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Practicing Scale Fingering
~ One Octave ~



Enough intro stuff about scale fingering groups, the combination of whole tones and semitones and the build-up of accidentals in the key signatures! Time to start working up some speed and smoothness in our one-octave hands-together scales.

The x5/x8 scale practice patterns

These scale fingering practice pages demo a set of super-effective scale fingering practice patterns that are going to help you master scale fingering once and for all.

Because of their shape, they've come to be called the "times five/times eight" (x5/x8) patterns. Here's the basic x5/x8 pattern 'contour diagram'.

 x5/x8 Pattern 1

Here's a video demonstrating the build-up to that in C major.


This pattern in C will help you help you learn where to turn your thumb under in G, D, A, and E majors.

These 2H/SFG1 scales divide the octave very obviously into a group of three, and a group of five notes - in both hands. The thumb passes under finger three and finger three passes over the thumb (both hands) to give enough fingers to play the eight notes of the octave.

The x5/x8 practice patterns on this page will help you get the thumb under and finger three over in the right place - the usual stumbling block to mastering one-octave scales.

Here are four more x5/x8 patterns demonstrated in C.

 x5/x8 Pattern 2

This pattern builds up over three stages, from this one...

 ... to this continuous one-octave pattern:

When you come to the continuous up-and-down-three-times final pattern, you're asked to play 'in triplets' - little groups of three notes per beat.

Playing in groups of three like this means the pattern finishes satisfactorily after three or sixth octaves (in length). This acts as an incentive to keep going to the end.

 x5/x8 Pattern 2 (from the top)

This pattern recaps the build-up of SFPP2A (above), but from the top.


 x5/x8 Pattern 3

This pattern brings some rhythmic variation - every 'setting off from the tonic' starts with one longer note.

The zigzag part-octaves only go down/up four notes - just enough to practice passing the thumb under. Let your wrist swing from side to side to let the thumb get under finger three to the next note.

The exercise includes both from-the-bottom and from-the-top.


 x5/x8 Pattern 4

This pattern puts the notes in groups of three to the beat (triplets).

Like SFPP2C, the part-octaves are only four notes deep.

These factors puts the 'stress' on some unaccustomed notes, like the seventh and the second.


Now go on to play these patterns in the rest of the 2H/SFG1 keys - sharp keys G to E.

Or use the series nav to reach other pages in the series.

x5/x8 SPPs (SimMo) nav

Intro & model

2H/SFG1
(C to E)

2H/SFG2
(Bb to Db)

2H/SFG3
(F and B)

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


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