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I've been using Cooke's piano fingering for F# major scales and arpeggios.

Playing in F# major arpeggios seems really tough. I've tried alternate fingerings from Cooke's, but nothing seemed to "fit" my hand better so I've stuck to the Cooke fingering.

Does anyone know of an alternate fingering - either published or from a professional teacher?

General advice for practicing F# major would be appreciated too! At the present time I'm just slowing down the tempo and concentrating accuracy of my hand position. I'm also trying a stronger touch and more consciously supporting the weight of my arm with my fingers.

  • Pages 24 and 59 to save trawling through!! – Tim Jan 27 '16 at 16:13
  • I looked at this question and realized I'd been playing F# arpeggio as 2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2 in R.H.... – ericw31415 Dec 7 '17 at 0:11
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Whilst a lot of scales and their arpeggios have similar fingerings, this doesn't. As in r.h. scale starts with finger 2, whereas r.h. arp. starts with thumb. Any scale or arp. will have recommended fingerings, but I recommend you find your own, based on the practicality of playing. A lot of the fingering is logical, as in don't use thumb on a black key if a finger can be used instead (it's usually too short!).

When playing something like F#, where most of the notes are on the black keys, then your hands will be further away from you, so you'll need to keep the wrists up, and 'float' more. It may help to be a bit closer to the 'board, and a little higher in the seat, but that will depend on your physiology. It's worth experimenting with both, to obtain an optimum position for yourself.

  • do you personally use the Cooke fingering for an F# major arpeggio? From your answer I assume yes, but want to confirm. – Michael Curtis Jan 27 '16 at 19:57
  • @MichaelCurtis - I've never come across the book till now - but there are some good bits in it. Teaching F# arp. I can't think of a more readily playable fingering than 1-2-3-1-2-3-5 (r.h). I don't play many arps now, but if I do, that's the fingering I'd use. – Tim Jan 27 '16 at 23:01
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I know and practice the traditional fingerings but do not always use them. For arpeggios, ask yourself "which inversion of the triad fits easiest in your hand?" and those are the fingers that should be used for the arpeggio. In the case of F# (RH), I find the 2nd inversion easiest with thumb on C#, 2nd finger on F# and 4th finger on A#. This give you the RH fingering from the root as: 2412 412. The traditional fingering (5321 321) works fine for me in the LH.

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I use the same fingering for F# as I use for D, or any other arpeggio where all keys except the second note are white. I think that's the fingering you'll find in Hanon; it is the fingering I was taught by my college professors. Now, one of my professors had me learn both the fingering you mention and the one I'm mentioning. His attitude was that the more fingerings you practice, the more you have at your disposal in performance.

Now, a practice suggestion (for all arpeggios): play them in four octaves, with a slight accent on every fourth note. (As you get these up to speed, you'll find that they take on a medium 3/4 feel.) This will help avoid the natural tendency to accent every third note because of the thumb falling on it.

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