Do You Hit the Fallboard on Your Piano?

Piano Lessons / piano facts / Do You Hit the Fallboard on Your Piano?

Do pianists hit the fallboard when they play the piano? Whenever I bring this up, almost anyone I know who plays the piano says they don’t hit the fallboard when playing. Yet, if you go to a music conservatory or look at a serious pianist’s piano, the fallboard will be compromised and have scratch marks. My father’s pianos were both gouged out to the wood across almost the entire fallboard! You might wonder how this happens.

My father had large hands. So, it’s somewhat expected that his hands would hit the fallboard from time to time. I have rather small hands. Yet, every piano I practice on shows signs of wear on the fallboard and we have to constantly refresh the finish on our fallboards to remove scratch marks.

What happens when you’re playing is that although you are not thinking about hitting the fallboard, it’s right there and even though you may not realize it, you’re actually hitting it all the time! If you were to put a slow-motion camera right by the fallboard, you would indeed see that you are hitting the fallboard!

If you have a piano with a satin finish, in particular, take a close look and you’ll see lines where your fingers are indeed coming in contact with the fallboard surface. If you practice a great deal over many years, you eventually will get down to the raw wood which I’ve seen many times from concert pianist’s pianos.

So the answer to this question is a resounding, “Yes”, you do hit the fallboard when you play. Hope you have enjoyed this –