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#997429 - 11/27/08 12:18 PM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
Evaldas,

I understand your confusion. Fingering is a very complex subject for the piano.

Scale finger is only for scales or scale passages in the music, and even then they may not be followed depending on what is coming before or after. The measures you have selected are not scale passages, so you would not use scale fingerings for these.

On the first passage, I would start by playing the E with my thumb and the C with my fifth finger. G may be played with my index or middle finger, but it would depend very much on what follows this measure. I have no idea what finger I would use on the C in my left hand. That would depend so much on what the music is doing before or after that note.

On the second piece I would start with 5 on F, 4 on D, 2 & 1 on A & F and play middle C with 3.

As you can see, neither one is the same fingering as you would use on scales.

Your hand can start on just about any key on the piano, and there are 88 of them. You can have your hand compressed so that every finger is right on the neighboring note, or expanded so it reaches an octave or greater. Sometimes you move your thumb under your fingers to move up or fingers over thumb to move down. Or just shift the whole hand, or stretch and compress. If I really wanted to, I could figure out how many possible positions your hands could be in, but it is such a large number that it wouldn't be useful. A book that listed all of these would probably be the size of an encyclopedia.

Oh, and you need to make sure that your fingering is comfortable and lets you move to the next section of music as well as being one that allows you to play the passage at the required tempo. A lot of mistakes are made because someone doesn't use the exact same fingering all the time. In addition, sometimes one fingering prevents you from increasing the tempo.

Rich
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#997430 - 11/27/08 05:58 PM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Varcon, isn't scale fingering comfortable fingering? Is it not a principle that efficient fingering must always be found? What I mean is that I understood that prescribed fingering for scales is in fact efficient and comfortable fingering. Would that be right?

I had the impression that the OP is not asking which kind of fingering to use on scales, but whether, when playing other things in music, you still use scales fingering. My thought is that the way notes are laid out in music dictates the fingering.


Keystring:

To answer your question, '...isn't scale fingering comfortable fingering?' Yes it is, and has been worked out over time as the most efficient way to play a scale. I don't think Evaldas understands what a scale is. He's perplexed over the conflicting advice received from his two advisees. Scale passages ARE used in composition and scale like passages as well. The examples posted above are not scale passages but excerpts from composition and for that one must find (or follow) an efficient fingering to play the passage according to the musical intent.

Ok... If you say to use the scale fingering how for example I should apply it to such cases:

For my RH I'm supposed to be holding an E note with my 3rd finger while that playing higher C with my 1st finger, a G with 2 finger and then hit again an E with my second finger? I don't so...

What you have here is a misunderstanding. Scale fingering is used to play a scale, i.e., a pattern on tones ascending/descending. The example he has cited is NOT a scale but based on the tones in the scale. Evaldas has suggested a fingering that is awkward and would not work in this instance. Were he to have an edited version it would most likely be the 1 (one) on the E and holding while 5 (five) plays the high C, 2 (two) the G, and back to 1 (one). He somehow has the idea that certain fingers only play certain keys in a piece in a designated scale pattern. Tho he has been told that fingerings for pieces are designed to conform with the requirements of the piece and not the scale itself, he seems not to grasp that concept. Hm . . .how to clarify and make it clear? Someone?


Or how about this:

???
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


1000 Post Club Member
Member # 20300

posted 27-11-2008 03:18 PM
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#997431 - 11/28/08 01:51 AM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
ROMagister Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 518
Loc: Bucuresti, Romania
I think 'scale fingering' has to apply to large segments (>5 notes) of scales (one pitch each time). For keys with accidentals it helps especially to use 1 and 5 on white keys and 2-3-4 on black keys if possible, the normal curvature of the hand.

For shorter segments of scales, not starting at the tonic, it would be foolish to apply the scale fingering just for theory's sake.
e.g. D-E-F-G-F-E-D (and nothing else above or below immediately after it) is much more comfortable as:
2-3-4-5-4-3-2 instead of
2-3-1-2-1-3-2 the C major scale fingering for those notes.

On the other hand, I've found segments of 6 notes where just applying what's comfortable for the moment without reading ahead will lead to 'running out of fingers' at the key moment. There, an editorial indication to prepare a thumb-under (even if not at the official point for that scale) is welcome !

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#997432 - 11/28/08 02:42 AM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: South Florida
There are many more examples of when standard scale fingering is just plain stupid.

With white keys, sets of 9 are played 4 and 5 or 5 and 4.

Example, with LH:

C D E F G A B C D C B A G F E D C

54321 432 1234 12345

Number of thumb turns is a huge factor. Using standard fingering here would cause an extra turn both ways.

That's just a very simple example.

Standard LH scale fingerings for keys like D are convenient for one octave or even for multiple octaves starting and ending on D, but the fingering is otherwise flawed. In passage work fingering is often chosen by the best place to cross from white to black.

There are so many times that standard scale fingersings are not used that I often wonder why people spend so much time going over them.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#997433 - 11/28/08 03:55 AM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2837
Loc: UK.
Evaldas, if you are practicing scales in isolation then use the standard scale fingerings.

If you are playing pieces it would be best to use the fingerings given on the score assuming it has them. A problem with free sheet music available to download is that it often doesn't include fingerings. I would suggest you play music from tutor books or reliable editions which will have good fingerings. Not all fingerings wll be exactly the same but they should be sensible. If you are trying to play things like the examples you gave then you need help with the fingerings. There is no way you will come up with the best solution on your own. Dragon gave you good fingerings for those examples but could you have figured that out yourself? Would those fingerings have been comfortable for you?
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#997434 - 11/28/08 07:32 AM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
Evaldas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 110
Loc: Vilnius
Yes, those are the fingers I use for those two examples.

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#997435 - 11/28/08 08:33 AM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
ROMagister Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 518
Loc: Bucuresti, Romania
Another well known rock organ piece - the intro to Deep Purple - Child in Time has these runs of 6 notes with a short pause (deliberately?) put there to shift hand laterally and avoid a thumb-under. Then fingering comes naturally:
5 - 5-4-3-2-3-1
1 - 1-2-3-4-5-4
At my one more recent meeting with a teacher, she insisted to use standard 'scale fingerings' even when not convenient, to make everything legato by default, avoiding the 'hiccup' of the short technical pause like above (But if it's written, then it's allowed ;-) ).
Then try this, in passages with parallel thirds...

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#997436 - 12/01/08 06:12 AM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
Evaldas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 110
Loc: Vilnius
So wait, did everyone thought that I was only talking about scales, and you thought that I'm "inventing a bicycle" by trying to use another fingering FOR scales? Well I must clear it out and say that I was talking about seperate notes, and not about scale sequences in them. Obviously I'm gonna use the right fingers to play the actual scales....

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#997437 - 12/01/08 08:13 PM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Perhaps it's a linguistic problem! Your question is:

So all-in-all what fingerings are better: scale, or the more comfortable?

You didn't clarify what you meant. See if you can re-state your problem. If you mean fingering of passages or portions of compositions, then you look for the most expedient and, hopefully, comfortable fingering possible. One should try to avoid awkward fingering in anything and use the fingering that facilitates execution of the music and captures the musical meaning with the proper speed and control. Not everything is written for 'comfort' so the pianist has to adjust. Edited music usually has a suggested fingering and sometimes an alternative. Some editions are well edited and others are not very good. Some have mis-prints for fingerings that can lead the novice astray and, since an 'authority' has edited it, he/she struggles to use it and finds it doesn't work. Common sense is probably the best guide in instances like that.

If you're using the 'standard' fingering for scales, then you're building good habits which will reward you by improving your technique and fingering in general.

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#997438 - 12/01/08 08:30 PM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I hadn't visited this discussion in several days; it seems to have moved backward rather than forward!

Varcon's advice is great, but I am as confused as anyone about what Evaldas' original question meant (or even what "scale fingerings" means outside the context of actual scales).

Dang. \:\(

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#997439 - 12/01/08 09:22 PM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by Evaldas:
And like let’s say I must stick to the scale fingerings, so for example if a song is in key of F major, and RH fingering for F major is 12341234, right? So does it mean that I only use the four fingers for a song in F major? [/b]
Right back in the original post Evaldas said that. So I understood the question to be something like "in the key of F major, should I use the same fingers for the notes as I would use if I were playing the scale, i.e. 2 on G, 3 on A, regardless of comfort?"
And a number of people have answered this -no. The scale fingering is the fingering for the scale, when you are actually playing the scale. Sometimes in a piece you will have a passage with a scale or part of a scale, and often you will find the scale fingering will be the most comfortable. But everything else depends on the context. You will teach yourself good fingering habits if you use editions with fingering marked and learn from these. There is no right finger for a certain note like there is on, say, a woodwind instrument.

Now, if that was the question, I think it's been answered.

If that wasn't the question, then perhaps Evaldas could try again \:\)
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#997440 - 12/01/08 10:27 PM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Thanks, currawong, but I think that summarizes what I did glean from the thread! Still, I remain mystified by these follow-ups by Evaldas:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Evaldas:
So all-in-all what fingerings are better: scale, or the more comfortable? [/b]
 Quote:
Originally posted by Evaldas:
So wait, did everyone thought that I was only talking about scales, and you thought that I'm "inventing a bicycle" by trying to use another fingering FOR scales? Well I must clear it out and say that I was talking about seperate notes, and not about scale sequences in them. Obviously I'm gonna use the right fingers to play the actual scales.... [/b]
If we're talking about separate notes then (as the graphic examples illustrated) rather than scales, what do scale fingerings have to do with anything?

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#997441 - 12/02/08 12:40 AM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
Evaldas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 110
Loc: Vilnius
"So I understood the question to be something like "in the key of F major, should I use the same fingers for the notes as I would use if I were playing the scale, i.e. 2 on G, 3 on A, regardless of comfort?""
Yep, that's what I meant ;\)

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#997442 - 12/02/08 01:12 AM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by Evaldas:
"So I understood the question to be something like "in the key of F major, should I use the same fingers for the notes as I would use if I were playing the scale, i.e. 2 on G, 3 on A, regardless of comfort?""
Yep, that's what I meant ;\) [/b]
So there's nothing wrong with my comprehension skills \:\) . Hope you're happy with the answer(s).
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#997443 - 12/02/08 06:49 AM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11179
Loc: Canada
Evaldas, now that the question as been defined and confirmed, do you believe you have an answer? If so, would it be possible to share what answer you found (if you feel like it)?

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#997444 - 12/02/08 07:20 AM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
Evaldas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 110
Loc: Vilnius
Well obviously you're supposed to use the right fingering for scales, and for scores WITHOUT "scale passages" in them use the most comfortable fingering (if not indicated)

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#997445 - 12/03/08 01:36 PM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
Evaldas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 110
Loc: Vilnius
A question (though not about scales - but I don't want to make another thread for this): I'm playing only for less than 3 weeks, should I be freaking out that I can't seperate my hands? I mean that I can't pretty much do different things, of course I can play one note with my left and then a melody with my right, but I can't let's say take a chord divide it into quarter note (or eight) arpeggio and play a melody with my right hand at the same time... So?

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#997446 - 12/03/08 04:55 PM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused!
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3005
Loc: Virginia, USA
Evaldas,
If at six months you can't do that I'd wonder.
If at three weeks you could do that I'd wonder.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1175339 - 04/06/09 06:46 AM Re: Scales and fingerings? I’m confused! [Re: TimR]
Evaldas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 110
Loc: Vilnius
Hey, I have a question:
In your opinion what's the best fingering for this bar:

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