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Piano Lessons: Chromatic Fingering

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So let's talk about a chromatic scale.
We start the chromatic scale in level one.
And chromatic means to play every single
So, for example, if I start on C.
I would play every single note.
Every white key, every black key.
So it's a scale made of half steps.
And you can start a chromatic scale on any
note and
the fingering is always going to stay the
There are a couple ways you can finger
chromatic scales.
I'll start with the easiest.
It's the German fingering and that's
probably the one that you'll
end up doing cuz it's the easiest to keep
track of.
The German fingering is a really strong
It gives you a lot of good articulation
and power.
So what it is is, your third finger is
going to play on every single black key.
So you'll do one, three, one, three.
Now when you get to those places where
there are two white keys in a row.
So between E and F.
And B and C.
Your right hand will always do the lowest
note with it one.
And the upper note with the two.
So one, three, one, three, one, two.
Then go back to three, one, three, one,
three, one, two.
So on up like this.
Coming down is the same thing.
So the lower notes gonna have the thumb on
there and
the upper notes going to have the two.
So three, two, one.
Three, one, three, one.
as you learn this chromatic scale in other
You're going to be starting on different
notes, but the fingering stays the same.
So if I were to start it on F.
I can either start it with a finger two
cuz that's how it would normally be.
Or even with a finger one and go from one,
three, one, three.
If I started on a B, I would start with
finger one.
If I started on G, start with finger one.
Any black key, you're gonna start with
finger three.
So no matter where you start, it's the
So let's look at the left hand.
If I start on C, I'll go one, three, one,
When I hit the two white keys together the
lower note is going to have my two and
the upper note is going to have my one.
every time I get to those two white keys
I have the two lower and the one higher.
So again, I can start on any key,.
And it's the same fingering.
Now, that's the German fingering, like I
That's the easiest to keep track of.
There's also a form of fingering called
French fingering.
It's, it's a little bit faster, cuz you
don't do as many one and threes.
And the way that your French fin,
fingering works is you end up using your
four on some of these black keys.
Your thumb actually plays every
other white key.
So you'll have thumb.
So I didn't play my thumb here,
I went one, two three, four.
And I'm gonna play my thumb here.
My thumb again here.
So then my thumb's gonna play again here.
My thumb's gonna play again here.
Now you just keep going with all your
fingers in order,
until your thumb plays again.
So the kinda tricky thing about the French
fingering is it repeats every two octaves
instead of every one octave.
So let's go through and look at the left
So I'll do one, and then I'm gonna cross
my four.
So my thumb will, gonna play here, and
then it's gonna play again.
Now it's gonna play here.
Now it's gonna play here, so I cross my
It needs to play here, so I'll cross my
Three, so I can get my thumb here.
So I
actually don't love the french fingering,
because it only repeats every two octaves.
It's harder to form a real strong habit in
your hand.
Cuz it's not as consistent.
Your fingers like to do the same
repetition pattern over and over.
So what I actually like to do, and if you
want to try this you can,
is combine the French and the German.
So I like to do German on the two black
So one, three, one, three.
And then French on the four black keys.
I'll do that slowly with one hand at a
So German.
Now French.
So I'm going to do, start doing every
other black, every other white key here.
White key.
So I get my speed really fast right here.
then my power when I hit the two black
The other nice thing about this.
[SOUND] Is it does repeat every octave so
it stays in a pattern.
The left hand German.
And I'm gonna cross my four and turn it
into French.
See how my thumb skipped a white key?
Now back to German, French, German,
So you have three options.
The simplest, like I said, is just to
choose German.
But the combo of French and German is, is
really fantastic, if you,
if you want to try that as well.