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5 Finger Exercise

By Oscar Milde in Culture
Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 12:52:02 PM EST
Tags: Music (all tags)

People tend to giggle when I mention my "fifth finger," as if the phrase implies some hexadactylous deformity. Only musicians, who are taught since childhood to include the thumb in their digital figurations, nod knowingly. We (if I may include my amateur self) agree that there is something simian about the four-fingered hand.

In situations that call for certain gestures -- a rush hour traffic dispute, for instance -- our first instinct is to extend our good old Number Three. This sometimes leads to misunderstandings:

Judge: Is it a fact that when the plaintiff asked your name, you raised your second finger?
Defendant (Loudly and confidently): Your Honor, I did not.

Pianists are particularly pentactine. When we discuss "Beethoven's Third" or "Chopin's First," we may be talking, not of concertos, but of those rather macabre hand casts the great instrumentalists had behind them. We browse for hours, studying articles in trade periodicals with names like Clavier on idiosyncrasies of this finger or that finger.

The fifth finger is that which, in the right hand, floats melodic notes at the top of the harmonic swells, while in the left, its job is to sound and shape the basic contours of the ocean floor. Vladimir Horowitz had almost freakishly independent fifths. I never figured out how extensors that flexed so far back could uncurl and hit flying hemidemisemiquavers at such speed.

Technically speaking, the fourth is the weakest and most awkward finger, being hitched to its neighbors by a pesky web of ligaments. Just point your five fingertips onto a flat surface and try to lift #4 separately. You'll appreciate what problems we have playing the inner voices of Bach.

The third finger, apart from its gesticulatory usefulness, acts as both a lever (allowing #1 to pass gracefully under it in scales and arpeggios) and a fulcrum when the whole hand and arm are rotating tremolando.

Number Two is annoyingly strong and needs equalizing if it is not to break the melodic line, or overbalance a weighted chord.

The first finger has had a somewhat vulgar reputation since Jack Horner used it to check the filling of his Christmas pie. Yahoos use it for pointing over their shoulders, or grappling beer, or rating movies on television.

But when used in a left-handed cantilena by a master technician, this finger becomes the most expressive digit of all. Listen, for example, to the brilliant Claudio Arrau's recording of the slow movement of Brahm's F minor Sonata. You'll never say "all thumbs" again.


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How many fingers do you have?
o 0 or fewer 7%
o 1 0%
o 2 0%
o 3 0%
o 4 4%
o 5 18%
o 6 1%
o 7 or more 67%

Votes: 254
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Yahoo
o Vladimir Horowitz
o hemidemise miquavers
o Claudio Arrau
o Also by Oscar Milde

Display: Sort:
5 Finger Exercise | 78 comments (66 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
I have 11...err...10 fingers [n/t] (2.75 / 4) (#1)
by maozo on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 11:56:26 AM EST

So you must think you're better... (5.00 / 5) (#2)
by Ether on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 12:09:27 PM EST

because yours go to 11?

[ Parent ]
Well... (4.00 / 1) (#11)
by carbon on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 03:08:14 PM EST

Mine go to 27 and 1/2, and I feel great!

Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
what units? (n/t) (3.00 / 1) (#21)
by cicero on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 11:27:16 PM EST

I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
[ Parent ]
Well... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
by Woundweavr on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 01:30:53 PM EST

As the number stated was 27 + 1/2, we can determine that minimally, the base is 8. So in base ten the minimum is still 23 and 1/2. Now that we've determined that, we can really get to the bottom of this!

[ Parent ]
Except that... (none / 0) (#74)
by xriso on Fri Aug 16, 2002 at 02:35:44 AM EST

Number encoding is not the same thing as the value's units.
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
[ Parent ]
Geez... (none / 0) (#76)
by maozo on Sat Aug 17, 2002 at 10:02:58 AM EST

Sorry I brought it up!

[ Parent ]
Yea (3.50 / 2) (#23)
by jayhawk88 on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 12:55:44 AM EST

You tell him Nigel!

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
[ Parent ]
where's the exercise? nt (3.75 / 4) (#3)
by logiterr on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 12:10:24 PM EST

Ever hear of a writing exercise? (2.00 / 3) (#12)
by majubma on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 04:55:20 PM EST

en tea

--Thaddeus Q. Thaddelonium, the most crookedest octopus lawyer in the West.
[ Parent ]
only in school and those sucked. nt (4.00 / 2) (#13)
by logiterr on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 05:16:17 PM EST

[ Parent ]
poll (3.66 / 3) (#5)
by ceejayoz on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 01:03:56 PM EST

I can safely say I fit into the "0 or fewer" option... I have -14 fingers ;[

as a guitarist (4.66 / 3) (#10)
by zephc on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 02:40:03 PM EST

I have 4 primary fingers and a lesser-used secondary finger on my left hand, and one my right hand, 5 fingers half the time, and a nylon digit the other half the time.

Cellist (5.00 / 7) (#17)
by Pseudonym on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 09:13:42 PM EST

I'm a cellist and I'd like to agree with the other non-pianist musicians. I have four fingers. In addition, I occasionally use no fingers (also called "open string" or "O") or I use the thumb, which is given a special non-ascii symbol which looks closest to a capital Q, only the tail points straight down. (We occasionally pronounce it "Q" nevertheless.)

I also speak piano, so I know what you meant. However, please note in future that the musical world is not as black and white as your instrument's user interface.

sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
A slight difference of opinion (5.00 / 4) (#38)
by Lord of the Wasteland on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 06:23:36 PM EST

As a cellist and a software engineer, I have five fingers on each hand. They're just numbered from zero.

[ Parent ]
Trumpet (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by phliar on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 01:53:27 PM EST

Q: Why do trumpets have three valves?
A: Because trumpet players can't count any higher.

If a trumpet player says "1-3" it means using fingers #2 and #4 in this counting. (Of course fingering is a minor part of playing the trumpet.)

Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

Oh, no, we have to count higher than that (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by meaningless pseudonym on Thu Aug 15, 2002 at 02:54:37 PM EST

* 8 is the number of harmonics needed to get us two octaves clear of what we call middle C (OK, number 1 isn't great...)

* Older orchestral music especially has a habit of leaving trumpets idle for very long periods. I remember once a rest of over 200 bars which had to be counted... We got to know the oboe part well to be able to count off them to a degree :-)

I would suggest, though, that we're some of the cleverer members of the orchestra thanks to the small number of composers who've recognised that trumpets now come in Bb almost exclusively. I've played so much in church worship bands that playing for trumpet in C is no harder than Bb now and I don't find anything unusual about F# major as a key choice. I've played whole concertos written for trumpet in F, transposing a fifth. I've played one where the composer hadn't learnt that trumpets no longer used crooks (fancy, changeable slides) to change key and so changed what key we were transposing into whenever he changed key, which was more than once. A and B as I recall, with maybe an F passage floating around in there.

As well as that, I can play tunes on vacuum cleaner tubes and old-style metal kettles :-) (And have performed on the latter).

[ Parent ]

Who needs fingers? (2.66 / 3) (#20)
by athagon on Sun Aug 11, 2002 at 10:54:44 PM EST

I have fewer than 0 fingers. In fact, I have -7.3984 per hand!

Huh? (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by p3d0 on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 05:40:38 PM EST

What are you talking about? -7.3984 is 3000. Not only is that positive, rather than negative; it's also highly unlikely.

Did I miss the joke?
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
[ Parent ]

Yep (3.00 / 1) (#39)
by athagon on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 06:43:28 PM EST

Totally. Observe the first poll option.

[ Parent ]
Hmm (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by p3d0 on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 09:06:47 PM EST

Alright, thanks for your patience and your explanation. I still don't get it, but now I'm pretty sure I'm not missing anything. :-)
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
[ Parent ]
He does have a point... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by KOTHP on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 03:14:29 PM EST

You should have referred him to the eighth and final poll option, rather than the first.

[ Parent ]
I May Have 10 Fingers, But I Have 11 Finger Nails (4.50 / 4) (#22)
by thelizman on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 12:38:37 AM EST

My personal freakshow rests on my left ring finger. When I was about 8 I sliced a section of that finger off from the center of the tip to left side just at the furthest knuckle. It was sewn back on, and leaches were applied - the first such surgery in my home town.

Anyway, the finger healed, but the nail was split and I had two separate nails which grew abutted ever since. Or so I thought. About 3 days ago I was hanging with my divorcé sister, and she said I could probably just press the quick back and they'd grow normally. I quickly dismissed her suggestion, since I always regarded the nails as separate. The original nail was nice and strong, but the new nail (due to the damage to the blood vessels) was weak and distorted.

As I was regarding it this morning, I realized that the nail only split at the end, but was quite solidly attached along the length of the nail, so I filed it down. Of course, the other half is paper thin now, but what I discovered is that the nail is indeed only a single nail. Only took 18 damn years to heal...

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
12 Fingers.... (none / 0) (#67)
by Souhait on Thu Aug 15, 2002 at 04:27:43 AM EST

There's a kid at school that has a small finger attached to the pinky fingers on each hand, giving him 12 fingers... The extra digits aren't funtional, as far as I know

[ Parent ]
Trivia Question (none / 0) (#25)
by lb008d on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 11:09:01 AM EST

Q: What are the two instruments that use all ten fingers for note fingerings?

A: Piano and Bassoon. Extended harp technique (for contemporary music) also calls for some little finger technique.

Saxophone? (none / 0) (#36)
by molo on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 06:08:41 PM EST

What about the saxophone?

Or is the left thumb used for support only.. I forget.

Whenever you walk by a computer and see someone using pico, be kind. Pause for a second and remind yourself that: "There, but for the grace of God, go I." -- Harley Hahn
[ Parent ]

Winds (none / 0) (#42)
by geekmug on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 07:43:25 PM EST

I personally play guitar and drums so I was not familiar with wind instrument fingerings. I went in search and I find that most woodwinds do not require both thumbs, one max. An exception was the sarrusaphone which appeared to use both thumbs and all the digit fingers. Look at the fingering schemes at Fingering Charts by Instrument A saxophone uses the left thumb for an octave key, and the right is idle.
-- Why reinvent the square wheel?
[ Parent ]
Some do. (none / 0) (#52)
by kestrel13 on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 12:51:44 AM EST

Low C bass clarinets require all 10 fingers, as the lowest notes are played by the thumb of the right hand.

[ Parent ]
Good point (none / 0) (#59)
by lb008d on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 09:10:28 AM EST

Hadn't thought of that.

[ Parent ]
Saxophone (4.00 / 1) (#47)
by DJBongHit on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 10:26:59 PM EST

What about the saxophone?

Or is the left thumb used for support only.. I forget.
No, the right thumb is used for support only. The left is used to switch octaves.


GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Saxophone uses nine fingers only... (2.00 / 1) (#55)
by unharmed on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 03:13:03 AM EST

The left thumb is used on the saxophone to press the octave key. The right thumb is only used to help support the weight of the instrument

[ Parent ]
cello (none / 0) (#50)
by modus on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 10:44:28 PM EST

The entire upper range of the cello is played in the aptly named thumb position. The thumb stops the string, usually at a harmonic, while the other four digits are used as normal.

Painful until you get calluses on your thumb, let me tell you.

[ Parent ]

Extended Bass Clarinet... (none / 0) (#65)
by Souhait on Thu Aug 15, 2002 at 04:26:04 AM EST

The extended bass clarinet has keys for all ten digits of the hand... register key and a hole for the right hand thumb and two keys to play low C and intermediate notes on the left hand. They're not very common and not much written for, but it's a blast to play on.

[ Parent ]
Oops, reverse hands... -nt- (none / 0) (#66)
by Souhait on Thu Aug 15, 2002 at 04:26:45 AM EST


[ Parent ]
forgot one.... (none / 0) (#73)
by cymrudragu on Thu Aug 15, 2002 at 08:43:14 PM EST

Classical guitar (you use the left-hand thumb for some fretwork)

[ Parent ]
That was always annoying.... (3.75 / 4) (#26)
by riceowlguy on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 11:18:28 AM EST

I started my musical career playing piano.  Five fingers.  Then I switched to viola (reaaaaal smart move...hah) so I now I had four fingers.  Then when I tried picking up piano again seriously I had major problems when my teacher would be screaming "no, your FOURTH finger....not your pinkie!!!!!"  So I gave that idea up.

Now of course I've turned into a singer and the only thing I use my fingers for is embracing sopranos.

"That meant spending the night in the living room with Frank watching over me like some kind of Lovecraftian soul-stealing nightmare creature-Azag-Frank the Blind God of Feet, laughing and drooling from his black throne of madness." -TRASG0

Mmmm, soprano's... (4.00 / 1) (#64)
by rootz on Wed Aug 14, 2002 at 09:04:08 AM EST

I like to use my thumb to crush the windpipes' of the most diva'ish amongst them, myself.

R.O.O.T.Z: Robotic Organism Optimized for Troubleshooting and Zoology
[ Parent ]
Counting (4.00 / 1) (#27)
by rusty on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 12:06:40 PM EST

Ok, ths is only vaguely related, but when you count on your fingers, do you start with the thumb or the index finger? People seem to do one or the other, and I still haven't figured out any apparent pattern to why. Maybe with such a broad group of readers, we can discern some pattern. :-)

Not the real rusty
Cultural (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by Korimyr the Rat on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 12:12:47 PM EST

Americans tend to start with the index finger, whereas most of Europe leans more towards starting with the thumb.

As for the rest of the world, I have no clue.

"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

Except where... (5.00 / 1) (#31)
by Rocky on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 01:29:58 PM EST

...Europeans are concerned, in which case Americans tend to start with the middle finger!

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]
Weird (3.00 / 1) (#37)
by rusty on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 06:15:47 PM EST

I start with the thumb. I have no idea why, but I always had a feeling this was strange for an American. Hm.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Because (none / 0) (#41)
by vambo rool on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 07:41:25 PM EST

I have no idea why
Maine is weird that way.

[ Parent ]
But (none / 0) (#46)
by rusty on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 10:12:01 PM EST

I just moved here a year ago. And I've been counting that way for as long as I can remember.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Just kismet, I guess (none / 0) (#49)
by vambo rool on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 10:42:08 PM EST

[ Parent ]
I am Russian (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by Purple Walrus on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 07:20:46 PM EST

And I start counting with my thumb. Probably the whole cultural thing or something. But it just seems more natural, the thumb is on top of the other fingers so I lift it out of the way first. It feels awkward to start counting with the index finger.

[ Parent ]
Culturally based and Nazis (4.00 / 2) (#29)
by Woundweavr on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 12:25:04 PM EST

I believe its cultural. Europeans start with the thumb. Interestingly, not knowing this fact caused dozens of Americans to be captured during WWII.

I can't find a link so you'll have to take my word for it. If you give someone the peace sign, but with your palm towards you, its the equivalent of the middle finger in continental Europe. Unfortunately, thats how Americans often indicate they want two of something when it is loud. For instance, in a loud bar when buying beer for yourself and another. US spies kept getting caught when they bought beers for themselves and the guys they were going to pump for information. The Nazis had simply told bartends that if someone flipped them off when asking for two beers, tell the local police.

It was effective. After all, if the Germans had shown up and asked for one beer with their middle finger, it would be a give away as well.

[ Parent ]

Godwin's Law! (1.66 / 3) (#53)
by Pseudonym on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 02:32:13 AM EST

Sorry, someone had to.

sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Nope (5.00 / 1) (#56)
by yooden on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 07:35:50 AM EST

I can't find a link so you'll have to take my word for it. If you give someone the peace sign, but with your palm toward you, its the equivalent of the middle finger in continental Europe.

This gesture simply has no meaning in Germany. Nobody would think half a second about it. No problem to order two beers that way.

That said,

  • Neither peace sign nor victory V were very successful in Germany 1933-45. So maybe they used thumb & index to order two beers.
  • AFAIK it's a middle-finger equivalent in southern Europe. Maybe it was used by the Nazis there.

[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 0) (#68)
by miller on Thu Aug 15, 2002 at 01:55:42 PM EST

As an aside, what are the offensive hand gestures common to Germany these days?

The 'two-fingered salute' was the de facto offensive gesture in the UK until the mid 1980s, when the prevalence of the middle finger in US films caused an increase in popularity for this gesture. Nowadays you rarely see the reversed V for Victory sign (which significantly predated Churchill), which is a shame because in it's usual form (two fingers pointing out front, palm upwards, and then curled up as the forearm is raised) it's far more fun than the practically seretive flick of a single finger.

It's too bad I don't take drugs, I think it would be even better. -- Lagged2Death
[ Parent ]

No link, (none / 0) (#69)
by FredBloggs on Thu Aug 15, 2002 at 02:13:18 PM EST

But the v-sign thing is mentioned in Manwatching, by Desmond Morris.

[ Parent ]
I start with my index finger. (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by mattbelcher on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 12:42:05 PM EST

The thumb goes last. If I try to start with the thumb first, I have a hard time keeping my little finger down when my ring finger goes up at four. The thumb keeps the other fingers in place. On an unrelated side note, my cat has opposable thumbs. She has five fingers on each of her front paws, the last of which sticks out the side. She doesn't really use it for anything except lifting balls and such.

[ Parent ]
Pinky First... (none / 0) (#63)
by Kintanon on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 09:57:47 PM EST

Am I the only person who ticks things off pinky first, then down the hand to the thumb? Might be because as an amateur magician I'm more used to using my pinky fingers for things that most other people.


[ Parent ]

With Tuba Playing (5.00 / 1) (#33)
by Saruman on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 01:52:47 PM EST

With tuba playing I you would have five fingers (on a five valved tuba. They range from three to five). Your first finger would be your index finger, your fouth finger would be your pinky, and your fifth finger would be your thumb. I suppose the order is slightly different from that listed above. Normally you dont refer to the fingers, but to the valves that are pressed down.

8 fingers, 10 digits (4.00 / 1) (#34)
by Rhodes on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 02:05:52 PM EST

And a rose by any other name ...

Five-fingered hands are simian (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by istevens on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 08:27:47 PM EST

We (if I may include my amateur self) agree that there is something simian about the four-fingered hand.
This is off-topic, but this sentence struck me as kind of odd. Most people who study primates would say that there is something simian about a five-fingered hand. After all, the opposable thumb is one of those things which separates us from the apes. Our thumbs allow us to perform detailed work with our hands, and provide us with many different ways of grasping objects. Pull your thumbs into your palms and imagine performing simple tasks such as picking up a glass of water, operating a doorknob, or using your keys. These tasks would be quite difficult without our opposable thumbs.

Weblog archives

Nope, sorry (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by epepke on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 11:56:32 PM EST

All apes and most monkeys have opposable thumbs. Humans are a bit better at the precision grip, but that doesn't have much to do with playing a piano.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
Trombone (3.50 / 2) (#45)
by kurtmweber on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 09:53:14 PM EST

As a trombone player, I have exactly five fingers, total. Fingers 1-4 are my index, middle, ring, and thumb on my right hand, used to grasp the slide. Finger 5 is the thumb on my left hand, used to operate the trigger for the F-attachment (and possibly also the D/Eb trigger, if it's a bass trombone). On baritone/euphonium, I have either three or four fingers, depending on the style of horn--index, middle, ring, and pinky (is there a better name for that) on my right hand. On trumpet, I just have three--index, middle, and ring on my right hand. And on tuba, I have three or four, the same fingers as on baritone/euphonium and the number varies for the same reason. And yeah, I know there are tubas with five valves, but I've never played one.

Kurt Weber
Any field of study can be considered 'complex' when it starts using Hebrew letters for symbols.--me
Euphonium (none / 0) (#54)
by Cant Say on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 02:41:05 AM EST

I have four fingers on both the trumpet and the euphonium. The fourth finger on trumpet is used for the slide, and is the ring finger of the left hand.

"A quiet milquetoast who wears cardigan sweaters and enjoys billiard matches while sipping single-malt whiskey." --kitten
[ Parent ]
Heh (none / 0) (#57)
by kurtmweber on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 08:01:01 AM EST

Yeah, I forgot about the tuning slide on trumpet. But I don't play it that often.

Kurt Weber
Any field of study can be considered 'complex' when it starts using Hebrew letters for symbols.--me
[ Parent ]
Some trumpets have 2 compensation slides (none / 0) (#71)
by meaningless pseudonym on Thu Aug 15, 2002 at 03:00:26 PM EST

Second slide would be on the first valve, activated by your right thumb.

[ Parent ]
People giggle... (3.00 / 2) (#48)
by ShadowNode on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 10:41:17 PM EST

Because they think you're talking about masturbation. Or at least that's what came to my dirty mind when you mentioned "5 finger exercise".

Or sigh (none / 0) (#58)
by Dolohov on Tue Aug 13, 2002 at 08:10:24 AM EST

I wonder if it says anything that I thought he meant theft. (As in the 5-finger discount)

[ Parent ]
Fractions! (5.00 / 1) (#72)
by eann on Thu Aug 15, 2002 at 04:22:46 PM EST

Thanks to an industrial accident a few years ago, my brother is missing part of his middle finger and most of his thumb. He's the only guy I know who can count to 8¾.

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. —MLK

$email =~ s/0/o/; # The K5 cabal is out to get you.

You say potato (none / 0) (#75)
by synaesthesia on Fri Aug 16, 2002 at 09:59:29 AM EST

Technically speaking, the fourth is the weakest and most awkward finger, being hitched to its neighbors by a pesky web of ligaments

As a climber rather than a piano player, I can attest that ligaments do not weakness make.

And I can also assure you that the thumb is not a finger. You might be able to play the piano better if you think of it as such, but if it were not a thumb, the human race wouldn't have been able to build pianos in the first place.

Sausages or cheese?

Count better (none / 0) (#77)
by valarauko on Thu Aug 22, 2002 at 01:09:20 AM EST

Use binary... you can count to 1023 on your fingers (assuming you have the 'normal' number -- surprisingly many people are born with 6 fingers per hand and have the sixth nipped off at birth. Think of all the potentially virtuoso pianists who never come into their own). Then you can 'flip him a 4' and get your ass kicked.

Problem... (none / 0) (#78)
by vectro on Tue Aug 27, 2002 at 10:35:27 PM EST

Not all combinations are easy to represent. 26, for example, is rather challenging.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
5 Finger Exercise | 78 comments (66 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
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