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Pieces sometimes have suggested fingerings.
I sometimes change them for my hand size or other reasons.

I’m working on a grade 5 piece, La Chevaleresque.
Bar 9 suggests right hand starting with finger 1 (thumb).
I have watched several videos where the performer is using this fingering.
I can play some scales 4 octaves with correct fingering.
But I find this specific section ergonomically or physically difficult.
My arm and hand is in a weird position and feels restricted.
If I use finger 2 it becomes much easier as it shifts the entire hand and arm position.

Should I do whatever feels more comfortable?
Could that lead to problems with future pieces?
Is there something I can try with seating/positioning?

I will check with my piano teacher at my next lesson, maybe sooner, but would like to get suggestions, opinions and experiences.

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It is curious that you find this fingering difficult. I assume you play 1231234. Actually using 2 is more complicated though possible. There must be something with your position that may be wrong because that fingering is really quite natural.

You should definitely discuss with your teacher. Without visual it is difficult to give you a solid recommendation.

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The most important thing is that your hands are relaxed and comfortable. Occasionally this means that you need to divert from recommended fingering and create your own alternative. However, you need to be very concious of why the fingering was recommended and why yours is better.

Etudes often have educational intentions when they recommend a fingering. You can spoil those by using a different fingering. If you are not able to play relaxed, maybe you are not ready for the piece?

I am saying this as general advice, not specific to bar #9 or your piece. Apply it at your own discretion.

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I agree that the fingering that results in the least tension while still allowing the necessary speed and articulation is the best choice. Remember that, frequently, suggested fingerings in scores are the suggestions of an editor, and few editors offer multiple fingerings. It would be difficult to accommodate every possibility. However, in some cases, only one fingering is practical.

You have to decide, if you can devise an alternate fingering to the one given, if it is better for you and why. Understand, too, the editor's suggested fingering before going out on your own. Also remember that fingerings that work at a slow, practice tempo are not necessarily the fingerings that work best when a passage is brought up to speed.

Once you have found a fingering that works for you and that you are convinced is the best, you should stick with it until it feels right. Many students fumble in performance because they constantly change fingerings while practicing, even when they have already found the best solution.

Regards,


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Probably the reason it feels difficult is because you practice scales with 2 on the 2nd note and it is a major 2nd. Then you get this where the 2nd note is a major third and it feels awkward. There is a ton of this in Beethoven's Sonata #2 first mvt and it feels surprisingly clumsy. While I would use 1-2-3-1234 in the Burgmuller etude I totally understand why you want to find something that feels more at ease.


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Originally Posted by FennerMachine
Pieces sometimes have suggested fingerings.
I sometimes change them for my hand size or other reasons.

I’m working on a grade 5 piece, La Chevaleresque.
Bar 9 suggests right hand starting with finger 1 (thumb).
I have watched several videos where the performer is using this fingering.
I can play some scales 4 octaves with correct fingering.
But I find this specific section ergonomically or physically difficult.
My arm and hand is in a weird position and feels restricted.
If I use finger 2 it becomes much easier as it shifts the entire hand and arm position.

Should I do whatever feels more comfortable?
Could that lead to problems with future pieces?
Is there something I can try with seating/positioning?

I will check with my piano teacher at my next lesson, maybe sooner, but would like to get suggestions, opinions and experiences.

It's worth the attention to get it right.

Here's my story.

Ten years ago I put in work on Schubert's Moment Musicaux #3 because it sounded pretty clever. I spent a lot of time trying to get it right at the fast tempo that sounds great.*

*
Brief aside--when I was 19 I put my gloved hand through a plate window in a moment of calculated idiocy. My calculations were correct: I was an idiot. A result of this gaffe was a severed tendon in my right hand so that my ring finger lacks some dexterity. A minor tendon, but for this piece, it matters.

So I spent a lot of time ten years ago trying to get the fingering right. I thought I did. I practiced it endlessly. It seemed like it should work. Sometimes, it did. When it did not, I thought I needed to practice even more, slower, then faster, more and more.

Fast forward to now. I picked up my work on this piece recently. I resumed the old fingering--it seemed correct. I resumed the old drive--sometimes slow it down, then increase the tempo. The result was often failure when I tried to play it at the fast tempo I liked.

I decided I was being foolish and I needed to change what I did. So I looked at the fingering and made a change. Now I can play it smoothly without that hiccup. The overall fluency isn't there yet--I have a LOT of muscle memory unlearning to do--but I know I made the right decision. Yes, I will have to suffer through some extra practice.

However...I will achieve my goal after all.

So if I can offer anything it is this: the fingering may 'seem' right, but that doesn't mean that it is. Before you marry a fingering, play the field. Know your personal inadequacies. It's ok to be wrong about fingering, but there is a price, yet it may offer growth you need.


Only in men's imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life. -Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski
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Don't think the original manuscripts of the great composers include a single finger reference. Performers who are also teachers would give finger suggestions and these ended up in printed editions.

When working on a piano arrangement, don't think any of the fingerings would be original. The piece I'm working on now is my own arrangement of an orchestral piece with different instrument parts. No suggested fingerings except for the numbers I put in.

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When your right hand needs to play on the left half of the piano you need to tilt your torso to the left before doing it. That is, you need to transfer most of your weight to the left buttock and bend the lower part of your torso in order to shift your shoulder girdle to the left, at the same time trying to maintain your shoulder girdle in more or less horizontal position.

Tilting to the left and to the right is required almost constantly when playing piano, it is one of the fundamental skills and you need to work on it until it becomes a second nature. Your torso must be mobile when playing.

It is absolutely ok to start RH passages on the left side of the piano with a finger instead of a thumb in order to decrease the amount of tilt needed, especially when RH has to play very close to the LH, I do it often and many people do. But if you have difficulties with tilting your body I'd recommend to work on this skill first of all and not to change fingering for now.

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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Don't think the original manuscripts of the great composers include a single finger reference. Performers who are also teachers would give finger suggestions and these ended up in printed editions.
You're wrong about that. Although most of the time it's true, there are compositions where the composer intended a specific fingering and it was actually written out in the manuscript. Chopin is notable for his fingerings but there are some even in Bach (although rarely).

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My teacher always let's me start off with the fingering that is provided and then watches me play, and when she sees that I struggle she sometimes changes it to something that is more fitting for me. I find that approach quite nice.

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Originally Posted by FennerMachine
I’m working on a grade 5 piece, La Chevaleresque.
Bar 9 suggests right hand starting with finger 1 (thumb).
I have watched several videos where the performer is using this fingering.

Hi,

I learned this piece late last year and I had a similar query; what I did is to see what happens at the end of bar 9? There is a G and D played as a chord (minus the 3rd) and has the suggested fingering of 1 - 4 and then in bar 10 the chord becomes G and Eb (again played harmonically). The issue was how to get there without splashing a wrong note or even pressing the wrong notes entirely. So I decided to use 1,2,3, 123, 1 - this way the 1 (thumb) now lingers on the G ready for the chords.

I made a video on this -


I agree with the comments that fingering is subjective and personal, but also the pianist needs to look ahead and see what happens next to ensure the fingering chosen is appropriate for what comes next..if that makes any sense?

Hope that helps - it's a great piece!

J

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Thanks everyone for your help and suggestions.
After playing with different fingerings I’ve gone back to 1231234(maybe 1).
I play some scales with this fingering, so it was a bit strange I found it difficult.
It could have been any of the reasons mentioned, or I needed more practise.


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