I can't play this part clear and coordinated. My left hand and right hand are fighting.

How can I fix this? Is my fingering wrong? Or have I not practiced enough?
Suite for Piano, 1st movement, bars 72-73
Béla Bartók - Suite for Piano, Op. 14: I. Allegretto, mm. 72-73
Link to full score on IMSLP

  • It seems a bit odd that your left and right hand are fighting, since they are reasonably well coordinate on eights, and their movement is consistently counter to each other (up vs down). I can only assume it's the slightly different rhythm that causes problem. Do you have any problem playing a hand by yourself? E.g., are the octaves making your right hand cramp up, or do the sixteenths cramp up your left hand?
    – user18490
    Oct 23, 2017 at 4:32
  • What is your fingering for this section anyway? Perhaps you edit the image digitially with fingering indicated, or rescan it with fingering. Otherwise, please describe it. Some fingerings can cause hands to cramp up, and that'll make it hard to get things smooth and correct.
    – user18490
    Oct 23, 2017 at 4:34
  • @Evert look at the clefs. Your hands are playing "on top of each other."
    – user19146
    Oct 23, 2017 at 5:07
  • @alephzero Ah, missed that (even though I had the notes correct in my head). That explains things a bit more, though I think answers to my questions can still help figuring out any underlying causes.
    – user18490
    Oct 23, 2017 at 5:14

1 Answer 1


Well, this is a piece designed for letting left and right hand fight. The basic hint for how to approach it is that the bottom line is more dense as well as legato. The top line is accentuating the bottom line.

So the main approach would be to play the left hand in a smooth legato which means that it gets first choice of fingering and good hand position. Then you see whether this allows you to intersperse the right hand. Staccato benefits from a larger approach path so I'd try crossing the right hand over the left first, shifted in a bit (the contentious notes in the left hand are all white keys, so the left hand is likely a bit more backwards). Possibly try just the top two notes for the right hand at first, but without using the thumb (which you'll need later on for the crossover).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.