How to Solve Your Piano Fingering Problems

Piano Lessons / music lessons / How to Solve Your Piano Fingering Problems

Hi, I’m Robert Estrin. This is LivingPianos.com. Today’s question is, “How to Solve Your Piano Fingering Problems.” Fingering on the piano is one of the most important aspects of developing a secure technique. So what I’m going to do is tell you my personal story of how I solved my fingering problem.

Did I have fingering problems on the piano?

When I was a child studying piano with my father, my fingering was atrocious! First of all, I had weak fingers. And truth be known, I didn’t practice nearly as much as many of my father’s other students. I had little hands, I didn’t practice a lot, my hands were weak and I had terrible fingering. My father struggled with me to correct all the fingerings. I took a look at some of my scores from my early teen years, and this is where the solution came in for me. I’m thinking this might be helpful for some of you as well. I got to a point where I though, “I want to solve this problem.” I had fingering problems for years, and it was always a nightmare at lessons.

I didn’t know how to solve the fingering problem, so I just wrote in the fingerings for almost every single note!

That was the only way I could know that I was going to play the right fingering. Looking at some scores from that period of time, it looks ridiculous. There are fingerings all over the place! Fortunately, my father was smart enough to always have his students use pencil, so the scores are not destroyed. That is what I went through! But after doing this for a period of time, I got to a point where I stopped writing in fingering. I almost never write in fingering anymore. It sounds like a total contradiction, but I transcended fingering such that I understood fingering in a way that I didn’t have to write them in. Now it’s not to say that I never write in fingering, but it’s really rare that I need to write in fingering anymore. I will certainly try fingering that’s printed in the score, with the editor suggestions. But if I have a fingering problem, I will try many different solutions. The vast majority of the time, I just develop a sense of fingerings that work. Truth be known, I don’t always use the same fingering in pieces I play. Because I got to a point of understanding fingering in such an intrinsic way, I don’t need to write them in anymore.

How many of you have gone through this same process?

I’ve never talked to anybody about this. I’m wondering how pianists out there who’ve had fingering problems overcame them. Has anybody gone through what I went through? It worked for me, but I don’t know if it’s working for anybody else. That is a real key. Writing all the fingerings in, being meticulous, and then getting to the point where you just understand it on such a level that you understand what fingering should be. I hope this is helpful! I would love to hear from all of you about your experiences!

I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store.
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