of the groups into the thumb plus all the rest of the fingers.

Exercize 3
Bmml file of Example 3

Exercize 4
Bmml file of Example 4

It is very important to ensure that both hands know their way up and down a scale really well before trying to put the hands together. When you feel that you are ready for this have a go but do it slowly at first!
Exercize 5
Bmml file of the D major scale, hands together

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