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#2014708 - 01/15/13 02:21 AM C major arpeggio LH fingering (5321 vs 5421)?  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 161
Nicholas Mihaila Offline
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Nicholas Mihaila  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 161
United States
The first couple paragraphs can really be skipped (just a bit of background).

After reviewing the fingering for different arpeggios in a book I recently bought, I was disappointed to discover that the “official LH fingering” for C major (and other structurally equivalent arpeggios, such as E minor, F major, G major, etc.) was 5421, instead of 5321, which is what I’ve been using. A bit of online research, however, showed me that they may be interchangeable, but I’m not sure.

The problem is that the new fingering causes strain in my hand (whereas the fingering that I’ve been using feels fine). It seems like the official fingering for the “middle line” between, for example, C minor (5421) and D major (5321), just doesn’t work for me. In other words, arpeggios that follow the structure (hand position) of C minor (such as F minor and G minor) work fine with 5421, and arpeggios that follow the structure of of D major (and E major, A major, etc.) work fine with 5321, which is standard, but the fingering for arpeggios that’re structured like C major (E minor, etc.) strain my hand.

In short, I’d like to know if the 5321 fingering for C major arpeggios has any disadvantages (as compared with the standard 5421). Sorry for the long post. I just don’t want to cut any corners.

Thanks guys,
-Nicholas


Follow my mixed gaming and musical ambitions through my YouTube channel:

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#2014713 - 01/15/13 02:46 AM Re: C major arpeggio LH fingering (5321 vs 5421)? [Re: Nicholas Mihaila]  
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 304
Briguy65 Offline
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Briguy65  Offline
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So California
I just tested what you were talking about --
I bet you lose velocity when using 5 321 on that arpeggio, especially if you're planning on going up more than one octave. If Hanon or whichever exercise book you're using says 5421 you ought to use it and build up strength or muscle memory. I don't think there's any way you can get an injury following the way they want it, unless you have incredibly small hands. My hands are about medium sized and I can barely reach 9ths, if that gives you an idea.

On the other hand, I've been known to ignore fingerings and what not. Generally, if the song is difficult -- I pay for it when I cut corners and I have to relearn the fingerings or timings correctly. It pays to be fairly strict in those regards when you're just starting out I would think.

#2014714 - 01/15/13 02:55 AM Re: C major arpeggio LH fingering (5321 vs 5421)? [Re: Briguy65]  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 161
Nicholas Mihaila Offline
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Nicholas Mihaila  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 161
United States
Originally Posted by Briguy65
I just tested what you were talking about --
I bet you lose velocity when using 5 321 on that arpeggio, especially if you're planning on going up more than one octave. If Hanon or whichever exercise book you're using says 5421 you ought to use it and build up strength or muscle memory. I don't think there's any way you can get an injury following the way they want it, unless you have incredibly small hands. My hands are about medium sized and I can barely reach 9ths, if that gives you an idea.


My hands are pretty big actually. I guess my 4th finger is just weak. It's just a bit annoying because I've used the 5321 fingering in a lot of my repertoire and got very proficient with it (I've actually been playing for a little while now.).

Originally Posted by Briguy65

On the other hand, I've been known to ignore fingerings and what not. Generally, if the song is difficult -- I pay for it when I cut corners and I have to relearn the fingerings or timings correctly.


I've done that, too. It's never fun. frown


Follow my mixed gaming and musical ambitions through my YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/NTMihaila

My cover of Inuyasha - Every Heart: https://youtu.be/-rFKbUoO7bM

Currently working on Fantasie Impromptu and Animenz's Owari no Sekai Kara.
#2014801 - 01/15/13 08:31 AM Re: C major arpeggio LH fingering (5321 vs 5421)? [Re: Nicholas Mihaila]  
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,496
Andy Platt Offline
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Andy Platt  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,496
Virginia, USA
They are interchangeable but you might find 5-4-2-1-4-2 easier for multiple octaves than 5-3-2-1-2-3. Try it and see. Most books I've seen will suggest one and have the other fingering as an alternative.

For the first inversion it's definitely 5-4-2 though.


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#2015083 - 01/15/13 07:53 PM Re: C major arpeggio LH fingering (5321 vs 5421)? [Re: Nicholas Mihaila]  
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Aurel Offline
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Aurel  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 17
Romania
Hi!
I learn that:

C E G (C) is 5 4 2 (1)
E G C (E) is 5 4 2 (1)
but
G C E (G) is 5 3 2 (1)

All the best!
Aurel

#2015095 - 01/15/13 08:35 PM Re: C major arpeggio LH fingering (5321 vs 5421)? [Re: Nicholas Mihaila]  
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 464
SoundThumb Offline
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SoundThumb  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 464
San Diego, CA
Interesting that you should post this Nicholas. My teacher has just started me on this very thing, teaching it as 5 4 2 1. Just like you I have always played it using 5 3 2 1 because it is hard for me to stretch fingers 54 across a third. Now the reason I'm being taught to use 5 4 2 1 is because not doing it that way is starting to effect my ability to play certain pieces. It is going to take me some time to relearn this, but I think the benefits are worth it. In other words, the fact that it is uncomfortable is telling us that there is a limitation in our hand flexibility. Gradually learning to playing this with 5 4 2 1 will help overcome that limitation.

#2015252 - 01/16/13 03:50 AM Re: C major arpeggio LH fingering (5321 vs 5421)? [Re: Nicholas Mihaila]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 4,437
JohnSprung Offline
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JohnSprung  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 4,437
Reseda, California
Personally, I find 5421 more comfortable.

But why always do it the same way? Instead, do what works best in the context of what you're playing. For you, it may be 5321 most of the time, but in certain pieces you may find 5421 working better.

Consider for instance all the quick back and forth between the Am and Em triads in the bridge of "Katyusha". By using 421 for Am and 542 for Em, I can come closer to doing it fast enough than I could using the same fingering for both.

So, play from xerox copies of the sheet music, write in and scratch out your own fingerings and change them around until you have it optimized. Make new xeroxes and start over when they get too messy.

I have some nerve damage in my right hand, 2 is completely numb, and 1 and 3 have some numbness, so I re-finger things all the time.



-- J.S.

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#2016486 - 01/18/13 04:05 AM Re: C major arpeggio LH fingering (5321 vs 5421)? [Re: SoundThumb]  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 161
Nicholas Mihaila Offline
Full Member
Nicholas Mihaila  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 161
United States
Thanks for all the replies, guys. There was some really good input.

Originally Posted by SoundThumb
In other words, the fact that it is uncomfortable is telling us that there is a limitation in our hand flexibility. Gradually learning to playing this with 5 4 2 1 will help overcome that limitation.


Yeah, I think you're right. I've been practicing with the 5421 fingering for a couple days now and I can tell that I'm improving.


Follow my mixed gaming and musical ambitions through my YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/NTMihaila

My cover of Inuyasha - Every Heart: https://youtu.be/-rFKbUoO7bM

Currently working on Fantasie Impromptu and Animenz's Owari no Sekai Kara.

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