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Please forgive the fact that I have no software with which to produce musical notation. Fortunately the sequence of notes I need the fingering for is quite simple.

The sequence is:

G3 A B D E G4 A B D E G5 A B A B D

the notes are always rising, by less than an octave, except that last A. Also, the preceding B is played simultaneously with G5 (I use Gi to indicate the ith G from the left of the keyboard, and am not sure if this is standard).

EDIT:

I was using 5 for the thumb but should have used 1, so I've updated to the proper numbering ... sorry! Also, I should have mentioned that this is to be played with the right hand, the time signature is common time, the notes occur as triplets, with the first note (G3) occurring on beat 2, then the first D on beat 3, etc.

The sequence is meant to be played relatively fast (say at 120 bpm or possibly a bit higher), and I've been trying this:

2 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 2 3 5

It may also be useful to note that before the sequence, the right hand is coming from playing a chord almost two octaves to the right on beat one.

My main issue is the last transition from 3 to 1 (middle to thumb) because it occurs with a jump of two keys and doesn't feel right. I'm not sure what alternative is viable though.

As you may guess, I have no training and as such apologize if this question seems silly. I am sorry but I do not have the sheet music for this, though I could write it up, but it would have to be by hand and not on staff paper but either standard Hilroy or printing paper where I make the lines. I considered this more inelegant than my current ad hoc method, but let me know if I was wrong!

As a curious aside: is correct fingering something one could determine algorithmically, or is there room for preferences/styles/weird cyborg hands?

Many thanks!

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Have a quick read of the related questions bar to the right. Generally, it is agreed that there is no right way, but some ways are likely to be easier or faster. –  Dr Mayhem May 30 at 8:22
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A good fingering depends on many things, like the properties of your hands, the tempo, articulation (legato/staccato/...) dynamics, pedal, position of strong beats etc. etc... For example, with my (right) hand, if the tempo would be about 120bpm, where each G is on a beat, and pedal is used, and I would like it to sound like some kind of flourishing, I would probably use 12345 12345 12323 5. If I want a little crescendo in the end I might use 12312 4 in the end. Here I use 1 for thumb as is standard (for both hands). It would be good if you could scan/take a picture of the score. –  nonpop May 30 at 12:04
    
musescore is a free music notation software if you wanna try it out –  Zack May 30 at 20:45
    
Are these quarter notes? Also, you mean "120 beats per minute" right? –  System Security 2009 May 31 at 2:45
    
@WebMaster Thanks very much. I will seek that out if ever I need to post some notation (or if anyone here would like to see exactly what I'm talking about made more clear). –  Rookatu May 31 at 5:44

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Hope I've read this right. I guess you're talking L.H as your numbering is unconventional. L.H generally goes 1,2,3,4,5 as Thumb,index, middle, ring, pinky. You seem to be crossing over too early.The sequence (major pentatonic) could be played 5,4,3,,2,1, then jump over and start again. More crossovers = more mistake potential and a more jumpy execution.

If you're talking R.H. then this answer is rubbish! R.H. is also numbered thumb = 1.

Now knowing...I'd tend to use the whole hand and start with thumb, changing from pinky to thumb for the next 5. As the tune is in triplets, though, it's sometimes useful to have thumb play beat one and maybe beat four. This puts a bit more emphasis where it feels right. There's also the possibility that the L.H. is doing nothing at this time, so you could do several notes with one hand, followed by the next several played using the other.

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Hi Tim. Thanks for the answer. Sorry, I should have mentioned (and known the correct numbering system) but this is actually meant to be played on the right hand! I have updated my question with some information. –  Rookatu May 30 at 14:29
    
Thanks Tim. Btw, if I have other fingering questions, should I post a new question each time, or is there a more efficient way to figure out the right fingering? I don't feel qualified to decide myself what is best. –  Rookatu May 31 at 4:38

I'll assume that there is no note before the first and no note after the last, because fingerings will vary based on the preceding note of the section and the note after the last.

You are curious about how fingerings are generated. Let us remember that all fingerings are made-up by someone. In books, they are still obviously made up, but the experienced editor just came up with generic fingerings that will work for anyone in the general public (playing that certain song). These fingerings serve for many purposes. Some fingerings help connect slurs or phrases without lifting the hands (except for repeating notes). Some fingerings help transition your fingers smoothly from one note to another. Some fingerings help reduce the number of transitions (like 3-1 or 4-1) for fast sections. Fingerings also help "guide" your fingers in a passage (like a fast one) to end on a certain note (at the end of the passage or phrase), so it can start the next one (passage or phrase) without having to adjust the fingers as much. Fingerings also help on passages of repeated notes.

These are just some examples.

Please understand that nobody can force you to do a certain fingering. Editors (of songs) are experienced, and choose the fingerings for the easiest and smoothest execution of the piece. When you become experienced, you can also make your own fingerings, but also understand that your fingerings should fit your needs. For example, someone with big hands might use different fingerings than someone with small hands.

Take the chromatic scale (starting on C) as an example. The general way (especially for students) is to go the 131312131313 way, but some people prefer using the 4th finger. I forgot the exact fingering, but it's something like 123412312341. Using only 3 fingers is easier, but using the 4th finger is faster. It depends on the person.

Another question of yours is about avoiding the 3-1 transition. You can correct me, but I'm assuming that your fingers are big enough to make that transition (like you specified). It might feel weird, but avoiding it will give you some pretty big limitations when coming up with the fingerings. The best way is to practice the 3-1 transition until it's not as weird to you anymore.

If you really want to avoid it, do the 123-45- 123-45- 12323- 5 fingering (with the pedal to connect the big 5-1 jump), like nonpop suggested.

NOTE: I will use "-" for note skips, and "()" for transitions (2-1, 3-1, 4-1, or 5-1).

Like Tim said, using your fingering is unconventional (but as mentioned before, you decide).

I would use 12(3-1)2- 341-2(3- 1)2323- 5. I did the 3-1 transition in the beginning to avoid 3-4, which is not much easier than 3-1. Then there is a 2-3 skip, which might be weird, but not so bad. Then there's a not-so-bad 1-2 skip and another 3-1.

Another way is 123-(41) 23(4-1)2- (31)212- 3. The 3-4 skip might feel weird, though.

If you want to avoid 2-3 and 3-4 jumps, you can use 12(3-1)(3- 1)2(3-1)(3- 1)2323-5, but there will be a lot of 3-1 jumps.

Another way to avoid 2-3 and 3-4 jumps is to use 2(31-)2(3- 1)2(3-1)(3- 1)2323- 5.

For my second way, to avoid the 2-3 jump use 123-(41) 23(4-1)(3- 1)2123- 5.

There are lots of ways to come up with fingerings, but- *last time saying this* -the fingering really depends on your needs, so if none of my suggestions work, please specify your conditions (your hands, how fast you play, etc.) and I (or others) can come up with better suggestions.

If you're talking 120 beats per minute, then you may use the suggestions above. If you're talking 120 beats per second (you wrote bps in your question), then you may still use the suggestions above ;)

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Haha, thanks for catching that 120 bps. Hilarious. I am not a cyborg so that is definitely impossible for me (and might cause my piano to burst into flames). I will try these suggestions (+1). The reason I want a method of figuring out fingering is that I have a few other questions about how to finger some phrases, but don't trust myself to choose a fingering that won't aggravate my carpal tunnel or be poor for other reasons. And I don't want to make a new post every time. I do understand that there is no "right" answer now though. Any thoughts? Thanks again! –  Rookatu May 31 at 5:43

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