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#2044049 - 03/06/13 05:35 PM Arpeggios in left hand larger than one octave
jaredm2012 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/01/12
Posts: 31
Loc: Alabama
I'm going to describe this the best I can without a picture, so I hope everyone can follow along!

I've noticed several pieces that use a particular arpeggio figure in the left hand (maybe there is a name for this?). For instance, one like this (in 8th notes)

A - E - C - E - C -E

(A in bass clef staff, E in bass clef staff, middle C, E in bass clef staff, middle C, E in bass clef staff). Note that the "C" is the one a 6th above the E, not the C a 3rd below.

How should I finger this? The span from A to C is somewhat wide for my hand, and I can't seem to find a comfortable way to manage this. Note that these generally occur in sections that would use the pedal.

I typically would do 5 - 3/2 - 1 - 3/2 - 1 - 3/2

What do you guys think?


Edited by jaredm2012 (03/06/13 05:37 PM)

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#2044055 - 03/06/13 05:55 PM Re: Arpeggios in left hand larger than one octave [Re: jaredm2012]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5446
Loc: Philadelphia
If your hand is too small, it might be best to break the A from the rest, and use the pedal to cover the leap (if the passage permits). In this case, you can use:

541414

If you need to connect, I would try:

521414
521412
(assuming this goes back down to the A and repeats)

I really don't like changing fingers a lot if the passage is quick, but you may not have a choice. Depends on a lot of things.


One other idea: can you place the C in the RH?
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Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2044063 - 03/06/13 06:17 PM Re: Arpeggios in left hand larger than one octave [Re: jaredm2012]
beechcraft409 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/11
Posts: 207
I would use 5 - 3 - 1 - 3 - 1 - 3. A piece I just learned actually had several very similar phrases in the LH. All 8th notes: A3 E3 C4 E3 B4 E3 A4 E3 - and this same pattern on a few different roots.

But I had started doing it using my index finger on that E3, wasn't really working, and so I found I could stretch my thumb up the keyboard to that C4 much better when my middle finger was on the E. There was even one that went F2 E3 C4, and using the middle finger made all the difference in the world.

One thing you can try is to rotate your wrist inward as you press the E, if that makes sense. Starting with pinky on A, your hand is angled in a way not conducive to going UP the keys. As you push the E, use your fingertip as a pivot-point and bring your wrist inward, that way you don't have to stretch your hand a full 10th. You can buy your self a few more keys doing this. And if you need to go back to the A just swing the wrist back out.
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#2044067 - 03/06/13 06:27 PM Re: Arpeggios in left hand larger than one octave [Re: jaredm2012]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
What size is your hand?
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#2044069 - 03/06/13 06:28 PM Re: Arpeggios in left hand larger than one octave [Re: jaredm2012]
beechcraft409 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/11
Posts: 207
I can (uncomfortably) hit a 10th. A 9th isn't uncomfortable.
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Nick

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#2044087 - 03/06/13 06:57 PM Re: Arpeggios in left hand larger than one octave [Re: beechcraft409]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5446
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: beechcraft409
I would use 5 - 3 - 1 - 3 - 1 - 3. A piece I just learned actually had several very similar phrases in the LH. All 8th notes: A3 E3 C4 E3 B4 E3 A4 E3 - and this same pattern on a few different roots.

But I had started doing it using my index finger on that E3, wasn't really working, and so I found I could stretch my thumb up the keyboard to that C4 much better when my middle finger was on the E. There was even one that went F2 E3 C4, and using the middle finger made all the difference in the world.

One thing you can try is to rotate your wrist inward as you press the E, if that makes sense. Starting with pinky on A, your hand is angled in a way not conducive to going UP the keys. As you push the E, use your fingertip as a pivot-point and bring your wrist inward, that way you don't have to stretch your hand a full 10th. You can buy your self a few more keys doing this. And if you need to go back to the A just swing the wrist back out.

You're not breaking your wrist when you do this, are you?
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2044125 - 03/06/13 08:14 PM Re: Arpeggios in left hand larger than one octave [Re: Derulux]
beechcraft409 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/11
Posts: 207
Originally Posted By: Derulux
You're not breaking your wrist when you do this, are you?


Nah I'm like a swan, full of grace. Haha seriously though, if you hit the A once at first then alternate on the E and C a few times, what good is it to have your pinky hovering near the A? Especially if it is holding back your reach. It need not be a lurching or convulsive maneuver, but just a smooth rotation of the hand and you can reach a few more keys over.
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Nick

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#2044170 - 03/06/13 09:17 PM Re: Arpeggios in left hand larger than one octave [Re: beechcraft409]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5446
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: beechcraft409
Originally Posted By: Derulux
You're not breaking your wrist when you do this, are you?


Nah I'm like a swan, full of grace. Haha seriously though, if you hit the A once at first then alternate on the E and C a few times, what good is it to have your pinky hovering near the A? Especially if it is holding back your reach. It need not be a lurching or convulsive maneuver, but just a smooth rotation of the hand and you can reach a few more keys over.

Just hoping you're avoiding twisting. You're not supposed to leave the pinky on the A. wink
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2044197 - 03/06/13 10:22 PM Re: Arpeggios in left hand larger than one octave [Re: jaredm2012]
jaredm2012 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/01/12
Posts: 31
Loc: Alabama
I'll give these suggestions a shot.

I can very easily reach an octave, I can reach a 9th easily, and a 10th is uncomfortable but doable. But holding my hand in that 10th position to play the figure is extremely uncomfortable. I want to have the upper two notes be between 4 and 1, that is the most comfortable, but was somewhat difficult to do. But I'll check out these suggestions and see what works. Thanks!

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#2044199 - 03/06/13 10:29 PM Re: Arpeggios in left hand larger than one octave [Re: jaredm2012]
Polyphonist Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8795
Loc: New York City
I happen to have large hands (I can block the chord A-D-F#-A-D in my left hand) and so 5-2-1-2-1-2 is not an issue for me in this particular case. However, I like the suggestion of subsituting 3 for 2 if you cannot span a 10th comfortably.
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Polyphonist

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#2044221 - 03/06/13 11:03 PM Re: Arpeggios in left hand larger than one octave [Re: jaredm2012]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5446
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: jaredm2012
I'll give these suggestions a shot.

I can very easily reach an octave, I can reach a 9th easily, and a 10th is uncomfortable but doable. But holding my hand in that 10th position to play the figure is extremely uncomfortable. I want to have the upper two notes be between 4 and 1, that is the most comfortable, but was somewhat difficult to do. But I'll check out these suggestions and see what works. Thanks!

To get the 4, don't worry about positioning your hand for the A. You're actually going to position your hand for the ECECE group, and leap to the A only when you have to play it.

You will really have to settle on the E with the 4 in order to make this work. It's a moderately difficult technique, but for smaller hands it is the best solution.
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