Practicing the C major scale

Martin Cohen
A free video tutorial from Martin Cohen
Teacher, musician and composer
4.6 instructor rating • 6 courses • 19,735 students

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19:01:20 of on-demand video • Updated October 2020

  • Complete beginners will be taken to an intermediate (or even higher) level of piano playing with a thorough understanding of music theory.
  • You will learn all the chords on the piano that will allow you to play all the songs you want.
  • You will learn to read music, so that you can play from lead sheets, chord sheets and sheet music.
  • You will start to improvise using the pentatonic and blues scales.
English So, in this lecture, I will show you how to play the C major scale with the play-along tracks at 60 bpm, 90 bpm and 120 bpm. The play-along tracks come in 2 versions: a version for 1 octave up and down, and a version for 2 octaves up and down., so together with the 3 tempos, this makes 6 play-along tracks for the C major scale. And you will find the play-along tracks in the resources with this lecture, as usual. Before you begin, be sure that you know how to play the C major scale, as explained in the last lecture, so that you can easily follow the play-along tracks. OK, let's start! Each play-along track starts with 4 clicks of a metronome. After the 4th click, you start to play the C major scale in the same tempo as the metronome clicks. So, I will start with 1 octave at 60 bpm. The scale has to be played up and down. The top note, so the top C is played twice: once when coming from the ascending scale, and once as the starting note for the descending scale. So, you play the scale up... end on the C, and start again on the C to play the scale down. After that, there's a little pause, and it restarts again. The play-along track lets you play 4 times the scale up and down for the 1 octave version, and 2 times for the 2 octave version. So, there we go. Be sure to start after the 4th click of the metronome and to continue the notes of the C major scale in the same tempo as the 4 metronome clicks. Little pause and then it starts again... OK, I will stop it for now, I think you know how it works. I will now quickly play the 90 bpm version and after that the 120 bpm version. OK, 1 time is enough. And here is the 120 bpm-version. Let's move to the versions with 2 octaves. So, after the 4 clicks of the metronome, you start to play in the same tempo as the metronome till you reach 2 octaves up, then you hold the C for twice as long as the other notes, then you repeat the highest C and go down. So like this… One, two... So you heard that I counted 1-2 for the last C in the ascending scale, and then started to play the scale in descending order. I know, that’s a bit different than in the 1-octave version, and it’s needed here, otherwise it doesn’t work with the rhythm of the play-along track. OK, let me play it now with the play-along track at 60 bpm… So a little pause, then it starts again… OK, the 90 and 120 bpm versions go in exactly the same way, so I think that I don't have to show you that. And very important, now I’ve shown to you how to play the right hand with the play-along tracks, but don’t forget to practice also your left hand. You can of course use the play-along tracks also for your left hand, it works exactly the same way. So, finally I'd like to say that it is not needed to play at the highest speed, so 120 bpm. If you're able to play well at that speed, then great! If not, it's also good. If you play it well at 60 bpm, that's already OK to continue with the next lectures. You can always speed it up later. Remember that it is better to play it well slowly, than to play it quickly, but full of mistakes.