How to lift the fingers on keys : technique

To recapitulate the whole matter and condense it, the principle set up is that all control on the keyboard should be established by the fingers, the hand and the forearm, the wrist remaining entirely supple. This, in my opinion, applies to all finger technique, and is essential for arriving at a completely successful issue. Care must also be taken not to allow any beating of time by the head or foot, as this may easily degenerate into a nervous trick, and certainly tends to encourage jerky and rigid movements of the body.

fingers on piano

How to lift the hand off the keys

It is a good plan to make the beginner, after each exercise that he does, lift the hand off the keys and shake it gently from the i wrist, so as to ensure that the relaxation is preserved, and that there is no excessive effort or fatigue of the muscles or any cramped action whatsoever. I do not believe in striving to lift the fingers too high off the keys every time when striking each note, because, in a highly complicated mechanical instrument like the piano, every movement must be conserved as much as possible, and naturally any extra effort only tends to lose time, thereby impairing the velocity in fast passages. Some people think that by teaching that the fingers be lifted very high they can get a clearer and more distinct articulation, but I do not agree with this, as I have always found from my own experience that if the wrist is relaxed, thus allowing absolute freedom to the fingers, they will articulate just as distinctly, and with much added lightness and quality of tone, if not lifted too high.

Natural position of fingers | hands : Hanon : five finger exercises

The most important elemental stage of thus holding the hands in a natural supple position, having been well initiated, by means such as I have just been trying to explain, the pupil will do well to proceed with five finger exercises of all descriptions, until he has thoroughly mastered the position in question, and it has become a second nature to him to hold his hands thus. With a child beginner of from six to ten, after a month of practising for not more than ten minutes a day, if well watched, the hands, according to my personal experience, should be absolutely in order. The five finger exercises of Hanon are excellent in this respect for settling the fingers in the right way, and also will keep a child interested in the different groups of notes presented. I know of none better for the purpose of elementary practising.