Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#2024887 - 01/31/13 08:38 PM Overcoming Bad Habits: Fat Fingers
newbert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 266
Loc: Upstate New York, USA
Before getting too far along in getting re-acquainted with the piano, I want to break any bad habits when it comes to sitting position, hand position, etc.

I've read and seen on a few videos that the correct hand placement on the keyboard is to have your hands "forward" near where the black keys meet the white keys. This places some fingers between the black keys when playing a white key. Having somewhat fat fingers, the black key adjacent to the white key that I'm playing often "goes along for the ride". In other words, in this hand position, I find it difficult to play the white keys cleanly. (I hope I'm explaining that clearly....)

Because of this problem, I find myself placing my hands more towards the base of the white keys (away from between the black keys), causing me to have to "reach" for the black keys.

Are there any exercises to work on placing the hands properly?

Thanks!
_________________________
Bert


Top
(ads P/S)
Sauter Pianos

piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2024895 - 01/31/13 09:17 PM Re: Overcoming Bad Habits: Fat Fingers [Re: newbert]
neildradford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 148
Loc: United Kingdom
I sometimes wonder if we worry too much about what is 'proper' when it comes to certain things with piano, such as hand position, sitting position etc.

Maybe we should just do what is comfortable, as long as the note is played cleanly, with the correct dynamic and the correct timing, I'm not so convinced we should think too much beyond that. I'm of the opinion that the human body has a remarkable way of telling you if you are doing something detrimental to yourself.

I'm sure some experts will now come and prove why I'm wrong I my opinion.

Neil.
_________________________
Venables & Son Custom 133 Upright Acoustic Piano
Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
Started learning: October 2011
Started lessons: January 2012
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/neildradford

Top
#2024938 - 01/31/13 11:06 PM Re: Overcoming Bad Habits: Fat Fingers [Re: newbert]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1371
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: newbert
Before getting too far along in getting re-acquainted with the piano, I want to break any bad habits when it comes to sitting position, hand position, etc.


I'm not sure of resources on real basic fundamentals like these (others may assist, though it's difficult while not there to show you in person), though a google search will likely provide photos/videos of such questions.

I'll simply recommend these two resources for similar topics (browse through their video titles to look for relevant/interesting things)

http://www.youtube.com/user/PianistMagazine
http://www.youtube.com/user/LivingPianosVideos
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianoologist?feature=watch
http://www.youtube.com/user/joshwrightpiano?feature=watch
_________________________
Video of the Week: 04/20/14

Eliane Elias - "My Cherie Amour"


Bernhard - Always Have a [Good] Plan

Top
#2024954 - 01/31/13 11:40 PM Re: Overcoming Bad Habits: Fat Fingers [Re: newbert]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4398
Loc: San Jose, CA
I can fit my fingers between the black keys, but ergonomically it is better to strike the key closer to the end. Besides, that would really be in the way of moving the hands sideways.

People play with all kinds of hand sizes and shapes--- the hands of some of music's greats might surprise you. There are some posture rules or guidelines which protect the back and the wrist, and some skills of fingering (like scales and arps; developing a sensitive touch with hands that are confident, and know on their own where they are). Any music store will have a bunch of technic books, and one would hope that your teacher would save you from any grave errors.

In the end, you have what you have, and have to adapt how you play according to what you have to play with. That is one reason that when music gives the fingerings, we have to remember that they are really "suggested fingerings," and to feel free to take a pencil to them if we find something which works better for our own hand.

If those videos are only making you anxious, don't watch them any more.
_________________________
Clef


Top
#2025037 - 02/01/13 03:45 AM Re: Overcoming Bad Habits: Fat Fingers [Re: newbert]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1062
Loc: Reseda, California
Originally Posted By: newbert
Having somewhat fat fingers, the black key adjacent to the white key that I'm playing often "goes along for the ride". In other words, in this hand position, I find it difficult to play the white keys cleanly. (I hope I'm explaining that clearly....)

Because of this problem, I find myself placing my hands more towards the base of the white keys (away from between the black keys), causing me to have to "reach" for the black keys.


I have fat fingers, too. Where possible, aim to be near but not between the blacks. Do what works more comfortably for you, not what someone else thinks is best. In really bad cases, just re-write the arrangement. For instance, C7 is a bear with fat fingers, but C7/E is easy.
_________________________
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

Top
#2025082 - 02/01/13 05:45 AM Re: Overcoming Bad Habits: Fat Fingers [Re: newbert]
AshwayGap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/12
Posts: 36
Loc: Saddleworth UK
I think the main thing is to be comfortable with whatever suites your fingers - and your seating position. There is of course a general consensus that your fingers should be slightly bent (somewhat like a claw) so that they are in line with each other but there are many remarkable different ways in which to play. I suggest you go on YouTube and look at the many varied positions, hand and seating, that concert pianists and many others use. And don't despair because you are happier with positions that instruction books don't generally agree with.

For instance, Vladimir Horowitz often used a long, flat finger technique and at times sat away from the piano. Whereas Daniel Barenboim sits almost on top of the piano in a high, (almost standing at times) position. There are of course many variations that are used but if YOU are not comfortable with your positions I don't think you'll ever be really happy playing. Having said all that you still should try to achieve the most efficient positions.


Edited by AshwayGap (02/01/13 05:51 AM)

Top
#2025147 - 02/01/13 08:48 AM Re: Overcoming Bad Habits: Fat Fingers [Re: newbert]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5072
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: newbert
Before getting too far along in getting re-acquainted with the piano, I want to break any bad habits when it comes to sitting position, hand position, etc.

Having somewhat fat fingers, the black key adjacent to the white key that I'm playing often "goes along for the ride". In other words, in this hand position, I find it difficult to play the white keys cleanly. (I hope I'm explaining that clearly....)

First, let me commend you on working to "get it right" before you get too far into your training. smile

As for the fingers, I've seen all kinds of hands, including the hands of Andre the Giant (though I was 9 at the time). At the keys, I've seen long fingers, skinny fingers, and yes, fat fingers. But you've got to have gorilla-sized hands to have a problem between the black keys.

Couple sausage-hands:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSNPpssruFY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNNiBcU3BR4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzUJvpOhCAA

I have family members with hands bigger than all three of them who can still fit between the keys. (Sadly, my own hands are smaller.)

I say all this because you say you "sometimes" have trouble. Meaning, other times you do not. Meaning, of course, that your fingers do fit between the black keys. This indicates to me an issue with technique, and by staying outside the black key area, you probably are creating an additional issue(s), rather than fixing the one that causes you to miss notes inside.

If you can post a video of you playing, I'd be happy to take this to a diagnostic level. PM me if you want. smile
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

Top
#2025215 - 02/01/13 10:47 AM Re: Overcoming Bad Habits: Fat Fingers [Re: newbert]
PaperClip Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/09
Posts: 496
Loc: Amsterdam, Holland
I play the white keys more to the base. When playing a black key, my hand goes a little bit forward and upward. Hanging my finger above the black key before dropping onto the key.The movement of the tip of the finger towards the black key describes a circle while the tip of the finger on the white key is the center of that circle. Personally I like the feeling of that movement and the sound of the black key is more clear. Although it's not the technique seen on those video's where the fingers for the white keys are played more forward.
_________________________
Chris

Playing since May 02 2009

Top
#2025291 - 02/01/13 12:20 PM Re: Overcoming Bad Habits: Fat Fingers [Re: newbert]
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Berkshire, England
There is no way my top knuckles will fit between two black keys.... well fi gers 2 and 3 anyway..... so i adapt, no flat finger playing when these notes need to be struck.... i come down with the fingers curled and slightly angle the knuckles to slip between.... just find what works... and slowly itll become natural in your method.. :-)
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/PaulGPiano

Top
#2026001 - 02/02/13 06:23 PM Re: Overcoming Bad Habits: Fat Fingers [Re: newbert]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3164
Loc: Northern England.
Maybe the honourable Japanese have skinnier fingers than the honourable rest o` the world . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

Top

Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
131 registered (36251, ando, Almaviva, ABC Vermonter, 43 invisible), 1375 Guests and 35 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74307 Members
42 Forums
153693 Topics
2253081 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Which piano suits what music best?
by wimpiano
04/24/14 08:28 AM
Send midi files from Windows 7 to Clavinova CLP150
by vilbs
04/24/14 05:54 AM
Spelling chords and using correct accidentals
by JoelW
04/24/14 03:11 AM
HELP! Is this strain because of my technique?
by T.M.E.
04/23/14 11:26 PM
Is it my technique that's causing this?
by T.M.E.
04/23/14 10:49 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission