Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Modern Piano Moving
Modern Piano Moving
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
Schumann's 4th Finger
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved
Who's Online
67 registered (AZ_Astro, AndyE, alexcawley, bennevis, Andy001, alwatson, 13 invisible), 1481 Guests and 12 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1987158 - 11/15/12 04:41 PM Figuring fingerings out yourself
Barbareola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/12
Posts: 67
Loc: Germany
The sheet music that I have for the piano comes with hints for the correct fingering. However, I have some sheet music that does not, for example collections of folk and pop songs.

How do you go about with figuring the fingerings out yourself? Is there a set of RULES that Teacher hasn't taught me yet? Or do you simply try out a couple of variations and settle on the best?

Edited by Barbareola (11/15/12 04:42 PM)
Currently working on: Venetian Gondola song by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1987189 - 11/15/12 05:34 PM Re: Figuring fingerings out yourself [Re: Barbareola]
zrtf90 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 3420
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
There aren't rules, Barbareola, but there are guiding principles such as minimising changes of hand position, avoiding the shorter thumb and fifth fingers on black keys in scale passages, avoiding trills with weak fingers and so on, all whilst taking account of the articulation of the phrase.

Songs will generally not require much effort in finding suitable fingerings and most sight readers will come up with something suitable in a very short time. With classical music you are more likely to find passages that make you stop and think but once you gain some experience of developing satisfactory fingerings you will soon get the hang of it.

Bach's Inventions will inculcate you with good habits. Fingering changed with Bach, he is the foundation of all keyboard technique.

#1987495 - 11/16/12 02:21 PM Re: Figuring fingerings out yourself [Re: Barbareola]
wouter79 Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 4795
I think another rule is to keep the hand small. This rule is in conflict with minimising changes of hand position and it took me some learning (from teacher) to find out where the balance is. Also this depends on the piece you're playing.

#1987509 - 11/16/12 02:57 PM Re: Figuring fingerings out yourself [Re: Barbareola]
PaperClip Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/09
Posts: 525
Loc: Amsterdam, Holland
Whatever suits best, works for me. If it still doesn't feel right, I ask my teacher what I do wrong. Though, sometimes it feels right, but it isn't. That's because I try the fingering at a very slow speed while the fingering needs speed. That is how I do now.

However, when I started I didn't know how it suppose to feel. Doing some etudes from Czerny for beginners gave me a lot of good solutions how to do the fingering in most cases.

Playing since May 02 2009

(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#1987523 - 11/16/12 03:40 PM Re: Figuring fingerings out yourself [Re: Barbareola]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 342
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
Barbareola – A great question! I’ve only begun to get a handle on what may be the answer, myself. I used to think that there was some “magical algorithm” that people more advanced than me knew and it would make everything about fingerings intuitively obvious, but sadly, there isn’t!

This question comes up just after you have enough “musical knowledge” to be dangerous. If you’re like me, you may have completed a couple of basic method books and are looking to stretch your horizons. You buy a few extra music books usually labeled Easy Piano and discover they have little or no fingering numbers. The “Non-Easy” regular-strength versions give you Nada!!! I used to hate that kind of book! Who were they “easy” for …Glenn Gould or Bill Evans? I felt like a kid who just learned his multiplication tables and now has been handed a calculus test.

I think that like most beginners, a lot of us are spoon-fed fingerings and “kinda” get dependent on seeing them and get cranky or scared when they’re not in front of us. But playing a greater variety of pieces seems to prepare you for the times those “Easy Piano” pieces show up without (or with very few) fingering numbers. You look at pieces of music and remember what you did on some little song or piece in the past and your fingers just seem to go to the right place. To be sure, this process does take a long time, and it’s more “evolutionary” than “revolutionary”, but there will come a time (…I’m going through it myself at the moment!) that you will not feel like you are trying to pole-vault over the Grand Canyon!
I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
Alfred 1 Graduate

#1987540 - 11/16/12 04:27 PM Re: Figuring fingerings out yourself [Re: Barbareola]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014

Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1393
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Fingering for me was all over the place when I first started learning (unfortunately some of the first pieces I memorized are fingered so strangely, to save time and energy, I just play them that way since it's mostly muscle memory and they're dear to me), but I think as soon as I started learning a little about scales and chords, it all sort of came into focus.

Study some of the different common scale fingerings (arpeggios too!) and you'll start to see patterns, and if you're like most (me included), how to approach fingering will suddenly become significantly easier.
"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."

#1987554 - 11/16/12 05:11 PM Re: Figuring fingerings out yourself [Re: Barbareola]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3776
Another basic fingering principle is that you want to plan your fingering so that you do not "run out of fingers" on a phrase.

For example, if you have a phrase of five close notes in a row, start with your thumb, and you will have enough fingers to finish the phrase.

I have seen students start on such a phrase with the third (middle) finger, or the fourth, and have to resort to a clumsy (and unnecessary) movement to finish the phrase. A lot of this is just common sense.
Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.

#1987848 - 11/17/12 02:42 PM Re: Figuring fingerings out yourself [Re: Barbareola]
Barbareola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/12
Posts: 67
Loc: Germany
Thanks everybody for your help! I'll keep them in mind when I go through my song collections. smile
Currently working on: Venetian Gondola song by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy


Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
What's Hot!!
New Forums Location & New Piano World Site
Why Do You Play The Piano?
Posting Pictures on the Forums
on Piano World

Piano Classified Ads
Pierce Piano Atlas

Sweetwater Hiring Keyboard Player!
Sweetwater Hiring Keyboard Player
Grotrian Concert
for Pianoteq out now
A. Geyer Pianos
A. Geyer Pianos
Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.

Caster Cups for Pianos

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Working shedule and progress.
by PianoStartsAt33
04/30/17 05:29 AM
1942 Chickering 5ft baby grand
by Dantecomico
04/30/17 03:53 AM
aftertouch or something else?
by PlunkyPlink
04/29/17 08:31 PM
Starting a new trend?
by DonZon
04/29/17 08:07 PM
transfer students with years of old habits
by chueh
04/29/17 07:37 PM
Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Forum Stats
87,549 Registered Members
44 Forums
179,297 Topics
2,620,694 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |

copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission