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I'm very new to piano playing so please forgive me if this is a dumb approach.

I know that you should not use the same finger for succeeding notes, but here is my personal thinking(without having read any books), I'm thinking that whenever I have a chord and there is a note in front of it, I would play that note with a finger setting up the upcoming chord with the least amount of hand movement, so for RH, if I'm playing an A before a C E G chord, I would play the A with my pinky finger I would need the least hand movement to play the C major chord, if I play the A with let's say thumb, I would have to shift the right hand a lot more to the left to play C E G.

So for this case right here, I want to play the D before the final D F# C chord at the end with my pinky, so I would need minimal shifting for the final chord, but there is an E before the D, if I play that with my pinky, I would have to play D with my ring finger, in which case the shift needed is now greater.

So I was wondering if I can do 5 and 5 to setup the final chord in this case?

(update) I have since realized that this was completely dumb, like what if there are 10 of these notes in a row? Just same pinky 10 times? Ya I don't know why I thought that was a good idea ...

  • 1
    Please take lessons - or at the very least read some "teach yourself" books which cover fingering patterns in detail. If you start inventing your own, you will only develop bad habits which are very hard to break later. Dec 9 '19 at 13:48

What you want your fingering to achieve is to make it as practical and as comfortable as possible. I'm afraid I didn't like your use of the 5th finger three times in a row at the end of your example. I found it neither practical nor comfortable. For me, playing the E, D and then D7 chord with these fingers works better - 5, 4 and then 5/2/1. Alternatively, you could do 5, 4 and then 4/2/1 if you preferred. This sounds more legato. Give it a try and see if it feels a bit better.

  • Thank you for your advice! Can I ask why that is a D7 chord? Isn't D7 a 4 note chord? That chord is missing an A. Thank you
    – John
    Dec 9 '19 at 17:55
  • Yes, you are right that it is missing the A note, but it still functions as a D7. Music is not so literal that every note has to be present every time in chords. The context is a good indicator as to what's going on harmonically.
    – Jomiddnz
    Dec 9 '19 at 19:57
  • In seventh chords, ninth chords, etc. the fifth are sometimes omitted for several reasons, including but not limited to the following: 1. It would be virtually impossible to play the chord if the fifth was included; 2. It simply don't sound better than without the fifth wherever you place it.
    – Divide1918
    Dec 10 '19 at 2:24

With the fingering you showed in the score, you would have to keep shifting your 5th consecutively. Of course, when you're playing slow, especially in consecutive chords this is not only desirable but also in a lot of cases inevitable; however, I would recommend the fingering of 5-4-5 or 4-3-5 for the sixteenth notes to the D7 chord part, although it involves hand movement, it would be consistent in sound while being the least taxing on the hands.


Most fingering method I have seen show a fingering change on each rhythmic event whether the motion is repeated tones, step-wise, or broken chords. The logic of seems clear: it's easier to drop successive fingers that to drop and lift a single finger repeatedly.

Repeated chords are an obvious case where you must repeated strike with the same fingers. I have also seen some examples of playing consecutive intervals like sixth with repeated fingers. But, on the whole you change fingers as the rhythm unfolds.

After that basic concept, I think in terms of position shifts and finding tactile reference points.

The fewer position shifts the better.

When you must change positions make the change relative to some finger that's already in place. The common example is "passing the thumb under" when playing scales. Like playing C major ascending in R.H. first you play 123 then the thumb gets placed on the right side of 3 and continues 12345. When that first 3 is down you of course know where it is, it's on E. So, just put 1 on the other side, on F, and keep going with each finger. You're targeting adjacent tones.

Another good reference point is common tones. When a tone is common to two positions it's a good idea to use it as a reference point. Basically, you will just replace one finger for another on the same key to make the position change.

This what I came up with...

enter image description here

...there are only two position changes.

The second position shift is the tricky one.

Green lines are the adjacent fingering.

Blues line connect common tones.

Red lines are the tricky changes. 1 has to extend down a fourth, but that is mitigated by the two easy changes above it. Moving 3 to 5 for adjacent tones isn't ideal, but I kind of like the final movement to the D7 with no position change. An alternative is...

5 4 5

...for the last three which is what @Jomiddnz suggested.

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