The F major scale on piano is one of the first ones people learn that has a special or unique fingering. It's not a difficult scale in terms of the key signature but it does throw a bit of a curve ball with it's B flat.
Here you'll learn:
The F major scale is the first in line in terms of keys with flats in them. It's the scale with one flat. It starts and ends on F and all the notes in between are white notes except for Bb.
The key of F has Bb (B flat).
The notes of the F major scale are: F G A Bb C D E F
If you look at the picture above of the F major scale, you'll see the Bb lands on the spot where we usually cross our thumb under when using the standard scale fingering. Trying to do that with a flat there just won't work or feel comfortable. So this scale will be different in terms of fingering - but only for the right hand.
Right Hand Fingering for F Major Scale on Piano:
With the B flat in the key signature, the fingering is going to be different for the right hand. We will be going up to 4, then crossing our thumb under and also finish the scale on finger 4.
Right hand fingering: 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Left hand isn't as complicated as the right hand. The flat doesn't change anything for this hand so it can still use the basic scale fingering.
Left hand fingering for F major scale on piano:
Left hand: 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1
When putting this F major scale hands together, it'll feel a bit awkward at first due to the difference in the fingering.
Here are some tips for playing F major scale hands together:
This scale can frustrate some since one hand is "normal" and the other is not. So if you feel that way, remember to give yourself a bit of leeway (lots of people struggle here) and go very very slow to begin with.
Fingering for all scales - especially more unique ones like F major, 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).
If you're playing this scale going up and back down, use the following fingering to help you.
Here are pictures / diagrams of the F major scale on piano going both up and back down for the treble clef and right hand and the bass clef and left hand.
As you may have gathered by now, the key signature of F major is one flat - B flat (Bb).
When you play a song in the key of F, you always need to play a B flat instead of a B (unless instructed otherwise).
The key of F has one flat: Bb.
Now that you know the F scale, you can also know and understand the F chord - this is the F major chord.
This chord is written as just a F and major chords are built off of the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the major scale.
If you look at the picture of the scale, you can see the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes are F A C. Those three notes make the F chord and you can play that now as well.
Let's also learn the formula for a suspended chord here.
A suspended chord has the chord formula of 1 4 5 - the 1st, 4th and 5th notes of a major scale.
Remember the Bb? It's on the 4th note of the scale. So that would be why this chord has a flat there.
The 1st note of the scale is F, the 4th is Bb and the 5th is C. So the F major chord is F Bb C.
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This week, practice the F major scale in any of the following ways (depending on your level):
Also try playing the F chord when you get to the end of your scale.
For more major scales, visit the major scales page.
Complete Book of Scales, Chords and Arpeggios here on Amazon (this is an affiliate link).