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#2190879 - 12/01/13 09:27 AM How I am supposed to press the keys?
pianointhejungle Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/19/13
Posts: 18
I am a (clueless) beginner without a teacher yet. My question is as follows:

Should pressing the Keys feel like pushing a hard surface down with the tip of your fingers, like you were trying to push a wall with you fingertips (you use mostly the arm for strenght but you feel the pressure on the fingers)?

Should it feel like you are just letting you arm fall on the keyboard, like someone cut a string that was holding it up?

Should it feel like you are just letting your arm drop but your hand ad fingers stay firm, like your arm and forearm are a collapsing bridge but your hand is a man falling down from this bridge and trying to hold on for his life?

Should it feel like you are playing basketball and you are just bouncing a ball?

Or should it be like typing on a computer keyboard? (or maybe like somethin else?)

Oh God...I can't believe I'm asking this... blush

Edit: when I try to use my upper arm it feels almost like I am pressing the Keys down, but also foward at the same time. Is it supposed to go like that?

Edited by pianointhejungle (12/01/13 09:33 AM)

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#2190885 - 12/01/13 09:35 AM Re: How I am supposed to press the keys? [Re: pianointhejungle]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2854
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
One of the best ways to start is to play melodies alternating the middle finger of each hand. You should notice that the hand and finger move very little and the arms and shoulders do most of the work. They are larger muscles and will hardly tire at all. They are stronger than finger muscles too so they will have greater control over the tone.

#2190892 - 12/01/13 10:09 AM Re: How I am supposed to press the keys? [Re: pianointhejungle]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13150
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
It's less like pressing each finger down, and more like balancing the weight of the arm and even the upper body in heavier passages (think big thick, forte chords) all on the finger(s) being played. That doesn't mean you necessarily feel a lot of muscles being used, but more like you let gravity work to your advantage. The fingers should be firm, meaning they should collapse at the joints, but this is only the case when they're pressing a key. As soon as they're done, the need to relax.

When you press a key, usually it is from a position of already touching the key and going down with gravity, rather than pecking at the key. Once the key is down all the ay, you need to stop pressing and only use enough pressure to keep the key down. Further pressing only leads to injury and does not help the sound one bit.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#2190908 - 12/01/13 10:42 AM Re: How I am supposed to press the keys? [Re: pianointhejungle]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1270
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
The question makes me wonder if you are playing on a digital keyboard. Somehow on an acoustic piano, "pressing" isn't the word that would occur to me for playing the key.

As Morodiene says, too much pressing can lead to injury. I've been taught to bring the hand and arm down together, so there is very little sensation of pressure at the fingertip, and it releases right away to resting once the key has sounded.
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Mozart, K 330
Debussy, La fille aux cheveux de lin
Schubert, Impromptu Op. 142 no. 2
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 41 no. 4


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