Cooke's 'Mastering the Scales and Arpeggios', from 1931, came recommended to me as the one-stop reference for learning to play scales. On page 27, I find A-flat. The text says, 'Right hand: Fourth finger on B flat'.

However, the fingering given on the staff at the bottom of the page starts out 2-3-1 instead of 3-4-1, thus alternating between 3 and 4 on b-flat. This is like nothing else in the book, and there's no mention of it in the prose. So I think it's a typo, but I wonder if there's some good reason that's escaping me.

1 Answer 1


A lot of guides will always have you start on 1 or 2. Your index finger is normally the strongest, so it makes some sense to start on 2 here. That said I much prefer consistency myself, and would start on 3 in order for the fingering to be the same as you play up to the octave.

See also: What is the proper way to play A-Flat scales on piano?

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