Playing Piano Scales


Hello and welcome to the Dodeka YouTube channel!

The first real lesson is going to start. Are you ready?

Let’s get our bearings on this new and linear keyboard layout. The coloured keys match the Dodeka stave lines. They are our visual cue when we play.

The first scale to learn is the chromatic scale, that is, the simple series of all keys or semitones.

A half-tone is the smallest intervals in keyboard instruments. This means that we play this interval we have to have our fingers almost bound together. This scale allows us to teach our fingers to play the small intervals between every key.

As soon as we spread our fingers apart, we find other scales made of tones and half-tones.

The tone is made of two semitones. That makes sense right?

The most popular scales in occidental music are the major scale and minor scale. Both scales are made of 7 sounds. Each sound represents one degree of the scale. A scale and its degrees is a bit like a staircase with its steps.

Thanks to the Dodeka keyboard we can learn both the major and minor scales and their transpositions once for all. No need to learn every transposed scales.

The harmonic major scale sounds bright and happy because it starts with two successive tones, while the minor sounds more sad as it starts with one tone and a half. The difference here is about the major third and the minor third.

The major scale consists of one tone, one tone, semitone, one tone, one tone, one tone and one semitone. After this last semitone, the scale starts again but this time on a new octave.

Actually, after the eighth note, that is, the eighth sound of the scale, we find the same sounds but with a doubled frequency if we go up to high notes and a frequency divided by two when we go down to the bass.

So, here’s every major piano scales.

To play the other scales I just have to move my hand replicating the same fingering of the c major scale.

And here we are back at our starting point - higher though.

The harmonic minor scale consists of one tone, one semitone, one tone, one tone, on semitone, one tone and a half, and one semitone.

Like the major scale, I can also easily transpose it by using the same fingering.

Practice your piano scales

Now that you know how to play major and minor scales, what about practicing a bit?

Key takeaways

  • When we play on the Dodeka keyboard we use the four coloured keys as visual cues. Learn more

  • The smallest interval on keyboard instruments is the semitone.

  • The chromatic scale is a musical scale composed of 12 semitones.

  • Most popular scales in occidental music are the major and minor scales. They are both composed of 7 sounds each.

  • With the Dodeka keyboard, no need to learn all twelve fingerings of major and minor scale. We learn them once and for all tonalities.

Useful Resources

PDF Piano Scales Chart

Learn all the major and minor scales on the piano with the help of our pdf piano scales chart.


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