I'm a bit of a novice on piano.

In a piece I've written, I have the following passage (right hand), at about an Andante (q = 85, perhaps).

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The fingerings above are what I've done.

I'm particularly not a fan of the 5-3 change. Is there a better way to do this?

  • 1
    The player could also use 13 immediately on the downbeat of the second measure. The 24 to 13 switch might seem strange, but it's definitely doable, and there are stranger things.
    – Richard
    Jun 2, 2016 at 3:55
  • I'm in favour of Sam's suggestion above, but otherwise, I'd leave out the 5-3 change, and keep the 1-5 fingering for the duration of the note.
    – user18490
    Jun 2, 2016 at 3:57

3 Answers 3


It's not clear from the question whether your fingering is for your own playing, or whether you want to add fingering to the score for other people to play.

For professionally published scores, usually there is no fingering, or the fingering is added by the editor, not by the composer. So if you are "a bit of a novice", don't put any fingering at all in the score.

If you want to play this ultra-legato, at a moderate tempo, without any pedal, a good player could cross one finger over another, and do either 3/1 4/2 3/1 4/2 3/1 or 3/1 4/2 5/1 4/2 3/1, without the finger change.

But piano music isn't usually played like that. It's important that the top line of notes are legato, but the bottom line doesn't matter so much. Most players would do something like 2/1 3/1 4/2 5/3 4/2. Nobody will notice the slight gap caused by the "1 1" on the E and F#.

At your tempo, there would be no problem for a good player to use the sustain pedal to do "legato pedalling," and finger the notes any way they liked.

  • Thank you, this is for my own playing. I'm originally a clarinet player (as you might guess by the username) and legato is interpreted quite differently compared to piano. I feel like this answer addresses the issues better than the other ones have, in that it states what is actually considered when choosing a particular fingering. I had no idea to really only worry about the top notes, and furthermore, the 2/1 3/1 4/2 5/3 4/2 suggestion is extremely natural. Thank you again. (+1) Jun 2, 2016 at 15:19

The minim gives time to change fingers, so it's possible to put 3/5 on G/B, then change both to 1/3. Or, go straight to 1/3 on G/B. The original way works quite well, though.It's also playable leaving 3/5 on G/B, and using a little jump to get to A/C with the same 3/5, although it needs a bit of doing to make it smooth(ish).


I would rather say : 3/1 ; 4/2 ; 5/3 ; 5/3 ; 4/2

At the transition 5/3 just lift your hand to help your fingers. It allows you to be fully relaxed.

  • 1
    5/3 5/3 is about as horrible as it gets, IMO.
    – user19146
    Jun 2, 2016 at 15:17
  • @alephzero About this specific part of the piece, G/B being like a pause, it is easily possible and not too hard. At a faster tempo, fingering may change. PostScriptum: IMO ? Jun 2, 2016 at 15:35
  • @alephzero - oh, it could get far horribler... that actually is not too bad, depends how good a player is who's doing it.
    – Tim
    Jun 2, 2016 at 17:27

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