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#990619 - 01/04/08 10:12 PM Fingering rules/guidelines
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
Is anyone aware of a set of guidlines for analysing a piece to detirmine correct/usable fingering? There are very specific rules for scales, chords and arps but these are often not usable in real repertoire.

When working with a teacher, I find we spend quite a bit of time up front figuring out what is the best fingering for a new piece if it isn't marked. I believe that with the right instruction, even a novice should be able to figure this out on there own, but in all the reference material I have in my library, I haven't been able to find anything useful.

Thoughts??

Rodney

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#990620 - 01/05/08 02:15 AM Re: Fingering rules/guidelines
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
You're right about the importance of fingering. CPE Bach realized this and devotes a whole chapter in his 'Versuch' - though much would be regarded as old-fashioned now. He wrote a set of pieces for the book where every single note is fingered.

I have a small booklet (23 pages) by Thomas Knott called Pianoforte Fingering. There really isn't much around though, which is surprising considering how many books there are on other aspects.

I would disagree that it's something a novice could do.

An interesting treatise: http://etd.lib.fsu.edu/theses/available/etd-11032004-182217/unrestricted/treatisemainbody.pdf
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#990621 - 01/05/08 02:32 AM Re: Fingering rules/guidelines
crusadar Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/07
Posts: 670
Loc: Middle England
I find myself looking at a piece of Piano music and if there's no indication of fingering I put it down, but there's so much music around without any indication of fingering that I assume the composer/arranger considers it unnecessary.

I googled "Pianoforte Fingering" and found some websites worthy of further study, I haven't got down to going through it yet myself though.

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#990622 - 01/05/08 10:28 AM Re: Fingering rules/guidelines
Donna R. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 794
Kreisler posted fingering guidelines a while back. You can find the thread here: Kreisler\'s fingering guide .

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#990623 - 01/05/08 11:13 AM Re: Fingering rules/guidelines
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
The standard way to do it is to determine
at an early stage what the "best" fingering
is--mostly by feel and intuition, and also
with reference to whatever printed fingering
there might be--and then write it in
and stick with it while working up the
piece. This has the apparent advantage of
enabling you to work something
up quicker because you're using the same
fingering each time you practice the piece--
this is especially true in classical piano
where you want to eventually memorize.

However, in my view it is not so straight-
forward as that. First, what you determine
to be the "best" fingering at that early
stage may not be the best fingering later,
as you develop more strength and experience
and familiarity with the piece. This
is especially true with more difficult
pieces; with such pieces you may not
have the experience to determine what
is actually the best fingering.

If you're working with a teacher, even
a very fine one, this may actually be
a disadvantage rather than an advantage
as far as fingering is concerned. The
teacher will of course give his input
as to the best fingering, based on his
experience. And yet that experience
will inevitably be from his perspective
and his physiology and psychology. Thus,
unless he's a clone of you, his philosophy
of fingering has scant chance of really
fitting you personally, and so you end
up playing mostly with someone else's
fingering, and you're ultimately forcing
your body and psyche to fit a mold that
doesn't really fit. When you do this,
something is going to give eventually,
because your body and mind simply
will not be able to tolerate such
against-the-grain stress indefinitely
and will rebel in some way: you may
eventually give up on the piece as "too
difficult"; or you might injure yourself;
or your interpretation may suffer so
that you end up "just playing the notes";
or you may actually quit playing because
"it's not enjoyable anymore"; and so forth.

Moreover, as you work on the piece you
might simply outgrow that early fingering
because your strength and experience
have increased. And yet there will
be great resistance to changing that
first fingering because of all the time
you've invested in it. Thus, people will
tend to just stay with that first fingering
regardless, and to their detriment.

This is why I no longer look at printed
fingering, unless all else fails. I
just play without looking at my hands
when using the score and let my hands
find the best fingering and technique
on their own. This way the fingering
I end up with will be the best one for my
individual physiology and psychology.
Furthermore, the fingering will automatically
change and adjust as I work up a piece
according to how I develop physically
in the process. Working up a piece may
be slower this way because you're not
using the same fingering every time
you play the piece, but in the long
run it's better because it will always
be the fingering that is custom-tailored
to you personally.

When you do this, you might find that the
fingering that your hands choose is strange
by conventional standards. For example,
I just love crossing the 4th finger over
the 5th and will do it whenever I can. I
also like to use the same finger on
successive notes, like Bb to A with
4 4 rather than 4 3. I don't really like
to cross thumb-under and will avoid
it whenever I can, preferring to simply
"leap" with the whole hand instead.
And so forth.

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#990624 - 01/05/08 06:22 PM Re: Fingering rules/guidelines
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Well, some useful rules I scammed from all over the place, I compiled here:
http://shazware.com/piano/prac.html

I still need to give more direct credits to the folks I got the info from. I'll get to that.
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#990625 - 01/06/08 04:03 PM Re: Fingering rules/guidelines
Piano Fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 62
Loc: Owings Mills, Maryland
 Quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Hazel:
Well, some useful rules I scammed from all over the place, I compiled here:
http://shazware.com/piano/prac.html

I still need to give more direct credits to the folks I got the info from. I'll get to that. [/b]
Loved your website. It was hilarious ... good info too!
_________________________
Words seem to get in the way of the message.
Fingers seem to get in the way of the piano.

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