GRADE 3

Complete Guide to Major & Minor Scales (Volume 1)


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TO TEACHERS & STUDENTS: The objective of Grade 3 is to learn all 12 major scales one octave harmonized in thirds, sixths, and tenths at a slow tempo. This is spread out over a total of 12 weeks, not including the Exam. Ideally, each Lesson equals one week, but could be extended to two weeks for students who either learn at a slower pace and/or have less time to practice. Conversely, for students who are unusually gifted and/or fast learners, two or perhaps three lessons could be learned in one week. In any case, students should avoid rushing through lessons and skipping steps. The better one can learn these rudimentary lessons, the stronger one’s overall technical and theoretical foundation will become. The average student should spend at least 10-15 minutes daily on each lesson, making the learning of major scales an integral part of their overall daily piano practice. Each lesson corresponds with the numbered and lettered musical systems (lines) in the book. Simply screen-shot or print out each lesson and use the instructions as a guide to help work your way through the book! 

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WEEKLY LESSON PLANS FOR GRADE 3

LESSON 1 (lines 1c – 1e):  C MAJOR

  1. Examine line 1c, C major harmonized above in thirds or simply C major in thirds. This is because the top note is always an interval of a third above the bottom note. Play the RH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the C major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are E. You already know the LH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.  
  2. Examine line 1d, C major harmonized below in sixths or simply C major in sixths. This is because the bottom note is always an interval of a sixth below the top note. Play the LH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the C major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are E. You already know the RH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.
  3. Examine line 1e, C major harmonized above in tenths or simply C major in tenths. It is the same as C major in thirds in line 1c, except the C below and E above are separated with an extra octave placing the hands farther apart. Play the scale hands together.
  4. Review lines 1c-e each played two consecutive times at 72 bpm with metronome at one tick per eighth note. 

LESSON 2 (lines 2c – 2e):  G MAJOR

  1. Examine line 2c, G major harmonized above in thirds or simply G major in thirds. This is because the top note is always an interval of a third above the bottom note. Play the RH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the G major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are E. You already know the LH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.  
  2. Examine line 2d, G major harmonized below in sixths or simply G major in sixths. This is because the bottom note is always an interval of a sixth below the top note. Play the LH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the G major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are B. You already know the RH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.
  3. Examine line 2e, G major harmonized above in tenths or simply G major in tenths. It is the same as G major in thirds in line 2c, except the G below and B above are separated with an extra octave placing the hands farther apart. Play the scale hands together.
  4. Review lines 2c-e each played two consecutive times at 72 bpm with metronome at one tick per eighth note. 

LESSON 3 (lines 3c – 3e):  D MAJOR

  1. Examine line 3c, D major harmonized above in thirds or simply D major in thirds. This is because the top note is always an interval of a third above the bottom note. Play the RH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the D major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are F-sharp. You already know the LH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.  
  2. Examine line 3d, C major harmonized below in sixths or simply D major in sixths. This is because the bottom note is always an interval of a sixth below the top note. Play the LH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the D major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are F-sharp. You already know the RH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.
  3. Examine line 3e, D major harmonized above in tenths or simply D major in tenths. It is the same as D major in thirds in line 3c, except the D below and F-sharp above are separated with an extra octave placing the hands farther apart. Play the scale hands together.
  4. Review lines 3c-e each played two consecutive times at 72 bpm with metronome at one tick per eighth note. 

LESSON 4 (lines 4c – 4e):  A MAJOR

  1. Examine line 4c, A major harmonized above in thirds or simply A major in thirds. This is because the top note is always an interval of a third above the bottom note. Play the RH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the A major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are C-sharp. You already know the LH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.  
  2. Examine line 4d, A major harmonized below in sixths or simply A major in sixths. This is because the bottom note is always an interval of a sixth below the top note. Play the LH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the A major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are C-sharp. You already know the RH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.
  3. Examine line 4e, A major harmonized above in tenths or simply A major in tenths. It is the same as A major in thirds in line 4c, except the A below and C-sharp above are separated with an extra octave placing the hands farther apart. Play the scale hands together.
  4. Review lines 4c-e each played two consecutive times at 72 bpm with metronome at one tick per eighth note. 

LESSON 5 (lines 5c –5e):  E MAJOR

  1. Examine line 5c, E major harmonized above in thirds or simply E major in thirds. This is because the top note is always an interval of a third above the bottom note. Play the RH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the E major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are G-sharp. You already know the LH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.  
  2. Examine line 5d, E major harmonized below in sixths or simply E major in sixths. This is because the bottom note is always an interval of a sixth below the top note. Play the LH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the E major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are G-sharp. You already know the RH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.
  3. Examine line 5e, E major harmonized above in tenths or simply E major in tenths. It is the same as E major in thirds in line 5c, except the E below and G-sharp above are separated with an extra octave placing the hands farther apart. Play the scale hands together.
  4. Review lines 5c-e each played two consecutive times at 72 bpm with metronome at one tick per eighth note. 

LESSON 6 (lines 6c – 6e):  B MAJOR

  1. Examine line 6c, B major harmonized above in thirds or simply B major in thirds. This is because the top note is always an interval of a third above the bottom note. Play the RH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the B major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are D-sharp. You already know the LH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.  
  2. Examine line 6d, B major harmonized below in sixths or simply B major in sixths. This is because the bottom note is always an interval of a sixth below the top note. Play the LH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the B major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are D-sharp. You already know the RH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.
  3. Examine line 6e, B major harmonized above in tenths or simply B major in tenths. It is the same as B major in thirds in line 6c, except the B below and D-sharp above are separated with an extra octave placing the hands farther apart. Play the scale hands together.
  4. Review lines 6c-e each played two consecutive times at 72 bpm with metronome at one tick per eighth note. 

LESSON 7 (lines 7c – 7e):  F MAJOR

  1. Examine line 7c, F major harmonized above in thirds or simply F major in thirds. This is because the top note is always an interval of a third above the bottom note. Play the RH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the F major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are A. You already know the LH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.  
  2. Examine line 7d, F major harmonized below in sixths or simply F major in sixths. This is because the bottom note is always an interval of a sixth below the top note. Play the LH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the F major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are A. You already know the RH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.
  3. Examine line 7e, F major harmonized above in tenths or simply F major in tenths. It is the same as F major in thirds in line 7c, except the F below and A above are separated with an extra octave placing the hands farther apart. Play the scale hands together. Review lines 7c-e played at 72 bpm with metronome with each eighth note receiving one tick. 
  4. Review lines 7c-e each played two consecutive times at 72 bpm with metronome at one tick per eighth note. 

LESSON 8 (lines 8c – 8e):  B-FLAT MAJOR

  1. Examine line 8c, B-flat major harmonized above in thirds or simply B-flat major in thirds. This is because the top note is always an interval of a third above the bottom note. Play the RH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the B-flat major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are D. You already know the LH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.  
  2. Examine line 8d, B-flat major harmonized below in sixths or simply B-flat major in sixths. This is because the bottom note is always an interval of a sixth below the top note. Play the LH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the B-flat major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are D. You already know the RH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.
  3. Examine line 8e, B-flat major harmonized above in tenths or simply B-flat major in tenths. It is the same as B-flat major in thirds in line 8c, except the B-flat below and D above are separated with an extra octave placing the hands farther apart. Play the scale hands together.
  4. Review lines 8c-e each played two consecutive times at 72 bpm with metronome at one tick per eighth note. 

LESSON 9 (lines 9c – 9e):  E-FLAT MAJOR

  1. Examine line 9c, E-flat major harmonized above in thirds or simply E-flat major in thirds. This is because the top note is always an interval of a third above the bottom note. Play the RH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the E-flat major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are G. You already know the LH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.  
  2. Examine line 9d, E-flat major harmonized below in sixths or simply E-flat major in sixths. This is because the bottom note is always an interval of a sixth below the top note. Play the LH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the E-flat major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are G. You already know the RH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.
  3. Examine line 9e, E-flat major harmonized above in tenths or simply E-flat major in tenths. It is the same as E-flat major in thirds in line 9c, except the E-flat below and G above are separated with an extra octave placing the hands farther apart. Play the scale hands together.
  4. Review lines 10c-e each played two consecutive times at 72 bpm with metronome at one tick per eighth note. 

LESSON 10 (lines 10c – 10e):  A-FLAT MAJOR

  1. Examine line 10c, A-flat major harmonized above in thirds or simply A-flat major in thirds. This is because the top note is always an interval of a third above the bottom note. Play the RH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the A-flat major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are C. You already know the LH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.  
  2. Examine line 10d, A-flat major harmonized below in sixths or simply A-flat major in sixths. This is because the bottom note is always an interval of a sixth below the top note. Play the LH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the A-flat major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are C. You already know the RH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.
  3. Examine line 10e, which shows A-flat major harmonized above in tenths or simply A-flat major in tenths. It is the same as A-flat major in thirds in line 10c, except the A-flat below and C above are separated with an extra octave placing the hands farther apart. Play the scale hands together.
  4. Review lines 10c-e each played two consecutive times at 72 bpm with metronome at one tick per eighth note. 

LESSON 11 (lines 11c – 11e):  D-FLAT MAJOR

  1. Examine line 11c, D-flat major harmonized above in thirds or simply D-flat major in thirds. This is because the top note is always an interval of a third above the bottom note. Play the RH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the D-flat major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are F. You already know the LH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.  
  2. Examine line 11d, D-flat major harmonized below in sixths or simply D-flat major in sixths. This is because the bottom note is always an interval of a sixth below the top note. Play the LH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the D-flat major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are F. You already know the RH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.
  3. Examine line 11e, D-flat major harmonized above in tenths or simply D-flat major in tenths. It is the same as D-flat major in thirds in line 11c, except the D-flat below and F above are separated with an extra octave placing the hands farther apart. Play the scale hands together.
  4. Review lines 11c-e each played two consecutive times at 72 bpm with metronome at one tick per eighth note. 

LESSON 12 (lines 12c – 12e):  G-FLAT MAJOR

  1. Examine line 12c, G-flat major harmonized above in thirds or simply G-flat major in thirds. This is because the top note is always an interval of a third above the bottom note. Play the RH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the G-flat major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are B-flat. You already know the LH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.  
  2. Examine line 12d, G-flat major harmonized below in sixths or simply G-flat major in sixths. This is because the bottom note is always an interval of a sixth below the top note. Play the LH alone ascending and descending a few times slowly. Notice that the G-flat major fingering is retained except its first and last notes are B-flat. You already know the RH scale and fingering. Now, play the scale hands together.
  3. Examine line 12e, G-flat major harmonized above in tenths or simply G-flat major in tenths. It is the same as G-flat major in thirds in line 12c, except the G-flat below and B-flat above are separated with an extra octave placing the hands farther apart. Play the scale hands together.
  4. Review lines 12c-e each played two consecutive times at 72 bpm with metronome at one tick per eighth note. 

EXAM FOR GRADE 3

  1. Play each of the twelve major scales in thirds, sixths, and tenths each two times in a row with no stopping at a slow tempo with the correct fingering. No metronome is needed. 
  2. Play them in their correct order of increasing sharps and flats as in Lessons 1-12. 
  3. Before playing each scale, say “This is the __ major scale and it has __ sharps, which are___.” (Name the sharps or flats in the correct order.)
  4. All must be memorized with no sheet music permitted.

Once the Exam for Grade 1 has been completed successfully, you are ready to progress to Grade 4!

START GRADE 4

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