Notes on Fingering from Mr. Mannheimer's Classes and other sources
Fingering is a tool for memory, security, speed in learning, and for final mastery. Select fingering carefully. Be consistent!
- Make fingering simple. (uncomplicated)
- Use standard fingerings.
- Consider groups (clusters) of tones that can be placed in the hand.
- Finger not only for the moment but also for the convenience to come. Look ahead!
- Look for a pattern. Finger sequences with the same finger groupings.
- Finger with a tempo in mind. Check the speed away from the keys and see how the fingering feels in the fingers.
- Choose a fingering that fits and feels good. Then keep it.
- When you know the fingering don't think of it. Never think of one finger. Think of a group.
- Arrange to play the strongest fingers on the accents.
- Finger to avoid breaks from one beat to the other.
- In wide leaps it is often wise to use a 3rd rather than a 5th finger.
- Finger chord successions to avoid breaks.
- In waltz-time avoid carrying the 5th finger back and forth from the single bass to the chord.
- For staccato passages, play legato first to select good fingering.
- For trills use opposite fingers as: 1&3, 2&4, 3&5, rather than next-door fingerings.
- For repeated notes use the same finger unless the tempo is very rapid. Changing fingering unnecessarily invites trouble. If finger is used as though picking up an object, one can repeat rapidly by remaining on key.
- For a "bite" in a mordant, finger 132, or 243.
- Always finger so as to lead to an accent.
- In double notes have the weight of the hand toward the thumb for proper balance of hand and position.
- In fingering any passage keep minute (small) rotary movements in mind, and also the direction of each note.
- In double note passages it is necessary to keep lagato in one part only. For instance, when 2 4 crosses over 1 3, release the 3 pivot over the thumb and rotate back toward the 5th finger. If one finger keeps the lagato, the double note passage will sound lagato.
- See charts for scale and arpeggio fingerings.
- Keep fingers close to the keys at all times. Excess movements waste time, make speed and facility impossible, and tend to create tenseness.
- in rapid scales do not try to play lagato. Speed binds tones together (as in a glissando). It is an artificial lagato but sounds lagato.
- Don't play anything faster, in practice, than you can think of it. in this way you gain finger control.
- Correct phrasing (breathing) depends on fingering. Look ahead, see the notes and where they go, and finger to get ther.
- Alexander Libermann says, "Think of the fingertips. The fingertip is the first to go towards the key, into the key, and away from the key. our musical soul must begin in the tips of the fingers. Every touch in the piano playing is a finger touch. We must establish a 'magnetic' attraction between the key and our finger tips. Our best control lies in not losing contact with the key.
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