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"Rules" in fingering ?

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"Rules" in fingering ?

Post by jytte on Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:55 am

Hello Andrew (or anyone else with an informed opinion),

I just happened upon a (self-proclaimed teacher's) website, which had a chapter on fingering.
It had this statement: "Never use the thumb to play a black key. The only exception is when you are playing a piece that has all black notes. The thumb should not be used to play black keys because of its shorter length".

My immediate reaction to this was "wait a minute, that's hogwash".
I use my thumb on black keys frequently. Always for the B chord in the left hand for instance. And at the moment I'm learning a mazurka, which requires a lot of fast movements between C#-E-A (using 1-2-5), and C#-A-B (using 1-2-5). Just to test above statement, I tried to play these things, avoiding the use of my thumb. Some stretches were impossible for me, others just plain awkward.

Now, I'm gonna do things my way, no matter what anybody says, I'm just that way. In my opinion, when you're offered a lecture/advice, you first read/listen, then apply brain/common sense. If it works, fine - if not, discard.

I am just a beginner myself (5 months of active playing), but I got a long way already, using your great videos and my own common sense. I also asked someone who learned playing the "old-fashioned" way (as a kid, on a piano, with a teacher), and the answer was the exact same as my immediate response.

I find it odd (to say the least) for a so-called teacher (who's actually SELLING cd/videos) to state these kind of absolute rules. I could care less for my part, but It could be rather harmful to some people just starting out, or at least make piano playing more difficult.

I would like to hear your opinion on fingering in general, and this issue in particular.

Thank you,

Jytte




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Re: "Rules" in fingering ?

Post by VictorCS on Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:49 pm

In music there isnt much of rules really ( in other words, most of them can and will be bent ). I would be careful with saying that that's the right way as this teacher have claimed. The thumb will need to go upon the black keys at some times. The thumb is about as long ( short ) as the pinky, I bet we should stop using our pinky too then ^_^

Fingering is individual, and even tho most of the time we do it very similare, there are times we do different than the other player.
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Re: "Rules" in fingering ?

Post by 1748 on Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:00 pm

in piano exspecially classic is pianist must can play every note with their fingering
there is no really numbering of finering...
if in sheet music dont have number you can add it every 5 note to mark the number
so you will more easier to play that sheet
thats all

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Re: "Rules" in fingering ?

Post by Pianoted on Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:00 pm

Does proper fingering of the scales sometimes apply to playing pieces written in that scale?

Let's say for example that some piece is written in the key of E major. Would I use the same fingers on the notes as when playing the E major scale?

I mean when single notes occur, this of course doesn't apply to playing chords or if succesive notes are far apart, like a fifth or seventh.
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Re: "Rules" in fingering ?

Post by VictorCS on Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:35 pm

I dont think I always use my thumb on F when playing a C major. So no, because we always try to get as little movment as possible. And when we do that we cant always use the fingering we used practicing the scale in a piece written in that scale.

As little momvent as possible is the key to speed and to not overtrain and get injuries ^_^
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Re: "Rules" in fingering ?

Post by jytte on Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:24 am

That's a good one Victor,

"as little movement as possible" is definitely a rule I DO live by as well Smile
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