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I've played for decades and then realized, after some experimentation, that the traditional fingering for the right hand arpeggios starting on every white key with the exception of B is wrong. C, D, E, F, G, A all are easier if you start with the 2nd finger, not the thumb as we've been traditionally taught. Of course some music will dictate starting with a thumb because of the hand position in a previous passage/phrase but that's no reason we should be doing arpeggios wrong. Compare how much your wrist moves or wants to move when starting with the thumb and starting with the 2nd finger. F-sharp may also be better for some starting with the 2nd finger. I'm surprised that the Einsteins that decided on this fingering also didn't opt for starting the right hand arpeggios on D-flat, E-flat, A-flat an B-flat with the thumb as well! Why not when you're searching for the worst way of doing something?!

When we compare the left hand its very different. Its logical. I find this perplexing.
Just shows us to always question everything. Tradition sucks. Its a lazy, sloppy excuse for not trying something that could be better.

I've refingered several pieces I've played for decades after playing each group of notes/phrases with every possibility of fingering imaginable. It took hours for a typical 3-5 minute piece of music. I found some of the fingering suggestions in the sheet music weren't even close to what was ideal. Most were good. I should mention my hands are of average size for a male and I can do 9th's easily but 10th's barely.

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Just to understand what you mean, could you give an example? I assume that with traditional fingering, you mean 1 2 3 1 2 3 for c e g c e g, right? But I don't see how you would play this starting with 2. Would you place the thumb on the g then?

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Originally Posted by pworld
I've played for decades and then realized, after some experimentation, that the traditional fingering for the right hand arpeggios starting on every white key with the exception of B is wrong.

I'm surprised that the Einsteins that decided on this fingering also didn't opt for starting the right hand arpeggios on D-flat, E-flat, A-flat an B-flat with the thumb as well! Why not when you're searching for the worst way of doing something?!

Tradition sucks. Its a lazy, sloppy excuse for not trying something that could be better.
You are right, as always.

Einstein knew nothing, not even about string theory (which is so obvious).

As for tradition:


"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."
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My teacher taught me the better fingering over 25 years ago. You may have just realized that your teacher was not effective at arpeggio fingering. It's very hard to admit you've received inferior instruction, but at least now you've seen the light.

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Hi Csndywoman
I am confused by the suggested fingering:
For one octave arpeggios c major, 1 23 5
For multiple octave, 2 3 1 2 3 etc
???


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Hi Csndywoman
I am confused by the suggested fingering:
For one octave arpeggios c major, 1 23 5
For multiple octave, 2 3 1 2 3 etc
???
I think what they mean is 2-1-2-4-1-2-4 for C major and 2-3-1-2-3-1-2 for D major.


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I think @pworld meant playing CEGC (right hand) with 2412. So called Chopin's fingering.

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Well 2-3-1 makes more sense. Then it's the exact mirror image of the left hand. I did this for F# major already. It's easier to play then the traditional fingering.
I also found that for the chords with two black keys on the outside and one white key on the inside (D flat major, F# minor), 2-1-2-3-1-2-3 etc works better then 2-1-2-4-1-2-4 (right hand). Especially on "the way back". I used to play it with 4, but I hit a speed limit with that.

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Could it be that the answer might also include physiognomic properties (finger length, hand size)...to come to the right answer? I think so.

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I’ve tried it.

I like it, it is so much more fluid for me, and if this is the way Chopin did it, then it is good enough for me.


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The principle here seems to suggest that the largest interval in the arpeggio, the fourth, is played by fingers 1 and 2. That is also where the hand, whatever one's individual anatomy, can play the widest interval between two adjacent fingers. That is, in the key of C major: C:2, E:3, G:1, C:2, etc. In other words, the interval of the fourth between G and C is played by the thumb (1) and 2.
This would work for all arpeggios starting on white keys except B major.

This is what the left hand does in arpeggios starting on a white key: the interval of the fourth is played by fingers 1 and 2. in C major G:2, C:1

It makes sense, once one gets used to not ending the ascending right hand arpeggio on 5, a very well-ingrained habit!

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Originally Posted by pworld
I've played for decades and then realized, after some experimentation, that the traditional fingering for the right hand arpeggios starting on every white key with the exception of B is wrong. C, D, E, F, G, A all are easier if you start with the 2nd finger, not the thumb as we've been traditionally taught. Of course some music will dictate starting with a thumb because of the hand position in a previous passage/phrase but that's no reason we should be doing arpeggios wrong. Compare how much your wrist moves or wants to move when starting with the thumb and starting with the 2nd finger. F-sharp may also be better for some starting with the 2nd finger. I'm surprised that the Einsteins that decided on this fingering also didn't opt for starting the right hand arpeggios on D-flat, E-flat, A-flat an B-flat with the thumb as well! Why not when you're searching for the worst way of doing something?!

When we compare the left hand its very different. Its logical. I find this perplexing.
Just shows us to always question everything. Tradition sucks. Its a lazy, sloppy excuse for not trying something that could be better.

I've refingered several pieces I've played for decades after playing each group of notes/phrases with every possibility of fingering imaginable. It took hours for a typical 3-5 minute piece of music. I found some of the fingering suggestions in the sheet music weren't even close to what was ideal. Most were good. I should mention my hands are of average size for a male and I can do 9th's easily but 10th's barely.


I wouldn’t say it is wrong.
Of course, it will depend on the passage or piece. Still, especially if we assume playing 3-4 octaves of arpeggios (both ways), it would be very unpractical to start with the second finger ( 2 3 1 2 3...) because we need to switch the position more often, compared to the traditional option as we have to eliminate the 5th finger in the last octave, which will effect the speed.

Last edited by antune; 04/02/21 09:05 PM.

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