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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the beginning of the year I helped buying a digital piano for my mother and I ended buying one for myself too. One of the things I'm doing is practicing scales, and so far I haven't had too much problems, but I've seen that aside the basic scales (major, natural, harmonic and melodic minor) the resources I've seen so far for fingerings for other scales seems to be somewhat inconsistent, showing fingerings for just the right hand or just one octave that don't work well for multi-octaves runs. For instance what's a good fingering for the A minor pentatonic scale?
I was using this page but that particular fingering seems to work only for a single octave.
 

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You may just need to substitute the finger of the last note in the scale to the same one you started on to use it across multiple octaves, usually just bringing the thumb under on the right hand and pinky or fourth finger over on left hand.

Many use the Brown Scale Book as a reference for fingerings, but you still may have to use the method described above depending on how may octaves you want to go through.

As far as I remember pentatonic scales are not in the above book. Fingering is generally not a thing where there is one right answer. With the A min pentatonic for example in some contexts I would just use 1-2-3-4-5, in others maybe 1-2-1-2-3 in the right hand, and 5-4-3-2-1(5) in left.

If there are any good teachers in your area, I would take some lessons. Even a few can make a big difference.
 

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For the Cminor pentatonic 2 octaves RH, try 1,2,3, 1 (on G),2,3,4 (on eflat), 1,2,3, 4(or5) on top C and the same corresponding fingers to notes on the way down for the RH.
For the LH use 5,3,2,1,4 (on Bflat), 3,2,1, 3( on G), 2,1. Heading down use 1,2,3, 1 (on F),2.3.4 (on Bflat),1,2,3,5.

For A minor pentatonic 2 octaves, I found this worked for my RH - 1,2,3,4, 1 (on G),2,4,1 (on D),2,4 ,5. Heading back down, I used 5 (on A),4,2,1 (on D),4 (on C),2,1, 4 (on E),3,2,1.
For the LH, I tried 4,2,1, 4 (on E),2,1,4 (on C),3,2,1,2 (on top A). Heading back down - (2), 1,2,3,4 (on C),1,2,4,1 (on D),2,4.
An alternative for the A minor pentatonic LH ...
Ascending...1,2,3,4,5,4,2,1,4,2,1. And descending..1,2,4,1,2,4,1,2,3,4,5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You may just need to substitute the finger of the last note in the scale to the same one you started on to use it across multiple octaves, usually just bringing the thumb under on the right hand and pinky or fourth finger over on left hand.
yes usually it works, for some reason it seems it doesn't in this particular scale. Or maybe I've made some mistake.

Many use the Brown Scale Book as a reference for fingerings, but you still may have to use the method described above depending on how may octaves you want to go through.

As far as I remember pentatonic scales are not in the above book.
a book would be definitely useful, but why there aren't fingerings for even such a basic scales like pentatonic scales? I mean it's not some esoteric Slonimsky stuff, it's literally one of the most used and abused kind of scale. A lot of people who play guitar learn the pentatonic even before the major scale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For the Cminor pentatonic 2 octaves RH, try 1,2,3, 1 (on G),2,3,4 (on eflat), 1,2,3, 4(or5) on top C and the same corresponding fingers to notes on the way down for the RH.
For the LH use 5,3,2,1,4 (on Bflat), 3,2,1, 3( on G), 2,1. Heading down use 1,2,3, 1 (on F),2.3.4 (on Bflat),1,2,3,5.

For A minor pentatonic 2 octaves, I found this worked for my RH - 1,2,3,4, 1 (on G),2,4,1 (on D),2,4 ,5. Heading back down, I used 5 (on A),4,2,1 (on D),4 (on C),2,1, 4 (on E),3,2,1.
For the LH, I tried 4,2,1, 4 (on E),2,1,4 (on C),3,2,1,2 (on top A). Heading back down - (2), 1,2,3,4 (on C),1,2,4,1 (on D),2,4.
thank you, I'll definitely try it and see how it goes.
 

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a book would be definitely useful, but why there aren't fingerings for even such a basic scales like pentatonic scales? I mean it's not some esoteric Slonimsky stuff, it's literally one of the most used and abused kind of scale. A lot of people who play guitar learn the pentatonic even before the major scale.
Used and abused in a lot of rock and blues based music yes, not in the classical tradition. It was used tastefully in the modern era by composers like Debussy, Ravel and others but prior to that, not really commonly used as far as I know. The scales in The Brown Scale Book reflect what was used the most in the common practice era - the major scale, the harmonic minor and melodic minor scales.

There probably are other books with fingerings for the pentatonic I don't know about, and I suspect mikeh375's suggestions are good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
For the Cminor pentatonic 2 octaves RH, try 1,2,3, 1 (on G),2,3,4 (on eflat), 1,2,3, 4(or5) on top C and the same corresponding fingers to notes on the way down for the RH.
For the LH use 5,3,2,1,4 (on Bflat), 3,2,1, 3( on G), 2,1. Heading down use 1,2,3, 1 (on F),2.3.4 (on Bflat),1,2,3,5.

For A minor pentatonic 2 octaves, I found this worked for my RH - 1,2,3,4, 1 (on G),2,4,1 (on D),2,4 ,5. Heading back down, I used 5 (on A),4,2,1 (on D),4 (on C),2,1, 4 (on E),3,2,1.
For the LH, I tried 4,2,1, 4 (on E),2,1,4 (on C),3,2,1,2 (on top A). Heading back down - (2), 1,2,3,4 (on C),1,2,4,1 (on D),2,4.
An alternative for the A minor pentatonic LH ...
Ascending...1,2,3,4,5,4,2,1,4,2,1. And descending..1,2,4,1,2,4,1,2,3,4,5.
ok, I've tried the first fingering and it seems kind of similar with the fingering I've linked in the page above. My perplexity is that so far I've seen that basically in every scale fingerings are made to repeat the same through the octaves, with a minor variation of the last (or the first?) octave. So If I'm playing four octaves scales, the first three octaves are the same and in the last one there's a minor variation at the end. That kind of fingering (especially on four octaves, and I'm usually playing four octaves) doesn't repeat the same way in al the octaves.
I've not tried the alternative still but I guess you meant the right hand.

But I've made a solution that seems to satisfy the repetition through octaves and so far seems to work:
LH 5 / 3(on C) 2 1 2 1 / 3(on C) 2 1 2 1 and so on (descending 1 2 1 2 3(on C) / 1 2 1 2 3(on C)
RH 2 / 1(on C) 2 3 1 2 / 1(on C) 2 3 1 2 etc
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Used and abused in a lot of rock and blues based music yes, not in the classical tradition. It was used tastefully in the modern era by composers like Debussy, Ravel and others but prior to that, not really commonly used as far as I know. The scales in The Brown Scale Book reflect what was used the most in the common practice era - the major scale, the harmonic minor and melodic minor scales.

There probably are other books with fingerings for the pentatonic I don't know about, and I suspect mikeh375's suggestions are good.
this reminds me of that famous video of Adam Neely (music theory and white supremacy). Onestly being someone who loves classical music but also jazz, blues and pop I'd like to find a book that includes also pentatonic and a lot of other scales and also modes...
 

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Yes, my suggestions where for two octaves and I can see what you mean over 4octaves. But with slight adjustments they can be adapted over 4 octaves quite easily, adopting a 2octave span type fingering.

Your fingering for the Amin pentatonic does not seem optimal to me, it feels awkward and over stretched by not using the 4th finger, thereby creating more thumb shifts and perhaps ultimately not being able to play as fast as you might like. It's a matter of preference, but I do think you should incorporate the 4th finger for the best results.

For the C minor pentatonic over 4 octaves try this
RH..1.2.3.1.2.3.4.1.2.3.....1.2.3.1.2.3.4.1.2.3.......5.3.2.1.4.3.2.1.3.2.1.4.2.1.4.3.2.1.3.2.1
This does change slightly on the way down but can be played fairly rapidly and is shape based.
For the LH...
5.3.2.1.4.3.2.1.3.2.1.3.2.1.4.3.2.1.3.2............1.2.3.1.2.3.4.1.2.3.1.2.3.1.2.3.4.1.2.3.5

For A min try this shape based approach that maintains a good hand position and fewer thumb shifts, but might prove trickier.
RH....1.2.3.4...1.2.4...1.2.4....1.2.3.4......1.2.4.....1.2.4.5....and down....5.4.2.1.4.2.1..4.3.2.1....4.2.1....4.2.1....4.3.2.1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Yes, my suggestions where for two octaves and I can see what you mean over 4octaves. But with slight adjustments they can be adapted over 4 octaves quite easily, adopting a 2octave span type fingering.

Your fingering for the Amin pentatonic does not seem optimal to me, it feels awkward and over stretched by not using the 4th finger, thereby creating more thumb shifts and perhaps ultimately not being able to play as fast as you might like. It's a matter of preference, but I do think you should incorporate the 4th finger for the best results.
I don't know, I've played the 12 major pentatonic scales following the page I mentioned in the first comment and most of them
use much more the first three fingers, and for what I've seen in other tutorials like on youtube people playing a lot of pentatonic scales with mostly three fingers with a sporadic use of the ring finger and pinky.
Actually the most awkward I've encountered so far is the b major pentatonic that is the one that uses all five fingers in both hands, so for that too I elaborated a different fingering again with three fingers that works way better.

For the C minor pentatonic over 4 octaves try this
RH..1.2.3.1.2.3.4.1.2.3.....1.2.3.1.2.3.4.1.2.3.......5.3.2.1.4.3.2.1.3.2.1.4.2.1.4.3.2.1.3.2.1
This does change slightly on the way down but can be played fairly rapidly and is shape based.
For the LH...
5.3.2.1.4.3.2.1.3.2.1.3.2.1.4.3.2.1.3.2............1.2.3.1.2.3.4.1.2.3.1.2.3.1.2.3.4.1.2.3.5

For A min try this shape based approach that maintains a good hand position and fewer thumb shifts, but might prove trickier.
RH....1.2.3.4...1.2.4...1.2.4....1.2.3.4......1.2.4.....1.2.4.5....and down....5.4.2.1.4.2.1..4.3.2.1....4.2.1....4.2.1....4.3.2.1.
thank you, I'll try these fingerings too. I have more work before C minor pentatonic, a minor is the first minor pentatonic I'm trying and I'm following the circle of fifths so I need a bit of time to get there.
 

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this reminds me of that famous video of Adam Neely (music theory and white supremacy). Onestly being someone who loves classical music but also jazz, blues and pop I'd like to find a book that includes also pentatonic and a lot of other scales and also modes...
I didn't watch that video, the topic seems too stupid to bother with in my view. I like all of those styles too. I'm sure there are plenty of resources available for those other scales.

I think they limit the scales in that book because there are also various chords, inversions, arpeggios and other exercises they focus on.

edit - I do like some Adam Neely videos I've seen, the guy knows a lot about music.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I didn't watch that video, the topic seems too stupid to bother with in my view. I like all of those styles too. I'm sure there are plenty of resources available for those other scales.

I think they limit the scales in that book because there are also various chords, inversions, arpeggios and other exercises they focus on.

edit - I do like some Adam Neely videos I've seen, the guy knows a lot about music.
he knows a lot about music and he's a very intelligent person. While I can perfectly understand your reaction to the title of the video, the video itself is (as usual) very well done and interesting and it has definitely good points in my opinion.
 
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