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I'm trying to play, with my right hand, A4 E3 D3 E3 C3. The score suggests the 5th finger on A, and the three first fingers on C, D, E, that is 5,3,2,3,1. I'm able to play it comfortably but I notice that my fourth finger is curled all the way towards the inside of my hand. This intuitively seems like a terrible habit, but when I try to keep my 4th finger extended, it creates a ton of tension and it presses on F.

What should I do?

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    Could you post a photo of each curled and extended finger position?
    – Aaron
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 21:00
  • It's just fine if your ring finger hovers over or even presses on F with that fingering, as long as it doesn't accidentally press down and play that F.
    – Dekkadeci
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 12:23
  • I’m voting to close this question because it has a couple of good answers given the information available and is unlikely to generate further distinctive answers until/unless it's updated with a photo, at which point I (for one) would vote to reopen.
    – Aaron
    Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 0:27

3 Answers 3

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I can not say why your 4th finger is curled when you play with the fingering 5,3,2,3,1.

It would of course be a good idea to get that issue solved, maybe with the help of a teacher.

For the time being you could try out a different fingering:

You could try out: 5,2,1,2,1 or 5,2,1,3,1.

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Anatomically that finger is different from the others. This can be seen in action in the following video

There is a brief explanation here

The tendons in your fingers are independent from one another apart from the ones in your middle and ring finger. These tendons are connected, so that when your middle finger is folded down you cannot move your ring finger. It feels like your ring finger is stuck!

http://www.sciencemadesimple.co.uk/activity-blogs/paralysed_finger

It is possible to improve independence of this finger but it takes time and practice. You can do this away from the keyboard. Don't force your fingers with any implement or with your other hand, just practise on your knee or on a table-top when you are able.

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  • Not true. Curl the index finger and notice almost the same restriction on the middle finger. Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 0:58
  • @Adrian Bartholomew - "almost" is the key word. I can lift my middle finger at least a centimeter when I do that. In any case, what specifically is "not true" about my answer? If I say "pigs can't fly", that doesn't mean I'm wrong just because I haven't mentioned that cows can't fly. Commented Apr 9, 2021 at 10:59
  • Yours is a true observation of the weird behavior of the ring finger when the middle is curled. But your statement, "...different from the others" implies "unique". The scenario where the index is curled causing a similar difficulty with the middle finger renders that implication untrue. Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 11:32
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    @AdrianBartholomew The anatomy of the ring finger is different and connected to the middle finger and the other fingers are not like that. Personally I can lift my ring finger equally high in all hand positions except when my middle finger is curled under in which case I can’t lift it at all. This is what we expect from the hand anatomy. If your hand words differently then I suggest your anatomy is unusual. Commented Feb 12 at 2:38
  • The phenomenon is not unique. Demonstrably. Choose someone else to argue with. Commented Mar 11 at 6:40
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Probably because your 4th and 5th fingers are not yet perfect at working separately, and 5th is exploiting the 4th to work properly. You should work on mind muscle connection and try to work them separately. There are etudes for this.

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