Basic finger placement for DP (by ERETER)

DP Beginner

This is a direct translation of ereter’s article.

Table of contents
  1. Before we begin
  2. Thumb
  3. Index finger
  4. Middle finger
  5. Ring finger
  6. Pinky
  7. Summary
  8. References

numbering scheme

Before we begin

In this post, I have summarized the DP finger placement that I use. This post is not about “DP must be played this way” but it’s closer to “DP can be played this way”. I think that for DP finger placement, there is no one answer to rule them all, but I thought it would be useful to share a set of positions I use while I play.

This post is split into three parts. In this post – basics – I will talk about how each finger corresponds to button(s). Everything below is in reference to the right hand. ☆ refers to the IIDX scale, and ★ refers to the insane (発狂) BMS rating.


Your thumb hits #1 and #3.

In general, your thumb should be above #1 key, but when you see chords or streams that include #2+#3, the thumb should cover #3 to handle it sufficiently, so your thumb must handle both #1 and #3.

Index finger

Your index finger hits #2 and #3.

In general, the index finger should be on #2, but if there are things like #1+#3 chords, it should hit #3.

From the explanation above, #3 is covered by both the thumb and the index finger. In reality, out of all 7 buttons on one hand, #3 is the button that switches around what finger is covering it. Personally I believe that when you are able to handle #3 with both the thumb and the index finger, you have mastered the basics of DP position. When I started DP I only used my index finger to hit #3, but when #2+#3 patterns show up, I put an effort into using my thumb in order to learn this play style. It’s probably when you play ☆11s you’ll start to learn this play style, and when you are comfortable with low-mid ☆12s (= ★3) you’d be comfortable with hitting #3 with either finger.

Middle finger

The middle finger only hits #4.

When the other four fingers are on their home row, it’ll be really difficult to use your middle finger to hit #3 or #5, because it’s unnatural for your fingers to move that way. Therefore, fix your middle finger on the #4 key for stability.

Ring finger

The ring finger is responsible for #5 and #6 keys.

In practice, the ring finger is the most natural choice for pressing #5 and #6 keys. For #5+6 chords, drag (/slide) your ring finger down from #6 to #5. For #5 ->#6 16th notes, use the ring finger to rapidly hit them in succession. Among DPers, they refer to this as Ring Finger Slide or Ring Finger Hokuto (北斗, to hit individual keys rapidly).


The pinky only hits #7.

Anatomically, the pinky can’t really hit anything other than #7; therefore, fix it on the #7 key. For bass rushes, this is one of the reasons for “bass on #7” being the easiest.


For high-density streams, other than #3 button, I use a static mapping of each key to one finger; the middle finger handles #4, ring finger hits #5 and #6, pinky is #7. Additionally, even for #3 key, for high-density streams I tend to use my thumb rather than my index finger. If you map (thumb, index, mid, ring, pinky) to (13, 2, 4, 56, 7), this minimizes the finger movement, so I believe this is the DP basic finger placement.


This is a direct translation of ereter’s article.

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