Possible Duplicate:
Learning 4/5 trills on the piano?

At a fast tempo, the 32-notes in the right hand (all marked as 4/5 in my Henle edition), are the first time in the Variations where my hand tires. After a few sets of 4/5 trills, I start missing some. Any tips on 4/5 trill endurance, or on this passage?

enter image description here

  • 1
    Why not play the trills 3/4 or even 2/3 if you have large enough hands to reach the other notes? Fingering is very individual and 4/5 is usually only for when you have no other option. Nov 6, 2012 at 16:08
  • Looking more closely, I'd call this a tremolo rather than a trill, but all the answers from the other question still appear to apply. If the questions are merged, I'd prefer the one with the image, regardless. Nov 22, 2012 at 5:45

2 Answers 2


I don't know what problems specifically you're having with the trills, but I suspect that it's fatigue due to not having trained this particular motion.

There are two major components to the hand motion used when articulating tremolos and trills: the action of the fingers, and the action of the wrist. There's nothing special about the fingers; they function in the same capacity that they always have. The wrist, however, can rotate around the axis of your forearm. This action fills two purposes: it reduces the distance that the fingers need to travel, and it adds to the force generated by the finger motion. This does not have to be a large motion to be helpful. With a little experimentation, you'll learn what feels right.

My guess is that you're not using any wrist rotation, and since the 4th and 5th fingers are the weakest in the hand, you're having trouble generating enough force to quickly trill. Adding the wrist motion will help, but in the end, there is no substitute to training those muscles, especially if you're playing on a piano with a heavy action.

In this case, hanon exercises are useful There is another question on this same topic (link here) where I mention a specific exercise and link to a free PDF. Work through the exercise slowly, and avoid tension. Especially when dealing with rapid motions like trills, retaining tension is a bad habit that leads to RSI like carpal tunnel over a decade or so. @J03Bukowski's answer gives fantastic advice on how to avoid retaining tension.

I did my best to tailor this advice specificly to 5-4 trills, but in the end, everything I've said applies equally to trills, to tremolos, to Alberti bass lines, and a myriad of other related figures. It is worth noting that good advice does not need to be unique to the specific situation at hand; on the contrary, there is often no such advice.

  • Thanks. After two weeks of practice, it's no longer an issue. Using the wrist wasn't practical here, but the muscle training helped a lot.
    – rxmnnxfpvg
    Nov 20, 2012 at 0:09

I suggest you study this passage at medium speed. Feel the placement (must feel a stretch on the knuckles and on the phalanges) of each finger on the keyboard. The weight you put on each finger has to move to the next finger, and the previous finger has to relax.

  • 2
    Does downvoter care to give some constructive criticism? Nov 6, 2012 at 21:43
  • I didn't downvote, but probably the reason is that this recommendation is generic for all trills. I'd like some 4/5 specific advice.
    – rxmnnxfpvg
    Nov 7, 2012 at 4:47
  • It isn't a generic reccomendation for the trill, because if we don't learn to move the right weight to each finger (especially on the trill), we cant never play without missing notes in speed. We must, for first, strengthen the muscle of the fingers. And then we can play piano, forte, speed and without that feeling of insecurity. For the 4/5 is the same rule, especially because they are weak fingers. Nov 7, 2012 at 11:44
  • In retrospect, and after reading @Babu's answer, yes, we must strengthen the muscles and the rest will follow. I upvoted.
    – rxmnnxfpvg
    Nov 21, 2012 at 1:56

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