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#2215572 - 01/16/14 05:34 AM Struggling with a chord, advise please.
paulj48 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 13
Hi, I'm working my way through Alfred's book 1 on a Casio digital piano.

I am trying to play a D7 chord with my right hand but my 5th finger wont fit between the c# and d# black keys and my hand wont bend enough to play the F# C and D on the 'open' parts of the keys.

I always thought my hands where of an average size, is this a common problem? any advise please?

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#2215578 - 01/16/14 06:16 AM Re: Struggling with a chord, advise please. [Re: paulj48]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
What page is this on?

I play D7 chords like this with the right hand, is this the fingering you are using?
F# (thumb) - C (4th finger) - D (pinky)


Edited by sinophilia (01/16/14 06:22 AM)
_________________________
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Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2215585 - 01/16/14 07:03 AM Re: Struggling with a chord, advise please. [Re: sinophilia]
paulj48 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 13
page 60, yes thats the fingering I'm using

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#2215588 - 01/16/14 07:12 AM Re: Struggling with a chord, advise please. [Re: paulj48]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1009
Loc: Italy
I think you find it awkward because your hand is not used to this position and possibly you tense up... this happens to me often when I see a fingering or a position that looks uncomfortable, but usually it gets better after a few tries.

If your pinky doesn't fit between the black keys and you have to move it down on the D key, your hand position will definitely be less comfortable. I think the advice of someone with larger hands is needed!
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2215862 - 01/16/14 06:37 PM Re: Struggling with a chord, advise please. [Re: sinophilia]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1567
Loc: Reseda, California
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
I play D7 chords like this with the right hand, is this the fingering you are using?
F# (thumb) - C (4th finger) - D (pinky)


How about the "A"? D7 in root position would be D, F#, A, C.

This sounds like D7/F# with the fifth (A) dropped. In that case, one thing to try is hitting both C and D with the 5 (pinky) finger, and the 1 (thumb) hitting F# at the end closest to you.

When you really do have to get between black keys, one thing I've found helps is to hit the white between the blacks close to the fallboard end. The white needs less distance there, so it can sound without the blacks moving far enough to also sound. At the near end, I can't hit G or A without playing all three. The in between part of D is actually a little wider than G and A, but for me it's still a problem.

One thing that can help is to use different inversions, such as C7/E instead of root position. Another is to transpose to nearby keys. The more blacks, the better -- they're easy to reach from any angle. I've found things that are hard in the so-called "easy" key of C to be much more natural and comfortable in B, where you have five sharps.

Perhaps it's time to design a special "narrow blacks" keyboard.
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Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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#2215894 - 01/16/14 07:55 PM Re: Struggling with a chord, advise please. [Re: paulj48]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1733
Loc: Australia
don't take it the wrong way...but welcome to the piano, all it's ups and downs and finger bending torture.

Problem here will be general flexibility but specifically weakness of the fourth and fifth fingers, although if you are just starting piano you will be finding it difficult with most fingers but these in particular are a problem for most of us. Just take it easy and move slowly and above all be patient as you have to be playing for a while before some of these chords become second nature and feel natural and comfortable.

Alfred Book 1 introduces the first scale on page 100. Many will find after a few weeks of practice with some scales the fourth and fifth fingers begin to co-operate a little more. But I started fourteen months ago and still work on these fingers separately as they have a lifetime of catching up to do.
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XXXV-6-XXX

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#2215899 - 01/16/14 08:01 PM Re: Struggling with a chord, advise please. [Re: paulj48]
RonDrotos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 82
Loc: New York City
When teaching adult beginners, I've found that they have to be careful when first learning. Y=Basically, you're asking your hand to do things that it's never done before, and you can hurt yourself if you 'push it' too much.

Keep your hand and arm relaxed, and don't try to play too many uncomfortable chords or musical passages until your muscles get used to playing piano.

In the meantime, just leave out the 'A'. This should help, at least a little. The 'A', being the 5th of the chord, can be omitted without changing the characteristic sound of the chord. In fact, jazz pianists routinely leave the 5th out when they play.

Good luck!
_________________________
Ron Drotos
rondrotos@keyboardimprov.com

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#2216242 - 01/17/14 01:43 PM Re: Struggling with a chord, advise please. [Re: paulj48]
Michael Martinez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 436
Loc: California
If you're voicing this for solo piano, you want to do this:

LH: D C
RH: E F# A

This gives you a D9 chord (which includes D7 in it.)

Practice the above. The add "C" to the RH and practice the inversions of this RH voicing up and down the keyboard.
_________________________
Music Educator, Computer Engineer, avid reader of literature, enjoyer of the outdoors
http://www.michael--martinez.com/music/

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