“Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form.”
Plato

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fingering Major Seventh Arpeggios



     
A student writes: "I have a fingering question. How do you suggest fingering major-7th arpeggios that continue over more than one octave, e.g. C-E-G-B-C-E-G-B-C. Up to now I have been using 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4, however this does require a little stretch between 3 and 4. Would you consider this ok or would you recommend 1-2-3-5 and then the famous rebound from the 5th finger to 1?"
     My response: Stretching to an extreme is never okay. In
Don't!
most hands, playing a major third between 3 and 4 feels, at the very least, uncomfortable, though it is not impossible to work in. However, I play the C-major seventh chord with 5 on B when 1 is on C. Depending on the context, the thumb might also start on E:

Fingering Major 7ths


Notice that there will be a shape in the direction of in to play the thumb and back out to play 5. This is particularly relevant when the thumb plays a black key. When 5 plays a black key, the shaping is reversed. Remember, fluency and speed are at issue here, and these only come when the hand is at ease.
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