How do you determine what fingers to use when they aren’t marked and it isn’t obvious? I’m trying to play Beauty and the Beast from Hal Leonard’s super easy piano songs book and the left hand in the second line doesn’t make sense to me.
Thanks in advance
There are some principles like minimizing hand position changes but there are also many exceptions. It comes down to experience.
If you post a picture of the music we can help figure out the best fingering.
Use 2 on G as your starting point as in the score, in 5-finger position.
You don't need to shift your LH until the chord B-F#, which you can play with 5-1 then 4-2 for the next chord.
Then move your hand back up to the original position, and a little stretch with your thumb to middle C, with the rest of your LH fingers in the original position as at the start.
The basic principle is very simple. A finger for the first note is usually written out in books for beginners, and then: adjacent note - adjacent finger, next but one note - next but one finger, and so on.
When it's not applicable, like for BF# and CE double notes, you need to find out how it feels more comfortable to play it, but the first principle is still useful: if there is one note in-between C and E it's usually more comfortable to play it leaving one finger in-between: 13, 24, 35. If there are 3 notes between B and F it's usually more comfortable to play it leaving 3 fingers in-between: 15.
For the B/F# I'd suggested 4/1. Then, C/E 3/1.
Now, what you could do is, whilst holding the C/E changing the fingering from 3/1 to 5/3 without releasing the notes - this would get you up to Middle C.
Or, you could pedal beat 4 and just move your hand.
Or, if you're feeling a bit reckless just use the RH and play the D/C together, and don't be too concerned about the dotted minim staying as such.
Ultimately, decide on what you feel comfortable with and what you think sounds good.