Scale Fingering for Piano

Introduction

Scales and scale fingering can seem daunting to students starting out on the piano. But if we take a broad look at all piano scales, we discover that all scale fingering falls into one of only three patterns. Once you are familiar with these patterns, you will have enough confidence to play any scale! Let’s take a look at each of them.

FINGERING PATTERN #1 - C, G, D, A, E

RH:  1  2  3  1  2  3  4  5
LH:  5  4  3  2  1  3  2  1

Example: "D Major" Scale

RIGHT HAND:
LEFT HAND:

FINGERING PATTERN #2 - B/C♭, F#/G♭, C#/D♭

RH/LH:  
group of two black keys – fingers 2, 3
group of three black keys – fingers 2, 3, 4
white keys – finger 1 (thumb)
(Remember to start B major with finger 4)

Example: "B Major" Scale

RIGHT HAND:
LEFT HAND:

FINGERING PATTERN #3 - F, B♭, E♭, A♭

RH: finger 4 on B♭
LH: finger 4 on the 4th scale degree
(F major LH uses pattern #1 fingering)

Example: "E♭ Major" Scale

RIGHT HAND:
LEFT HAND: