scale fingering--continuing through the octaves...

Discussion in 'Technique and Posture' started by Dean Taylor, May 10, 2016.

  1. Dean Taylor

    Dean Taylor

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    hello

    a beginner asks about scale fingering, specifically, correct finger placement when continuing through
    to the next octave...

    for example, with left hand, the C major scale runs: 54321321

    if continuing through to the next octave, that last '1' would actually be the '5' (i.e., pinky)

    so, the last three notes in the sequence would be: middle, index, then pinky (not thumb)--correct?

    if so, it seems rather a large jump: index to pinky...

    we've looked around YouTube, but could not locate a comprehensive tutorial on scale fingering when continuing through the octave...if you know of a YT lesson (or, anywhere online, for that matter), please advise...

    thank you
     
    Dean Taylor, May 10, 2016
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  2. Dean Taylor

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    happyrat1, May 10, 2016
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  3. Dean Taylor

    CowboyNQ

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    G'day Dean,

    In your specific example, to head up the C Major scale octave in the left hand, your fingering should be 543214321321.

     
    CowboyNQ, May 10, 2016
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  4. Dean Taylor

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    Oops, I think you left out a 321? That is (with spaces added for clarity), 54321 321 4321 321.
     
    SeaGtGruff, May 10, 2016
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  5. Dean Taylor

    CowboyNQ

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    Yeah I did too. Thanks Michael, good pickup. It's easier to do it than to articulate it in writing! Anyway, the good news is the clip is pretty clear.

    Dean, the trick (in the case of this particular scale) is to alternate your third and fourth finger crossing over your thumb on the way up, and you thumb crossing under your third and fourth finger on the way down. That way you can go up and down the scale for as many octaves as you like. The same principle applies in the right hand, only your thumb crosses under on the way up, and your third and fourth finger cross over your thumb on the way down.

    It's actually pretty easy to do with practice, way easier than all of the above is making it sound. If you practice your scales daily you'll get quite quick and competent in no time.
     
    CowboyNQ, May 11, 2016
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  6. Dean Taylor

    Dean Taylor

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    thanks to one and all...

    not to put too fine a point in it (and, as recommended elsewhere) the left hand fingering shows c, f, e, a, d and g as using the same fingering...

    similarly, it appears that the right hand fingering shows c, d, e, g, a and b as using the same fingering...

    the idea being that the video 'method' would apply for those scales listed here as well--correct?

    Best,

    Dean
     
    Dean Taylor, May 11, 2016
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  7. Dean Taylor

    CowboyNQ

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    Hi Dean,

    C, G, D, A, E, and B Major all cross over in the right hand using the "fourth finger on the seventh degree", which is the succinct and fancy way of describing the method shown above.

    C, G, D, A, E and F Major all cross over in the left hand using the "fourth finger on the second degree", again as shown above.

    In B Major the left hand uses the fourth finger on the first and fifth degrees (B and F#).

    In F Major the right hand uses the fourth finger on the fourth degree (Bb).

    There's also a number of other major scales with subtly different fingering. I recommend you grab yourself a scales book as suggested by Gary (Happyrat) above, which will really help you familiarise yourself with these (and other) scales.

    Hope that helps.
     
    CowboyNQ, May 12, 2016
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  8. Dean Taylor

    johnny196775

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    Do you ever do a crossover from pinky to thumb to keep going up the keyboard and the opposite way to to go down?
     
    johnny196775, May 13, 2016
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  9. Dean Taylor

    CowboyNQ

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    Not in any scale that I'm aware of.
     
    CowboyNQ, May 14, 2016
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  10. Dean Taylor

    johnny196775

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    im sorry i meant going up 2 octaves.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
    johnny196775, May 14, 2016
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  11. Dean Taylor

    CowboyNQ

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    Nope. Two octaves, three octaves, four octaves, it makes no difference.
     
    CowboyNQ, May 15, 2016
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  12. Dean Taylor

    johnny196775

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    The way i am talking about requires moving fast the whole hand. More difficult. I find things like that better for me in the long run like when i play guitar. Thanks . i like to find every combination of a fingering possible and go from there. I need to take keyboard more seriously.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
    johnny196775, May 20, 2016
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  13. Dean Taylor

    Fred Coulter Collector of ancient keyboards

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    One of the things about traditional scale fingering is that it's designed so that there are no gaps as you move up the octaves, and that the scales can be played legato. As you move up the scale, your hand moves twice per octave. I'm not sure what your proposed fingering gains. I don't see it being any faster; it would probably be slower since you're moving more all at once. Additionally, you don't have different fingerings on different octaves.

    Difficulty is not, in and of itself, a good thing. It needs to improve your artistic ability in some way or another. Playing Hanon far faster than written can be useful. But playing it while lying on your back on the piano bench is almost useless. (Well, unless you're in a strange band - https://www.youtube.com/user/SalutSalon/.)

    It is possible that your fingering is an improvement over the traditional one. But the current fingerings have been worked out over a period of centuries, perhaps even a millennia. (Does anyone know how old the current keyboards are? Were they used in their current form on organs a thousand years ago? Two thousand? Organs are old, but I'm not sure about the keyboard itself.)
     
    Fred Coulter, May 20, 2016
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  14. Dean Taylor

    johnny196775

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    the inexpeirence of the keyboard flows from me greatly. And is obvious. Thank you all for the help.. :)
     
    johnny196775, May 20, 2016
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  15. Dean Taylor

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    happyrat1, May 20, 2016
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  16. Dean Taylor

    momboc

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    I recommend that you buy a copy of Alfred's "The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios & Cadences"

    Includes all the Major, Minor & Chromatic Scales

    Available through most music stores or online
     
    momboc, May 20, 2016
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  17. Dean Taylor

    CowboyNQ

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    I have no doubt you're an excellent guitarist. I am lucky enough to play with some very good ones too, and what I notice about their playing is they apply an economy of motion to their playing, as I'm sure you do. In other words, their fingers do what they have to do, and no more, to ensure they can play fast runs efficiently and accurately up and down the fretboard.

    I strongly encourage you to think about playing keyboard in the same way. The scale fingerings we have been talking about have been developed with ergonomics and economy of motion in mind. Less superfluous movement = easier playing = greater accuracy = greater speed (with practice).
     
    CowboyNQ, May 20, 2016
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  18. Dean Taylor

    johnny196775

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    Yes. I do not want to ingrain any bad practice ideas. And i appreciate the help. Thank you very much. . :)
     
    johnny196775, May 21, 2016
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  19. Dean Taylor

    Fred Coulter Collector of ancient keyboards

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    Only if you're not being lazy.
     
    Fred Coulter, May 23, 2016
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  20. Dean Taylor

    johnny196775

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    Is the first time always the 3rd finger.

    Or. Are there times you start on the 4th finger at the 1st crossover.
     
    johnny196775, May 26, 2016
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