Category Archives: Picture Scales

Picture Scales in All Keys

Click on each picture to download the files.

I’ve finally finished remaking all of the Picture Scales. I needed to update some things under the hood, so I took the opportunity to make some more changes including remaking the one octave and two-octave scales.

They aren’t easy to make, so I was really dreading it.  Then there is the problem of not knowing my left hand from my right. Plus, I constantly mix up the 4th and 2nd finger. And the 1 and 5. Now that I think about it, how did I ever learn to read music! 🙂

However, over the years they have been well worth it.  I use regular scale books, too, but there are times when picture scales come in handy. My theory is, use what works! These picture scales are excellent for:

  • Visual learners
  • Memorizing scales
  • Teaching scales by ear
  • Students with learning disabilities

To find these in the future, go to the top menu and select Free > Newer Free Resources > Teaching Aids. Or just do a Google search for “Susan Paradis picture scales”.

If you like the idea of picture scales but don’t like my fingering,  I have posted some sheets where you can write your own.


Filed under Picture Scales, Teaching Aids

Write Your Own Scale Fingering


It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I have been busy making things! Sometimes I look through my website for material for my students, and I notice gaps or things I thought I posted but didn’t. That’s what happened as I was looking for the “write your own scale fingering” files.

Unfortunately, I don’t use the software that I originally used to make the files, so in order to remake them, I had to start all over. By this I mean really start all over, drawing white and black rectangles for the keyboards on a blank document. I know there are keyboard graphics and fonts to use, but I am picky and like to draw my own.

I also made some blank two octave keyboards to make whatever scale we need, such as one octave scales, natural minor, melodic minor, chromatic, whole tone, the blues scale, and modes. There is a line above each scale to write in the name. These are great for student composition. Some students like to make up their own scale. For a bonus, I made a plain grayscale version for teachers who do not use a color printer.

The idea behind the “write your own fingering” scales is that if students write in their own fingering they will understand the fingering better. Also, some teachers use different fingering than I do.

These are big files, so give them time to download. If they don’t print correctly, download the latest version of Adobe Reader, which is a free program. If you don’t want to print all of the scales, check out my tutorial in the FAQ to learn how to select pages to print. 

As usual, if you see a mistake please let me know, and I’ll fix it right away!


Filed under Picture Scales, Teaching Aids, Worksheets

Keyboard Labels to Write a Full One Octave Scale

Labels for 5-finger scales

Keyboard labels-one octave

I really have enjoyed using the keyboard 5-Finger scale labels I made a few weeks ago. However, some of my readers  asked if I had thought about making two octave labels so they  could write out full scales.

At first I was afraid they would be too small for the size label I have, but after trying it out,  I think they are big enough to at least put dots on the keys. You might not be able to write in finger numbers. If you don’t want to buy 1″ X 2 5/8″ address labels, you can cut them out and tape them on your student’s assignment books. That is what I did when I first tried them out.

There is a wonderful 3M Scotch™ brand tape that is removable. It’s rather hard to find, and more expensive than regular tape, but I always keep some on hand. You can tape one of these little keyboards on their assignment book and the next week remove it and place it on a new page. If you do this, you won’t have to buy labels, and the tape is a lot less expensive than buying address labels. The tape works like those little yellow sticky notes that teachers love so much. It is sold in either a roll that you have to put in your own dispenser, or sometimes I find it in a plastic dispenser like regular Scotch™ tape. I think I usually buy it at craft stores, and when I do I stock up. It lasts me a long time, because after all, you can move things around and use them over and over!


Click here for the 5-finger and treble and bass staff labels:

Five-Finger Scale Labels

Treble and Bass Staff Labels

I made the octave labels in brighter colors than the pentascale labels to help from getting mixed up.  The five-finger labels can be found here.  If you have any questions about how to print out these labels, contact me!


Filed under Picture Scales, Teaching Aids, Theory

Two Octave Harmonic Minor Picture Scales


Two Octave Minor Picture Scales

I  always had trouble  reading scales. I could never line up the fingering with the notes. The finger numbers were too small and seemed to keep moving from note to note. Fortunately, it didn’t  matter because I played scales by ear and memorized the fingering easily.

When a few a my students had the same problem reading the scales, I got the idea for my first picture scale.  This is the 2 octave harmonic minor version. While I’ve received some criticism for not insisting students read the scales, I don’t let it bother me because we all have different students with different needs. If you have a student who is helped by this, I would love to know.

1 Comment

Filed under Picture Scales