Of all the music scales, the major scales for piano are the most popular. Most of the music that we hear is a derivative of the major scale and if you listen closely, you can readily identify the eight-note scale in any one of its 15 variations, including its minor scale deviations. Scales are what make playing music a little easier and once you spend a little time practicing them, you’ll be surprised to discover how much easier it is to learn a song. This is because most music (if not all) is made of notes that are dedicated to a particular scale.
A song composed in E minor for example is made of the notes that build the E minor scale. But the simplest scale of all is the C major scale. This is the only major scale that can be played with just the white keys of a piano and it doesn’t require any sharps or flats (black keys). If you can manage to faithfully emulate the tune of the infamous “Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do” vocal exercise, you can manage to play all major scales for piano from any note on the piano regardless of flats and sharps.
The first note on the major scales for piano is better known as the “tonic” note, with the second called the “supertonic,” the third called the “mediant,” the fourth called the “subdominant,” the fifth – the “dominant,” the sixth – the “submediant,” the seventh – the “leading note,” and the last called the “tonic” (again). The difference between the first note of a major scale and the last note is the octave. If you listen carefully, you’ll notice that last tonic is exactly one octave higher than the first tonic.
To play the C major scale on the piano, strike the first C. This is the tonic note of the C major scale. Skip the black key to the right of it and strike the white key. That’s “D” — a whole step from C. Next, hit the white key to the right of the D key. That’s “E.” The next key is the “F” key. Since there isn’t a black key between the E and the F key, “F” is a half step from “E.” Continue playing only the white keys from F to G to A to B to C, the last note of the C major scale. The end result is the C major scale.
Some popular songs played in this scale include:
- Prelude in C Major by Chopin, Frederic
- Op.33 Seven Bagatelles by Ludwig van Beethoven
- Concerto for Piano No.8 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Piano Concerto No. 25 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Lautenkonzert (Lute Concerto) in C Major by Antonio Vivaldi
- Fantasia In C Major by Franz Joseph Haydn
- Andante in C Major by Johann Sebastian Bach
- Invention No. 1 in C Major by Johann Sebastian Bach
- Menuetto I in C Major by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Here are all 12 Major Scales for Piano:
C Major Scale:
G Major Scale:
D Major Scale:
A Major Scale:
E Major Scale:
B Major Scale:
F# Major Scale:
C# Major Scale:
F Major Scale:
Bb Major Scale:
Eb Major Scale:
Ab Major Scale:
Db Major Scale:
Gb Major Scale:
Cb Major Scale: