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A Romp through F# Major scales and arpeggios

F# Major Scales

F# Major, from a certain perspective, happens to be one of the easier scales to play because it falls into patterns of triple black and double black keys with thumbs meeting in between. In fact, both hands have mirror fingers on the black notes. That’s why piano teachers will often introduce the F# Major scale to their students before commencing C Major, G, D etc. and others in sequence around the Circle of Fifths.

The composer, Chopin, chimed in, and taught B Major, F# Major and C# Major as as beginning scales because of their black key symmetry.

The challenge, however arises when F# Major among other scales are played in various permutations. For example, in 6ths–either with the RH starting 6 notes above the root, or with the Left beginning 6 notes below the root.

While the player can still travel through double and triple black notes with preset fingers, the relationship between the hands change as the playing unfolds. (adjustments are also frequently made at the beginning and end of many permuted scales and arpeggios)

For Arpeggios, a new center of gravity must be established on ALL black notes, F# A# C# F# since these skinny ones demand keen centering for fluid phrasing, speed, and accuracy.

In my first video I take a romp through F# Major scales and arpeggios in various forms: Root position parallel motion, then adding 6ths, 10ths.. and some contrary motion routines, too.

In this second instruction I demonstrate how to work up and develop a stream of F# Major 4-note arpeggios in legato, with a roll-in/loop around motion.

To prepare: I block out 4-note chords by inversion. (A helpful routine to reinforce fingering as well)

F#, A#, C#, F#;, A#, C#, F#, A#; C#, F#, A#, C#; F#, A#, C#, F#;

Fingering for the RH
1, 2, 3, 5; 1, 2, 4, 5; 1, 2, 4, 5; 1, 2, 3, 5

Fingering for the LH
5, 3, 2, 1; 5, 4, 2, 1; 5, 3, 2, 1; 5, 4, 2, 1

In brisk tempo, as with all playing, presence of mind, and natural, relaxed breathing help.