Help my fingers get this right
August 14, 2011 2:31 PM   Subscribe

PianoFilter: can you help place my fingers for this score?

I am trying to learn a piano adaptation of a classical piece on my own. I can memorize the score all right and figure most of the fingering myself, but there are 4 measures in the entire piece which my fingers can't seem to manage no matter which combination I try: 2nd half of 21, 22, 2nd half of 23, and 24. I have uploaded a copy of the offending measures here.

What fingering would you suggest for these 4 measures? Or maybe point me to some online resources to help me figure this on my own?

(Note I have no musical education whatsoever, so please use non-technical terms)

posted by knz to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The phrases, the long lines under/over the series of notes, help you know when it's ok to break the sequence of notes to jump your hand quickly.

thumb = 1, pinky = 5

1. I have long fingers but I think this should work for a person with normal hands.
2. There is more than one way to play it so if you find something you like, do that!
posted by michaelh at 3:05 PM on August 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

I made a printout of the example and will look at it tomorrow (bedtime here in Eurp).

I'd say right away that a piano arrangement, as opposed to a literal extract of the entire score, normally means that you make things somewhat easier for the player by leaving out non-essential notes etc. (A good look at piano pieces by Rachmaninoff teaches you that technique. His piano writing is incredibly full-handed, yes, but he's very nifty in leaving away single notes here and there to allow for re-locating the hand and avoiding awkward hand positions.)

So I would at least thin out some, or most, of the chords to two voices instead of three, and many of the runs in thirds to single-line runs. How it stands now, this passage is extremely awkward to play; it would cost me months to get in tempo, let alone neatly, and I'm a professional player.
Think a beat of quarter - 60 (that's about how Baroque people would play the piece).
(You could also leave out the tenor voice, that is: the sixteenth notes in the left-hand system, play a chord in the left hand on every beat, and let your left hand help the right hand everywhere else.)
posted by Namlit at 3:08 PM on August 14, 2011

Great solutions for some spots by michaelh...
posted by Namlit at 3:10 PM on August 14, 2011

@michaelh thanks I will try that tomorrow.

@Namlit: Lyapunov already dropped a couple of voices to make this arrangement; I tried several others before and anything less than 3 voices doesn't do justice to the piece from my POV. And the awkwardness disappears when you put this example in the context of the full piece; it's quite a nice arrangement really.
posted by knz at 3:54 PM on August 14, 2011

@michaelh: OK, that 4-2, 3-1 transition from F-A to G-B was excellent, that was the jigsaw piece I was missing! (and you also made my hands suffer less on some other parts, for which I thank you as well)
posted by knz at 4:31 PM on August 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

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