Advantages of this method

How this system of learning scales works:

This pictorial system was devised, trialled and revised over several years by author and piano teacher Ellie Hallett before arriving at this system.

There are three big asks involved in scale playing:

1) remembering the sharps and flats in each key signature;
2) simultaneously reading the notation while playing;
3) applying the correct fingering to the correct notes treble and bass, sometimes hands separately and sometimes hands together.

Advantages with this method include:

  • There are few, if any, time-wasting wrong turns along the way.
  • Progress is rapid, more confident and less stressful for teachers and students.
  • The learning and then un-learning of errors practised at home is a non-issue.
  • The fingers are able to learn the track of each scale much more rapidly because the doubts and hesitations are removed.
  • Practice time becomes more efficient and musically satisfying.
  • The brain doesn’t get tired!
  • Scale quality improves because there is time to listen to the quality of what is being played.
  • The outcomes are a happier student, impressed parents – and a thankful teacher.

As on a real piano, the descending scale goes from right to left (i.e. backwards) – again for easy reading.

In the Melodic Minor scales, the reverse version requires different notes to be played. This is managed by having the descending finger numbers in a pale version and on their different notes to guide the student accurately.

Theory information provided for each scale:

  • the key signature
  • one octave treble and bass notation of the ascending and descending scale notes with their fingering
  • the names of the notes where the thumbs and 3rds come together.

All Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Scales in every key are set out so that full understanding and high-quality learning is possible for all students.

Accurate First Time Piano Scales also contains Natural Minor scales for A E D B G F# C C# and F.

The left and right fingering patterns are in port and starboard colours to make coordinating the two hands together easier.

On the left-side page the scale is shown at full size to enable better visualisation and allows ‘table-practice’ to take place anywhere – without a keyboard.