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Right-hand.

I've been trying to play thumb, index, middle, pinky, thumb, middle, thumb.

But I find that a bit awkward. Maybe it's correct and I just have to get used to it.

What's the standard for progressions like this?

  • 1
    Maybe try 3-1-2-5-3-2-1? – FSimardGIS Oct 28 '18 at 22:44
  • 3
    Also possible: 2-1-2-5-3-2-1. – FSimardGIS Oct 28 '18 at 23:07
  • My hand is big enough that 1-2-3-5-3-2-1 seems plausible. (The largest interval I can comfortably play in either hand is an octave. I can play a ninth, but I hit adjacent notes at that point.) – Dekkadeci Oct 29 '18 at 5:25
  • @Dekkadeci I can play a tenth quite comfortably, an eleventh is challenging – theonlygusti Oct 29 '18 at 12:31
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I would use FSimardGIS' answer of 2-1-2-5-3-2-1. It would somewhat depend on what comes before and after this little snippet, but standing alone, that's the fingering I would use.

  • This is how I would answer as well. – Heather S. Oct 31 '18 at 2:44
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Playing a black key with thumb is often going to create more problems than it solves. So, I'd advocate using thumb on the first C, putting either index or middle on the Bb prior, and whatever is comfy going up.

What the last Bb gets played with is up to whatever follows - could be the same finger as the beginning, but if lower notes followed, at least a middle finger would be needed to move the whole hand to the left for those notes. What does come after? And, let's face it, it all depends on what precedes that Bb in the previous bar. What comes before? (Although it does appear to be the start of a piece - but that might be just the way the OP put it.)

Without those two answers, any answer here is going to be pretty useless!

As has been said many times, 'best fingering' tends to be rather subjective. Best for one player is often what he's worked out himself. There aren't that many options!

  • The thumb on black key rule is not always followed in keys of scales that start on black keys. It is impossible to completely avoid the thumb on chords and arpeggios in these keys. The Chopin black-key etude uses the thumb on a black key all over the place. – Heather S. Oct 31 '18 at 2:46
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You are looking at the problem backward.

The goal of fingering is to minimize stretches, twists and pulls so that the fingers can function effortlessly as an extension of the arm. Fingering is irrelevant as it pertains to the arm placing the fingers.

If you were to swat a fly, which finger kills the fly? It doesn't matter because all the fingers operate as one, as part of the whole hand, as an extension of the arm. If you isolate the parts you open up the tendons for tension.

More important is how the arm places the fingers. Equally important is where the hand is coming from and where it is going before and after this passage.

Without rhyme or reason since my answer is relative to MY technique, I would finger it one of two ways: 313 (leap with the arm) 3132 (or 1 depending what is next). My second option would be 2315132. This is MY fingering because I use my elbow for cross over notes, I try to avoid anything that will twist my wrist in ulnar or radial deviation. Also, if you don't play from the pronator and supinator muscles, your finger for these rotations is doomed to begin with.

Again, the goal should be to minimize stretches since when you abduct and flex at the same time you are using two muscles to pull on one bone and at that point, it doesn't matter what your fingering is because the pulls will create tension.

Playing the piano should feel more like waxing your car than whatever gymnastics most pianists subject their isolated fingers to.

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