This video was produced exclusively for Pianoworld.com
Growing up people used to tell me to play the piano on the tips of my fingers. You might have been told to use rounded fingers, like your holding a ball; for many people, this can be very uncomfortable. This is what we are going to talk about today.
When I was young I was told to play the piano with rounded fingers. I remember watching Vladimir Horowitz in concert and noticed that he seemed to play with flat fingers sometimes; I wondered how this could be. As a child, I had very small, weak hands. When I would play the piano my fingers would collapse which is bad because you can’t control the motion of fingers bent backward. This is one of the reasons I was taught to play with rounded fingers. Eventually, I realized that you don’t have to use any finger muscles to maintain an ideal position at the keyboard! I discovered the perfect piano position which can be maintained with absolutely zero effort. But how is this possible?
If you were to take your hand on a flat surface and let it drop naturally, you would notice that your fingers round naturally. But why is this so significant for the piano? If you put your hand flat on the piano you will notice that some fingers are longer than others; this presents a real problem. However, if you drop the hand and let it fall into its natural position, your fingers will all be in a straight line!
Another important revelation is how while white keys are full-length black keys are only on the half closest to the fallboard. It’s very important to keep your hand at the point at which black keys and white keys meet. Otherwise, you will expend a lot of extra energy and motion going back and forth to hit all the keys.
By using the correct hand position in which you let your fingers fall naturally onto the keys with no effort, and placing your hand at the point at which black and white keys meet, you will utilize the minimal amount of effort to get the maximum amount of sound!
So yes, there is truth to the method of using rounded fingers but there is much more to it. Keeping your hand in a position which is uncomfortable or taxing to maintain will cause unnecessary strain and could damage your hands. Remember; let your hands fall naturally on the keyboard at the magic line at which black and white keys meet. Experiment with this and see how it helps you play in a more relaxed and efficient manner.
Thanks again for joining me and be sure to check out our future videos here at LivingPianos.com