QUOTE(HelenVJ @ Apr 30 2009, 09:21 AM)
Reaching for this month's Piano Professional mag again.. article by Penelope Roskell on Fingering scales and arpeggios. As she points out, 'all exam boards now make it clear that any fingering can be used, as long as it produces a smooth, fluent result.'
Most of her principles are really obvious once you think about it, as cadence has done ( have you read her book, cadence?) . 'The thumb and 5th finger prefer white notes'; 'the thumb passes more easily under black notes' etc. We have probably all come across students playing C and F minor descending who instinctively want to put the LH thumb after every black key - the Eb in C minor; the Ab in Fminor, and so on. After all, this is what the LH does in the relative majors. In the interests of logic, I used to 'correct' this, even though it felt slightly ridiculous to do so. Now I just point out that while this won't work when playing contraries, or Russian style, if it works for them, that's fine.
By the way, LH D major is one of the worst if using 'conventional' fingering - to quote Penny again, 'the hand keeps twisting out of alignment, the elbow will jut out', etc. Instead of starting on 5, starting on 2, and playing 214, with 4 on the F# and C#, produces a far smoother effect.
Maybe as teachers we tend to teach as we were taught, and having had these fingerings drummed into us, and encouraged by the AB, we continue to perpetuate this uncomfortable and awkward stuff. And, as others have pointed out, there is little if any relationship to anything in real music.
I haven't read it actually, it sounds interesting - people on the forum keep mentioning Piano Professional, but I haven't been able to find it in the newsagents or bookshops near me; do you have to subscribe?
About D minor - totally agree. It was actually this arpeggio that prompted me to start some arpeggios with my second finger, much to all my teachers' chagrin, but as a kid I un-ashamedly stuck to my opinion that if the way I do things (not just in music!) works for me, then I don't see why I should be forced to follow the "norm". Of course, I did eventually find that a lot of things are very usueful, but things like fingering remained firmly on my territory. When I started teaching, I was concerned that bringing my "unconventional" fingerings to my students would be bad teaching practice, so I spent time making sure I knew the AB fingerings to teach them. But after a few weeks of seeing children trying to contort their arms and complaining that "my hands don't twist like that", I remembered why it was in the first place that my 8 year old self refused to play them like that and just decided that my way was better!