P2 - B3

Finger articulation, placing and extended techniques

  • Play with fingers 2,3, and 4 articulating fully into hand and thumb closing over at upper joint
  • Play 2,3, and 4-finger placings connecting some simple passages, hands together and passing from hand to hand avoiding raising the wrist
  • Play 3-note chords in root position with fully closing hands
  • Play, at a steady pulse, passages hands separately and together that have more rhythmic independence between the hands, maintaining coordination between the hands
  • Play rhythmically and fluently, arpeggiated passages using 2 or 3 fingers which pass between hands
  • Recognise and use consistent fingering for exercises and pieces
  • Play glissandi using a variety of dynamics and tempi.

Introduce the fourth finger and set exercises/pieces that incorporate the movement of all fingers into the palm of the hand, ending with a closed hand position. Remind learners to keep all fingers flat within the palm with the thumb bent over at the top joint.

Explain the bracketed fingering system to learners, and how the interlocking brackets require placing ahead.

Practise passages where just one finger is placed ahead and build up to two and three fingers ahead. Show how fingers need to be placed back in the same position they were originally placed in order to maintain the correct hand shape.

Remind learners to keep an open rounded gap between the thumb and fingers every time the hand is in open position, ready to play.

Introduce short scalic passages placing ahead the third or fourth finger. The movement from thumb to third or fourth finger should be repetitively practised until the technique is mastered without changing the arm or wrist position. Help learners devise some rhythmic exercises to practise this movement.

Demonstrate how to place the thumb ahead in descending passages, always keeping it upright to maintain the correct hand shape.

Introduce the one-octave scale and one-octave arpeggio in both hands, always placing all fingers ahead. In the scale, practise up to and including the point of passing the fourth finger underneath repetitively, until this becomes comfortable.

Encourage learners to place ahead appropriate fingers at the same time and not one at a time.

Explain how intervals are usually played with standard fingering, and not to stretch fingers one and two to accommodate intervals that are too large.

Demonstrate how passages with broken chord movement either in one hand or moving between hands can be first played as simultaneous chords in order to practise placing.

Encourage learners to listen carefully in order to produce an even tone within all broken chord passages.

Encourage learners to listen carefully when playing three-note chords to ensure an even sound on each note, especially the middle note.

Start by practising playing chords as broken chords in the first instance. Vary the rhythms of the notes in the broken chords and accent the weakest finger.

Demonstrate some strategies for dealing with passages requiring rhythmic independence, e.g. tapping the rhythm for the left hand on the soundboard while playing the right hand; miming one hand while playing the other.

Practise glissandi passages incorporating forte and piano dynamics. Encourage a legato sound at a variety of tempi.

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