Piano Society
Free Classical Keyboard Recordings
It is currently Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:00 am

All times are UTC - 1 hour




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: 'Impossible' fingering
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 8:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:09 pm
Posts: 14
Location: UK
Composers sometimes delight in giving us impossible things to do and I am wondering how members here get around fingering problems that appear to be physically impossible. Let me give an example:

There are many Chopin experts on here, so take his Prelude in A major op 28 no.7. at the climax to the piece in bar/measure 13. The RH chord is a stretch but is possible using the thumb across A# and C#. However the LH chord (in my Dover score) I believe to be impossible. My hands are possibly slightly smaller than average for a male but I don't think it possible for any size digits to play the top E and F# together (along with the lower F# and C#).

I'd be interested to hear from anybody who has achieved this! I cheat by omitting the E!

_________________
Never Too Old!?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 11:00 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8511
I also have small hands, probably smaller than yours since I'm a woman. Many times I have to get creative with fingering to manage a wide stretch. Or I use my LH to take over the bottom note of a huge RH chord and use the pedal to keep the jump smooth-sounding and unnoticeable (hopefully).

What's funny is that I can't reach the right hand chord in that Chopin prelude spot, but I can reach the left hand chord. Are you using 1-2-3-5 in the LH? That's how I do it. No way can I get my thumb to cover the A# and C# in the RH. I have to either leave out the A# or roll the chord.

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 12:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:09 pm
Posts: 14
Location: UK
That's interesting...and baffling. I can understand your problem - but not mine! I just tried it again and although the F#-C#-F# stretch is no problem I cannot in any way get my 2nd finger on the E without hitting E flat as well.

I agree with your first paragraph and as you go on to suggest, chord rolling works sometimes but doesn't necessarily always sound right.

_________________
Never Too Old!?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 12:40 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9572
Location: Netherlands
I can see a smallish hand having a problem with the the RH chord. If you can't make that stretch, you're hosed.

That LH chord however does not seem a hand size problem. If you can easily take an octave, you should be able play chords like this with some practice. Maybe your fingers are just not supple enough yet to move sufficiently sideways. Perhaps bending your index finger more inwards will avoid it hitting the E flat.

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 1:03 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8511
Paul, wow, this is so weird - I just now looked at my hands and discovered something I never knew before. When I put both hands out in front of me with palms facing the wall and fingers spread apart, the distance between my LH 2nd and 3rd fingers is naturally spread farther apart than those same fingers on my RH. So that is why I can do that LH chord. Look at your hands like I just did. Maybe the spread on your LH fingers is not as wide as on your RH? Or do you have a bit of excess webbing between your fingers (not as much as a duck, of course, although if you do, then forget all this :lol: )?

And btw - I'm practicing some new pieces and finding a lot of places with notes I cannot reach. The composer must have had large hands - :x

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: 'Impossible' fingering
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 5:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:34 pm
Posts: 1278
Paul wrote:
Composers sometimes delight in giving us impossible things to do and I am wondering how members here get around fingering problems that appear to be physically impossible. Let me give an example:

There are many Chopin experts on here, so take his Prelude in A major op 28 no.7. at the climax to the piece in bar/measure 13. The RH chord is a stretch but is possible using the thumb across A# and C#. However the LH chord (in my Dover score) I believe to be impossible. My hands are possibly slightly smaller than average for a male but I don't think it possible for any size digits to play the top E and F# together (along with the lower F# and C#).

I'd be interested to hear from anybody who has achieved this! I cheat by omitting the E!


Hello, Paul.
I was unaware that I'd achieved anything!

But no, the chord is not impossible; with both hands, I play every note simultaneously. But I'm 6"3' (~2m) and my claws are pretty much out-sized. :wink:

Have you heard of the chords that Rachmaninoff could reach? That's something else.

Pete


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 5:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:09 pm
Posts: 14
Location: UK
Quote:
Maybe your fingers are just not supple enough yet.....


I just had to laugh at this from Chris - although I have only been playing (in adulthood) for about 10 years I'm afraid at my age nothing is likely to get any more supple! I take your point though that with practice these things are achievable.

Quote:
you have a bit of excess webbing between your fingers


I don't appear to be suffering from this problem but I do waddle occasionaly...quack..quack.

Anyway, tonight's practice session is to make my index finger grow another inch - I'll report back.

Thanks to all for responding. [/quote]

_________________
Never Too Old!?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 6:11 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8511
Pete, can I borrow your hands? :D

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 10:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:34 pm
Posts: 1278
pianolady wrote:
Pete, can I borrow your hands? :D


Yes! And by "yes" I mean "no".


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 2:30 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8511
You lost me there. But ok, if you won't lend me your hands, maybe you can simply lay your hands on top of mine - I'll do most of the work but you can hit the notes I can't reach. How's that?

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 3:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:34 pm
Posts: 1278
Hopefully, I'll find you again, MA. I can't be serious all the time. Or can I? No, I can't. And by "can't" I mean "will". Wait... what?
Now I'm acting like a fool. See what you started, Paul? :lol:
Curse my random sense of humor!

But seriously, I'm on vacation from my piano students for three whole weeks, the little brats. Kidding; I love them all! (I especially adore their soccer-moms and have an extra special fondness of their football coaches.)

But sure Monica, we'll put our hands together (along with Nathan of course) and see what comes of it. :lol:

But back on topic...

An impossible fingering can be encountered in Shubert's Impromptu in A-flat, in the first few bars of the left hand. The same half note is indicated to be held by the LH while being played as part of a triplet in the right. Just a trivial thing, really.

Pete

PS: Monica, I'm hacking my left hand off right now, where should I send it? The Navy Pier? Try and have it back to me by next month. You could borrow my right hand too but I seem to be a bit handicapped at he moment. :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 7:31 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:09 pm
Posts: 14
Location: UK
Quote:
See what you started, Paul?


Yes...and I haven't finished yet! :x

I just cannot and never will be able to get my index finger onto that E. But wait...I have a solution.
For this piece only I will physically remove the E flat key. :wink: I bet that's never been seen on stage - except maybe by somebody like Victor Borge.

"I only know two pieces; one is 'Clair de Lune' and the other one isn't". Victor Borge

_________________
Never Too Old!?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 10:46 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8511
PJF wrote:
PS: Monica, I'm hacking my left hand off right now, where should I send it? The Navy Pier? Try and have it back to me by next month. You could borrow my right hand too but I seem to be a bit handicapped at he moment. :lol:


Ok, now we're getting somewhere! :lol: Thank you, darlin'.

Quote:
But sure Monica, we'll put our hands together (along with Nathan of course) and see what comes of it.


Now, now, Pete. I sense you are slipping into the 'dark side'. I like it! :lol:

Paul wrote:
I just cannot and never will be able to get my index finger onto that E. But wait...I have a solution. For this piece only I will physically remove the E flat key.


Good one. I like your creativity! :lol:

And Paul, when I was practicing last night and came to a place in the music where I cannot reach, I thought about you sitting at your piano - practicing that prelude but thinking about ducks. Makes me laugh.

_________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 3:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:34 pm
Posts: 1278
OK, I'm serious now. Or am I?

Paul, may I suggest the following: try playing just the top three notes of the LH chord (A#, E, F#). This is easy, no? Then, while holding these notes (using them as a pivot point) try to pivot your hand to the left while extending your pinkie (so that the bones of the finger are parallel to their corresponding bones in the hand), to reach the low 'F#'. Reaching the low F# while holding the little note-cluster at the top, is the technical problem to solve, not trying to reach that 'E'.

I could say it another way; if the E is giving you trouble, then build the chord around the E. Play E first, then try to reach the notes around it. Whatever notes you can't reach while holding the E are your problem notes.

Let me know if this helps!

Pete

PS:

You know, since I'm sans LH at the moment, I had an opportunity to examine my right hand. I tried (and succeeded to!) play the RH chord (of the above mentioned piece) with a fingering of 12345. Not sure I WANT to do that, it was awfully uncomfortable.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:09 pm
Posts: 14
Location: UK
Quote:
PJF wrote:

..try playing just the top three notes of the LH chord (A#, E, F#). This is easy, no? Then, while holding these notes (using them as a pivot point) try to pivot your hand to the left while extending your pinkie (so that the bones of the finger are parallel to their corresponding bones in the hand), to reach the low 'F#'. Reaching the low F# while holding the little note-cluster at the top, is the technical problem to solve, not trying to reach that 'E'. .


Pete

At the risk of boring the rest of the forum to death I'll persist with this...

I tried what you say above but with the help of a tape measure I find that the simple truth is that the distance between keys F# and E is 14cm. The distance between fully extended pinkies no.2 & 5 is 13cm. There is NO WAY I can achieve that stretch without E flat playing along as well! As you say, the technical problem is the lower F#. No problem with the A#.

Not to worry, I'll just play my version as before.

_________________
Never Too Old!?


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group