2017 was our 20th 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) Piano Sight Reading
train piano sight reading with your iPhone or iPad
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
63 members (astrotoy, Anna Helena, AlphaTerminus, anotherscott, boo1234, Alex Hutor, accordeur, BlakeOR, Beemer, 13 invisible), 613 guests, and 643 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,642
W
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,642
Assume you have a piece that called for using fingers 3 and 4 to play a mordent (publisher suggestion). Would you “do your own thing” and re-write the fingerings so you’re using 2 and 3 instead, since it’s the stronger 2 fingers and the mordent is executed much better? And the fingerings are still fine after the re-writing?

The cons of doing this (re-writing fingerings to avoid the 4th finger for mordents) is that I’ll never work on my weak 4th finger. However, it might be possible to never need to use my 4th finger, right? I mean, is it possible to avoid the 4th finger mordents for most music all the way to the most difficult?

Thoughts?

If I need to work on it, I’ll get started but if I could possibly avoid it forever, then why bother?

Last question: are there pieces that require mordents played with pinky or thumb? Just curious.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 02/17/21 12:15 PM.

Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,799
S
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,799
It is advisable that you can execute your mordent (is it really a mordent or a trill ?) with any 2 fingers. 3 and 4 are fairly usual. You can always do it with other fingers but as you said it wont help you to develop the weak 4th finger. Mordent is just one case. Having a well developed 4th finger will be an asset in plenty of different situations.

As you get into more difficult music, you will need that 4th finger.

Yes you may have to execute a mordent or a trill with the 4th and 5th fingers. I do it in some Bach pieces, as well as 1 and 2 or 1 and 3. It is also usefull to be able to use 3 or 4 fingers which gives a good even result on long trills. Even though i often use 4,2.

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,933
Gold Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,933
For me, whether or not I change the fingering depends on the notes preceding and following the ornament. Sometimes the somewhat awkward suggested fingering is there for a reason (usually the notes before and after), but sometimes a different fingering of the ornament works just as well as the suggested one, including going into and coming out of the ornament.

That said, I've had occasions where I change from the suggested fingering, only to discover after I've been working on the piece for awhile that the original, suggested fingering works better. You just have to try out several fingerings and see which works best for you.


[Linked Image]
Yamaha C3X
In summer, the song sings itself. --William Carlos Williams

Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 123
L
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
L
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 123
I agree with Stubbie here. There are times when using the fourth finger is very helpful, especially if you're in a piece with fast figuration with notes below the mordent immediately afterwards. I'm thinking of something like Busoni's 7th prelude, where there's an E, F#, E mordent that I finger (2, 4, 3) because there's a D# (then an E) right afterwards, and it's easier to get to the D# with the second finger. The fifth measure of Chopin's C minor posthumous Nocturne that I'm working on has a C,D,C that I finger 3,4,3 that makes the chromatic run starting with B natural a lot easier to execute. The fourth finger to me is the most awkward finger, and although you can avoid certain figurations if you want to get inventive with fingering, it will come in handy to be able to use it deftly.

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,642
W
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,642
Originally Posted by Sidokar
It is advisable that you can execute your mordent (is it really a mordent or a trill ?) with any 2 fingers. 3 and 4 are fairly usual. You can always do it with other fingers but as you said it wont help you to develop the weak 4th finger. Mordent is just one case. Having a well developed 4th finger will be an asset in plenty of different situations.

As you get into more difficult music, you will need that 4th finger.

Yes you may have to execute a mordent or a trill with the 4th and 5th fingers. I do it in some Bach pieces, as well as 1 and 2 or 1 and 3. It is also usefull to be able to use 3 or 4 fingers which gives a good even result on long trills. Even though i often use 4,2.

From what you say, it looks like I should not shy away from using that awkward 4th finger. I should probably start sooner rather than later to try and strengthen it.

Originally Posted by Stubbie
For me, whether or not I change the fingering depends on the notes preceding and following the ornament. Sometimes the somewhat awkward suggested fingering is there for a reason (usually the notes before and after), but sometimes a different fingering of the ornament works just as well as the suggested one, including going into and coming out of the ornament.

That said, I've had occasions where I change from the suggested fingering, only to discover after I've been working on the piece for awhile that the original, suggested fingering works better. You just have to try out several fingerings and see which works best for you.

In my current case, the publisher suggested fingering is indeed more logical but my intended change is also natural to me, considering the notes that come before and the notes that come after. So in this case, I think the only cons are that I don't get the chance to work out that 4th finger.

Like you, I've also had occasions where I've changed the suggested fingering and later realized it wasn't such a good idea...and I changed it back to the original. I just consider all that a part of learning, trial and error.


Originally Posted by lautreamont
I agree with Stubbie here. There are times when using the fourth finger is very helpful, especially if you're in a piece with fast figuration with notes below the mordent immediately afterwards. I'm thinking of something like Busoni's 7th prelude, where there's an E, F#, E mordent that I finger (2, 4, 3) because there's a D# (then an E) right afterwards, and it's easier to get to the D# with the second finger. The fifth measure of Chopin's C minor posthumous Nocturne that I'm working on has a C,D,C that I finger 3,4,3 that makes the chromatic run starting with B natural a lot easier to execute. The fourth finger to me is the most awkward finger, and although you can avoid certain figurations if you want to get inventive with fingering, it will come in handy to be able to use it deftly.

Agree. I think eventually, having a relatively strong and agile 4th finger will come in handy.

Ok, looks like I've got some work (that I'm not looking forward to) ahead of me!

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 02/17/21 03:53 PM.

Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 88
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 88
Go on and exercise the mordent with 3 + 4 !

It would not be possible to play all of the mordents / trills with the strong fingers, 2/3, not always. This would mostly be a function of what lies before and after he embellishment.

You need to practice and get used to embellishments with 3/4, with 1/3 and maybe even 4/5 once you will be there.

I'll give you a piece of personals experience if you don' mind. I have returned to the piano after many years of absence, mostly playing Bach, for 2 years now.

When I restarted I couldn't do a 2/3 trill without stumbling upon that. Now I can do a reasonable 3/4. It took some 2 years of practice, yes, but it's coming through.

If you only do 2/3 you would put big limits on your development. Don't do that, be patient, piano playing requires a lot of discipline but the reward's are there for us to take them eventually !

Enjoy.

C.

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,642
W
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,642
Originally Posted by marklings
Go on and exercise the mordent with 3 + 4 !

It would not be possible to play all of the mordents / trills with the strong fingers, 2/3, not always. This would mostly be a function of what lies before and after he embellishment.

You need to practice and get used to embellishments with 3/4, with 1/3 and maybe even 4/5 once you will be there.

I'll give you a piece of personals experience if you don' mind. I have returned to the piano after many years of absence, mostly playing Bach, for 2 years now.

When I restarted I couldn't do a 2/3 trill without stumbling upon that. Now I can do a reasonable 3/4. It took some 2 years of practice, yes, but it's coming through.

If you only do 2/3 you would put big limits on your development. Don't do that, be patient, piano playing requires a lot of discipline but the reward's are there for us to take them eventually !

Enjoy.

C.

thumb


Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,237
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,237
Regarding trills, several posters in recent memory have written that they are doing ok with a piece until they encounter in the piece a trill, whereupon their playing of the trill sounds and feels like an elephant attempting to tap dance.

That is why many technique exercise books have entire sections devoted to trills, because trills require more than the normal technique dexterity that basic repertoire presents.

Typically, those exercises present trilling between various fingers...2 & 4, 3 & 5, etc.

If you undertake them, it is critical is to practice with the least amount of tension, starting with a relaxed body / shoulders / arm / hand. (not relaxed to the point of collapse, just not with undue tension or stiffness.)

And go very slow, because this is not "music"; Rather it is an exercise where you are re-programming your brain to move your fingers in a relaxed way, which is always the key to playing fast. So go very slow, and re-relax between each note .

Perhaps the most accessible technique book is Hanon, which contains exercises #10, #11, #14, #27, #29, and #30 all specifically devoted to trill development.

Just make sure you ignore the outmoded instructions to "lift the fingers high." And doing this with an experienced teacher / coach is best.


Piano teacher.
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,642
W
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,642
Originally Posted by Sidokar
is it really a mordent or a trill?

Well, thanks for raising that question. It got me thinking a bit. I had to do a little bit of research on this. One is a mordent, consisting of 3 notes. The others in the piece are "double mordents", where "the auxiliary note appears twice or oftener". See here: Mordents

I did not know the term "double mordents" before but now I do. I learn something new every day. smile


Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,642
W
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,642
Originally Posted by rocket88
Regarding trills, several posters in recent memory have written that they are doing ok with a piece until they encounter in the piece a trill, whereupon their playing of the trill sounds and feels like an elephant attempting to tap dance.

That is why many technique exercise books have entire sections devoted to trills, because trills require more than the normal technique dexterity that basic repertoire presents.

Typically, those exercises present trilling between various fingers...2 & 4, 3 & 5, etc.

If you undertake them, it is critical is to practice with the least amount of tension, starting with a relaxed body / shoulders / arm / hand. (not relaxed to the point of collapse, just not with undue tension or stiffness.)

And go very slow, because this is not "music"; Rather it is an exercise where you are re-programming your brain to move your fingers in a relaxed way, which is always the key to playing fast. So go very slow, and re-relax between each note .

Perhaps the most accessible technique book is Hanon, which contains exercises #10, #11, #14, #27, #29, and #30 all specifically devoted to trill development.

Just make sure you ignore the outmoded instructions to "lift the fingers high." And doing this with an experienced teacher / coach is best.

Thanks for your advice! Ornaments are somewhat new for me and they surely are a challenge at the moment!


Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,011
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,011
As others have indicated playing ornaments and, among them trills, requires time and effortless effort.

One technique that I have used to help develop evenness in longer trills - apart from those already given the main one of which is to start slowly, is to accent the "other" note each time. For example, if you are playing a trill on C and D
1) play it in triplets, thus (accenting the notes in bold): C, D, C, D, C, D, C, D, C, D, C, D, etc.
2) play it in quintuplets: C, D, C, D, C, D, C, D, C, D, C, D, C, D, C, D, C, D, C, D,

It's only one exercise among many, but it helps to eventually get evenness in longer trills. Of course, depending upon the musical context, all longer trills are not necessarily played in strict time; often they may start slower and increase in speed, or do the opposite or even some combination of that as well as a change in dynamics.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,799
S
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,799
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by Sidokar
is it really a mordent or a trill?

Well, thanks for raising that question. It got me thinking a bit. I had to do a little bit of research on this. One is a mordent, consisting of 3 notes. The others in the piece are "double mordents", where "the auxiliary note appears twice or oftener". See here: Mordents

I did not know the term "double mordents" before but now I do. I learn something new every day. smile

The term is Double mordent is not that frequent. In fact it is a bit misleading because the mordent can be have any number of beats. So there are multiple names being used. Single beat, double beat, multiple beat mordents. Also the way it is notated in the wiki source is not necessarily correct. usually the vertical bar would stand at the beginning or in the middle of the wavy sign. When put at the end, and in particular in Bach music it stands for a trillo and mordent. Google explication Bach.

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,642
W
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,642
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by Sidokar
is it really a mordent or a trill?

Well, thanks for raising that question. It got me thinking a bit. I had to do a little bit of research on this. One is a mordent, consisting of 3 notes. The others in the piece are "double mordents", where "the auxiliary note appears twice or oftener". See here: Mordents

I did not know the term "double mordents" before but now I do. I learn something new every day. smile

The term is Double mordent is not that frequent. In fact it is a bit misleading because the mordent can be have any number of beats. So there are multiple names being used. Single beat, double beat, multiple beat mordents. Also the way it is notated in the wiki source is not necessarily correct. usually the vertical bar would stand at the beginning or in the middle of the wavy sign. When put at the end, and in particular in Bach music it stands for a trillo and mordent. Google explication Bach.

I should know better than to just trust 1 source on the internet. I will do more reading about it.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 02/19/21 11:16 AM.

Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 597
M
Silver Subscriber
500 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
500 Post Club Member
M
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 597
This is just me, and your results may vary, but I seem to have better results when I play them by rotating my hand at the wrist some, rather than trying to play the notes by only moving just the fingers. Sounds less ‘stompy.’ I usually use 3&4. For the right hand, anyway. I can’t recall running into them in the left hand, though I’m sure it happens.


MH1963

'63 Mason & Hamlin Model A

[Linked Image]
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,642
W
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,642
Originally Posted by MH1963
This is just me, and your results may vary, but I seem to have better results when I play them by rotating my hand at the wrist some, rather than trying to play the notes by only moving just the fingers. Sounds less ‘stompy.’ I usually use 3&4. For the right hand, anyway. I can’t recall running into them in the left hand, though I’m sure it happens.

Rotating makes sense to me theoretically; let me go try it and see if it makes it easier for me.


Kawai K-500
Casio PX-735 (in retirement)
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 307
F
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
F
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 307
I play everything with subtle rotation. For mordents I find 321 in the RH & 231 in the LH gives me the most control.

Using 4 as the structural finger in ornamentation like trills is quite advanced. Especially in polyphonic passages you may have no choice but I'll do 53 or 42 before I do 43 or 54. The tendons in the hand physically prevent 4 from moving as fluidly as the other fingers and you might hurt yourself if you push to use 4 before you are ready.


Just do it. -- Nike

Moderated by  BB Player 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Couch to Concert Hall
Couch to Concert Hall
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
upload image not working
by wouter79 - 05/08/21 05:38 PM
bouncing keys and hammers
by chopin_r_us - 05/08/21 02:41 PM
To change from Yamaha, Casio, Roland, Kawai, Korg etc...
by playplayplay - 05/08/21 02:16 PM
Pianists interviewing Pianists
by MrShed - 05/08/21 01:53 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics206,799
Posts3,091,263
Members101,454
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 - 2021 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