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MISSING FINGERING #2824464 03/08/19 08:12 PM
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MICHAEL122 Offline OP
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Hello all,
I'm working with some sheet music where the fingering is notated.
In some cases every note has a finger identified.
In some cases 2 or 3 or 4 of the notes have a finger identified but a couple notes do NOT have a finger identified.
Why are some notes missing the fingering?
Thanks in advance for all replies.

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Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: MICHAEL122] #2824468 03/08/19 08:21 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by MICHAEL122
Hello all,
I'm working with some sheet music where the fingering is notated.
In some cases every note has a finger identified.
In some cases 2 or 3 or 4 of the notes have a finger identified but a couple notes do NOT have a finger identified.
Why are some notes missing the fingering?
Thanks in advance for all replies.

I'm not a teacher, but in the various scores I have, fingering is omitted when it is obvious, and is is inserted where there is more than one rational choice. Are you saying the missing fingering is not obviously or are you making a comment about completeness?


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Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: MICHAEL122] #2824564 03/09/19 08:28 AM
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ebonykawai Offline
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Not a teacher, but yes, fingering is usually sporadic. I've never seen a piece of music with fingering indications on every note. We are encouraged to find our own comfortable fingering, as all hands are of a different size and with varying flexibility.


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Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: MICHAEL122] #2824615 03/09/19 12:03 PM
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Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted by MICHAEL122
Hello all,
I'm working with some sheet music where the fingering is notated.
In some cases every note has a finger identified.
In some cases 2 or 3 or 4 of the notes have a finger identified but a couple notes do NOT have a finger identified.
Why are some notes missing the fingering?
Thanks in advance for all replies.

Show a picture of the music or no one can give an informed answer to your question.

I'm assuming you do not have a teacher...

Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: Gary D.] #2824883 03/10/19 10:46 AM
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MICHAEL122 Offline OP
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If you don't know Gary, just say that.

Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: MICHAEL122] #2824895 03/10/19 11:03 AM
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bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted by MICHAEL122
Hello all,
I'm working with some sheet music where the fingering is notated.
In some cases every note has a finger identified.

If you're using sheet music where every note has fingerings, you're playing rubbish (or beginner's) stuff, and are relying on fingerings to play, rather than actually read the music. Bin it (unless you're a beginner and don't want to learn to read music) and get better sheet music.

Even my copy of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star has no fingerings:
http://hz.imslp.info/files/imglnks/...mozart_12_var_ah_vous_dirai_je_maman.pdf

Quote
In some cases 2 or 3 or 4 of the notes have a finger identified but a couple notes do NOT have a finger identified.
Why are some notes missing the fingering?

That's because the composer or editor assumes you're of the standard that you can read the music and play it properly, and have enough experience to know which fingers to use where, with a little guidance on the more difficult bits.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: MICHAEL122] #2824897 03/10/19 11:05 AM
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NobleHouse Offline
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Originally Posted by MICHAEL122
If you don't know Gary, just say that.


I actually believe Gary D.'s response was the correct one. One needs to know and see the music in order to directly answer your question.



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Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: MICHAEL122] #2824920 03/10/19 12:06 PM
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keystring Offline
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Originally Posted by MICHAEL122
If you don't know Gary, just say that.

While amateurs may go ahead and make wild guesses, teachers will first get enough information so as to not confuse a confused student more. If you're asking in a teacher forum, then the proper response is to give the info that teacher asks for. wink

I'll expand on the statement with one of my own. In music,fingering need only be given where it is necessary. For example, if you have 5 notes starting on C in the RH, C,D,E,F,G, then no fingering at all is necessary because it's obvious that 5 fingers can cover a 5-note span, with the left-most finger (thumb) playing the bottom note, and the right-most finger (pinky) playing the top. At most you'll see a "1" above the C for your "guide finger", in properly written notation.

If a student expects to see every single note numbered, this can indicate a few things. The student may lack the basic knowledge I have just set out. And/or the student has been using poorly designed method books that number every note, which sets up a false dependence on numbers and teaches a wrong thing. Some such books destroy reading since students end up reading "by number" instead of notation. These are all possibilities when an unknown student asks such a question. It is imperative to at least see the notation.

By seeing the notation (which Gary asked you for, and anyone worth his or her salt would ask for wink ), a bunch of things will become clear. First of all, whether extra numbering is needed at all. If the fingering is obvious from the notes, then it means you need to be taught some things, since you expected to see numbers. If the numbering you see "missing" should actually be in there, then that could be told. Finally, the numbering may even be wrong and awkward.

To give answer why some numbers are there, and others are "missing", one needs to see the sheet. In the meantime, since you are in a teacher forum, some teachers here might actually have been ready to teach and not just answer questions.

Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: MICHAEL122] #2824936 03/10/19 01:06 PM
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Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted by MICHAEL122
If you don't know Gary, just say that.

Are you freaking KIDDING ME??????????????????

Don't know WHAT?

How in heaven's name can I answer a generic question about fingering in ALL music based on the almost zero you gave us?

I don't know what style of music you are talking about, or level of difficulty

Show me some music and I'll explain exactly what is good and bad with the fingering. If you are too lazy to link to a specific piece of music your questions are impossible to answer and do not DESERVE to be answered because of the zero information you have given.

There. Is THAT clear enough for you???

Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: keystring] #2824940 03/10/19 01:11 PM
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Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by MICHAEL122
If you don't know Gary, just say that.

While amateurs may go ahead and make wild guesses, teachers will first get enough information so as to not confuse a confused student more. If you're asking in a teacher forum, then the proper response is to give the info that teacher asks for. wink

I'll expand on the statement with one of my own. In music,fingering need only be given where it is necessary. For example, if you have 5 notes starting on C in the RH, C,D,E,F,G, then no fingering at all is necessary because it's obvious that 5 fingers can cover a 5-note span, with the left-most finger (thumb) playing the bottom note, and the right-most finger (pinky) playing the top. At most you'll see a "1" above the C for your "guide finger", in properly written notation.

If a student expects to see every single note numbered, this can indicate a few things. The student may lack the basic knowledge I have just set out. And/or the student has been using poorly designed method books that number every note, which sets up a false dependence on numbers and teaches a wrong thing. Some such books destroy reading since students end up reading "by number" instead of notation. These are all possibilities when an unknown student asks such a question. It is imperative to at least see the notation.

By seeing the notation (which Gary asked you for, and anyone worth his or her salt would ask for wink ), a bunch of things will become clear. First of all, whether extra numbering is needed at all. If the fingering is obvious from the notes, then it means you need to be taught some things, since you expected to see numbers. If the numbering you see "missing" should actually be in there, then that could be told. Finally, the numbering may even be wrong and awkward.

To give answer why some numbers are there, and others are "missing", one needs to see the sheet. In the meantime, since you are in a teacher forum, some teachers here might actually have been ready to teach and not just answer questions.

And there you go. Now OP will think you are an excellent teacher and I am an idiot because I did not stop to spoon-feed the basic info you just gave, which anyone on the planet with a couple working brain cells would already have figured out.

Advanced music has little or no fingering because it is assumed that advanced players are capable of figuring it all out on their own. Music for complete beginners often has a finger number on every note, which guarantees that said beginners will learn to read fingering but never read the notes.

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/10/19 01:11 PM.
Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: Gary D.] #2824946 03/10/19 01:26 PM
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keystring Offline
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Originally Posted by Gary D.

And there you go. Now OP will think you are an excellent teacher and I am an idiot because I did not stop to spoon-feed the basic info you just gave, which anyone on the planet with a couple working brain cells would already have figured out.

I should hope not. Because I am not a teacher, but have worked with / am working with some excellent teachers, I sometimes pass on a bit of the information that I've been given, to hopefully act as a bridge so that such students will know how to listen to teachers. I agree with you that Michael probably does not have a teacher. His response was disrespectful and ignorant: "ignorant" also means "not knowing". I set out that types of things a teacher such as yourself would be thinking about - to hopefully get that listening started.

Years ago one of the senior teachers here, who has sadly passed away, wrote me privately saying that I flesh out things that as a teacher he does not have the time to do in a forum, becuse he is busy teaching these things (properly) in lessons- and encouraged me to keep doing that. I was hoping to bring about a change of attitude toward teachers such as yourself - not to set myself up as a teacher, which I am not.
Quote
Advanced music has little or no fingering because it is assumed that advanced players are capable of figuring it all out on their own. Music for complete beginners often has a finger number on every note, which guarantees that said beginners will learn to read fingering but never read the notes.

Yes. And we have no idea what kind of music Michael has in his hands, which is why you asked to see it. "If you don't know." is an incredibly rude response.

I was shocked by that response, frankly, and didn't know what to make of it.

Last edited by keystring; 03/10/19 01:33 PM.
Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: MICHAEL122] #2824955 03/10/19 01:49 PM
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Anyway, it might have been misguided. Sometimes I feel frustrated and think that putting out a few facts which teachers shouldn't waste their time doing when there is apparent attitude, it might turn things around. Sometimes as students, answering questions also clarifies our own learning all the more. What one teacher told me years ago may not be what another teacher wants to see.

I'll bow out. It is also up to Michael to respond with something better, I would think.

Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: MICHAEL122] #2824980 03/10/19 03:18 PM
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Ken Knapp Offline
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Originally Posted by MICHAEL122
If you don't know Gary, just say that.


Gary is trying to help.

With an attitude like that, NOBODY is going to want to help you.


Ken

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Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: Ken Knapp] #2825030 03/10/19 05:42 PM
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Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted by Ken Knapp
Originally Posted by MICHAEL122
If you don't know Gary, just say that.


Gary is trying to help.

With an attitude like that, NOBODY is going to want to help you.

Ken, to clarify: there is nothing more intimately connected to good piano technique than good fingering, yet in almost all of the greatest music ever written, in all styles, there is no fingering. A lot of fingering is only provided for music that is clearly written for people with limited experience, most of all for beginners.

In my view there is nothing more important to get from a good teacher than expert advice on what fingering works at any point in musical development depending on the hands of the individual player.

Even when my own students ask for "rules" about fingering, my responses are always carefully worded this way: "I can make recommendations for any piece of music we do together, but even so we will always try different solutions to see what works best for you.

Even for something as basic as a 7 chord - consider a simple G7 chord - there is no final rule about whether to use 3 or 4 on B, since the choice also has to do with where that chord will be moving to. In something as simple as an arpeggio of a C major chord with the octave - C E G C - you may choose 3 or 4 for that E. As default I recommend 4, but with a ton of exceptions.

The whole question of how much fingering is best or most easy to understand why learning is a topic that could go on for many pages with no clear answer.

In my own music I use 5 4 3 2 1 a. "a" is for "any", meaning no two pianists will agree on the best fingering, a note where two or more choices are equally logical. I try to keep to a minimum of clues to get students to intuit what flows the best. But this is for my students, and I've prepared them for what I do.

Many years ago a famous person, William F. Buckley Jr., got the idea of preparing some pieces, mostly Bach, with every note given a fingering. He was a very smart man, but what he did not know about music was just about unlimited. Putting a finger number on every note teaches the brain not to read notes, and also NOT to see the fingerings that are crucial.

For something as simple as a C major scale for the RH, all you need is 1 on C and F, going up, then 4 on B and 3 E coming down. I give my beginners scales with every note fingered, but that is only for learning the scales and not for using them in music. In music I never give more than a minimum of fingering.

Students have to be weaned off extra info ASAP, to prepare themselves for figuring out advanced music, where often no fingering is indicated.

Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: MICHAEL122] #2825164 03/11/19 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by MICHAEL122
If you don't know Gary, just say that.

Well, in my case I do know Gary, so I guess I don't have to say that.

WINK


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: MICHAEL122] #2825165 03/11/19 12:52 AM
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The art of the comma.

Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: MICHAEL122] #2825167 03/11/19 01:01 AM
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I had something far more scathing in mind, but I thought a terse pasquinade will do the trick.


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Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: AZNpiano] #2825172 03/11/19 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I had something far more scathing in mind, but I thought a terse pasquinade will do the trick.

smile

Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: AZNpiano] #2825239 03/11/19 06:05 AM
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OOOH good vocabulary word!

years ago as a beginner I was surprised when my teacher told me I had to figure out fingering for myself. Then, as a teacher or other subjects myself, I saw the wisdom of this approach. The teachers here are unfailingly helpful when students wander in and ask for advice. Thank you all.


many hands many smiles

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Re: MISSING FINGERING [Re: manyhands] #2825302 03/11/19 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by manyhands
OOOH good vocabulary word!



Dang! Pretty rare for me to run into a word I don't know. I thank AZN!

Now to find a time to use it in public.


gotta go practice
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