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I came up with fingerings for the blues scale in both hands. All the scales use finger groupings of 4 + 2. The scales are grouped by tonics: white keys, black keys, and F L.H. and B R.H. I experimented until I found 'mirror' symmetries between left and right hands. The fingerings seem to fit the hand, and I like that I was able to use only 6 patterns for all 24 L.H./R.H. scales.

Are these 'standard' fingerings? Or, do these fingerings seem bad?

I would like to start practicing them, but don't want to develop bad fingering habits.

The blues scale I'm using - starting on A - is:

a, c, d, d#, e, g, a

enter image description here

  • So long as you keep your thumbs off the D#, you can finger it many more ways than 6. The restriction to mirror image fingerings doesn't seem very useful - that certainly doesn't apply to most major and minor scales (except cases like B major and F# major where there is only one sensible scale fingering anyway). There are lots of charts on the web, e.g. playpianotoday.com/… – user19146 Mar 21 '17 at 21:49
  • @alephzero, the major/minor scales on the white keys (with some exceptions) do have this mirror symmetry. Ex. L.H. 5,4,3,2,1,3,2,1 & R.H. 1,2,3,1,2,3,4,5. But I understand this doesn't necessarily have any value for blues scales. – Michael Curtis Mar 22 '17 at 19:24
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Basic fingering for piano is try to play black keys with fingers, white with fingers or thumb. Learning a pattern for any scale is not a bad idea, but it won't necessarily help with anything but playing scales.

Spend more time messing about with phrases in (in your case here) blues, and just try different fingerings. You'll find that even if you have the 'perfect' fingering for a particular scale, when you play a 4 or 5 note phrase using notes from that scale, you may well use different fingers.

  • I think I understand what you mean. Making a phrase with a few notes from the 'scale' - probably with more attention to rhythm - is characteristic of blues style, rather than playing something like a two octave run up the scale. My fingerings are geared toward the latter. I should find some other material to practice. – Michael Curtis Mar 22 '17 at 19:33
  • @Tim What do you mean by "Basic fingering for piano is try to play black keys with fingers, white with fingers or thumb."? – Karlo Mar 31 '17 at 14:45
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    @Karlo - the black keys are situated furter from the player, so given an option, it makes sense to play them with the longer reaching fingers, and the thumb, being much shorter, fits better on the closer white keys. Obviously, there will be times when that's not feasible, but by and large, it's not a bad plan. Look at chromatic scale fingering. – Tim Mar 31 '17 at 15:46
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    I think the basic "rule" of avoiding the thumb on black keys is mostly - if not only - applicable when passing the thumb under for scales and arpeggios. If you play full octave chords without passing the thumb under, you do use the thumb on black keys. Ex. Eb major (Eb,G,Bb,Eb played simultaneously) you would play the Eb's with fingers 1 & 5. This may be obvious to an experienced player, but I only realized this after looking at a lot of fingering examples. – Michael Curtis Mar 31 '17 at 17:52
  • @Tim OK I understand. It's a good 'rule of thumb' ;) – Karlo Mar 31 '17 at 18:18

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