Three Tips for taking the boredom out of practicing scales.
Piano | Three great ways to stay engaged when practicing your scales

Piano | Three great ways to stay engaged when practicing your scales

by: Laurel Backholm
Ever feel like Calvin when it is time to practice? The fact of the matter is this: Scales can be outlandishly boring! And instead of trying to come up with ridiculous ways to not turn into a zombie while practicing them the same boring way (reading a book or watching a movie?? Doesn’t work, believe me…) why not take over your practice time by adding a few new challenges? To get you started, I’ve gathered a few ways to help put that, well, interest back into your daily warm-ups.

  1. The first way which you might have already tried but I’m going to suggest anyways is to play your scales all staccato. It’s a good way to practice imitating that light “plucking” sound your teacher is always trying to drill into your head… ahem.


  3. A fun way I used to practice my scales when I was younger was by starting with both thumbs on middle c (or whatever scale you are doing at the time) and playing the scales counterpoint. Explanation: left hand goes down the scale while the right hand goes up. This is especially tricky with harmonic and melodic minor scales!


  5. This one will also test that theory you learned yesterday: With your right hand starting on middle c, place your left hand on the minor third an octave below. Pssst! A minor third is 3 half steps down from your starting note. So, if you place a C major scale but start on A, you are really playing an A minor scale. A minor and C major have the same key signature! Playing scales this way will help you to remember which major and minor scales are “related” and just make things a bit more interesting.

This is just scratching the surface of creative ways to un-boring your scales. Also, practicing your scales different ways like I’ve suggested above not only shakes things up for your brain but also puts your finger muscles to the test and forces them to become more agile = crazy good piano playing skills!

What awesome and different ways can you can figure out to play your scales?


  1. Thien Harrah says

    Thank you…thank you….May I have more piano practices tips on scales pretty please.

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