Background: Learning piano on my own using a method book (alfred's adult series) (88 hours of practice so far), since a month ago. Don't have access to a piano teacher for the moment but will definitely get one as soon as possible.

I'm currently going through a scales book ( Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences: Complete Book ) and for each key we have:

  • Parallel motion in octaves.
  • Contrary motion starting on the same note.
  • Parallel motion in thirds or tenths.
  • Parallel motion in sixths.
  • Triads
  • Cadences (3 positions)
  • Arpeggios (2 inversions + root )
  • Dominant Seventh Arpeggios (3 inversions + root)

For each key, I'm currently only concentrating on: scales (parallel and contrary motion), cadences and the first Arpeggios (not the dominant 7th one)).

Question: Does it make sense (from a more traditional piano learning point of view) at this stage to also include the 3rds and 6ths or would it be better to come back them later?

1 Answer 1


From memory, and it's been decades, scales in thirds didn't come in until grade VI, which is normally taken after some five years of playing. And contrary motion scales started with C,and then E, as they are pretty well symmetrical. So, there's enough other stuff to be going on with, I'd have thought, for now! Suggest you look at piano grade requirements, ABRSM, Trinity, etc.,as they obviously put stuff in at what they feel is an appropriate level.

  • By going through several of the ABRSM syllabuses I now realise that I was focusing on too much stuff at once. I'm certainly reducing the scope a bit now. Thanks for the recommendation.
    – fmendez
    Jan 23, 2017 at 18:25

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