Legato Double Thirds: Three Primary Approaches.

Wassup Demonz!

Ah gotz t’zay ah def’nitely enjoyz dis webzite, lotz mo’ fun ovah uthah piannah forumz wit all their ztuck-up zhit! Mass props all ‘roun’ fo’ th’ demonz!

In dat spirit, ah’m wunnerin’ if th’ youngah set be innerested fo’ a short diddy ‘bout l’gato doublah-thirds? Not tryin’ t’brag o’ nuthin’, jes passin’ ‘long zum zhit ah wuz learned way-back-when. T’be sho’, ah’ll writez it wit th’ proppah Inglitch lingo zo’s ever’body kin unnerstan’, def’nitely ain’t ‘cause ah’m salutin’ high-falutin’, knowz whaddahmzayin’?

Zo, in a previous life, ah wuz learned, uh, I meanz, I was taught there are three primary approaches to fingering thirds and everything else is a variant: “the Chopin” (aka “Mikuli” aka “the Hummel”), “the von Bulow” (aka “the Tausig” aka “the Czerny”), and “the Godowsky”.

Mikuli/Chopin fingering
C#-E 24 15 32 14 13 24 13 24 15 23 14 13

von Bulow (aka Tausig, aka Czerny) fingering
C#-E 35 13 24 13 24 35 13 24 13 24 13 24

Godowsky fingering
C#-E 24 15 23 24 13 24 13 24 15 23 24 13

I’ll call these approaches, respectively, the “1-1 thumb slide”, the “13-35 cross-over”, and the “2-2 black-key white-key slide”.

Proponents of the
1-1 thumb slide

13-35 cross-over
von Bulow

2-2 black-key white-key slide

Based on personal experience, the primary advantages/disadvantages:

Mikuli/Chopin 1-1 thumb slide
Easiest to play fast once you figure out the “thumb angle”.

von Bulow 13-35 cross-over
The cross-over can be awkward because of the repeated “3-3” and crowding of the fingers; better legatissimo than the Mikuli/Chopin.

Godowsky 2-2 black-key white-key slide
Very fast fingering, difficult to control uniform tone quality during the 2-2 slide; closest thing to total legatissimo.

The 1-1 thumb slide and 13-35 cross-over are further discussed in “Auserlesen Klavier-Etuden von Fr. Chopin” (roughly translated as “Selected Bad-Ass Chopets”) by Hans von Bulow, published in 1880; and “Chopin: The Man And His Music” by James Huneker, published in 1900; for the 2-2 black-key white-key slide see “Studien uber die Etuden von Chopin” (roughly translated as “Chopets on 'Roids”) by Leopold Godowsky.

Incidentally, von Bulow (who also cited Tausig and Dreyschock in agreement) believed the 13-35 cross-over was superior to the 1-1 thumb slide because the 13-35 cross-over on the modern piano allows for legatissimo, whereas the 1-1 thumb slide allows a mere legato.

As an aside, I started with the von Bulow 13-35 cross-over way-back-when; later as a young adult I switched to the Mikuli/Chopin 1-1 thumb slide because I found it easier and faster, at the expense of the legatissimo (How 'bout that, those giants of the keyboard really knew something!). I didn’t use the Godowsky much because I found it hard to control the tone during the slide; maybe I just needed more practice, ha!

Flash forward a lifetime, my preference “all else being equal” tends to the Mikuli/Chopin, then the Godowsky with a slight edge over the von Bulow.

Ironically, for non-legato I often prefer the von Bulow!

We-ell, ah hopes dis heps a lil’ bit da youngah set who be startin’ out wit da doublah-notez… You may have diff’r’nt eggzperienzez mebbe notz; ‘leas’ y’try! G’luck 'n zhit.

See all y’allz aroun’ muh fave muthafuckas!

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HahHAAH respec fo da comprehensive essay mofo 8)

Mah approach to thirdz alwayz was… let da :doc: do them fo you

haha you’re trying a bit too hard with the sdc lingo but respect for the post, i will read this later when i’ve got more time

randomly i’ve been messing around with godowsky’s thirds fingering, using 34 to 25. a couple of years ago i thought godowksy was just messing with people but i’m starting to like it more and more. but then again i’m wondering if it’s really necessary for me to study yet another fingering for chromatic thirds… doing 2-2 now after neuhaus convinced me to in his book :slight_smile:. did some brahms exercices first too to get used to the sliding feeling

you all might be interested to know the so called ‘godowsky’ thirds fingering is also the fingering michelangeli used. and i think is much more standard than this hilarious post would lead you to believe especially among modern players

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HAHA DAIM diz legendary random topiq

@Dr.TM - Wut iz yo approach? :sunglasses:

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Da godo wet puzzy :dong: slidah (squirt assist optional)


Randomly, I used to use da TM method; sliding 2/4 up and thumb on the way down. Admittedly, the ascending thirds is one sheeyat I never mastered (descending was fine).

Descending is a bit slower for me.

Da hardest double notes for me are the trilling sheeyats like da :pimp: FF dat stay in one spot.


da zepp juz cannot delivah diz kind of tech in a priztine mannah at ANY zpeed, zo vil inztead give a random RAPE DEMO on DIGI :sunglasses:

n tru ma dezcendin iz twice az zheeyat n only zemi-liztenable when da momentum of a zong provide pozitive azziztance :sunglasses:



Yeah even in things like chopin 15/1 a lot of people fake da middle sections 6ths that with the pedal. That’s a hard tech. Randomly these days for my dystoniac rh, a 24/24 slide is a lot more comfortable than the 23/24 version. Although either way, chromatic thirds is one sheeyat that I can’t arm rotate my way around, and so causes my fingers to “claw”.

The rape approach is probably all you need to play the thirds in da DJ, no? Thankfully, apart from that and 25/6 I can’t think of many long ascending chromatic thirds passages that are not split between the hands like in da spanish rappah.

ahahahaha pozz

i cud be wrong but it appeareth

da chrom thirdz unleazh wuz a tech

da KAN nevah uzed in any of hiz zongz (dat i haff zeen) :sunglasses:

zo in a hypothedickal PIMP-KAN DUEL da PIMP cud gain da uppah hand by unleazhin hiz DJ thirdz runz ovah n ovah :dong:

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A full highly confusing rape through of op 25 no 6 attempted with the 2nd finger black to white slide. Hmmm this thirds stuff not as easy as I remember!~~


Daim, is it just me or is da TUBE randomly down all of a sudden?

Randomly works on mobile but not on my laptop. :lib:

I’d actually learned and perfd the thirds etude pretty well in teens. Current rape through not withstanding… : ) The 2 black/white slide apparently discovered by von Pachmann and credited as such when mentioned by Arthur Friedheim in his somewhat badass edition of the chopets

Maybe because my hand is a bit fucked (with long fingahs but a relatively short thumb), but I’ve always prefered the thumb-slide on da white keys while playing da chromatic zcales. So 13-24-15-23-14-13-24-13-24-15-23-14 etc.

I had a theory people really good this piece used the cleaner thumb way and transition to finger slide mini rapes on the pedaled accelerations upward. Never got around to working this in. Randomly one of the sickest version of this is backhaus !

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tiz lykly u already play diz bettah den da PACMOFO himzelf evah did :sunglasses:

This pacman tech def not possible without this prep exercise

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Tru, dude had a wikid tech 'til the day he died. The hybrid tech is an interesting idea, I wonder if anyone used this?