P2 - B2

Fingering and coordination

  • Play comfortably in extended hand positions:
    • maintaining a hand shape incorporating naturally curved fingers
    • connecting different hand positions by the passing of the thumb
  • Play, at a steady pulse, short, simple phrases and exercises, hands separately and together, ensuring that the hands are coordinated
  • Play rhythmically when passing from hand to hand
  • Play three-note chords with one hand
  • Play with some independence of:
    • hands
    • fingers within one hand
    • articulation between hands, e.g. legato in one hand and non-legato in the other
  • Recognise and use consistent fingering
  • Use appropriate fingering for scales, arpeggios and chords

Move beyond single hand positions, introducing learners to the concept of thumb passing. Provide demonstrations of how this works, e.g. play the beginning of a scale to the point where the thumb passes under. Repeat the segment, ascending and descending. Apply the same principle to the top half of the scale.

Ask learners to play appropriate exercises to reinforce fingering patterns used in scales/arpeggios/broken chords.

Help learners to devise similar exercises independently.

Encourage learners to describe fingering patterns observed in scales.

With learners, keep records of scales learnt, e.g. scale charts.

Show how these patterns can be applied to other simple keys.

Demonstrate how learners can play in extended hand positions, involving greater stretches between individual fingers, e.g. stretches of a fourth played by 1-2 in the left hand, often found in simple baroque dances.

If learners find the stretches difficult, repeat the same stretch up the scale.

Explain to learners the need to play rhythmically and with careful attention to tonal control when passing melodies between the hands.

Teach exercises for chordal playing (three-note chords in close position) and encourage learners to incorporate these into their practice routines.

Teachers may wish to introduce chordal playing by using the interval of a fifth and adding the third later, gradually developing ease of coordination.

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

Discuss some strategies for dealing with passages using step-wise movement in one hand and larger intervals in the other.

Always encourage learners to have a thorough and consistent approach to fingering in their practice.

Using particular passages, discuss various fingering solutions.

Explore the progression of this Learning Objective