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Scale Fingering Groups

~ Group Three ~

The Musicarta Scale Fingering Groups pages explain in a methodical how the scales at the keyboard are fingered. Start with Group One and work through the series consistently to build a reliable 'bird's-eye view', as per the Scale Fingering Group diagram below.

The Scale Fingering Groups

Scale Fingering
Group pages

Group
One

Group
Two

Group
Three

Group
Four

Group
Five

Scale Fingering Group Three

Group Three is another right hand fingering group.

The Group Three scales are: F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb (enharmonic F#) and Cb (enharmonic B).

The Group Three rule is that, as the flats pile up through the 'flat keys' from F through to B major (thought of as enharmonic C flat), the right hand never moves from 'C major position', covering the octave C to C.

The right hand thumb (RH1) always plays C and F, just as in the C major scale, while the notes beneath the fingers are flattened one at a time.

In this Musicarta series, you play, for example, the C-to-C octave "in the key of F" - i.e. with B flat - before you move off the F-to-F octave and play the F major scale proper.

The Group Three scales

Watch the video straight through to see how the keys in the C octave get progressively flattened under the C major fingering, before you move to play the scales proper.

Here are the key signatures for the Group Three scales. Note the way the flats accumulate. The new flat affects the fourth of the scale.

Next:

  • Study the scale specific keyboard;
  • Watch/copy the relevant part of the video, adding the flats under the C-to-C octave, then moving off to play the scale proper; and
  • Play/practice the scale. Use the scale practice patterns as desired.

Notice that you use 'convenience fingering' in some of these scales when you are playing only one octave. See the notes.

F major

F major: One flat - B flat. Remember - right hand only.

B flat major

Two flats: B flat and E flat. The new accidental in the key signature always governs the fourth scale degree.

The RH2 on the lower B flat is a convenience finger. If you were playing down further, you would have to use RH4, as from the C scale (RH4 on B).

E flat major

Three flats: E flat (the tonic), B flat (carried over), and A flat (on the fourth).

Note: The RH2 on the lower E flat is a convenience finger. If you were playing down further, you would have to use RHs, as per the C scale (RH3 on B).

A flat major

Four flats: A flat (the tonic), B and E flats (carried over), and new D flat (on the fourth). Remember - right hand only.

Note: RH2 and RH3 on (lower) A flat and B flat are convenience fingers. To continue down, you would use LH4 (on B flat) and LH3 (on A flat).

D flat major

Five flats: D flat (the tonic), B flat, E flat and a flat (carried over), and new G flat (on the fourth). Remember - right hand only.

G flat major

Six flats: G flat (the tonic); B flat, E flat, A flat and D flat (carried over); and new C flat (enharmonic B natural). Remember, right hand only!

B major (enharmonic C flat major)

If you follow the rule to its logical conclusion, you will flatten the last remaining note (F) and have the enharmonic B major scale (shown).

The hand is now playing the C major scale, with C major fingering, but a semitone lower throughout.

Now go on to the Group Four scales - left hand flat keys.

Scale Fingering
Group pages

Group
One

Group
Two

Group
Three

Group
Four

Group
Five


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SCALES SERIES
Reference
Scale fingering
Scale Practice Patterns (SPPs)
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