I know there is a standard double note fingering for consecutive thirds like this...

2345 345
1123 123

But I have been experimenting with other double note fingerings for larger intervals and for repeated double notes.

Repeated thirds...

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Consecutive sixths...

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Considering the right hand, basically fingers 5 and 4 are treated as one group to move step-wise and fingers 2 and 1 being the second pair moving step-wise. 1 avoids black keys and 5 avoids black keys when the key below is white.

This seems like a good fingering principle. I've been practicing it for a while and my hands are starting to reach keys more reflexively.

I've shown only right hand examples, but I am doing the mirror-symmetrical fingerings in the left hand too.

Are there any hidden pitfalls with these fingerings?

Are they typical?

1 Answer 1


I think you're going to a lot of trouble to avoid using fingers 1 and 5 on black keys. Is that a rule? I studied piano for 14 years and learned that it's generally easier to play scales when 1 and 5 are kept for the white keys, but I don't think that necessarily applies to playing thirds and sixths. The pitfall is that you're stuck playing a lot of your chords staccato. It's really hard to move smoothly from 2 and 4 to 5 and 3 without taking your whole hand off the keyboard, so you won't have much room for expression. It would be better to have one or both fingers on the keyboard while moving between each chord, if at all possible.

With your thirds it seems most logical to leave your hand in place for two beats and the move it down to the next position. Especially since the pattern always repeats a third in the middle of each group of four eighth notes. It's much easier to play that repeated third with fingers 2 and 4, play the next up beat with 1 and 3, then move the whole hand to play the next two beats. Playing a third using 1 and 5 would be my last choice in almost every case, even with my small hand, although it works on two white notes moving to two black notes pretty well.

Your fingering for the sixths works if they are meant to be played staccato. If it were meant to be played legato I would use 5454 all the way down for the top notes, with 1 and 3 on the B-G interval to cross over in the D Major section.

Practically speaking, I think the best fingering is the one that works for your hand, taking the expression of the music into account. Do what's easiest. If you're practicing these fingerings and getting them, and they make sense to you, then there's no reason to change. Just don't spend too much time trying to learn a trick that doesn't help you improve your playing. The audience doesn't care what fingering you use.

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