7

What is the most common fingering for the pentatonic scale? Minor and major. All of them. I don't know about standards; there are lots of different fingerings you could use. I would like to know what is considered right.

I've experimented and got a consistent fingering for C, G, F# and F. I prefer this fingering. F# major pentatonic:

1-2-1, 3-4

Other people prefer for F#:

1-2-3, 1-2

7
  • Related music.stackexchange.com/questions/3092/…
    – r4.
    Apr 6, 2016 at 10:50
  • My sourse (possibly bad). pianoscales.org/pentatonic.html
    – r4.
    Apr 6, 2016 at 10:51
  • 1
    Googling brought up many, many answers.
    – Tim
    Apr 6, 2016 at 11:16
  • 4
    For most of them you're not going to find a fingering that is comfortable beyond a single octave, thanks to the larger intervals being frequent enough that you'll be twisting your wrist like crazy trying to tuck and stretch your fingers. IMO there's no "right" fingering, just ones that somewhat work for you and are less wrong.
    – user28
    Apr 6, 2016 at 15:24
  • 1
    As an example of that, take the case of Bill Evans who apparently was notorious for avoyding thumb crossings (keyboardmag.com/lessons/1251/the-bill-evans-re-fingering-school/…) Apr 6, 2016 at 17:57

1 Answer 1

2

Single octave

Starting with the obvious ...

For a simple five-note traversal of either a major or minor pentatonic, the fingerings

  • RH: 1-2-3-4-5
  • LH: 5-4-3-2-1

are sufficient.

Multiple octaves, same fingering for every scale

For multiple octaves, I find it most comfortable to use fingers 1 and 2 for the "skips" in the scales. Using this approach, every major pentatonic can be played

  • RH: 2-3-1-2-1
  • LH: 1-3-2-1-2

Similarly, every minor pentatonic can be played

  • RH: 1-2-3-1-2
  • LH: 2-1-3-2-1

Multiple octaves, "best" (IMO) fingering for each scale

  • RH: always a variant (rotation) of 1-2-3-1-3 or 1-2-3-1-2 (the final 3 or 2 is interchangeable according to personal preference).
  • LH: always a variant (rotation) of 3-2-1-3-1 or 3-2-1-2-1 (the final 3 or 2 is interchangeable according to personal preference).
scale RH LH
C 2-3-1-2-1 1-3-2-1-3
Cm 1-3-1-2-3 1-3-2-1-3
C# / Db 2-3-1-2-1 3-2-1-2-1
C#m / Dbm 3-1-2-3-1 3-1-3-2-1
D 2-1-2-3-1 3-1-3-2-1
Dm 1-2-3-1-3 3-1-3-2-1
D# / Eb 3-1-2-3-1 3-2-1-3-1
D#m / Ebm 1-2-3-1-2 (or 1-2-3-1-2-3 continuously) 1-3-2-1-3 (or 3-2-1-3-2-1-...)
E 1-2-3-1-3 1-3-2-1-3
Em 1-2-3-1-3 3-1-3-2-1
F 2-3-1-2-1 1-3-2-1-3
Fm 1-2-3-1-2 1-3-2-1-3
F# / Gb 2-3-1-3-1 (or 1-2-3-1-2-3-...) 3-2-1-3-1 (or 3-2-1-3-2-1-...)
F#m / Gbm 3-1-2-3-1 3-1-3-2-1
G 2-3-1-2-1 3-2-1-2-1
Gm 1-3-1-2-3 1-3-2-1-2 or 1-3-1-3-2
G# / Ab 2-3-1-3-1 3-2-1-2-1
G#m / Abm 1-2-3-1-2 3-1-3-2-1
A 1-2-3-1-3 2-1-3-1-3
Am 1-2-3-1-3 3-1-3-2-1
A# / Bb 3-1-2-3-1 3-2-1-2-1
A#m / Bbm 1-3-1-2-3 3-1-3-2-1
B 1-2-3-1-3 1-3-2-1-3
Bm 1-3-1-2-3 3-1-3-2-1

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.