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1) i am playing following sequence repeatatively:

F C G# C G# C .... F C G# C G# C .. repeat...

Check the image attached, for the G# key, should i use middle finger or ring finger, so that I don’t have problems picking speed going ahead? I want to make sure i don’t setup wrong finger practice. Thanks for inputs!

2) Same question for this sequence too:

A# F C# F C# F ..... repeat

Pinky on A#, index on F, but which one on C# would be best? Middle or ring?


About not using thumb on C, I thought that I would be better off using the three fingers that I am using so that if I have to play a similar chord with four notes in another song, then I would just have to place the thumb on the fourth note (say next F in case of F G# C), not changing all four figures. However I am open to input if you have comments and suggestions.

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  • Um, is there some reason to avoid using the thumb on the C? // I think you are playing standing up? Did you read my answer to your other question? // Would you say that in the photo your hand and thumb look relaxed? Jan 30, 2020 at 8:41
  • Oh! Standing up just for taking the image. I have a good seat at nice height otherwise. Jan 30, 2020 at 8:44
  • About not using thumb on C, i thought that i would be better off using the three fingers that i am using so that if i have to play same chord using four fingers in the same song, i have right practice and then i just have to place thumb on fourth note (say next F in case of F G# C), not changing all four fingures. However i am open to inputs and changes with this thought of mine if u have comments and suggestions Jan 30, 2020 at 8:49
  • The problem is that we can't check your ergonomics properly if we can't see your actual position while playing. Look at the photo. Do you see how awkward your thumb looks? And how it's throwing everything else off? Can you have someone else take the photograph? // Do you have any questions about what I suggested in my answer to your other question? Jan 30, 2020 at 14:07

4 Answers 4

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There are no absolutes when considering fingering on the piano. Everyone's anatomy is different, consequently their fingerings will differ too.

Part of the point in practising playng is to work out for yourself which fingering works best for you as the player. There are not millions of combinations, and checking them methodically will be advantageous to your future playing.Telling someone that 2+2=4 is a little helpful - them understanding why is ultimately helpful.

It's far better for you to work out your own, than asking complete strangers what to do with your hands and fingers. In fact, a teacher watching is the very best mode of action.

I can't understand why you don't play the C with your thumb - it's just in the right place for you, and will obviate the need to stretch your hand so far.

Incidentally, playing those particular notes, which could constitute an Fm triad, the G♯ would be better called A♭. Since you're starting out, it's not a bad idea to get used to the vagaries of theory.

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  • I have gone with the thumb, turns out the best natural possibility Jan 30, 2020 at 10:30
  • Use that criterion for all your fingering. Certainly try out all possibilities, but revert to the best one in each situation.
    – Tim
    Jan 30, 2020 at 11:16
  • While there are no absolutes for fingering, there are best principles based on the physical shape of hands. The largest spaces between notes should be played between the thumb and index finger because those two fingers can spread the farthest without causing injury. Fingering needs to be determined carefully so as to not cause strain in the other fingers from making them spread too much. This is why it is important to have a piano teacher who can explain the reasons for fingerings in specific pieces until a student knows enough to make good judgment.
    – Heather S.
    Jan 30, 2020 at 17:04
  • @HeatherS. - if you're talking generally, it could be said that the largest space between notes could be played by thumb and pinky! I've always considered that a student ought to have the propensity to figure out what is a good fingering. If they have to be shown what I consider fairly obvious, I question the piano (here) as maybe a poor choice. And since there's no 'standard size' for fingers, let alone flexibility, it's even more a personal factor.One of my students has an enormous span, so I don't suggest, often, what he's going to do with it.Early on, we established that it's his decision!
    – Tim
    Jan 30, 2020 at 17:13
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    Between adjacent fingers. My students come up with weird fingerings all the time. One chord might be OK with weird fingering, but they are not set up well for the next. Piano playing is all about fingering and figuring out how to get from one place to another. It is not intuitive, based on my experience as a piano teacher. I do not agree that it is just a personal choice (though there are times when some fingerings are flexible.) But I am coming from a classical viewpoint, not just chords. Though I also play my fair share of jazz and rock. The more I teach, the more I focus on good fingering.
    – Heather S.
    Jan 30, 2020 at 17:21
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The first chord you mentioned (F G# C) is really F Ab C and is an F minor chord. In root position, that is normally played pinky on F, middle finger on Ab, and thumb on C. The most natural position for piano playing is all 5 fingers in a row, one each to a key. The hand does move from this position somewhat, but not drastically. At most, the hand might stretch to an octave (occasionally slightly larger if one has very large hands.) There are suggested fingerings for different inversions of chords which limit stretching of fingers that could cause injury and also lead to the most smooth motion from chord to chord. I suggest getting a piano teacher to help you learn how to do that effectively. You might settle on a "good to you" fingering for one chord and then have to do finger gymnastics to the next chord because you didn't plan ahead well.

Your second chord is a Bb minor chord. You should have pinky on Bb, middle finger on Db and thumb on F. Again, this is a triad in root position. For the left hand, those chords are usually played 5,3,1.

Some theory knowledge will help youi to know what chords you are using so you can understand inversions, which will in turn assist with finger placement.

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The fingering you have in the picture is like a standard fingering LH 5 4 2 if you also had your thumb playing the F above for a full octave span or if you were moving to or from some tones up around that higher F.

It it isn't really a question of right/wrong, what is proper, but the specifics of the notes and any need to shift your hand position. If the music next moved to the higher F, you fingering makes sense to me.

...I don’t setup wrong finger practice

You can try practicing alternate fingerings to develop a flexible approach.

Sometimes it feels like only one fingering makes sense.

Other times alternate fingerings each seem equally usable.

Other times (for me sight reading) an on the fly fingering choice turns out to be less than ideal, but another quick fingering change helps get back in a good position.

Those kinds of things happen all the time. I think a person wants to have the fingering flexibility to adapt to those situations.

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Thanks for explaining your reasoning. It's good that you want to learn sound principles.

If you work in a systematic way, with a method book, you'll pick up sound principles, that you can use as you expand your repertoire of songs.

One of the basic principles of piano fingering is that we want to avoid awkward positions, because an awkward position over extended periods of time can lead to poor results and even injury. The hand should be comfortable, without clenching or unnecessary tension.

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