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I can't seem to find a comfortable fingering for the bass part of this. Everything I try feels weird.

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How can I transfer from the F# on the fourth line to the rest?

I'm trying this:

F# C# F# A C# A F# A

5 -3 -1 -3-2-3-4-3

Any better fingering?

Thanks :D

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I'd generally see that it was going up to the C# and that I'd want my 1st on that note for the next phrase, so just use all my fingers: 5-4-3-2-1 and if my hand wasn't big enough, possibly do a little jump from the initial F# to the first C#, even using the sustain to mask the gap. But that's just me; in general I think Poben's answer is good. –  Jeffrey Kemp Apr 5 at 7:56
    
Just a general comment: one easy trap to fall into when devising fingerings is to use the same finger for the same note when it reoccurs, possibly as part of the same sequence. In your example, you use 3 for the f♯ consistently. When you view every repetition as an opportunity to improve your approach to the following notes, you sometimes arrive at better solutions. I don't have a piano at hand (and usually don't play it, anyway), but if you try patterns like 5-3-1-3-1-2-4-1 (assuming that the next measure is similar), then you are more flexible in finding smooth continuations. –  User8773 Apr 8 at 15:07

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It really depends on the size of your hands, but for me (with an average-ish hand span), this is the 'best' way of doing it:

5 - 3 - 2 - 1 - 3 (over) - 1 - 2 - 1

That just fell under my fingers when I sightread the passage - it may not work for you. Other pianists can only recommend fingering, since everyone's hands are different. However, you can often take the fingering of other pianists and adapt it to make it more comfortable for you.

If you find that you are struggling to stretch that, you could try switching fingers mid-note (i.e. playing a note with 3 but holding and swapping 3 with 4, so you can reach further). Also, you should try to avoid playing a black note with 1, since the thumb is not ideally positioned for it. Where possible, replace it with 2; it makes for far easier playing. (Sometimes you can't avoid playing a #/b with the thumb, and it often takes a lot of practice to get it right. Avoid it if you can.)

Hopefully this points you in the right direction.

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Thanks, that feels much better :D –  abe15 May 7 at 19:36
    
Glad I could help :) –  Poben May 7 at 20:42

I'd take a page from Chopin for this one.

Chopin felt that there were two separate technical problems with arpeggios, one for within the octave, one for larger than the octave (see Eigeldinger, JJ. Chopin, Pianist and Teacher). For larger than the octave, Chopin advocated deciding on a pivot finger around which the hand turned. This is one of the technical elements that needs to be mastered for his Etude op. 10 no 1.

I agree with 5-3-2-1 but if you are still not comfortable, try pivoting around 3, so that the tip of 3 stays roughly (not exactly) the same place in space, and the hand pivots around it.

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As others have said, a lot of it depends on the size of your hands. However, a lot of it also depends on where you're going next.

I can hit all the tenths except the major tenths with a black and white note, and I would finger the first set as Poben has it. As Jeffrey has it would be hard for me, but if you can almost hit an octave between 3 and 5 it's probably the best. Now, if I had a student with small enough hands that Poben's fingering was difficult I would suggest having a look at 5-1-2-1-2 for the first five notes.

Regarding thumb on black notes, this usually isn't the best if you need afterwards to pass a finger over it to a white note, and especially the reverse. However, otherwise thumb on black notes is fine.

Now, let's suppose you are repeating the same set of 8th notes again. In this case, you want to wind up on the thumb on the A, so you can make it easily to the next F#. For the last four 8th notes, I would use 2-3-5-1, or possibly 4 instead of 3 (if you're using Jeff's fingering, then 1-2-3-1 is best). There is a bit of work to keep the 3rd/4th from getting tangled up when you're trying to get the thumb on the same note two notes later, but in the end it will be easer to control than using 2-1-2-1 or something similar.

On the other hand, if the next notes are the same as the last four, or perhaps something higher up in the treble clef, then probably 2-4-5-4 is best to position the hand for those notes.

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