a pianist using the best piano scales book for learning scale

7 Best Piano Scales Books for Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Players

August 20, 2021 Selin Gökova 6 min read No Comments

Looking for the best piano scales book for yourself or your students?

From improving the technique to developing a practical understanding of music theory, the benefits of practicing piano scales are countless. 

While there are hundreds of piano scales books in the market, it’s crucial to choose the one that is suitable for your level, age, and learning style. Given that scales aren’t the most fun part of learning the piano, choosing the right book that will keep you or your students engaged and motivated is essential.

After trying out and switching between several scales books for years as a classical pianist, I believe I’ve gained a significant amount of knowledge on the best piano scales books out there.

If you’re a beginner, you might also want to read this post after this one to help you decide which piano scales to learn first as a beginner

For now, let’s see the best piano scales books. 

Piano Scales, Chords & Arpeggios Lessons

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This fantastic book is so much more than a scales book. Before even diving into the scales, it takes you through the fundamentals of music theory and piano technique so that you become equipped with the essential knowledge and skills to learn and understand the scales. 

Written with beginners in mind, the book has a clear, step-by-step, and organized approach that makes it easy to understand for any age and level. The friendly tone throughout the book also makes the learning experience much more fun and engaging. 

The most remarkable feature of this book is definitely the video lessons supplementing the written ones. The high-quality videos help you visualize the concepts and see how your hand and finger positions should be while playing a certain exercise. I always believe it’s incredibly effective and helpful to watch someone else playing while learning. It also significantly speeds up the learning process.

I recommend this book, especially for self-teaching pianists. The book is so comprehensive and organized that you’ll barely need a teacher. Even if you do, the video lessons will take care of it. 

Overall, this book is not only one of the best books for learning piano scales but also for learning the piano. 

The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios & Cadences

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From self-teaching beginners to piano teachers, this comprehensive book by Alfred is a perfect resource for anyone to learn or teach the scales in a clear and simple manner.

The book covers all the major, minor (natural, harmonic, melodic), and chromatic scales in all keys. Chords, arpeggios, and cadences in all keys and different variations are also thoroughly explained.

It not only features all the scales, chords, and arpeggios but also provides you with instructions on how to play and exercise them. Another thing I find really effective about the book is that it provides precise and clear explanations for understanding the theory and logic behind scales and other exercises.

The fingering guides also greatly helped me establish a good scales technique and correct fingering while playing not only scales but any piece.

One thing to consider before buying this book is that despite the name, it covers the scales used in classical music and doesn’t include other different scales to play jazz, blues, or untraditional genres.

If you’re in search of a book to learn jazz piano, you can check out my recommendations for the best books to learn jazz piano.

If you’re planning to play classical, popular, or rock songs, then this book will be more than enough. 

Scales, Chords & Arpeggios

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From beginner to advanced pianists, the importance of practicing scales and arpeggios on a regular basis is immense. For this, it’s necessary to have a resource book even if you’ve already memorized all the scales.

I’ve been playing the scales and arpeggios for ten years now but I still find myself referring to this book once in a while to check the fingerings or refresh my memory on some of the concepts.

This book is one of the most comprehensive scales book featuring all the scales, arpeggios, and an excellent chord dictionary. I also love the nice and simple design that makes it easy to read. 

It’s not an instructional book but rather a comprehensive resource that you can use for years to come. 

I highly recommend getting this book for any pianist or piano teacher as it’s quite affordable yet essential.

Scales Bootcamp

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One of the biggest challenges of learning scales is that they are quite mechanical and boring, though the repetitive and regular practice is the key to master the scales.  This makes it quite hard to stay engaged and motivated.

When I first started to learn scales when I was 10 years old, I had a traditional scales book with only fingerings and notes provided in a rather dull layout and colors. I remember it was a nightmare to stay focused and practice the same thing over and over again for hours.

This fun, colorful and interactive book will challenge all your previous thoughts on learning scales, showing that scales don’t have to be boring.

The practical fingering diagrams in the book will be helpful for any pianist. Featuring hundreds of challenges that should be completed for each scale, the gamification approach of the book makes learning piano scales super engaging and fun.

The book has a practical approach and relies on effective practice and repetition. This helps you memorize and internalize the scales in such a way that you should be able to play any scale with your eyes closed even 10 years from now. 

From piano teachers to self-teaching pianists, I believe any pianist can greatly benefit from this unique piano scales book.

Scale and Arpeggio Manual

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Written by Macfarren, this classic manual was first published in 1915 and has been since the most essential and comprehensive resource on scales and arpeggios for classical pianists. 

This ultimate collection includes all the scales and arpeggios in all keys and variations, some of which are scales in double 3rds or arpeggios in diminished 7ths. There are also related exercises for each scale and arpeggios to build dexterity, agility, and flexibility. 

In short, this book is a must-have resource for classical pianists who want to deepen their knowledge of scales and develop a solid classical piano technique.

Easy Visual Scales

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If you’re a visual learner or a piano teacher looking for a fun and visual scales guide to use in your lessons, you’ll love this book! 

Each page covering one scale with presentations of its keyboard layout, fingerings, key signature, and two-octave score, this book has a clear, organized, and visual approach. 

It simplifies even the most complex scales by presenting them in a visual and easy-to-understand form, which makes the learning experience more fun and effective. 

Considering the amount of value this book provides for such a low price, I think it’s a must-buy for any pianist and piano teacher.

The Manual of Scales, Broken Chords and Arpeggios (Piano)

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I’ve been participating in ABRSM exams since I was in grade 2, and the ABRSM scale books have always been a wonderful support for not only the exams but also my overall piano learning experience. 

This book isn’t divided by grades, so it’s the most comprehensive piano scales book out of all the other ABRSM scales books. It contains scales in all keys and types along with broken chords and arpeggios. 

It’s not a book for learning piano scales, but rather a resource book that is a nice supplement to piano lessons.

Selin Gökova

Selin Gökova is a neo-classical composer and pianist from Istanbul, Turkey. Holding an ABRSM certificate on piano performance, she's been playing the piano and composing for ten years. Wandering Tunes is her side project where she combines her two passions: writing and music.

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Hi, my name is Selin. Playing the piano and composing are my biggest passions. I've founded this blog to share everything I've learned throughout the years about piano playing and learning. I hope you stick around! Read More

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