Steps for Selecting Appropriate Piano Fingering
Choosing correct fingering can help you play legato phrases without awkward finger twists, leaps or tension. These steps are helpful in playing Simplified Hymns but can apply to other piano music as well.
1. Identify and mark the melodic phrases in the song.
- Use the words and punctuation as your clues.
- Most phrases for hymns are 2-4 measures in length.
2. "Block" the Left Hand notes one phrase at a time.
3. Identify phrases including notes larger than a 5 finger span.
4. Write in the fingering at the beginning of each phrase.
5. Decide which fingering technique works the best.
- Expansion- open hand wider than 5 finger position
- Contraction- close hand smaller than 5 finger position
- Finger Crossing - tuck thumb under or cross fingers over as in scale playing
- Finger Substitution- replace one finger with another while playing repeated notes
Listen carefully as you play with your selected fingering to make sure it doesn't have create awkward accented notes. Write in the fingering you have chosen and follow it consistently as you practice.