Piano Technique: Finger Numbers


The standard convention for communicating Fingering in written music is to number your fingers 1 through 5, as follows…


Simply put, your thumbs are “1” and you count to “5” as you work your way out to your pinkies!

This convention is worth knowing for two reasons:

  • It will be used throughout our web site whenever the question of fingering comes up.
  • It is very commonly used in written music, especially in classical music.

Fingering Example (Clementi Sonatina):


A Word of Caution regarding fingerings written into published music: Always take the fingering shown as a suggestion, not a requirement. Use your own judgment regarding what works best for you — based on your awareness of your own body and your knowledge of sound Fingering Principles.