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#2179549 - 11/09/13 11:13 AM Which fingering would you prefer?
JanVan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/13
Posts: 51
I worked out the fingering for Bach invention no. 3 but there is one passage for which I can't make up my mind.

The passage is the RH for bars 6 to 8:

The bottom fingering is the standard fingering recommended in most editions I could check. The top fingering, with yellow background, is what I came up with myself.

The upside of the yellow fingering is that it does not change hand positions and has a more consistent fingering (e.g. compare bars 5 and 7). The downside is possibly the use of the thumb on the black key.

Now my question is, which fingering do you think would be more natural and easy especially at higher speeds?

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#2179606 - 11/09/13 01:06 PM Re: Which fingering would you prefer? [Re: JanVan]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8427
Loc: New York City
The bottom fingering is far better.


#2179638 - 11/09/13 03:05 PM Re: Which fingering would you prefer? [Re: JanVan]
wouter79 Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 4039
I'm not into Bach and I don't have access to a keyboard right now

But using thumb on blacks usually is not a good idea. Also using it immediately after a position swap downwards seems not a good idea - your thumb will be locked up by 2 crossing over it.

If you really want to do it that way , how about taking the d the 2nd time with 5 already, b with 3.

#2179733 - 11/09/13 06:41 PM Re: Which fingering would you prefer? [Re: JanVan]
Forrest Halford Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 549
Loc: Bowling Green, KY
How about 5 2 at the first two notes of measures 6 & 8 (E5 & C#5), and keeping the bottom fingering otherwise?

Mozart K 332
Bach 866, 851
Gershwin Preludes 1& 2

#2179749 - 11/09/13 07:04 PM Re: Which fingering would you prefer? [Re: JanVan]
malkin Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 3407
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
If ever I can't decide on fingering and one of the choices is the standard or normal way, I choose the normal way.
Everything in moderation, including moderation. --Oscar Wilde

#2179763 - 11/09/13 07:59 PM Re: Which fingering would you prefer? [Re: JanVan]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2480
Loc: Virginia, USA
Bottom, without a question.
  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3

#2179793 - 11/09/13 09:13 PM Re: Which fingering would you prefer? [Re: JanVan]
carlos88 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 107
Loc: Colorado

Don't think of it as a hand shift movement, because it shouldn't be. Keeping your thumb and hand still, cross your second finger over your thumb to the black key. Your fifth finger is still in position to play the e in the next measure, with almost no hand movement.

Try playing it hands separate at a fast speed - you'll notice that your hand can stay pretty still and relaxed with the cross over.

What makes this cross-over movement easy is that thumb is short and the second finger is long, and it is attempting to reach a black key in a higher vertical plane. If the g# was instead a g, this cross-over movement would either be harder or inappropriate.

With the alternate fingering (starting with 4), because your thumb is short, you'll either need to shift your hand towards the piano to reach the g#, or will have to rotate it inwards, which becomes awkward at a higher speed.

Same thing in measure 20. Thumb on the final d, second finger reaches over for the c#. That leaves the 3rd finger positioned for the initial d in measure 21.
I'd rather play badly than not at all...

#2179911 - 11/10/13 02:20 AM Re: Which fingering would you prefer? [Re: carlos88]
JanVan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/13
Posts: 51
Thank you all for helping me make up my mind. I will definitely stay with the bottom fingering.

I admit that I sometimes get carried away with 'creative' fingering and usually it gets me into trouble.

What makes this cross-over movement easy is that thumb is short and the second finger is long, and it is attempting to reach a black key in a higher vertical plane. If the g# was instead a g, this cross-over movement would either be harder or inappropriate.

Carlos, +1 for the expert explanation on why the standard fingering works so well for this particular passage.

#2180036 - 11/10/13 10:53 AM Re: Which fingering would you prefer? [Re: JanVan]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 223
Same, I'd go with bottom for the explanation Carlos gave. I would make one modification:

A few reasons:

1. Finger 2 just played the G#, whereas Finger 3 is right there so it feels more natural. Finger 2 isn't jumping as much.

2. Musically, I feel the piece moves as indicated by the blue arrows. The climax is on the high F. I think adding subtle breaths where the blue lines are will add some drama. Using Finger 5 before the blue line, and Finger 4 after the blue line will add a subtle breath naturally, since are adjacent fingers spanning non-adjacent notes.

That's how I want to shape the notes, so I find fingering that helps me do that.

How do you want to shape your notes?
Working on Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata, Mvt 3.


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