Music scales are foundational to musical composition. Working knowledge of them, both in theory and in practical application, provides a musician with basic understanding of how music is written and how to play an instrument.
Use the piano to learn the scales and you will have a set of images which aid your memory and ability to think in terms of the basic structure of all western musical composition.
All musicians should have at least a rudimentary grasp of 36 foundational scales, sometimes called the "master scales". These are the 12 majors, the 12 melodic minors, and the 12 harmonic minors.
Instead of going "in-depth" with the theory and structure of these scales, learn to play them and recognize them on the piano to develop the deepest understanding.
Of course, mastering the music scales on any instrument you wish to play well is a must, but using the piano provides the best imagery for really knowing them thoroughly.
[For the piano player, the mastering of all major and minor scales will benefit your piano skills in countless ways. Your knowledge of keyboard geography and confidence in the feel and shape of each scale will help in reading and memorizing music, as well as understanding the structure of the music you play. Chords and chordal structures will make much more sense to you and you will see relationships and patterns which would not occur to you without proper knowledge of the scales. Also, your technique will grow and your ability to solve and master fingering issues will expand greatly. The pianist who has all the major and minor scales firmly in his head and in his hands will be much more confident and comfortable with all areas of piano playing then one who does not. So master the scales... all of them. Learn the fingerings for all, develop speed and dexterity using the metronome, rhythms and links. Play the scales in octaves, play the scales in thirds, in sixths, in tenths. Play them hands-separately, hands-together. Play them parallel and in contrary motion. Play them loud, play them soft, play them with musical shaping and touch. Play them in your pajamas, play them in your work clothes, play them in your football uniform... Play them, play them, play them. Oh yeah... don't forget to enjoy them! Scales can be lots of fun. You should never be bored when the scales are on your mind and in your fingers.]
(These pages will give you the notes, the fingerings, and the images
you need to begin learning and mastering the scales.)
You will also want to incorporate octave scales into your practice routine.
To add even more to your musical foundation, go to "Piano Chords"