Scales and Their Formats

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

Moderators: Feg, Gill the Piano

Post Reply
New Member
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 06 Mar 2014, 20:21

Scales and Their Formats

Post by caters » 06 Mar 2014, 20:23

common scales range from pentatonic to chromatic.
There are 5 types of pentatonic scales:
Blues minor
Blues major
multiply that by 12 and that is 60 pentatonic scales.

the minor pentatonic has this format m3(minor third) W W m3 W
Major: W W m3 W m3
Suspended: W m3 W m3 W
Blues minor: m3 W m3 W W
Blues major: W m3 W W m3
You notice how each of those scales have 2 minor thirds and 3 whole steps or tones but in different orders?
What would be the fingering for these 5 scales?

Now Hexatonic or 6 note scales.
There are 6 types of hexatonic scales:
Whole Tone
Two semitone Tritone
multiply that by 12 and you get 72 hexatonic scales.
The Whole Tone scale is all whole steps
Augmented: H(half step) m3 m3 H W W
Prometheus: W W W m3 H W
Blues: m3 W H H m3 W
Tritone: H m3 W H m3 W
Two Semitone Tritone: H H M3(major third) H H M3
What would be the fingering for those scales?
Heptatonic scales are the most common and most famous out of all the scales.
There are lots of different types:
Aeolian(natural minor): W H W W H W W
Melodic minor: W H W W W W H
Harmonic minor: W H W W H m3 W
Ionian(major): W W H W W W H
Locrian: H W W H W W W
Dorian: W H W W W H W
Phrygian: H W W W H W W
Lydian: W W W H W W H
Mixolydian: W W H W W H W
Phrygian raised sixth: H W W W W H W
Lydian raised fifth: W W W W H W H
Lydian Dominant: W W W H W H W
Major minor: W W H W H W W
Half Diminished: W H W H W W W
Altered: H W H W W W W
Neopolitan Major: H W W W W W H
Gypsy: H m3 H W H m3 H
Hungarian: W H m3 H H m3 H
Dominant Harmonic Minor: H m3 H W H H W
Enigmatic scale: H m3 W W W H H
240 total scales if you multiply by the number of notes in an octave.
No minor or major thirds in these except when looking at intervals between 1 note and another in the scale,the harmonic minor, the gypsy, the hungarian, the dominant harmonic minor, and the enigmatic scale.
I know the fingerings for some of these but some I don't know the fingerings for. I know the major and minor and harmonic and melodic minor fingerings but none of the others. What are the fingerings of all these other scales?
Octatonic scales are rarer and there is only 1 type, the diminished scale which is like this: W H W H W H W H
There are 3 types because of the 8 notes and so you have only 3 octatonic scales in all 12 notes.
What is the fingering for that?
The last one is the chromatic scale and there is only 1. It is all half steps. What is the fingering of that?

User avatar
Colin Nicholson
Executive Poster
Executive Poster
Posts: 1836
Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland

Re: Scales and Their Formats

Post by Colin Nicholson » 15 Mar 2014, 00:32

This is not the forum for this kind of info... and FAR TOO MUCH info!
Try the ABRSM forum/ jazz section, and you may find some answers there
AA Piano Tuners UK

Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

Post Reply