2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
69 members (BMKE, accordeur, 5stringbanjo, 0day, Burkhard, AJB, brennbaer, 11 invisible), 679 guests, and 295 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 3 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
Originally Posted by keystring

The emphasis on "thumb" is a paradigm shift for me.

In the beginning the concentration on finger X or Y has to do with getting the fingering right. For the most part you are thinking about which finger crosses when moving in, either hand, but where the thumbs "cross" when moving out.
Quote

I focused on the 4th finger which seemed to like to end on a black note; I learned to see scales as being in one of three groups, each group having a pattern, but the third group was the "odd ones".

I would do a separate group for the LH for G, D and A because the general rule of turning from a black note to a white for the thumb is broken, and students should really know why. We do not use those scale fingerings for passage work.

G in the left hand turns from D to E and from G to A
D in the left hand turns from A to B and from D to E.
A in the left hand turns from A to B.

So these three scales fall into the group of "3 always together", but they are less intuitive in the LH. And in all of them the 4th finger is on a white key. The other 9 scales are not that way. C does not count as "odd" because there are no black notes for the 4th to fall on.

The Ab scale is unlike the other scales where 3 is always together because the fingering is not the same in contrary motion. It is for C, D, E, G and A.
Quote

I don't remember seeing reference to the thumb anywhere before.

In most standard editions there is a tendency to mark the thumb AND the finger that crosses in scale passages going both ways. Going outward you only need the thumb marked, and coming in you only need the "crossover" finger. Where the thumb goes becomes obvious going in that direction.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,907
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,907
In any instruction I have read or been given previously, the thumb was never emphasized in any way. Obviously when you get 1-2-3 / 1-2-3-4, the thumb is the "1", but it is part of the group. The emphasis was always on the 3's and 4's (groupings), so I find your focus on the thumb in what I quoted previously to be an actual change of focus - a paradigm shift. I'm thinking that this may not be a small thing. smile

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
Originally Posted by keystring
In any instruction I have read or been given previously, the thumb was never emphasized in any way. Obviously when you get 1-2-3 / 1-2-3-4, the thumb is the "1", but it is part of the group. The emphasis was always on the 3's and 4's (groupings), so I find your focus on the thumb in what I quoted previously to be an actual change of focus - a paradigm shift. I'm thinking that this may not be a small thing. smile

The big thing is to stop people from doing horribly tense and crippling movements with the thumb because they don't release 3 and 4 comfortably while moving to the thumb.

Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 538
P
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 538
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by pianoMom2006
How is it different for CM students? Just curious.

Very different. CM students go through the order presented in the CM Syllabus. They do anywhere between 2 and 8 scales per year. That's about all I can say on this subject. If you want to know the precise order, you can ask your kid's piano teacher for the Syllabus.


Thanks AZN. We don't live in CA. My question was one of curiosity only. My son will be participating Guild and based on his experience last year, his scales don't have to be learned in a particular order. For Guild at his level, his SCA's are presented only in the key of the pieces that he plays. It is just interesting to learn a little bit about how different types of piano assessments compare.

Last edited by pianoMom2006; 03/21/16 09:19 AM.

Yamaha G2
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,907
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,907
Originally Posted by Gary D.
The big thing is to stop people from doing horribly tense and crippling movements with the thumb because they don't release 3 and 4 comfortably while moving to the thumb.

When I was still stuck with self-teaching, I followed an old book that had the instruction to suddenly snap the thumb under 3 or 4 - the "snap" itself is a tense movement. I've seen a video where (fortunately only one) teacher** does that movement which I adopted. I stopped doing scales cold turkey when my hands were going numb. There were a lot of other things going on, but that thumb-snap under an immobile hand and thus tight fingers was a big part of it. The thumb has a huge muscle, and apparently has more nerves going to the brain than anything else does. It's an awesome digit, to be treated with respect. smile


** What that teacher doesn't say, but you can see if you know about it, is that he also has a flexible responsive wrist, his fingers are relaxed, his forearm is not rigidly fixed.

Last edited by keystring; 03/21/16 11:56 AM.
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
T
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Gary D.
The big thing is to stop people from doing horribly tense and crippling movements with the thumb because they don't release 3 and 4 comfortably while moving to the thumb.

When I was still stuck with self-teaching, I followed an old book that had the instruction to suddenly snap the thumb under 3 or 4 - the "snap" itself is a tense movement.


Would that be Leschetizky?

http://www.amazon.com/The-Leschetizky-Method-Correct-Playing/dp/0486295966

Finger centric to the max! Abby would have shot him, if she were in a good mood.


gotta go practice
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,907
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,907
No, a fellow called Cooke. There are two writers called Cooke and he is the other one, not the one who talks about easy. I've put out a warning a couple of times in the ABF when the book gets recommended, since it's a free download with expired copyright. That part is dangerous - otherwise there is some good information.

I actually have a printout of Leschitisky - never used it - but the FIRST thing that he wants is for students to learn to acquire a flexible wrist, before even playing any notes. That doesn't sound totally finger-centric to me. But I'm out of my depth here.

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
Originally Posted by keystring

When I was still stuck with self-teaching, I followed an old book that had the instruction to suddenly snap the thumb under 3 or 4 - the "snap" itself is a tense movement. I've seen a video where (fortunately only one) teacher** does that movement which I adopted.

No one has actually ever played that way. At full speed for something as basic as a C scale the thumb begins to move in by the time the 2nd finger goes down. I don't know why anyone would teach that way.

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
T
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
Originally Posted by keystring
In any instruction I have read or been given previously, the thumb was never emphasized in any way. Obviously when you get 1-2-3 / 1-2-3-4, the thumb is the "1", but it is part of the group. The emphasis was always on the 3's and 4's (groupings), so I find your focus on the thumb in what I quoted previously to be an actual change of focus - a paradigm shift. I'm thinking that this may not be a small thing. smile


Here's another approach. It seeks to maximize the efficiency of each hand separately, which as Gary pointed out might have a flaw for HT. But it's easy to remember.

A small snip:


Quote
The conclusion is simple: Since all scales (with the exception of C major) will have black keys, and since the 3rd and 4th finger are involved in the passing of the thumb, and since the 4th finger is the weaker due to anatomical limitations (it shares a tendon with the 3rd finger) you must finger your scales in such a way that the 4th finger always plays a black note. And after that, the 3rd finger must always play a black note.

So you should play the LH of F major not

54321 321 4321 321 (2ndo finger on Bb – black key – 4th finger on G – white key)

But instead

321 4321 321 4321 3 (4th finger on Bb – black key)

Here is another example:

G major over two octaves

Orthodox fingering:
RH 123 1234 123 12345 (4th finger goes on the black key)
LH – 54321 321 4321 321 (2nd finger goes on the black key, 4th finger on a white key)

More efficient fingering:

RH: 123 1234 123 12345 (as before)
LH: 321 321 4321 321 43 (now the 4th finger goes on the black key)

Practise this fingering well with separate hands until it is thoroughly ingrained. Then join hands and you will be amazed at how much comfortable it is.

You will easily figure out the fingering for all scales if you always follow this principle (there is only one possible fingering if you prioritise the 4th finger on a black key and then the 3rd.) If you can’t figure it out ask again.


gotta go practice
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
Originally Posted by TimR

Here's another approach. It seeks to maximize the efficiency of each hand separately, which as Gary pointed out might have a flaw for HT. But it's easy to remember.

A small snip:
[quote]The conclusion is simple: Since all scales (with the exception of C major) will have black keys, and since the 3rd and 4th finger are involved in the passing of the thumb, and since the 4th finger is the weaker due to anatomical limitations (it shares a tendon with the 3rd finger) you must finger your scales in such a way that the 4th finger always plays a black note. And after that, the 3rd finger must always play a black note.

So you should play the LH of F major not

54321 321 4321 321 (2ndo finger on Bb – black key – 4th finger on G – white key)

Here's the problem with this, Tim, and probably the reason I have never seen anyone practice scales with this alternate fingering.

In the LH play F to F and then back down again several times and as quickly as you can. One octave. The F major scale.

Using the alternate fingering you will now be passing over and under the thumb twice, once from A to Bb and then from E to F. For this particular movement it is inefficient. Even for two octaves it does not work well. The fact that it might be more efficient for the thumb over several octaves is getting very theoretical and impractical.

A normal one octave scale fingering only passes under and over once, and that makes it faster and easier for that specific technical demand.

If you assume that the 4th finger of the LH should always be on a black note then the result becomes ridiculous. A melodic minor LH C scale would be: 2 1, 4321, 21 (or 23), one octave.

No one is going to start the Beethoven 3rd Concerto with that fingering. It doesn't work well.

Instead we switch to the "4th finger on black notes" idea in passage work where the first and last note of any scale pattern is not the tonic but can be any note in the scale.

Here is a concrete example:

Suppose you want to play from F# down a couple octaves in the D scale and end on A, LH. Then you WOULD put the thumb on E and B. But that is the standard fingering for the D natural minor scale.

You have to use some common sense for scales otherwise they become theoretical and useless for real-life technical problems.

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/23/16 06:58 PM.
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
T
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
Originally Posted by Gary D.


You have to use some common sense for scales otherwise they become theoretical and useless for real-life technical problems.


I am not sure that I have ever run into an example where music I actually play uses scale fingerings, either the orthodox or the ones recommended by this particular teacher.

By the way, this is different from the way I approach scales on the trombone. There, each scale has a preferred choice of fingerings. I've patiently worked through all the scales, doing one scale a week and repeating, doing two notes at a time for the whole range, three notes, etc., and arrived at preferred fingering choices for each scale, and 99% of the time those are also what work in any given repertoire in that key.

I defer to your demonstrated expertise - I am not arguing with you.

For the purpose of scale playing as an end in itself, I find that other teacher's approach convenient. It meshes with the way my brain works.

I'm going to include another snip from that other teacher, who also has a significant level of respect:

Quote
To dispel all doubts (really you should all have been able to work this out by yourselves, you mentally lazy people! ) here are the fingerings for major and minor scales:
Major scales (over two octaves):

C
Rh: 123 1234 123 12345
Lh: 54321 321 4321 321
G
Rh: 123 1234 123 12345
Lh: 321 321 4321 321 43
F
Rh: 1234 123 1234 1234
Lh: 321 4321 321 4321 3
D
Rh: 123 1234 123 12345
Lh: 21 4321 321 4321 32
Bb
Rh: 4 123 1234 123 1234
Lh: 321 4321 321 4321 3
A
Rh: 123 1234 123 12345
Lh: 21 321 4321 321 432
Eb
Rh: 3 1234 123 1234 123
Lh: 321 4321 321 4321 3
E
Rh: 123 1234 123 12345
Lh: 54321 321 4321 321
Ab
Rh: 34 123 1234 123 123
Lh: 321 4321 321 4321 3
B
Rh: 123 1234 123 1234 1
Lh: 1 321 4321 321 4321
Db
Rh: 23 1234 123 1234 12
Lh: 321 4321 321 4321 3
Gb(F#)
Rh: 234 123 1234 123 12
Lh: 4321 321 4321 321 42


Minor scales (harmonic):

Am
Rh: 123 1234 123 12345
Lh: 321 321 4321 321 43
Em
Rh: 123 1234 123 12345
Lh: 54321 321 4321 321
Dm
Rh: 123 1234 123 12345
Lh: 54321 321 4321 321
Bm
Rh: 123 1234 123 12345
Lh: 1 321 4321 321 4321
Gm
Rh: 123 1234 123 12345
Lh: 21 321 4321 321 432
F#m
Rh: 34 123 1234 123 123
Lh: 4321 321 4321 321 4
Cm
Rh: 234 123 1234 123 12
Lh: 21 321 4321 321 432
C#m
Rh: 34 123 1234 123 123
Lh: 321 4321 321 4321 3
Fm
Rh: 1234 123 1234 123 1
Lh: 21 321 4321 321 432
G#m
Rh: 34 123 1234 123 123
Lh: 321 4321 321 4321 3
Bbm
Rh: 4 123 1234 123 1234
Lh: 21 321 4321 321 432
D#m
Rh: 3 1234 123 1234 123
Lh: 21 4321 321 4321 32

Best wishes


gotta go practice
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
Originally Posted by Arghhh
Playing HT scales with the right fingering is one area I am really struggling to get my students to do. They know, for example, that the third fingers always play together in CMajor and that 3 alternates with 4, but still end up crossing over the wrong fingers.

Try teaching other scales first that have the thumbs together. You can teach them easily by rote. Db and Gb are easiest because they never use the 5th finger in either hand.

Then B. All these scales use all the black notes. You just move the thumbs from B E to C F to B F (Cb F).

Then try teaching the F scale, also thumbs together. Same as Db except with 4 fewer black notes. That gets you all four scale with thumbs together. THEN teach C, and stress F-G are always 1 against 2.

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
Originally Posted by TimR

I am not sure that I have ever run into an example where music I actually play uses scale fingerings, either the orthodox or the ones recommended by this particular teacher.

I would not compare trombone and piano. You choose positions on trombone by which are closer - 6 for F, 5 for Bb, 4 for upper D, and so on. #2 and #3 for high F# and G. It's logical and simple.

Piano is different.

You consider the number of notes in any kind of passage.

Example, you are in F, and you LH needs to start on F and go to E, 7 notes. 321, 4321 is an excellent choice.

Change the number of notes: F to G, 9 notes. Now 54321, 4321 is the best choice if you need to do to it really fast. For one hand by the time you go more than two octaves, especially if you are not starting and ending on F, other solutions are better. 10 notes, F to A, probably 321, 4321, 321. In this case you would be using the alternate fingering suggested.

Passage work involves scale patterns that sometimes skip notes, that double back, and so on. Handy dandy scale fingerings are a start, but you have to learn to think out of the box.

I would stick with traditional fingerings for all standard scales, then completely change fingering as necessary when appropriate.

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
T
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
Originally Posted by Gary D.

Passage work involves scale patterns that sometimes skip notes, that double back, and so on. Handy dandy scale fingerings are a start, but you have to learn to think out of the box.



And then there's Bach, where there's only one fingering that will work (and sometimes not even one) and there's no way to figure it out.

Smiley.



gotta go practice
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,090
B
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,090
Originally Posted by tim

G
Rh: 123 1234 123 12345
Lh: 321 321 4321 321 43

Is this the finger number of G Major one octave scales for piano?


Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Follow my 4YO student here: http://bit.ly/FollowMeiY
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
Originally Posted by bzpiano
Originally Posted by tim

G
Rh: 123 1234 123 12345
Lh: 321 321 4321 321 43

Is this the finger number of G Major one octave scales for piano?

No. The LH is a theoretical fingering for two or more octaves, non-standard, perhaps for passage work, and I would never teach this to a beginning or intermediate student.

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/25/16 04:01 AM.
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
T
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by bzpiano
Originally Posted by tim

G
Rh: 123 1234 123 12345
Lh: 321 321 4321 321 43

Is this the finger number of G Major one octave scales for piano?

No. The LH is a theoretical fingering for two or more octaves, non-standard, perhaps for passage work, and I would never teach this to a beginning or intermediate student.


The interesting thing to me is the way the fingers line up for HT. Well, the really interesting thing is that I've seen this before and my brain never noticed it before, but none of you care how my brain works. <smiley>

With that unorthodox fingering, 1 will always line up with 3, 2 with 2 and 4 with 4. The argumentative Nyi who's no longer with us was adamant that unorthodox fingerings could not be used because 3 had to line up with 4, IIRC.

Don't worry, I won't teach this to a beginner. <grin>


gotta go practice
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,090
B
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,090
May I ask who is this "other teacher, who also has a significant level of respect"?
Thank you!
You should include his or her name too or other wise maybe other people will accuse you of "plagiarism"
<Grin>


Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Follow my 4YO student here: http://bit.ly/FollowMeiY
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
T
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,555
Originally Posted by bzpiano
May I ask who is this "other teacher, who also has a significant level of respect"?


It comes from a different forum. It is generally bad manners to mix forums and I was treading on thin ethical ground just with the snip. If you're interested PM me and I'll send you a link.

If the ideas don't stand on their own, well then they don't. I mentioned the teacher only so you'd know this wasn't another one of my personal hairbrained schemes, of which there are unfortunately no shortage.


gotta go practice
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,291
P
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,291
If you search the web for this key phrase you will be able to find the source easily.
Quote
To dispel all doubts (really you should all have been able to work this out by yourselves, you mentally lazy people! ) here are the fingerings for major and minor scales


Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
Page 3 of 5 1 2 3 4 5

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Is a CPT necessary?
by Petoskeyguy - 08/13/22 11:07 AM
Yamaha clp 785 horrible chorus effect
by Chrisgilx - 08/13/22 10:51 AM
How are you learning?
by bennevis - 08/13/22 09:41 AM
Here am and a little help
by Mayopapayo - 08/13/22 07:14 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics214,375
Posts3,215,974
Members106,078
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
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 | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5