E Major Scale on Piano

Notes, Fingering & How To Play It

Ready to learn the E major scale on piano? This one is great to learn after you've learned the very basics (like C majorG major and D major).

Here you'll learn:

  • how to play the E scale
  • the notes of the E major scale
  • fingering for the right hand (on piano)
  • fingering for the left hand
  • the key signature of E major
  • a bit about the E major chord
  • what to practice!

E Major Scale on Piano - Basics

The first thing you need to know to play this scale is which blacks notes you're going to be playing. 

The E major scale has 4 black notes and they are all sharps: F# C# G# D#.

So when you play this scale, make sure you remember them going both up and down. 

Here's a video tutorial to help you with playing the E major scale. 

The E Major Scale  - Video Tutorial

E Major Scale - Notes

The E major scale goes from E to E and has 4 sharps (all black notes) in the scale. 

The key of E has F#, C#, G# and D#

The notes of the E major scale are: E F# G# A B C# D# E

When playing this scale, you can think of the sharps in 2 parts: the beginning of the scale has two sharps and the end of the scale has 2 sharps. You also often cross a finger under or over around these sharps. 

E major scale notesNotes of the E Major Scale

Piano Fingering for E Major Scale

The E major scale on piano is another scale that uses the basic scale fingering or finger patterns - which is great! We have a few extra sharps but can use the fingering we've used for other scales. 

This is the fingering pattern you need to use for the E major scale on piano. 

Right Hand: 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5

Left Hand: 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1

E Major Scale Right Hand FingeringE Major Scale Right Hand Fingering

This scale is a nice one to play because you sort of have "markers" - you need to take action around the sharps. 

For your right hand, your thumb crosses under after G# (going up). If you were to play more than 1 octave, it would cross under again at D#. 

For your left hand, you cross 3 over at the C# (when going up).

E Major Scale Left Hand FingeringE Major Scale Left Hand Fingering

Creating little patterns around what to do in music and playing scales can be helpful. 

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Resource for Piano Scales:

Fingering for all scales, including the E major scale on piano, can be found in the Complete Book of Scales, Chords and Arpeggios here on Amazon (this is an affiliate link that will earn a tiny commission).

This is a handy resource when learning scales (and also arpeggios). 

E Major Scale - Fingering Up & Down

To play the E major scale ascending and descending (or up and down), use the following fingering. 

Note: if you're just beginning and this seems complicated, work on just going up only. After that is comfortable (enough), move onto going back down again. 

Here are pictures / diagrams of the E major scale on piano going both up and back down for the treble clef and right hand and the bass clef and left hand

Treble Clef Fingering for E Major Scale on PianoTreble Clef Fingering for E Major Scale on Piano
Bass Clef Fingering for E Major Scale on PianoBass Clef Fingering for E Major Scale on Piano

The Key Signature of E Major

Now that you know the E major scale on piano, it also means you know the key of E major. This is great! And something you should remember

The key of E has 4 sharps: F#, C#, G#, D#

You have the beginning of the sharps saying which is Father Charles Goes Down. (The full saying is Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle - this is the order of the sharps.)

Understand the E Chord From E Scale

Now that you know the E scale, you can also know and understand the E chord - this is the E major chord and written as just an E. 

Major chords are built off of the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the major scale. So we can work out the chord by getting those notes.

If you look at the picture of the scale, you can see the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes are E G# B. Those three notes make the E chord and you can play that now as well.

E major scale

If you look at the third note of the scale, it has a sharp. That's why the chord has a sharp in the middle. No sharp means it's a different chord (in this case it would be E minor chord). 

Now if we look at another type of chord, a 6th chord, we can apply the chord formula and make this chord too. 

The chord formula for a 6th chord is the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 6th notes of the major scale. So looking at the scale, that means E G# B C#. And that is the E6 chord. 

Free Download:

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    What To Practice?

    This week, practice the E major scale in any of the following ways (depending on your level):

    • 1 octave, hands separately
    • 1 octave, hands together (slow at first!)
    • 2 octaves, hands separately
    • 2 octaves, hands together

    Also try play the E chord when you get to the end of your scale.

    Further Resources:

    For more major scales, visit the major scales page.

    Complete Book of Scales, Chords and Arpeggios here on Amazon (this is an affiliate link).

    Download Piano Chord Cheat Sheet

    FAQ for E Major Scale

    What notes are in the E Major scale?

    2. How do I play the E Major scale on the piano?

    To play the E Major scale on the piano, start on E (the white key right before the set of two black keys). Play the following pattern for the right hand:

    • E (thumb)
    • F# (index finger)
    • G# (middle finger)
    • A (thumb under to next white key)
    • B (index finger)
    • C# (middle finger)
    • D# (ring finger)
    • E (pinky)

    This pattern applies to the right hand. For the left hand, start with the pinky on E and use a similar pattern, but reverse the fingerings.

    How many sharps does the E Major scale have?

    The E Major scale has four sharps: F#, G#, C#, and D#.

    What is the key signature of E Major?

    The key signature of E Major has four sharps (F#, G#, C#, D#), which means that every time these notes are played in the music, they are played as sharps unless otherwise indicated.

    How is the E Major scale used in music?

    The E Major scale is used in music to construct chords, melodies, and harmonies in the key of E Major. If a piece of music is in the key of E Major, the E Major scale provides the basic 'palette' of notes to be used.

    What chords are in the key of E Major?

    The key of E Major includes the following chords: E Major (I), F# minor (ii), G# minor (iii), A Major (IV), B Major (V), C# minor (vi), and D# diminished (vii°).

    How can I practice the E Major scale?

    You can practice the E Major scale by playing it up and down on the piano, using the correct fingerings. Practice slowly at first, focusing on evenness and accuracy. Over time, gradually increase your speed.

    What are the benefits of learning the E Major scale?

    Learning the E Major scale can help improve your finger dexterity and hand coordination, increase your familiarity with the keyboard, and deepen your understanding of music theory.

    Is the E Major scale commonly used in piano music?

    Yes, the E Major scale is commonly used in various genres of piano music, from classical to pop and jazz. While it may not be as common as C Major or G Major, it's still an important scale to learn.

    Can the E Major scale help me play by ear?

    Absolutely. Understanding scales, including the E Major scale, can help you recognize patterns and predict which notes are likely to be used in a piece of music, aiding in playing by ear.

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    Free Download:

    Ultimate Chord Cheat Sheet

    Ultimate Chord Cheat Sheet

    Subscribe below and get free access to the (printable) Ultimate Chord Cheat Sheet.

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