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Major Scales ~ One octave,
contrary motion - the 'All Blacks'



This page will help you master one-octave contrary motion major scales in the 'All Black' keys - D flat, F sharp (enh. G flat) and B majors.

This is the fifth in this series of five pages. Work through the pages in order!

x5/x8 SPPs (ConMo) nav

Intro & model

2H/SFG1
(C to E)

2H/SFG2
(Bb to Db)

2H/SFG3
(F and B)

2H/SFG4
(Db, F#, B)

The Scale Fingering Groups

Take a moment to review the two-hand Scale Fingering Groups (2H/SFGs) information, for an improved 'aerial view' of scale fingering.

The twelve two-handed major scales fall into four groups:

  • '2H/SFG1*': C and sharp keys to E (RH SFG1 + LH SFG2)
  • '2H/SFG2': Flat keys B flat to D flat (RH SFG3 + LH SFG4)
  • '2H/SFG3': 'Odd Men Out' catch-up - F (RH SFG 3 [4+4], LH SFG2) and B (RH SFG1 + LH SFG5 [4+4]). 
  • '2H/SFG4': the 'All-Blacks' (both hands SFG5) - D flat, F sharp (enh. G flat) and B majors.

*'2H/SFG' stands for "two-handed scale fingering groups" - the
groups of  two-handed scales with similar fingering.

Here is the original (separate hands) Scale Fingering Group (SFG) diagram for reference.

This page covers the 'All-Blacks' (both hands SFG5) scales - D flat, F sharp (enh. G flat) and B majors.

Note that there is some 'overlap' in the scale fingering groups, as you can see in the diagram above.

  • 'All Black' (2H/SFG4) B major right hand is also an SFG1 scale;
  • D flat right hand is also an SFG3 scale (thumbs on F and C);
  • D flat left hand is also an SFG4 scale (3+4+1).

This is good news, as it mean there's more than one way to understand and remember the scale fingering!

2H/SFG4 scales - which white keys?

The 2H/SFG4 scales use all the black keys.

  • Both hands play the group of two black keys with fingers 2 and 3;
  • Both hands play the group of three black keys with fingers 2, 3 and 4.

These three keys each use a different pair of the available four white keys, according to these diagrams.

The B major scale uses white keys B and E .

*The B major scale right hand is also a Group One scale.

The D flat major scale uses white keys C and F.

*D flat major left hand is also a Group Four scale.

*The LH2 on the top D flat is a 'convenience' finger (in place of LH3).

The G flat major scale uses white keys C flat (B) and F.

*The LH2 on the top G flat is a 'convenience' finger in place of LH4.

Written as F sharp major, the white keys are B and E sharp.

Watch the video describing the 2H/SFG4 ('All Black') contrary motion fingering.


The x5/x8 ConMo patterns

In this series of pages, you play these x5/x8 contrary motion (ConMo) patterns in all keys.

ConMo x5/x8 Pattern 1

ConMo x5/x8 Pattern 2

ConMo x5/x8 Pattern 3

ConMo x5/x8 Pattern 4

D flat major

The All Black scales have fingers 2 and 3 on the group of two black keys, and fingers 2-3-4 on the group of three black keys (both hands).

All you have to remember is which white keys to use.

  • There's always just one white key between the groups of black keys;
  • You play all white keys with the thumb.

In D flat major, the white keys are F and C naturals.

D flat major also appears on the 2H/SFG2 page.


F sharp major

F sharp major uses white keys B and 'E sharp'. 'E sharp' looks like F natural, but it isn't - you can't have two 'F's' in the same scale!

You might find yourself playing exactly the same keys for music written in G flat major - the 'enharmonic' (= sounds the same) equivalent of F sharp major.

Here's the key specific keyboard.

In this case, one of the white keys is C flat - for the same reason as given above. The other is F (natural).

B major

B major uses white keys B and E. The contrary motion scales start with the thumbs sharing the middle tonic.

You might very infrequently find yourself playing exactly the same keys for music written in C flat major (B's 'enharmonic' equivalent), in which case the white keys will be written as C flat and F flat.


Before you go on, use the series nav to revisit the contrary motion patterns in the other 2H/SFGs.

x5/x8 SPPs (ConMo) nav

Intro & model

2H/SFG1
(C to E)

2H/SFG2
(Bb to Db)

2H/SFG3
(F and B)

2H/SFG4
(Db, F#, B)

Going on from here

You have now learned all twelve two-handed one-octave major scales in both similar and contrary motion, meaning that you can use the abbreviated one-octave major scale practice series starting here.


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SCALES SERIES
Reference
Scale fingering
Scale Practice Patterns (SPPs)
Scale-tone practice patterns (STPPs)
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