How to Play the Piano Without Looking at Your Hands

Piano Lessons / how to play piano / How to Play the Piano Without Looking at Your Hands

Welcome to, I’m Robert Estrin. The topic today is about the magic of the five finger position on the piano. This is particularly important for beginning students. First I’m going to explain what I mean. Put your five fingers over five keys, for example right now I’m over C, D, E, F, G in both hands. Interestingly, when young students are playing, you’ll notice that they will constantly be looking down, even if they are in a five finger position. But the keys aren’t going to go anywhere! If you just leave your hands in this position you should be able to have your eyes closed and play whatever key you want. This is a great way to develop reading skills, because you know which fingers go down in each hand in order to play those five notes.

Of course, it can be shifted to other keys.

You might rest your fingers over G, A, B, C, D. Whatever the position, once you are comfortable in that position you should be able to play without looking down at your hands at all. This is invaluable, because as music gets more complex you can do things like reach one note beyond. It’s not a far reach to be able to play one key beyond in one hand or the other. Getting that sense of the keyboard, of where the notes are and where your hands are on them without having to look down is so important. And if you don’t do it in the five finger position when you first start, you’ll likely never do it. So it’s really important to get comfortable playing in that position without having to look down at your hands, to develop your connection between your fingers and the keyboard, irrespective of looking at them.

That is the secret of the five finger position!

There’s amazing things you can do just with five keys on the piano! So test yourself. Close your eyes and play, and see if you can hit the keys you intend to hit. Naturally, if you’re at a more advanced level, go back to some easier music. If you find your reading skills are really lacking, try to find books that are in that five finger position and sight read without looking down at your hands at all. Get comfortable with that, and build up from there. This could be a tremendous help for you to develop your sight reading skills with that connection to the keyboard just from the feel of the keys. I hope this is helpful for you! I’m Robert Estrin here at, Your Online Piano Resource.

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