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Fingering and reading #2891773
09/18/19 04:52 PM
09/18/19 04:52 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 27
Czech Republic
T
Tom97 Offline OP
Full Member
Tom97  Offline OP
Full Member
T

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 27
Czech Republic
I struggle with different hand positions while reading. I am used to having both my hands in C position - which means that (for LH) the 4th finger always plays G.
So - whenever I see G, my 4th finger hits the note. It has become automatic. I am now trying to learn a piece with different hand position (LH is 1 note lower so my 4th finger now is on F). This means that whenever I see a G on the score I have to play my 3rd finger, not the 4th.
However, whenever I dont focus intensely, I screw up and hit the 4th finger (F now) when I see G, not 3rd.
I´ve read somewhere that the purpose of having good fingerings is that you can actually take advantage of this sort of muscle memory but now it seems more like a bad habit. What do you think of it?

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Re: Fingering and reading [Re: Tom97] #2891777
09/18/19 04:59 PM
09/18/19 04:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 7,046
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content

7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 7,046
Originally Posted by Tom97
I struggle with different hand positions while reading. I am used to having both my hands in C position - which means that (for LH) the 4th finger always plays G.
So - whenever I see G, my 4th finger hits the note. It has become automatic. I am now trying to learn a piece with different hand position (LH is 1 note lower so my 4th finger now is on F). This means that whenever I see a G on the score I have to play my 3rd finger, not the 4th.
However, whenever I dont focus intensely, I screw up and hit the 4th finger (F now) when I see G, not 3rd.
I´ve read somewhere that the purpose of having good fingerings is that you can actually take advantage of this sort of muscle memory but now it seems more like a bad habit. What do you think of it?

this has been great. practice with it in different keys and your habit will be broken! smile


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Fingering and reading [Re: Tom97] #2891802
09/18/19 05:58 PM
09/18/19 05:58 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,249
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,249
Originally Posted by Tom97

I´ve read somewhere that the purpose of having good fingerings is that you can actually take advantage of this sort of muscle memory but now it seems more like a bad habit. What do you think of it?

Next time you sight-read, use only your two index fingers to play all the notes, assuming there's no more than one note to play in each hand.

That will ensure you read the notes properly, rather than associate each note with a finger.


"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: Fingering and reading [Re: Tom97] #2891862
09/19/19 12:26 AM
09/19/19 12:26 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,503
Australia
E
earlofmar Offline
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earlofmar  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,503
Australia
Originally Posted by Tom97

I´ve read somewhere that the purpose of having good fingerings is that you can actually take advantage of this sort of muscle memory but now it seems more like a bad habit. What do you think of it?


no, it is not a bad habit. The average person can rely on the fact that a relaxed hand will spread evenly over five keys giving surety to a basic set of intervals. A stretched hand for the average person, (at least me anyway..... Mr Average), will also give a perfect octave and likewise be very reliable. These two very simple things have helped me enormously, and continue to do so, to know where my fingers are without looking. But when you know where any of you fingers are touching in a five finger position, without even looking, the next step is to be able to lift and find any one of those five notes with alternative fingers. This seems tricky at first, and you might have to look for a little while to be sure, but with practice it will become pretty much second nature. The step after that will be to start using the fingers as sensors so you know where the gaps in the black keys are, and that will blow your mind the first time it happens (if you don't do it already that is).

The one thing we can be sure of is, that as soon as we are comfortable with one thing on the piano, we are going to be challenged to take the next step.


Following Trying to follow the Ling Ling 40 hour method

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Re: Fingering and reading [Re: earlofmar] #2891869
09/19/19 01:42 AM
09/19/19 01:42 AM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,260
Germany
JoBert Offline
2000 Post Club Member
JoBert  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,260
Germany
While I generally agree with what Earl wrote above, I strongly disagree with this first sentence:
Originally Posted by earlofmar
no, it is not a bad habit.

if it is meant as an answer to OPs question, if the way he has trained himself into the C position, where a certain note has a fixed finger correlation (G is always 4, D is always 2, etc) is a bad habit or not.

Because that is definitely a bad habit and you should break it as soon as possible. The later you break it, the harder it will become.

You have encountered all on your own the reason why modern piano teachers nowadays eschew many old piano method books, where the student stays too long in the C position, and instead prefer more modern books that introduce other positions much earlier (or if they use a C position fixated book for reasons, they augment it with additional pieces in other positions).

Re: Fingering and reading [Re: Tom97] #2891874
09/19/19 01:56 AM
09/19/19 01:56 AM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 1,252
Moscow, Russia
I
Iaroslav Vasiliev Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Iaroslav Vasiliev  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
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Joined: May 2016
Posts: 1,252
Moscow, Russia
Yes, it's a bad habit, it must be broken. It's good to remember what finger plays each degree of a scale, but otherwise a finger must not be associated with a key.

Re: Fingering and reading [Re: Tom97] #2891876
09/19/19 02:15 AM
09/19/19 02:15 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 19
Sydney
terentius Offline
Junior Member
terentius  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 19
Sydney
I agree that playing scales should get you over this issue fairly quickly.

Scales and arpeggios will have your fingers on many notes.

Even simple five finger exercises can start on any note and break such a habit as you described.


“Modesty is a form of pride.”
Re: Fingering and reading [Re: Tom97] #2892047
09/19/19 02:19 PM
09/19/19 02:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,070
Richmond, BC, Canada
C
Charles Cohen Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Charles Cohen  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,070
Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted by Tom97
. . .
I´ve read somewhere that the purpose of having good fingerings is that you can actually take advantage of this sort of muscle memory but now it seems more like a bad habit. What do you think of it?


You (and many other beginning students) mis-understand something :

. . . There are no "standard hand positions" for playing piano.

The finger that plays a G in one measure, may play a D in the next. Or a Bb. And a sequence of notes in the score may require different fingering, depending on the notes that precede and follow it.

So you absolutely _do not_ want to associate any pitch (in the written score) with any fixed finger. It will lead you to trouble (and it already is leading you to trouble) as soon as you graduate to anything beyond "absolute beginner" music.

There _are_ some standard patterns of fingering -- scales and arpeggios -- that we practice until they're automatic. Those (and fragments of them) occur frequently in music. "Muscle memory" comes into play, when you see a _sequence_ of notes in a score, and your brain and muscles say:

. . . "Oh -- I know how to play that!"

and use the "standard fingering" that they've practiced for umpteen hours. It doesn't always work (depending on preceding and following notes!), but it's a decent bet.

"Good fingering" is whatever requires the least effort, and yields the best result. There are some rules for that, but I'd bet that there are exceptions to each of them.

(I don't teach, and others are welcome to disagree.)


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker

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