I have a question regarding this instruction in Schmitt (this book suffers from trying to be too concise sometimes, I feel, at the expense of clarity!)enter image description here Practise with the C major fingering. Does this mean, for example, practise D major with LH 5321 3212 3123 AND 5421 4212 4124? And even to do 5421 etc on keys such as E flat where it feels very awkward?

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    I guess they think there could be passages where the C major fingering would be practical in those other keys, but I can't imagine how. RH is fine, but LH not so good always using the 4th finger in many of the keys. It looks like an odd instruction to give, to me.
    – Jomiddnz
    Commented Feb 2, 2020 at 22:14
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    I agree with Jomiddnz. And it would be hard to learn both fingerings. (The C major fingering for the left hand in that last 3/4 bar of B major, second inversion, is crazy.) If you ever did encounter passages where the C-fingering worked better than the usual one it wouldn't take long to work it out. And yes, MotherBrain: it's too concise! Like they were worried about wasting paper! Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 0:57
  • I was taught to use the 5421 fingering for left-hand E flat major chords in first inversion. As a result, I don't think it feels awkward at all. Granted, the largest interval I can span comfortably in one hand is an octave (I can barely span a ninth, but I hit adjacent notes at that point).
    – Dekkadeci
    Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 10:27

1 Answer 1


This question follows several lately asking about piano fingering.

The numbering in any tutor book is suggested, not obligatory. And the suggestions here are questionable - hence your question..!

Use any suggested fingerings as guides, but if they aren't working particularly well - or not at alll - then come up with your own solutions. Even in exam situations, the scale and arpeggio section is marked purely on execution musically and tempo wise. No bias is applied to the fingering thereof. In fact, often the examiner won't look at or be able to see the candidates fingerings.

A simple ti for playing smooth arpeggios - keep the hand moving sideways constantly, so the fingers used are over their notes. That rather than swivelling from the wrist to reach the next note/s.

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