Home Topic Triad chord fingering: 1 3 5 vs 1 2 4

Home Version Four Forums Basic Theory Triad chord fingering: 1 3 5 vs 1 2 4

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #16185
    Morgan Dias Simao
    Participant

    Hi guys, looks like I’m the first one to use this forum 🙂
    I’m so so so happy that the website is finally launched, was waiting for it for a while, but damn it is good!!!
    In Matt’s videos, he uses 1 2 4 fingering for triad chords (on the root), while I’ve learned to play 1 3 5 when taking piano lessons.
    I’m curious… How do you play?
    Naturally, I also used 1 2 4 when learning playing keyboard on my own (I actually started by playing reggae bubble), and it felt just natural and relaxing for me. But my piano teacher told me it’s not good habit as messing up for inversions.
    What do you think?

    #16190
    Matt Jenson
    Keymaster

    Morgan! Yes you are the VERY FIRST one to submit a post here. THANKS!

    Sorry for the late reply but this week is the penultimate week at Berklee and I’m pretty slammed.

    I get this question all the time and my answer comes with a few different angles. I am well aware of the ‘proper’ fingerings that come from the well worn classical world, that for the most part are in fact the best fingerings. If you have worked with the famous Hanon book, this is a go to for developing good technique, which includes good fingering (http://csokabeata.hu/Kottak/Gyakorlatok/Hanon%20-%20The%20Virtuoso%20Pianist.pdf). So, yes, the ‘proper’ way to finger triads is 1 3 5 (right hand) BUT….I find myself using 1 2 4 more often for two reasons: 1) I”m 6’4″ and have a fairly large hand so it fits more comfortably, 2) to play the standard, what I call the “Blues 101” lick that is a foundation for a lot of improvisation (see attached), it’s much easier to use 1 2 4. I see that you find 1 2 4 to be more comfortable as well.

    So, my attitude about it is more open minded, as it is with most of my teaching. Of course there are some things that ARE super important, like getting all 12 major scales with perfect fingering. But with other things there are different fingerings that are just as efficient and effective and when that is different than what’s considered ‘proper,’ I have no problem throwing all that ‘properness’ to the wind! I mean….if you’re into jazz, look at Thelonius Monk’s technique….HORRIBLE by the standards of European classical standard. Also watch some of the blues piano players like Otis Spann: same story and man, them dudes played with SOUL!

    #16189
    Patrick Deslandes
    Participant

    Hi Guys, perhaps you could offer me some advice on fingerings!
    Firstly, Well done Matt on the site, I’ve been hoping for a site dedicated to Reggae for a very long time!
    I’m actually a Bassie and mainly play Keys as a 2nd/3rd instrument. I too like to finger triads 1 2 4 in my RH, but my LH that a different story. I have lost the 2nd finger of my left hand and had to come up with my own devices! I actually thought myself to play left handed in order to fret my Bass & Guitar properly (been naturally Right Handed), But on keys I find it hard running the scales exercise with two hands very difficult. Even doing a 2 hand bubble can be awkward.
    Any advice greatly appreciated.

    #16188
    Matt Jenson
    Keymaster

    Hi Patrick,

    Glad you’re liking Art of Reggae. It’s a work in progress and will get better and better!

    Wow, now there’s a problem I’m not sure I can help with. You’re going to have to pioneer new fingerings for the scales and even the bubble chords with your left hand. I would think playing chords with the missing finger would be easier than trying to play scales in unison with your right hand. I do remember some many years ago injuring one finger on my right hand and I had to tape it to an adjacent finger(maybe it was a middle finger to the ring finger) and had to play a jazz gig. I found the challenge to inspiring actually as it forced me to play differently than I had ever before and at least in the jazz realm that worked. I was glad to get the use of the finger back however(!)

    I didn’t mention this in any of the videos but sometimes I bubble (LH) not hitting any chords at all but just kind of punching any notes in that proper bubble range to just get a percussive sound and that can work great.

    I don’t know if this is of any help but those are my thoughts at the moment. Let me know what you might come up with in doing the scales.

    #16187
    Morgan Dias Simao
    Participant

    Thanks for your reply Matt (that I only see know). As all your content, this is gold!
    Your website deserves a big success. I will promote it as much as I can!

    #16186
    Matt Jenson
    Keymaster

    Hi Morgan,

    So glad you’re liking Art of Reggae and thanks for promoting. We’re in the beginning stages and we’ll keep on keeping on, slowly building. That’s how it goes!

    Matt

    #16428
    James Paskaruk
    Participant

    Re bubbling with just a single note on the left hand – I do that all the time and so far nobody has noticed lol

    In my case, it’s because I’m still learning the instrument (vocalist first, guitarist second, keys third and only in the last few years) and finding the root note with my left is about as quick as I can get so far, but basically as long as you’re thinking like a drum and doing it on time you’re fine, is what I’ve observed anyways. :>

    #17987
    Matt Jenson
    Keymaster

    Hi James,

    Well…you can get away with it, BUT, to get the full sound, you really need to play the chord, the triad, at least., (4 note chords are not needed. If the song has a 7th chord, play the full chord in your chopping hand and just play the triad of that chord in your bubble hand.) The bubble tone is SUCH A SPECIFIC thing: too high in range – no good, too low in range – no good (as it gets in the way of the bass), too think (with only one note) and it’s…too thin. What I suggest is to try adding just the third of the chord in the left hand: if you’re playing a bubble on C major, play a C and E in your bubbling hand. Get used to that, then when you’re ready add the 5th. It’s a building process….literally!

    #17988
    Matt Jenson
    Keymaster

    Hi Patrick, sorry for the late reply.
    Hmmmmm, doing scales with a 2nd finger missing on the left hand. That’s challenging. I would have to sit down at the keyboard and really work out specific fingerings and write them down. I suggest you do just that. You’re going to have to make up your own scheme. And then to play them in both hands together will be an additional challenge. But the great jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt could not use the 3rd and 4th fingers in his left hand and became one of the most famous guitarists ever! So….you can do it.

    Actually, on a side, many years ago I broke or sprained my middle finger in my left hand. To recover I taped it to my ring finger and I remember doing some jazz gigs and it forced me to come up with all kinds of new voicings. I had a ball doing it.

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