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#1185058 - 04/22/09 07:06 AM Fingers not on keys
whwh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Singapore
When i practice, i found that the rest of my fingers that i am not using are not touching the keys of the piano. Is this wrong? When i tried to keep my fingers to the keys it required some effort to lift my fingers high while i play.

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#1185071 - 04/22/09 07:35 AM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: whwh]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
Hi whwh,

Welcome to the forums.

While there are different ways of teaching piano playing, it is generally recommended that your hands are relaxed with fingers touching the keys and you do not lift your fingers high.

Rich
_________________________

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#1185083 - 04/22/09 08:22 AM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Forget about where your non-playing fingers are - the only thing you ultimately need to worry about is the correct finger hitting the right key at the proper time - all else is BS and needless worry.

Regards, JF

P.S. But if you do need something to worry about you might want to think about and remedy the lack of capitalization of the word "I" in your posts. wink
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#1185120 - 04/22/09 09:35 AM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: TrapperJohn]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10761
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
whwh,
It depends on to what extend your non-playing fingers are lifted up, but generally they should be relaxed when not in use. Keep in mind that fingers 4 & 5 cannot move independent of one another.

Try this to help build in proper relaxation of non-playing fingers:
-Play a simple 5-note pattern starting on C in the RH.
-After pressing finger 1, hold it down as long as it takes to relax all the other fingers.
-When you have relaxed the other fingers, then press finger 2 and hold down while relaxing the other fingers
-Proceed until you have played all the fingers ascending & descending on the 5-finger pattern.
-Repeat with the LH starting with finger 5 on C
- Keep doing this a few times each day until you can get to that relaxation faster

You can even do the above with any piece you're working on so that you don't build in tension when you play.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1185126 - 04/22/09 09:52 AM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: Morodiene]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
If your non-playing fingers are not lying on the keys then you must be using your extensor muscles. Why would you do that?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1185129 - 04/22/09 09:55 AM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: keyboardklutz]
whwh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Singapore
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
If your non-playing fingers are not lying on the keys then you must be using your extensor muscles. Why would you do that?


In an effort to lift my fingers higher as my teacher requested, I found that my non playing fingers were lifted up from the keys.

Thanks for all the feedback.

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#1185143 - 04/22/09 10:12 AM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: whwh]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Your teacher is teaching an old technique which could well injure you.
Quote:
When initially learning piano, it is good training to ‘lift the fingers high with precision.’”

Reality: This dictum from the Hanon finger exercise books and other old-fashioned technique carry-overs causes more problems than anything else. When you train the fingers to raise higher than necessary, you are training them to travel a greater distance than necessary. The key depth is approximately 3/8ths of an inch. If you could let the finger tips rest on the tops of the keys themselves, the only distance required for each finger to travel is 3/8ths of an inch! But many people are misguided into raising their fingers high with each key stroke, so they are compelled to make each finger travel up to THREE and 3/8ths of an inch! This seriously slows down your potential speed and creates much more tension in the playing than necessary.
from: http://www.davidnevue.com/pianomyths.htm
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1185570 - 04/22/09 10:57 PM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: keyboardklutz]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10761
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
kbk is right. Perhaps on a lighter action as pianos were back in Hanon's day this was appropriate, but to play on a modern instrument you really have to relax fingers and use arm weight instead to press the keys down. It's tough, but you're going to have to decide if you should stay with this teacher. Lifting fingers causes injury, period. It may not be a problem in elementary playing because the pieces aren't taxing, but as you improve, the pain and fatigue will increase, and you may be faced with deciding to quit piano altogether or having to take a huge step backwards and relearn your technique. Best to avoid the problem altogether, in my opinion.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1185590 - 04/22/09 11:30 PM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: Morodiene]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4394
Loc: San Jose, CA
Is it possible that your piano bench is too low for your torso? The forearms should be about level, or maybe a just little higher toward the elbows. But reaching up toward the keyboard is an express road to a hand or wrist injury. I'm having some trouble trying to picture how this is happening for you. If your elbows are down, the wrist and fingers might be tipping up. Or maybe that, plus you're leaning backwards.

Whatever the story is, it sounds like a strain, and it will be trouble sooner or later. Not all teachers have a good grounding in the physiology and posture that supports the player. I suggest you discuss your questions with the teacher--- find out why you're being asked to play in this way, and also do some research of your own--- reading up on it, experimenting with making the seat higher, maybe talking with other teachers and players.

Morodiene has a point. The best time to stop trouble is before it gets started. I didn't, and I have really paid for it. So, take a bad example and do the opposite!
_________________________
Clef


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#1185714 - 04/23/09 08:26 AM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: Jeff Clef]
Peyton Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 2501
Loc: Maine
You do want those other fingers relaxed on the keys and I like what Morodiene has to say on the subject.
_________________________
"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
www.youtube.com/Biffer5
www.peytonart.com


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#1186119 - 04/23/09 09:46 PM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: Peyton]
lynn510 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/06
Posts: 129
Loc: SE Michigan
whwh,

My fingers also tend to want to hover over the keys. This causes problems for me because they are not in the proper position to accurately hit the next key when called for...I have to constantly hunt for the correct key by looking at the keyboard. If your fingers are laid out on the keys (whether is five-finger, octave, whatever the music calls for) you may have a better sense of where the next note is because your hand is "grounded" for lack of a better word. Perhaps one of the teachers can explain this better.

Lynn

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#1186226 - 04/24/09 01:42 AM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: lynn510]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Fingers stick up because initially your brain map is fuzzy, so all sorts of neurones fire that shouldn't. It is important for the finger areas of the brain to become as focused as possible as soon as possible so that only the required finger or fingers are innervated.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1186947 - 04/25/09 04:29 AM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: whwh]
whwh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Singapore
I am kind of confused with what i should do now? Any more possible advice?

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#1186953 - 04/25/09 04:57 AM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: whwh]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Rest your hands on the keyboard. Initiate movement from there and return to that position. Remember you're building a brain map.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1187298 - 04/25/09 05:42 PM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: keyboardklutz]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2204
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
...your brain map is fuzzy...


That's me for sure!!
Maybe I can evolve to 'fuzzy logic' one day soon!

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#1187305 - 04/25/09 05:56 PM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: malkin]
Chromatickeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/09
Posts: 108
Loc: Georgia USA
Morodiene above comments that;

Keep in mind that fingers 4 & 5 cannot move independent of one another.

What? Mine will. but I had to work at that to get them 'independent'.

James

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#1187505 - 04/26/09 01:36 AM Re: Fingers not on keys [Re: malkin]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: malkin
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
...your brain map is fuzzy...


That's me for sure!!
Maybe I can evolve to 'fuzzy logic' one day soon!
Fuzzy logic will just give you dystonia.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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