About

Most of the time, using numbers to designate the fingers.

Fingering is an important part of learning new pieces. Sometimes, the composer himself or herself will indicate fingerings in the score. Many players mark fingerings on the sheet music of the piece they are studying, usually when they are not self-evident.

On woodwinds and keyed brass instruments, learning the fingerings for a given note is an important part of learning to play.

  • Traditionally, piano fingerings use this convention:

Left Hand =|= Right Hand

5-4-3-2-1 =|= 1-2-3-4-5

a-r-m-i-t =|= t-i-m-r-a

  • and bowed strings (violin, viola, cello):

1-2-3-4

i-m-r-a

for the hand stopping the strings, and 0 when no finger should be on the string. A letter O with a short line at the bottom center of the O is used by cellists to indicate thumb positions.


Legend:

t: thumb, i: index, m: middle finger, r: ring finger, a: auricular (=pinky)

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