I can't figure out how to properly finger and play the following section of a piece I'm trying to play.

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I've tried multiple things, but the difference in distance between the first notes and the others throws me off and I keep having to resort to staring at my fingers and it feels like I'm not making any progress.

Are there any tricks to get the hang of this?

Edit: I've edited the post to add the left-hand notes. I was struggling with the music notation software, but I'm getting the hang of it now.

  • Having the left-hand notes would be helpful to give a complete answer that covers as many options as possible.
    – Aaron
    Feb 19, 2021 at 8:07
  • Is it really a rest in the bass in the score? Why not use two hands other than it being difficult for the sake of difficulty? Feb 19, 2021 at 15:21
  • If the lower c can be played with the left hand, this becomes a lot simpler.
    – 9769953
    Feb 19, 2021 at 19:06

3 Answers 3


Here are three options, in order of ease I had with them. Your mileage may vary.

Option #1: pairs

Play in pairs: i.e., three groups of two.

Given that the main problem is getting from the first dyad to the second, this is the first option to try. It allows you to keep the same finger on G for both dyads, making speed and accuracy much easier.

X: 1
T: Option #1
T: Three pairs
K: C major
M: C|
L: 1/4
(3!1!!2![CG]!2!!5![Ge]!1!!4![Bg] !1!!5![ca] !1!!4![Af]/2!1!!5![Bg]/2 |

Instead of 1-4; 1-5 pairs, 1-4; 2-5 is also possible.

Option #2: variation on #1

Slight changes in fingering. Others are possible is well, depending on whether you prefer 1-4; 1-5 or 1-4; 2-5 or 1-3; 1-4, etc.

X: 1
T: Option #2
T: Three pairs variation
K: C major
M: C|
L: 1/4
(3!1!!2![CG]!2!!5![Ge]!1!!4![Bg] !2!!5![ca] !1!!3![Af]/2!1!!4![Bg]/2 |

Option #3: minimize hand shifts

The difference here is that the first dyad is isolated from the others, which can all be played without shifting the entire hand. However, I found this one most difficult to make accurate.

The 1-2 suggestion is my preference, but really can 1 with any finger you choose — whatever works best.

X: 1
T: Option #3
T: Minimize hand shifts
K: C major
M: C|
L: 1/4
(3!1!!2![CG]!1!!3![Ge]!1!!4![Bg] !2!!5![ca] !1!!3![Af]/2!1!!4![Bg]/2 |
  • The 2-5 fingering for the second interval is definitely a stretch that I would avoid. I would use 1-5 there in the first two options, which then leans more towards the third option.
    – 9769953
    Feb 19, 2021 at 19:09
  • @00 1-5 in the first two options would defeat their purpose, but the third option is designed to accommodate that fingering, in particular for the problem you cite -- the 2-5 stretch is uncomfortable or too wide.
    – Aaron
    Feb 19, 2021 at 19:19
  • Thanks a lot for the detailed response. I've been trying some options and I think I prefer the second one. The 2-5 is a stretch, but it's possible and the motion the hand makes seems to be more fluid than the 3rd option.
    – Peter
    Feb 20, 2021 at 8:22

First two: C+G, watch the G. Move thumb to it for second dyad. Spread hand slightly. (You'll use thumb ad pinky for all notes). All the rest are the same physical distance apart, so keep your hand locked at that spacing. Then follow either thumb or pinky, no need to watch both, as if one is right, the other will be automatically.

Keep the wrist at the same height all the time, and move the forearm laterally, as needed.


I wouldn't be a slave to the notation. Frankly I would just use my one and five fingers for each chord.

Sit in a chair with your knees apart and with your all your fingers together and your palm relaxed, play "duck duck goose" on your knee. Notice three things: it is your arm, elbow, shoulder that is placing the hand. Notice also that you most likely have a curve or arc as your arm moves from knee to knee. Your hand is raised by the arm so that it goes up, over then down, up over and down, almost circular. Third, notice you are not slapping your knee or pressing into it. Those are the movements which play those notes, minimized, of course.

To employ wonky fingering will do two things, abduct the fingers which will create tension or encourage you to twist the wrist in ulnar and radial deviation. I am an organist and thus not a fan of sustain pedals but I would definitely pedal these contingent upon the feel of the piece. Wonky fingering will strain your long flexor tendons. Strained long flexors leads to median nerve entrapment.

Always start from the biggest muscles and work your way down. Like casting a fishing pole, you don't cast from the fingers, nor the wrist, nor the elbow but you do cast from the shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers. Well, actually you cast from the hips, abs and back, first.

Another reason not to play from the fingers with wonky fingering is that every motion MUST have an opposite motion, like casting that fishing pole, you backswing then forward swing. If you engage in wonky fingering it will rob you of up motions and rob you of that arc, gravity and lateral arm movement. Play any three note chord and notice that you first raise up, then down with gravity using no finger motion. Also, don't press into the key bed. After you make a sound there is no need to press because if you are pressing down you can't raise up.

  • 1
    all the "wonky" references are needlessly belittling of other answers. Please revise to disagree more collegially.
    – Aaron
    Feb 23, 2021 at 1:01

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