I have just started playing the piano, enjoy playing scales on it. When I play a scale one handed (C major for example), after I finish playing the note with my pinky finger, I have to lift my hand up and move it next to where my pinky was last, which takes some time, and is inefficient. Is there an efficient way to go through the scales without stopping?
Yes, there is a more efficient way: customarily, piano teachers (or at least the ones I had) teach scale fingerings that ensure you do not use your pinky fingers until you reach the end of the scale. Fingerings of scale runs in piano sheet music tend to concur with these commonly taught fingerings.
Instead of lifting after you use your pinky, these fingerings have you cross over your thumb after you use your middle or ring finger.
Can't think of a scale that needs pinky (r.h.) until the last note, after which you descend. Generally, fingering will involve getting to the middle or ring finger, then moving to the right, playing the next note with thumb, at which point, the whole hand has moved to the next higher position. Returning is pretty well the opposite. Playing F major doesn't use pinky at all in r.h.