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I've been practicing Chopin's Fantaisie Impromptu for several weeks now, and while I'm by no means perfect at it, there aren't any aspects or parts of the piece that I am not confident I'll be able to tackle eventually with practice - except one: The fingering at the 3rd 16th-note quadruplet in the 16th measure (during Allegro Agitato, and its twin during the final Presto, measure 93 I think), outlined in a red box here: fingering difficulty

In blue I've notated the fingering I'm using for both that quadruplet and the one preceding it, and it's the best one I've been able to come up with; but every time I practice (unless I'm doing so way under tempo - issues start to appear at about ♩≈100bpm during Allegro Agitato), specifically with going for that B key with 2 from the high A with 5.

I've tried jumping it, leaving the high A on 5 as fast as possible, but keep flubbing it (worsening as I accelerate the tempo); I've tried subbing the 2 for 1 (so it becomes a 1-5-1-4 sequence), but flub that even more frequently. Initially I was trying to make the stretch from the 5 to the 2 but quickly learned that that was unlikely to be an appropriate approach (hand pain).

I have noticed that some performers actually introduce a slight ritardando at the last half of this measure (for what I suspect are similar reasons - see this recording, at time approximately 00:22 - 00:26), but that not being indicated in the score I'm hesitant to apply it myself.

I'm simply wondering what fingering / approach is commonly used to tackle this particular measure, as it alone in this entire piece is the one giving me any kind of difficulty I don't yet have a good answer for.

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Interesting.

I have just tried this - I was unaware what fingering I use - and I do what you have notated. Okay it depends a bit on hand size but my hands are quite small so I think this fingering would suit many people.

So what is the issue that is causing your problem? Well I don't know but I have two suggestions.

Firstly (and I'm sorry it's obvious but this really is something that you should be doing) - practise more slowly. Get the notes right then up the tempo. Its amazing (to me anyway) how many people just do not see how well this works.

Secondly - start thinking of the notes in a different grouping. I'm guessing that you are thinking of a hand position that accommodates each group of four notes in line with the beats in the bar. So you have a position for the first four (starting with E#) and then a position for the second four (starting with F#) etc.. Well try to think of it differently. First four notes in one hand position, next four in another hand position, the next two in another position and the final 6 in another position. Sounds a bit daft? Try it - you might be surprised. It certainly works for me.

Hope that helps.

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There shouldn't be any question about fingering the first half of the bar. The pattern is identical to the previous half-bars.

If you can't get 2 on the B reliably because it's too much of a stretch, from the top A, then you have to use 1 on the B.

This might sound paradoxical, but if you do that try keeping the same fingering for the next group of 4 note as well, i.e. 1 5 1 3 1 5 1 3 for the second half of the bar. Psychologically, continuing the pattern even when you don't absolutely need to may stop you getting hung up about "one impossible note."

Almost all the difficulty of this (and other things in Chopin) is psychological, not physical. You just have to find the way to trick your brain into thinking it's easy, and it will then BE easy.

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