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Joined: Dec 2021
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Hi there!

I wonder what are the most commonly used scales on piano?
It's about scales in specific keys (for example C Major, G Major).
Scales in specific keys are more comfortable to play than the other.
So I assume scales with comfortable positions are more commonly used.
If I learn those scales, I can play a lot of songs / music more quickly.

Like C Major, which only contains white keys.
Move the root to D it becomes D Dorian, move it to F becomes F Lydian, etc.
Yet the pattern stays the same, all white keys.
I've learned to play C, D, G, and E (all Majors).

At the end of the day, I know I have to learn at least all Major scales in 12 keys.
But it'd be great if I can learn the more commonly used first. grin

I want to play pop, jazz, funk, and a kind of hybrid jazz / classical
(like Joe Hisaishi, Studio Ghibli composer).
So feel free to suggest the scales in those specific genres as well.

*Anyway, I'm a new member. Greetings!


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The easiest scales to play put the longest fingers on the black keys:

. . B major, Db major, F# major.

They are not the most common scales, in my experience.


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Originally Posted by Feraldy Naufal
Hi there!

Scales in specific keys are more comfortable to play than the other.
Yes, Charles mentions three.

Originally Posted by Feraldy Naufal
So I assume scales with comfortable positions are more commonly used.
Or, are scales that are easier to read in more commonly used? B would be easier (or more comfortable at least) than C to play in, but you're looking at 5 sharps, or 7 flats if you prefer, to read in.

Originally Posted by Feraldy Naufal
If I learn those scales, I can play a lot of songs / music more quickly.
Could you please elaborate? To my mind, if the material is brand new, there is so much to learn about it that the scale or key won't help you much. Some technical bits, but sure won't be a give away. Fractionally may help a little is what I think.

Originally Posted by Feraldy Naufal
...
*Anyway, I'm a new member. Greetings!

Greetings, indeed and welcome.

Last edited by Greener; 12/21/21 06:01 PM.
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5# only ... sorry. Can't edit my mistakes fast enough any more ...

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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
The easiest scales to play put the longest fingers on the black keys:

. . B major, Db major, F# major.

They are not the most common scales, in my experience.
That's interesting to know!

Originally Posted by Greener
Or, are scales that are easier to read in more commonly used? B would be easier (or more comfortable at least) than C to play in, but you're looking at 5 sharps, or 7 flats if you prefer, to read in.
I mean easier to play with. smile

Originally Posted by Greener
Could you please elaborate? To my mind, if the material is brand new, there is so much to learn about it that the scale or key won't help you much. Some technical bits, but sure won't be a give away. Fractionally may help a little is what I think.
With scales at least it's easier to know the melodies and the chord progressions to use.
I think it helps quite a lot when it comes to learning new songs / music.
For example if I learn C Major, I'm able to play I-V-vi-IV starting on C (commonly used in pop songs).

I don't know if this is a common approach to learn.
Previously I play guitar, so I learn by pattern. smile


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As a beginner, I find that these keys are the most common:

Major keys: A Bb C D Eb F G
Minor keys: A B C D E G


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Greetings to the new member !

The easiest as it has been noted is probably B major. C major is not easy at all, no pivot for the thumb. But really, if you want to develop your technique go for the difficult ones, not the easy. No shortcut in learning the piano. IMO you should be looking for the hard ones !

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IMO, learning scales should be done when you are ready to apply what you have learned through playing that scale to particular music. The music makes more sense when you can pair the scale with it . I see no reason to learn G flat major scale until you are ready to play music in the same key signature.

Start with the ones commonly taught and used first, and then add new scales as you need to know them. They should be a learning tool not a task you need to rush to complete.


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Originally Posted by Animisha
As a beginner, I find that these keys are the most common:

Major keys: A Bb C D Eb F G
Minor keys: A B C D E G
Thanks! I'll keep this in mind.

Originally Posted by marklings
Greetings to the new member !

The easiest as it has been noted is probably B major. C major is not easy at all, no pivot for the thumb.
Thanks for the greetings!
C Major does feel kinda difficult on the fingering, but it's easy to remember since it's all white.
For now I mostly play on G Major, I find it to be the easiest one.

Originally Posted by marklings
Greetings to the new member !

But really, if you want to develop your technique go for the difficult ones, not the easy. No shortcut in learning the piano. IMO you should be looking for the hard ones !
Definitely! Learning piano makes me realize what it takes to play a decent piano performance.
Sometimes I feel it's like an exercise for brain and muscles. grin


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Originally Posted by dogperson
IMO, learning scales should be done when you are ready to apply what you have learned through playing that scale to particular music. The music makes more sense when you can pair the scale with it . I see no reason to learn G flat major scale until you are ready to play music in the same key signature.
It's good to know the music first before scales (to know the context).
But I find knowing the scales first does help too in terms of identifying the music and how to approach. smile

Originally Posted by dogperson
Start with the ones commonly taught and used first, and then add new scales as you need to
know them. They should be a learning tool not a task you need to rush to complete.
Definitely agree with this, learning should be fun and not a rush. smile


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F minor scale drove me nuts at one time

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Take a look at this: https://www.hooktheory.com/cheat-sheet/key-popularity

C Major is one of the most difficult scales really, because it requires steep hand position and 4-1 finger transfer from white key to white key.

I think Hisaishi prefers C major and G minor.

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Playing scale is easy anyone can play scale from beginner to advance pianist. There is no book call, "Easy Scale for Beginner." The real challenge is to play music, it takes years of practice to become a pianist.



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Originally Posted by Feraldy Naufal
At the end of the day, I know I have to learn at least all Major scales in 12 keys.

No. You have to learn at least all the major, and harmonic minor scales. And since you want to play jazz, there are some other fun scales...

Originally Posted by Feraldy Naufal
But it'd be great if I can learn the more commonly used first. grin

Why?
Do you want to learn scales like a parrot, with no understanding?
Why would you want to do that? It's dumb.
Music is nothing but ratio's, that repeats every octave, and if you understand that, and the basic structure, then you realize that the real barrier to learning is your perception.

Start at C major, learn that scale. Yes it has no flats or sharps but it's actually trickier to play than other scales. Then learn its relative minor (A minor). Guess what it has exactly the same structure. Wow figure that?!
Then from C using the circle of fifths go to the next scale which is G major (it has one sharp), and then learn its minor, which again has the same structure WOW OMG!
Etc. rinse and repeat.

There, I just gave you the simplest, most basic structure for learning scales. And I didn't even come up with it. It's been around for ever.
Grin

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Originally Posted by JohnnyIssieBangie
Originally Posted by Feraldy Naufal
At the end of the day, I know I have to learn at least all Major scales in 12 keys.

No. You have to learn at least all the major, and harmonic minor scales. And since you want to play jazz, there are some other fun scales...

Originally Posted by Feraldy Naufal
But it'd be great if I can learn the more commonly used first. grin
Why? Do you want to learn scales like a parrot, with no understanding?
Why would you want to do that? It's dumb.
The poster's wanting to learn more commonly used first is completely reasonable since that will allow him to play more pieces from the beginning. The only problem with his request is that in classical music there may not be more commonly used key signatures, at least starting in the romantic era. Learning the more commonly used scales first(if they exist) has nothing to do with learning scales "like a parrot".

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Ok a list of good keys to learn (which just happen to be my Fav's
major
C, F, A flat, E flat, B flat.

Scales to play with are pentatonic, Blues (a bit extra than pentatonic), major (but play from the third as it sounds just like playing)

Hope this helps you matey

Andy


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