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#3113662 05/04/21 06:09 PM
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I have schirmer’s edition of Album for the young. Melody is a nice simple piece. This edition I think has fingering choices that don’t seem to be the simplest way to play a piece but more about making the student learn particular skills, so I am trying to stick to following the fingering.

In bar 8 there is a fingering choice that has me stumped for over a week now that I can’t get past. In the right there is a g5 followed by an f5 and a4 played together, with the f5 held.

The suggested fingering is to play g4 with your fourth finger, and then play the f5 with the fifth finger and a4 with the thumb.

This pattern doesn’t seem all that unusual, and being able to play it legato is expected, I just can’t seem to get the pivot around the fourth finger to make it work.

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I sat down to look at this bar because I was curious. Indeed, the indicated fingering is weird. I wonder what other more experienced pianists will say, but here's what I'd do:

play the G with finger 5, play the F of the F+A chord with finger 4, then finger switch (with the key still pressed down) from 4 to 5 so that playing the C with finger 3 and B with finger 2 is easier.


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Originally Posted by Talão
I sat down to look at this bar because I was curious. Indeed, the indicated fingering is weird. I wonder what other more experienced pianists will say, but here's what I'd do:

play the G with finger 5, play the F of the F+A chord with finger 4, then finger switch (with the key still pressed down) from 4 to 5 so that playing the C with finger 3 and B with finger 2 is easier.

I would also do the 4-5 finger substitution on the F


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Kevin writes:

In bar 8 there is a fingering choice that has me stumped for over a week now that I can’t get past. In the right there is a g5 followed by an f5 and a4 played together, with the f5 held.

Measures 7, 8, and 9 of Melody:

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Regards,


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I find it easy enough to play the chord with 4+1 without any finger substitutions, but I have large hands.

The pattern of 4 followed by 5 going down is more frequent when 4 is on a black note and you should definitely practice it. A good exercise is to do chromatic scales with fingers 3-4-5 only.

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“A nice, simple piece”.

I remember thinking that about Foreign Lands and People. There is no such thing as a nice, simple Schumann piece. 😂😂😂


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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
I find it easy enough to play the chord with 4+1 without any finger substitutions, but I have large hands.

The pattern of 4 followed by 5 going down is more frequent when 4 is on a black note and you should definitely practice it. A good exercise is to do chromatic scales with fingers 3-4-5 only.

That's a good exercise, manageable but I can't yet do it smoothly and/or quickly. Whereas I find the suggested fingering for the above just impossible to play. No doubt others will not find it so hard.

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Don't worry about it here. I would suggest the following fingering: starting with 4 on the A in bar 7, then 1 on the E, then 2 on D, 5 on G, and then 1+4 on the A+F, then 2-1 while holding that F, and end on D with 3. That sets you up for playing the third with 2+4 and the you can repeat the same pattern after that.

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Originally Posted by KevinM
In bar 8 there is a fingering choice that has me stumped for over a week now that I can’t get past. In the right there is a g5 followed by an f5 and a4 played together, with the f5 held.

The suggested fingering is to play g4 with your fourth finger, and then play the f5 with the fifth finger and a4 with the thumb.

The more you play, the more you will find that fingerings are only SUGGESTED fingerings.

You disregard them if you can find something that works better for you.

For me .... what works is ..... The first 4 eighth notes (d,f,e,g) are played with 1,4,3,5 .... next ... the f+a is played with 1+4 ... then 2,1,3.

Simple ... for me.


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Originally Posted by KevinM
... This edition I think has fingering choices that don’t seem to be the simplest way to play a piece but more about making the student learn particular skills, so I am trying to stick to following the fingering.

The quote above is the bit I think people are missing. Looking at the suggested fingering in this edition of the Schirmer series I'm getting the impression it isn't about showing the simplest way to play the piece on the page, but is instead trying to get you used to playing smoothly while dealing with some awkward movements of the fingers and hand. So I've chosen to try to keep to their suggested fingerings for that reason. This particular one however might just be one I have to accept I can't do.

I was therefore hoping someone might have insight into how you might actually be able to play it using the suggested fingers, or is it just the editors having a joke on students.

This kind of pivot is not totally unusual. I just tried a similar action in Mendelssohn 19.6 which I remembered finding very difficult when learning the piece, but now feels quite easy. It is a lot easier than the above because the top note the 4th finger is playing is a "Bb" and the fifth fingers comes down on the "A" relatively easily. Clearly my flexibility has improved.

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To me the fingering makes sense. Start with 5 on the a. Then in the next bar play the 8th notes with 1-3-2-4 (that's the g) and then 1 and 5 for a and f. You move the pinky under through the 4th finger, and then the rest makes perfect sense. While resting on the 4, you rotate the hand and wrist a little to the left, it's not difficult. If you can't do it, practice playing a f# instead of a g with the fourth finger at first. Tomorrow I can make a video if you want to.

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Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by KevinM
... This edition I think has fingering choices that don’t seem to be the simplest way to play a piece but more about making the student learn particular skills, so I am trying to stick to following the fingering.

The quote above is the bit I think people are missing. Looking at the suggested fingering in this edition of the Schirmer series I'm getting the impression it isn't about showing the simplest way to play the piece on the page, but is instead trying to get you used to playing smoothly while dealing with some awkward movements of the fingers and hand.

So ... you think that ... the ability to play smoothly with awkward movements of the fingers and hands .... is a useful skill worth spending time practicing.

Well .... good luck with that.


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I personally doubt that this edition has any particular teaching purpose. It is the Bauer edition if i am not mistaken and it is a regular edition, just like Wiener, Barenreiter and others. It does not have any specific teaching character. All the previous editions use a 4.1 fingering. Even the Schirmer Jennifer Linn which is more intended for students is also using that same fingering.

In the Bauer edition, there are several other fingering issues (in that same piece) besides that one which are rather curious and fairly unatural. Though it is quite possible to execute a 4 to 5 descending and it should be practised as it is usefull in some cases, including between 2 white keys, it does not have to be used if another more natural fingering is possible. The fingering should be as easy and natural as possible in order to make things easier and not more difficult.

Executing a perfectly smooth legato on a 4 to 5 on 2 white adjacent keys is very difficult, in particular at higher speed. Usually one ends up with an approximate legato or some sort of compromise which is really unnecessary when a perfectly reasonable alternate solution exists.

But that said, if you want to practice it in that piece, the best way to do it is to start by moving the 5 fifth finger toward the F and execute a quick sliding mouvement and land on the 5th finger. With a very fast move, it will sound as legato while it is actually not the case. The difficulty is to make it sound smooth (assuming no pedal).

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Originally Posted by Sidokar
I personally doubt that this edition has any particular teaching purpose. It is the Bauer edition if i am not mistaken and it is a regular edition, just like Wiener, Barenreiter and others. It does not have any specific teaching character....

This. I don't think the fingering suggested in the Schirmer edition is meant to be for instruction purposes, so I wouldn't go out of my way to use it when something better is staring me in the face. As for getting used to the suggested fingering, most any fingering will eventually be do-able (and maybe even feel okay), but that doesn't mean it's good fingering.


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The fingering makes sense for the rest of the phrase:


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Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by KevinM
... This edition I think has fingering choices that don’t seem to be the simplest way to play a piece but more about making the student learn particular skills, so I am trying to stick to following the fingering.

The quote above is the bit I think people are missing. Looking at the suggested fingering in this edition of the Schirmer series I'm getting the impression it isn't about showing the simplest way to play the piece on the page, but is instead trying to get you used to playing smoothly while dealing with some awkward movements of the fingers and hand. So I've chosen to try to keep to their suggested fingerings for that reason. This particular one however might just be one I have to accept I can't do.
No. That's not a good idea in general unless it's an etude that targets a specific technique. People use all sorts of strange fingerings but how do you know that this fingering is right for you? Everyone has different hands. Sometimes you don't have a choice but that doesn't mean you should practice uncomfortable fingering just for the sake of it. You should always use the most comfortable fingering that achieves the desired musical effect.

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Originally Posted by ErfurtBob
The fingering makes sense for the rest of the phrase:

... video ...

Wow, you make it look easy like there is no issue with playing 5 under 4 at all. I imagine being able to do that is helpful for playing certain pieces.

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Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by ErfurtBob
The fingering makes sense for the rest of the phrase:

... video ...

Wow, you make it look easy like there is no issue with playing 5 under 4 at all. I imagine being able to do that is helpful for playing certain pieces.

I recall when learning Foreign Lands that I used 5 under 4 in a couple of places. I'd have to go back to the sheet music now, as it was written in like that.


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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I recall when learning Foreign Lands that I used 5 under 4 in a couple of places. I'd have to go back to the sheet music now, as it was written in like that.
Measures 13 and 14 are pretty hairy, LOL.


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