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#2177049 - 11/04/13 04:39 PM Erratic finger movements are making me very angry!
pianolover85 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 94
Hello everyone and thanks everyone for taking the time!

Adult Beginner here! Maybe it is because of having large fingers, but whenever I play a song, a 5 finger song, my fingers that are not pushing a key move up and down, especially my index finger...which moves up all the time...
For example this sequence in quarter notes: 354343 ... and index finger is all up...

Are there any exercises I can do to help me with this...my teacher says this is bad technique and I do not do it intentionally.

Would finger independence exercises be useful?
Any books in this regard?

Best wishes,
Peace and love and play smile

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#2177056 - 11/04/13 04:59 PM Re: Erratic finger movements are making me very angry! [Re: pianolover85]
coxanator Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/03/13
Posts: 3
you just have to keep working it, until you control what your fingers do

#2177060 - 11/04/13 05:07 PM Re: Erratic finger movements are making me very angry! [Re: pianolover85]
JimF Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 2303
Loc: south florida
I'm no teacher, but that sure sounds like tension as the source.

I would suggest, even as a exercise, to just try to play the notes of your 354343 sequence extremely slowly...I'm talking about one note, count to five, second note.....or you could do it with a simple scale. Try to make sure your hand and fingers are totally relaxed between notes. You should be able to do it with all 5 fingertips resting comfortable on the tops of the keys at almost all times. If you do this for five minutes a day I will bet by the end of a week you will see a big difference. But you have to do it so slowly that it seems ridiculous to most people, and you have to pay attention to how it feels when it is relaxed versus how it feels when there is tension.

Edited by JimF (11/04/13 05:08 PM)
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel
Invention No.13 A-minor - JSBach
Consolation no.3- FLiszt

Estonia L190 #7284

#2177061 - 11/04/13 05:08 PM Re: Erratic finger movements are making me very angry! [Re: pianolover85]
Troy 125 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/13
Posts: 347
I used to have similar problems when I would get too tense and try too hard. Not sure if you do the same, but being able to get the tension out of your body and not overprocess what you are doing can help many things.

#2177072 - 11/04/13 05:15 PM Re: Erratic finger movements are making me very angry! [Re: pianolover85]
DinaP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 152
Piano Games from Terence Rust.

Do them very slowly, hands separate -- watch your hand at first then try not to and see if you can feel when something goes wrong. Add new exercises gradually.

My teacher helps me with these -- get yours involved.

It's because you are an adult beginner and you are making demands on your hands and fingers that nothing else you have ever done could prepare them for.

Sometimes it's helpful, if you have one hand that behaves better than the other(with me it's my right hand), to compare the two hands and try to identify what the difference is in movement, position, etc.

#2177074 - 11/04/13 05:19 PM Re: Erratic finger movements are making me very angry! [Re: pianolover85]
DinaP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 152
Oh, and don't get angry -- relax, accept it's something you have to work through. Feel very satisfied as you progress however small each step and however long it takes between steps.

It's the Journey --

#2177081 - 11/04/13 05:32 PM Re: Erratic finger movements are making me very angry! [Re: pianolover85]
Forrest Halford Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 631
Loc: Bowling Green, KY
first observation - we can't see what's going on, so any advice is suspect. Your teacher is the best guide, period!

that being said... you need to be careful here. DO NOT FORCE THE OFFENDING FINGERS DOWN.

the correct approach is to learn how to inhibit the impulse to the fingers not being used (you said index finger) and not use your muscles to force it to stay stationary.

I know how I do it. I have no idea about how YOU should go about it.

also, it's very easy to injure yourself if you become fixated on moving the 345343 and repeating them too many times.

Be easy on yourself!

Bach 870, 883
Brahms Op. 117

#2177102 - 11/04/13 06:14 PM Re: Erratic finger movements are making me very angry! [Re: pianolover85]
earlofmar Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 2945
Loc: Australia
I have had problems with fingers not doing as they are told as well. Many have said repertoire alone will fix it but in consultation with my teacher I did some technical exercises and have seen good improvement. Main problem for us beginners is the 3rd, 4th and 5th fingers are not used to working independently of each other and feel weak compared to the 1st and 2nd. There is a good mechanical reason for this as the 4th and 5th fingers share the same tendon.

Some exercises I found helpful was slow gentle trills with all combination of fingers (especially between 3rd & 4th, 3rd & 5th & 4th & 5th. A few minutes a day is all that is required and you will notice a difference within a day to a week.

Another one I like is a common exercise: hold and play a third using fingers 1 & 3, then play adjacent notes with 2 & 4, adjacent notes again with 3 & 5. Play slowly and in a legato style.

This clip from a complete beginner was the only one I could find to describe another common exercise which shows the beginner just how uncontrollable our fingers are http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OLjKwt6Mz0

This one is purely for showing what great finger independence looks like (skip to 11:45 to be blown away) here

Lastly, technical exercises are a hot topic, and many advise against them citing there is little benefit. There is of course danger of injury if done incorrectly or too often. Ultimately you have to make a choice whether they are right for you and best to be discussed with your teacher.

Edited by earlofmar (11/04/13 06:20 PM)
Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.


#2178308 - 11/07/13 04:50 AM Re: Erratic finger movements are making me very angry! [Re: pianolover85]
pianolover85 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 94
Thank you friends smile
Peace and love and play smile


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