C Major Scale Positions
In order to play the C major scale, youâll need a basic understanding of how to read guitar neck scale diagrams. In the example below, the numbered dots represent how the scale pattern appears on your guitarâs fretboard. The individual numbers correspond to each finger to show you which one to use for each note. Use this key to determine proper finger placement:
The white dots in the diagram represent the open strings.
Like all scales on the guitar, the C major scale consists of different finger positions. In order to play the scale, youâll build up finger dexterity to breeze through touching your fingers to the right frets in order to play a C major scale.
There is a different scale position for each of the notes in the C major scale . Each note of the scale has its own position.
In this lesson, weâll cover six C major scale positions.
How To Play C Major Scale With Right Hand
Lets start with the right hand. When going up the Cmaj scale, your thumb plays C, 2nd finger plays D and third finger plays E. Then you continue with the thumb which plays F, 2nd finger plays G, 3rd finger plays A, 4th finger plays B and 5th finger plays C. When going up the scale, to play F with your thumb put your thumb under your 3rd finger.
When going down the scale, the same fingers are used. 5th finger plays C, 4th finger plays B, 3rd finger plays A and 2nd finger plays G. Then you continue with your thumb, where the thumb plays F, 3rd finger plays E, 2nd finger plays D and 1st finger plays C. When going down the scale, the 3rd finger goes over your thumb, giving you enough fingers to finish the scale.
Keep practicing this scale until you are very comfortable with it. The more you play it, the better you will get.
How To Play C Major Scale On Piano
The C major scale is the easiest scale to remember. This scale has all the natural notes with no sharps or flats. Also memorize this formula that is used to construct all the major scales Whole, Whole, Half, Whole, Whole, Whole, Half. So using this formula the notes for C major scale are C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C.
C Major Scale- Left & Right Hand Finger positions
Make sure you use the exact Finger position as this will help in building the right method and build when you have to pay other scales, and chords at different speeds.
Fingerings : 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1
Fingerings : 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
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Practicing Chord Progressions In D Major
Just like you did with the C major key, you can begin practicing chord progressions after you grasp each chord individually. The more challenging chords in this key will be the chords that contain the new black keys. Pay particular attention to D, A, B minor, and F# minor when you practice.
To begin learning chord progressions, start again by switching between two chords in the key. You can start with the D major chord and practice alternating to A major and back again.
What Are Major Scales Piano
Major scales are typically linked with uplifting and optimistic music. This pattern of semitones and tones is used to construct a major scale. Tonic Tone Tone Semitone Tone Tone Tone Semitone or whole tone, whole tone, halftone, whole tone, whole tone, whole tone, halftone.
Count up two piano keys, either white or black, to get a complete tone. Simply slide up one key to count a half-tone . As a result, the distance between C and D is a full tone, but the distance between E and F is a semitone.
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Whole Step & Half Step The Building Blocks Of Scales
In order to find out any Major Scale on Piano, we need to learn a formula of Whole Steps and Half Steps. So, here’s a quick reminder of what Whole Steps & Half Steps are.
Half Step: A half step, or semitone, is the smallest interval between notes. Notes that are directly next to each other – such as B and C, or F sharp and G – are a half step apart.
Whole Step: A whole step is equal to two half steps or two semitones. If you play the note F on the piano, the note G is one whole step above it, and E flat is one whole step below it.
For a clear explanation and demonstration about Whole Step and Half Step watch this video
The C Scale On The Music Staff
What we have in this image is the C Major Scale in both the treble and bass clefs.
Notice in this example that there are 4 notes in each measure and that they are all quarter notes. We are counting 4 quarter note beats in each measure, and each quarter note gets one beat/count.
One thing you will notice as you start to play the C Major Scale on your piano is that you will be playing all white keys because the notes are all natural. Notice in the Key Signature area right next to the Time Signature that there are no sharps or flats notated. This is because there are none, and every note is natural. The C Major Scale is the only Major scale where you won’t have any sharps or flats in the Key Signature.
Now, let’s see what those numbers are over each note and how they will help us play this scale easily.
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Melodic Movement Within Chords
Before we move into the next lesson, practice alternating between the triad and its 7th. For example, Em to Em7, the difference being the D string. Strum the E minor and try taking off your finger to create the Em7 whilst keeping the chord ringing, the changing note we get is E to D.
Here is an audio example of strumming the Em chord and alternating between the E and D .
Learning: Piano Fingering Chart
Before you learn how to play scales on a piano, you need to be aware of the piano fingering number, which will assist you in making the proper finger movement. The numbers linked with your piano playing fingers are listed below. Take a few moments to memorize this piano fingering chart it will come in use eventually. When selecting how to perform difficult compositions, even the most skilled pianists refer to their distinct finger numbers.
To begin memorizing these numbers, practice on a simple or flat wooden surface. Pick a number and keep that finger up for a few seconds, then continue until you get it in both hands. Then continue to repeat different numbers with both hands in different ways, such as 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1. You can continue to change the keys or even ask your friends or relatives to tell you random numbers.
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Practicing Scales In Creative Ways
A great way to practice playing two hand scales. This is a genius exercise that looks and sounds so much more difficult than it actually is.
The best part of this exercise is that we use the exact same fingering for both hands, even though they are moving apart from each other. Because our hands are mirrors, this means that our hands are the same when either moving apart, or moving together.
So, start both hands together, thumb on the same middle C. Play the C major scale apart from each other using the same finger, 1 2 3, 1 2 3 4 5. Now reverse the pattern and move the hands toward each other, all the while using the same fingering as before, landing on the same middle C as you began.
Piano Tips For Beginning With C Major Scale
January 16, 2017 by admin
C major scale is termed to be one of the most common key signatures. Most of the western music is based on this scale and is the simplest scale with all the white keys included. This scale as the name says is based on C while its parallel minor is C minor and relative minor is A minor. There are no black keys involved in the formation of C Major scale and thus according to some musicians, playing this scale doesnt really suit natural formation and position of human hands.
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Learning The Notes And Timing On The Left Hand
Playing The C Major Scale With Your Right Hand
To play the C Major piano scale, place your right hand on C. Your thumb should be the finger that rests on C.
From there, you will follow the notes up one full octave to the next C and then descend back down to the original C note that you played.
The fingering goes as followed:
These are the notes that you will follow while descending.
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How To Play The C Major Key With Your Right Hand
When ascending the C major scale, your thumb plays C, your second finger D, and your third finger E. The thumb then plays F, the second finger G, the third finger A, the fourth finger B, and the fifth finger C. To play F with your thumb as you progress up the scale, place your thumb under your third finger.
The same fingers are utilized as you move down the scale. The fifth finger plays C, the fourth finger plays B, the third finger plays A, and the second finger plays G. Then you go on to your thumb, where the thumb represents F, the third finger plays E, the second finger plays D, and the first finger plays C. When descending down the scale, the third finger passes over your thumb, providing you with enough fingers to complete the scale.
Memorizing Or Improvising Music In C
One of the challenges of learning music is getting familiar with keys that have a mixture of black and white notes, getting comfortable and familiar moving around them and learning where you can and cant go.
Its hard to play a piece with fluidity and a sense of musicality from memory until you really dont have to think very hard about what notes are coming next so learning in C is one less barrier to get there.
Similarly, one of the challenges of improvisation before even deciding what to play, is knowing where your possible note options are. In C you dont have to think so hard about where you can and cant go on the keyboard which frees up your mind a bit more your mind, creatively.
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What Are Minor Piano Chords
Minor chords, like major chords, contain three basic keyboard notes, a root note, third, and fifth. To play a minor chord, select any root note, then count three half-steps up to the third. From the third, count two whole-steps to find the fifth.
Minor chords are also very common in rock and pop music. Comfortably Numb is an example of a rock song that begins with a minor chord. Most rock and pop songs use a mixture of major and minor piano chords.
The third interval in a minor chord is called a minor third. The fifth interval in a minor chord is the same as in a major chord, the interval of a perfect fifth.
Common minor piano chords include:
Playing Both Hands Together
Once youve practiced both hands separately, its time to play the two hands simultaneously. Theres no particular trick to this it just takes time to get used to it.
Scales are generally played with the hands one octave that is, eight white notes apart.
Start slowly, concentrating on fingering and playing each pair of notes at the same time, and gradually build up the speed. Ensure the scale maintains a regular rhythm.
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Come Practice With Me
There is a lot to learn when it comes to playing the C Major Scale.
The most important thing to get is the fingering and practicing that slowly so you give yourself enough time to get it securely.
Knowing the finger pattern in your head is very different from being able to play it well on the piano.
That’s why I included this video tutorial to help you see what I’m talking about here on the actual keyboard and how I play the specific finger pattern for this scale.
After going through this written lesson make sure to watch this video while at your keyboard so you can practice with me. This will really help you put all of this knowledge to practical use and you’ll learn your C scale much faster.
Come back to it as much as you need to, and good luck with learning and playing the C Major Scale!
Learning The C Major Scale First Is Important
Why is the C major scale important? Major scales are the most common scales used in music and C major is the only one without any flats or sharps . That makes it easiest, technically and visually for a beginner to learn this scale first, play music in the key of C or learn to read sheet music. Like any scale, the major scale can be played in all 12 keys, meaning the major scale pattern can be started from each of the 12 different notes.
When you know why we learn scales this all makes much more sense. Most importantly, they tell us where the notes are that were going to use so were comfortable moving around them to play music. Its easy to get visually lost with the keyboard layout when were using a mixture of black and white keys.
Learning C first and starting with music written in C allows us to focus more on some of the core skills were developing like holding up wrists correctly, getting familiar controlling our fingers and performing thumb tucks. Were likely to play the wrong notes and mess up too. Its quite easy, for example, to accidentally play an F in the key of G major when it should be an F#. With scales that form a more wavy shape on the keyboard, we really have to be thinking ahead in order to position our hand correctly to reach the black keys.
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Guides To Play C Major Scale With Both Hands:
Before you begin to learn how to play C major scale with both hands, you need to identify correct numbers and focus on improving fingering on piano. Numbers for your fingers on piano would be like:
- 4th ring finger and
- 5th pinky finger.
This numbering is for both hands. Beginning to play with both hands would be difficult in start as you dont have the concept and practice of co-ordination but you will be able to overcome this difficulty with varied exercises and practices. The best way to deal with this task is to dedicate long practice sessions for playing scales using both hands in groups of overlapping notes.
The main attraction with learning C major scale in beginning is that it has a formation that gives your left hand a mirror image of your right hand. When you look at the pattern of this scale in terms of numbering of fingers, it looks like:
One Octave C Scale: C D E F G A B C
- Right hand: 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5
- Left hand: 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1
Similarly, Two Octave C Scale: C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C
- Right hand: 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5
- Left hand: 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 4 3 2 1 3 2 1
Image Source: comptonpianostudio.com
Pro Tip: Listen To Your Favorite Rock Songs
Chords are used in almost every song you hear. The opening chord of Let It Be by The Beatles is a C major chord. Listen to some of your favorite songs and see if you can hear the sound of major chords.
How do you play a major chord on the piano?
To play a major chord, begin by choosing a root note, which can be any of the keyboard notes From the root note, count up two whole steps. This note is the third, named for being the third note in the key beginning with the root note. From the third, count up one-and-a-half steps, or three half steps. This note is the fifth.
When you play these three keyboard notes together, you hear a major triad, which has a happy sound. Major keyboard chords are used in almost every rock and pop song.
Common major piano chords include:
What are intervals called in a major scale?
The intervals in a major chord are called a major third, the distance from the root note to the third, and a perfect fifth, the distance from the root to the fifth. We counted the steps from the root to the third and the third to the fifth. To find the interval of a perfect fifth above the root note, count three-and-a-half steps, or a total of seven half-steps.
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