How to play A Major Scale

 

Howdy!

Next in our beginner scales series is A major scale. This one has three sharps, so there’s a little more to watch out for – but the finger pattern is simple (just like C major scale and some of the other basic ones).

Enjoy!

A Major Scale

Sheet music for A major scale

Other beginner scales

Below is a list of the other beginner scales I’ve made videos for so far – Everything on this list is 1 octave, and hands separate. For more scales, please visit the “Categories” page.

C major scale (1 octave)

F major scale (1 octave)

A natural minor scale (1 octave)

A harmonic minor scale (1 octave)

D major scale (1 octave)

D natural and harmonic minor scale (1 octave)

E major scale (1 octave)

Why scales?

Scales are often thought of as tedious and dry, but they’re extremely useful to know and understand as a musician. Knowing scales – and their individual flavors of sharps or flats – allows you to instantly understand key signatures (the sharps/flats that hover at the beginning of a line of music).

Most songs are based on a “key”. For example, if we say a song is in the “Key of C major”, what we’re saying is that it’s based off C major scale, and therefore has no sharps or flats (unless otherwise indicated in the music).

So in the case of E major scale, if you see a piece that has four sharps in the key signature, you can bet that the piece is based on E major scale.

(Unless it’s not: Every major scale has a minor counterpart. For more info on how that works, check out this video on Major and Minor doppelgangers.

xo,
Allysia

Allysia has been teaching piano in Canada for nearly a decade, and has her Grade 10 RCM certificate. She especially enjoys nerding out to music history and theory. When she’s not making videos or teaching, she’s reading, writing, and jamming in a rock band.

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