Questions & answers

This Q&A section is made to help you understand how the scales are presented on this site and how to interpret the information.

How should a keyboard diagram be interpreted?

The typical keyboard diagram on this site contains 25 keys (15 white and 10 black) which makes it two octaves (see picture below).
C major scale diagram
The reason for two octaves is to be able to use the same template over and over for different scales.

Keys colored blue means that they are included in the scale. Only one octave is used to present the notes in the scale, but that doesn’t mean that the scale only include one octave. The reason for showing the scales on one octave is to simplify the reading of the diagrams (you can play the same notes on all octaves).

A diagram should not be misunderstood as the part not colored in blue, of the next octave, doesn’t belong to the scale.
C Major
All white keys on the keyboard are a part of the C Major scale, but for simplifying matters only one octave is colored (see picture above).

Where on the keyboard should the scales be played?

The diagrams don’t show all the keyboard since it would take up too much space (a full size keyboard consists of 88 keys), and neither is it necessary. A certain scale can be played in all octaves on the piano in the same pattern.

Why are eight and not seven notes included in most scales?

For example C Major are presented with the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C instead of C, D, E, F, G, A, B. Both variants would be alright, the reason for the choice made on Pianoscales.org is that when exercising on a scale it is natural to include the second C when returning and play descending or playing over several octaves like: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C …

This doesn’t mean, however, that a C Major includes two C notes and only one D, for example.

What does “Fingerings (LH)” and “Fingerings (RH)” stand for?

Fingerings are instructions for which fingers that would be used, see fingerings. “LH” and “RH” are abbreviations for left hand and right hand.

Why are double-sharps and double-flats sometimes used and sometimes not?

The use of double-sharps (e.g. F##) and double-flats (e.g. Bbb) are not used in the "Notes" directly under the diagrams for the reasons that it could confuse beginners. They could instead sometimes be found further down the pages in the overviews of notes.