I did some research to try to improve the limits of my playing. After the fact, I thought it would be a good idea to share my notes.
- 1) Fingering
- Work out your own fingerings, write them into your score with a sharp pencil, and divide the music into hand-position groups. The fingerings must be consistent if the figure is repeated. If the score is already fingered, try them and see if they are good for your hand size and playing style. If they aren't, get another edition without fingering or with fingering that works better for you.
- 2)How to use fingering
- Do not finger every note, instead, use fingering where there is a difficult figure or where it is needed to get the hand into position to play the next figure. Chords should also be fingered if needed to get the hand into position to play the next figure. Focus on what is natural for the hand; try to finger adjacent fingers in sequence to make the fingering simpler. For pieces where there is a counterpunctal voice that passes between hands, choose which hand has the voice at certain points in the piece and finger it right or left hand as appropriate and practice it as such
- 3)How to start practicing a piece
- Practice the piece slowly in sections one hand at a time with the chosen fingerings. Do not play hands together until you can play hands apart with the correct fingerings without difficulty. Count off the beats in each measure
(for example "1, 2, 3, 4" or "1, 2, 3") to help you get the rhythm right and/or use a metronome to help guide your playing.
- 4)Avoid playing the whole piece until you are ready
- Do not play the whole piece slowly until you can play all of the sections with the correct fingerings without difficulty.
- 5)Do not attempt to play the piece at tempo until you are ready
- Do not play the whole piece at tempo until you can play the entire piece slowly with the correct fingerings without difficulty.