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Thread: How do I relearn correct fingering?

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    Default How do I relearn correct fingering?

    I realized lately that my problem in playing isn't my timing, that's fine, it isn't getting wrong notes, it's that I've been really really lax in learning proper fingering for pieces. Not all pieces have suggested fingerings, in fact most don't, so I just make whatever up at the time, and apparently I never actually take the time to go through a difficult portion of a piece to figure out what should be the correct fingering. Is there a proper technique to it? Or is it really what suits your playing style?

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    It's more what suits the shape of the music. By all means try different fingerings out but, if a particular fingering is more awkward than another but conveys the phrasing of the music better, I'd go for the one which is truer to the music. Another point to bear in mind is that different fingerings may suit different players differently. My suggestion: try various fingerings out during your slow practice and, when you find which one suits you best, stick to that.
    Last edited by Animal the Drummer; Jul-10-2017 at 14:47.

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    Senior Member Klavierspieler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manok View Post
    Is there a proper technique to it? Or is it really what suits your playing style?
    Yes and yes, but more yes to the first question. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another (especially for larger or smaller hands), but there are general rules that apply to just about anyone.

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    Consistency is key: you should use the same fingering every time you play a piece. This helps the brain to "program" the piece into muscle memory.

    Experiment with different fingerings for each passage. When you find something that works for you, pencil it into the score. Of course, if it turns out to cause problems later, then you can erase it and try something else. The important thing is to write down the fingering that you've decided to use; you won't necessarily remember it otherwise.

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    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    I think for many of my original pieces, (which is what I primarily practice and perform these days), I have mostly set fingers, but there are one or two notes during the piece that have two finger associations and I just pick in the moment (typically without thinking about it) whichever feels right.

    It seems to work for me, but then again, this is different, I'm composing the piece and getting it into my muscle memory that way. I'm pretty good at finding what feels right to me in terms of fingering though, must be all those years of piano lessons!

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    Senior Member Rossiniano's Avatar
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    I love Mozart and Haydn and Haydn for some reason is more forgiving regarding fingering... one can devise different possibilities that work comfortably. With Mozart the options seem to be fewer, but options there still are. Interestingly, with Mozart if the fingering is not perfect one runs out of fingers during the more difficult passages.

    As noted above not everything works for all individuals. For those who need to decipline themself to pay attention to fingering I would recommend going back to basics. The Clementi Opus 36 Sonatinas are perfect. Force yourself to play those with the correct fingering and then take it up to the next level. Plus, they are fun to play. In addition, for those who are beginners it's the perfect way to develop good habits regarding fingering. It's no wonder that they have been utilized as teaching tools for over two centuries! Plus, I did say that they are fun to play... so enjoy!

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    Senior Member Rossiniano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Animal the Drummer View Post
    It's more what suits the shape of the music. By all means try different fingerings out but, if a particular fingering is more awkward than another but conveys the phrasing of the music better, I'd go for the one which is truer to the music. Another point to bear in mind is that different fingerings may suit different players differently. My suggestion: try various fingerings out during your slow practice and, when you find which one suits you best, stick to that.
    This is an excellent point! The BEST fingering helps one properly shape the music as the composer phrased it! Also, the time signature must be noted. As an example, one might use a differnt fingering in a piece in 2/4 time vs. something in 4/4 time. There is a difference if at times subltle. So, consider the fact that good fingering habits can not only get you through the piece, but give you the (hopefully) correct interpretation as well.

    I learned this way to late! If only my piano teacher had mentioned this other than simply writing down all those numbers that I often ignored thinking that I had a better way. If I really knew the "rest of the story" it all might have made more sense to me! I learned this from reading the preface to the original Urtext edition of the Christa Landon Haydn Piano Sonatas. In essence that fingering is included in the newly revised edition.
    Last edited by Rossiniano; Jul-30-2017 at 21:49.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rossiniano View Post
    This is an excellent point! The BEST fingering helps one properly shape the music as the composer phrased it!
    That's a really cool and very subtle point. It's amazing, too, how figuring out a fingering mistake can suddenly make the piece so much more playable.

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