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Coronavirus Etude - A New Viral Piano Piece
A classic viral piano piece, "Dusting the Piano" has finally got a follow-up. While Dusting the Piano should be managable for players of ABRSM grade 1 and suitable for performances during less critical times, the new Coronavirus Etude is more complex (around ABRSM grade 5) and aimed to be more effective against viruses. Read more >>

Topic: little finger on black keys  (Read 2575 times)

Offline tysteel

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little finger on black keys
on: September 27, 2003, 11:18:43 PM

I've been thinking about this quite a bit over the last few weeks while playing
the piano, and it's become a concern.   I know that pianists would often use the
pinky on a black key if playing block chords, but what about using the little
finger to play a black key in a run of notes or a scale? Or say an
*arpeggiated* block chord..like say Bb in root position with the left hand?

something I noticed about using the little finger on a black key is that it`s
the weakest finger of the hand, and often doesn`t get a very good grip on the
black keys.

I also noticed that when I start playing a descending scale fragment with the
5th finger on a black key, and if the next note is a white note to be played
with the 4th finger, the 4th finger sometimes ends in the space between the
black keys. This may not be an ideal situation since getting caught up in the
black keys may affect how smoothly or quickly I can play the scale
fragment....depending in what key I'm playing in, especially in the keys of
C,F,or G.  

So should I generally avoid using the little finger on a black note when
playing scale fragments or arpeggiated chords, or should I practice getting
used to it? And if there are cases where I have no choice *but* to use the
little finger on a black key, then how should I approach it and position the
hand for the best efficiency of movement?   I'd imagine that if you were stuck
in a situation with the 5th on a black key, it would be better to move the
entire hand into the region of the black keys and play up there, instead of
tucking the 4th finger to avoid playing between the black notes.


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