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#592107 - 07/10/02 09:43 AM Are your fingers smarter than your brain?
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 22163
Loc: New York City
I am curious as to whether other people have had the following experience. First, I should say I am quite fanatic about fingering. I often try many fingerings until I find the one that is best for me. This is why I like editions that have great fingering(for me this would be anything by Godowsky or Schnabel). Sometimes I can't seem to find ANY fingering that allows to play a passage properly, but then when I'm not even thinking about fingering my fingers magicaly find the perfect way to play a passaqe. This happened just this morning when I was frustrated by a passage in the Siloti transcription of Strauss' Kunsterleben. It had frustrated me for weeks and nothing seemed to work and then all of a sudden my fingers just did what my brain could not figure out.I have to admit that this newly discoverd fingering was not particularly unusual(it involved redistributing notes in a chord), but it had never occured to me as I tried to figute out a way to finger the passage.

So, I'm curious whether this had happened to other pianists on this board?

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#592108 - 07/10/02 10:47 AM Re: Are your fingers smarter than your brain?
nancyww Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/02
Posts: 585
Loc: central oregon
Are my fingers smarter than my brain?? Unfortunately, yes.

#592109 - 07/10/02 11:33 AM Re: Are your fingers smarter than your brain?
DT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 1478
Loc: Illinois
I don't know about smarter but my fingers frequently type faster than my brain works. \:D
Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell...

#592110 - 07/10/02 12:14 PM Re: Are your fingers smarter than your brain?
Elaine617 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/02
Posts: 364
Loc: North Carolina
I have to answer this one - absolutely! For me, this isn't only applicable with music, but in many other areas (i.e. typing) as well.

Last night, April asked me a question about the voicing technique I was using in a particular passage. When I tried to show her, I completely ruined the voicing in that passage. :rolleyes: I suppose when we concentrate too much on certain things, we inevitably end up making it more difficult than it has to be. Same holds true with taking exams (and I have one in a few minutes)! ;\)


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#592111 - 07/10/02 12:28 PM Re: Are your fingers smarter than your brain?
Mr. Gould Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/01
Posts: 1111
Yes my finers have done this too....
Your fingers dont do this, I think its you sub consious! Which I am pretty sure is located in your brain!!!

#592112 - 07/10/02 04:46 PM Re: Are your fingers smarter than your brain?
MacDuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 560
Loc: Southeast, U.S.A.
With me, fingerings in problem passages tend to subconsciously "evolve" into something better than I had originally worked out. So, I find it's important to periodically check what I'm actually doing and write down the changes. This can be important when putting a piece aside for a while and coming back to it later.

Unresolved awkwardnesses in fingerings can result in memory lapses, I find.

#592113 - 07/10/02 05:22 PM Re: Are your fingers smarter than your brain?
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
Perhaps it can be summed up in a word: Zen.

BTW, my teacher loves Chopin editions from Instytut Fryderyka Chopina Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne that are edited by Paderewski because she thinks the fingerings are the best. She has be buy these editions as I need them. In what I've seen so far the suggested fingerings are very useful.
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

#592114 - 07/10/02 06:28 PM Re: Are your fingers smarter than your brain?
mkesfahani Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 836
Loc: Irvine, CA
Sometimes I think my playing relies solely on this phenomena. Unless written, I ususally never think about fingering. After a while, it just happens in a very effecient manner. I think it's the same idea behind the way we play trills or polyrhythms--the best way, IMO, is to just try to play right through them without actually thinking about it.


#592115 - 07/10/02 09:31 PM Re: Are your fingers smarter than your brain?
Brendan Offline

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5548
Loc: McAllen, TX
Originally posted by MacDuff:
Unresolved awkwardnesses in fingerings can result in memory lapses, I find.[/b]
Yes, and it also makes technique sound especially sloppy in Bach if you haven't found the best fingerings.

#592116 - 07/10/02 10:32 PM Re: Are your fingers smarter than your brain?
vivi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/26/02
Posts: 13
Loc: Sydney
Definitely, I found that I'll have to let my fingers work by itself, and note it down. I suppose subconsciously we know how to apply it, and with piano playing in general too, we learn how to play by heart so that we don't have to think anymore, and concentrate instead on the poetic side of it.


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