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I am not sure what the most convenient fingering is for the first three notes (D-E-A) in the above measure. The shown fingering (5-4-5) is the only one I have found that makes the legato on top possible, but it feels awkward to cross the fourth finger over the fifth for the chord. Would you go with this or rather something like 4-5-5 and rely on the pedal for the legato?

EDIT: the piece is in C major.

  • 1
    Why isn't the first 5 a 3? Couldn't the E at near the end of the previous measure be played with the first finger, the following A with the second, and the D in question with the third? Jan 4, 2016 at 23:52

2 Answers 2


That first 5 HAS to be a 3. It would then make sense from the previous bar, playing E=1, A=2 then the 3 on D.But then holding the E with thumb and hitting the top A is no mean feat. Assuming it's in C. What key is it?

  • 2
    +1 Exactly! Be even harder if E and/or A were flatted - it would be a stretch of at least an eleventh with the shorter fingers on black keys. Judging by the accidentals in the surrounding bars, they're probably all white keys (I'm guessing A minor moving to E minor), but, man, what an awkward passage to play! It would be tough even to fill out the sustained notes with pedal - look where the rest in the bass is.
    – user16935
    Jan 5, 2016 at 14:01
  • 2
    Sorry, C major! Yes, it makes a lot more sense with a 3 at the beginning... Jan 5, 2016 at 19:46

I agree that 3 is probably a better finger than 5 here. Now, crossing fingers nearer the thumb over shorter fingers further from the thumb (3 over 4 or 5, 4 over 5, and sometimes 2 over 5) is always more awkward than not doing it, but it's sometimes the only way to get the job done. It's a good technique to learn. Chopin wrote an Etude (on purpose) that requires a great deal of it, in fact (you can see it clearly after about :29, when they show the right hand):

The reason it's necessary is that the figure in the right hand has a chord taken with 1-2 on each beat, leaving 3, 4, and 5 to work out the chromatic melody on top.

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