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I have seen a fingering for the Eb Major scale in double thirds where, in the RH, 35 is used for Ab,C is followed by 24 for Bb,D, but only when going upwards. At first it seems better than using 13 for Ab,C, since it is easier to play upper notes legato, but since I had never seen 35 followed by 24, I wonder whether there is some long term disadvantage in using that fingering instead of the more "standard" one.

  • What source are you using for the fingers? From Cooke, Master the Scales and Arpeggios... Ab,C is 24 and Bb,D is 53 both ascending and descending. – Michael Curtis May 29 at 16:42
  • I am using these. Note that the fingering I mentioned is only used in the upper octave. – Rui May 29 at 21:32
  • For me, 12 would work well for the Bb-D. I customised this fingering because it was more suited for my hand. – Grace May 30 at 10:24
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For double note scale I collected a bunch of old method books from https://imslp.org

Scales in thirds seems to follow two different fingerings.


Cooke, Mastering the Scales...

enter image description here

...where position shifts with repeat of the thumb RH 12 13.

In RH Ab C to Bb D is played 24 35 ascending and descending.


Mason, Touch and Technic...

enter image description here

...alternating RH 13 24 except one 35 in each octave.

In RH Ab C to Bb D is played 13 24 ascending and descending.


It seems clear there isn't one, standard way to do the fingering. I believe both fingerings are intended for legato execution.

Personally, I like the Cooke method. As a general rule I avoid 1 or 5 on black keys except when both are playing black keys. That seems to fit the hand naturally, and the Cooke method seems to follow that logic.

The fingering in question...

enter image description here

...basically matches the Mason fingering, except that it starts with 24.

I think the part in question is the in the red box.

All of the method I have seen repeat the same fingerings at each octave repeat!

The thing that strikes me as odd is that the fingering does not repeat at the octave.

Also, 35 24 13 ascending uses 3 consecutive cross overs which seems very awkward.

I really suspect this is just a typo! The part in the red box is probably supposed to be 13 24 13. That would make all four octaves asecending/descending consistent. An alternate fingering only for the second ascending octave doesn't make sense.

  • I know the fingering I mentioned is uncommon. The question is, since at first sight it seems to work (in that it allows for more legato upper notes), whether there would be some long term disadvantage in using it for practice. – Rui Jun 4 at 18:07
  • @Rui, I made an edit to my answer. I highlighted the particular fingering with a red box. I think it's a typo in the PDF! To me the disadvantage is the very awkward consecutive cross overs. – Michael Curtis Jun 4 at 22:19

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