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Don Taylor

How to finger fourths on a Crane duet

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What do folks do? 

 

Do you (c)hop the two notes with one finger?

 

Do you tuck an alternate finger onto the low note and then use the normal finger on the higher note?  Would you sometimes use the pinkie finger for the lower note?

 

Any other strategies?

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Posted (edited)

Hi Don,

 

is your question about melody intervals or chords?

 

The golden rule is to NOT hop unless the melody tolerates staccato effects.

 

We've discussed Kurt Braun's invaluable tutorial on inner and outer positions several times here. Beginning from one of the two positions, you look for a finger you can tuck below or above the current note which will change positions from inner to outer or vice versa. So stacking is the most common technique to overcome the Crane fourth plight.

 

On the left hand (or both if you use the right to play chords), the Crane layout turns from a curse to a blessing as you can simply flatten a finger to play the two notes simultaneously which will yield a power chord.

 

Edited by RAc

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RAc

 

Yes. I meant melodic fourths.  I very recently aquired a NM 55B Crane and am trying figure out a fingering strategy before I establish any bad habits.  The only tutors I could find were the Salvation Army tutor and the Bulstrode Crane tutor.  Neither of which really address fingering as such  - both seem to assume that the pinkie is to not used yet I found that in the first tune I tried to play I needed my pinkie to get from D to G (as in F# - E - D - G) without chopping .   The SA tutor even shows chopping in its scores and just says to do it quickly!

 

Can you point me at the Kurt Braun tutor?  Scraggy.net seems to be dead so maybe it is available somewhere else?

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31 minutes ago, Don Taylor said:

RAc

 

Yes. I meant melodic fourths.  I very recently aquired a NM 55B Crane and am trying figure out a fingering strategy before I establish any bad habits.  The only tutors I could find were the Salvation Army tutor and the Bulstrode Crane tutor.  Neither of which really address fingering as such  - both seem to assume that the pinkie is to not used yet I found that in the first tune I tried to play I needed my pinkie to get from D to G (as in F# - E - D - G) without chopping .   The SA tutor even shows chopping in its scores and just says to do it quickly!

 

Can you point me at the Kurt Braun tutor?  Scraggy.net seems to be dead so maybe it is available somewhere else?

 

Hi Don,

 

I believe I already pointed you to it two years ago or so - you'll find it here:

 

Maybe the admins would want to pin this as it's one of the most valuable resources to be found regarding Crane playing?

 

 

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23 minutes ago, RAc said:

I believe I already pointed you to it two years ago or so

Oh dear, I really do not remember that at all - I must be losing it.

 

Anyway, thank you for the reference to Kurt's document.

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Admittedly, it's somehwat buried:

 

Anyways, the experience of completly forgetting something is familiar to all of us who have passed a certain age, I'm afraid. What again was the question? :(

 

Enjoy!

 

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Posted (edited)
  • Don, I'm finding that if you put a positioning hop  or an undertuck at the beginning or early in a phrase or string of notes, it sounds more like an accent and less like an act of desperation.....😊
Edited by wunks
comma
  • Haha 1

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

Do you tuck an alternate finger onto the low note and then use the normal finger on the higher note?

 

Sometimes, but not always. On one tune I have consecutive A4, D5, G5 and I step up middle, ring, middle; or something like that - hard to remember when you're not playing. In another I have D5, G5, D5 so I use middle, index, middle.

 

18 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

Would you sometimes use the pinkie finger for the lower note?

 

Frequently. With a tune like British Grenadiers there's no other option (apart from chopping which, as RAc suggests, should generally be avoided). It starts D4, G4, D4, G4, A4, B4 ... . In other circumstances you might be able to use ring, middle, ring, middle to start, but the subsequent A, B precludes that, so little finger it is.

 

RAc mentions Kurt Braun. Here's an illustration of his technique. Look at bars 3 and 4 of this tune:

 

327479730_Screenshot2020-06-01at4_15_47pm.thumb.png.73d252c29532771c6dafee5029ed93fe.png

 

You naturally arrive on the D in bar 3 with your middle finger, but then have to jump down to A. If you use your ring finger for A then your little finger (pinkie) is ready for the following G and the G at the start of bar 4. Your ring finger is in position for for the three Es. For those seven notes you've been in Kurt's "inner" position. Now your middle finger is ready to jump up to the A and you're back in the more usual "outer position. And you've just played two intervals of a fourth without having to "chop".

 

RAc also points out the advantage for left hand chords of the fourth being vertical. It is particularly useful to me for first inversion chords. For example first inversion of D would be little finger on the F# and middle finger covering A and D. I'd use that for the second half of bar 2, leading nicely up to the G in Bar 3.

 

My general advice would be (1) practice using the little finger on both hands, (2) be flexible about which pair of fingers to use for playing fourths - the best choice will depend on where you've come from and where you're going to.

 

LJ

Edited by Little John
Added extra information about first inversion.
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Well, I try to practice chords as arpeggios (no hopping) quite a bit.  When searching for a chord fingering, I first play the chord as an arpeggio and use that fingering for the chord.  I must admit that for songs and tunes learned in the early years, I still find myself playing vertically adjacent notes with one finger.  But I consider it to be an old (and bad) habit.  Good to see people still interested in playing Cranes.

 

Kurt

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