Is There A Proper And Correct Piano Hand Position?

Posted by Yoke Wong on 10/23/2013 to Learn To Play Piano

Different pianists give you conflicting opinions. Depending on your level of playing and the piano repertoire you’re tackling, the recommended piano hand and finger positions tend to vary.

By nature, our hands are curved even when they’re completely relaxed. Try to dangle your arm loosely; you’ll notice your hands stay slightly curved, and it takes effort to straighten them out. Place your arm over your kneecap, and you will see your hands fit nicely onto the knee.

“Play on the tips of your fingers” is a common phrase piano teachers use when instructing their students how to properly play piano.

“Hold a clementine, they’re the perfect size.” – Another good one.

You want to remember not to overemphasize the hand shape and over-curve the fingers. The goal is to develop a healthy habit that doesn’t strain the fingers over a period of time. I’ve seen many parents and teachers repeatedly forcing younger children to curve their fingers, which causes the student to dislike piano playing and has a negative impact overall. Having curving fingers just for the sake of having curved fingers is not the way to do it.

Once you’ve played piano for a period of time and your level advances, you’ll notice certain musical passages require a flatter hand shape than others due to a wider musical range. It is perfectly fine to play music with the flatter shape at that time.

Generally, people expect a beginner piano player to have a slight hand curve.

For more information on piano hand and finger exercises, please visit Hand Coordination, Runs & Fillers piano lessons.

Hand Coordination Piano Lessons



Date: 10/24/2013
Date: 10/24/2013
It looks to me like the article is about correct hand position, not fingering. Perhaps a change in title? I generally regard piano "fingering" as referring to what finger is used to play which note. For example, if the R3 is on F and the next note is the E immediately below, R2 is the most likely "correct" fingering for the E. However if the note after the first E is the E one octave higher, the R1 would be a better choice for the first E. Therefore, the context, i.e. note order, determines the "correct" fingering. The fingering rules I follow are: 1. choose a logical fingering, 2. stick with it consistently so as to train a reliable motor memory. Always remember that the way you play a passage the FIRST time is the way you will know it best, so plan your fingerings before playing a passage that crucial FIRST time. If you are not skilled/experienced enough to do this yourself, find someone to provide fingerings for you. The vast majority of student music has fingerings written in, so be sure to follow these until you can safely choose better fingerings yourself.
Gwen Ayliffe
Date: 10/25/2013
I agree with Kathleen. Teachers differ on the subject, and I've been confused, making the move from Classical to Jazz. Kathleen's suggestions are consistent with my current teacher's advice, and help me better understand the principles behind the practice. Hand position information also helped, as I tend to flatten my hand and am also working on good hand position. Thank you both!
Date: 10/25/2013
Hand position is more accurate for this article. The title was changed. Thank you very much for the feedback.
mary moore
Date: 10/25/2013
I am an adult early beginner and have taken up learning piano again for the second time,I was studying at one time as a young teenager but did'nt continue with it. But when it comes to 'hand position' or 'fingering' I tend to aim for the 'curved hand' position mainly, as that is what my tutor advised me to use many years ago, and with regards to 'fingering' I try to play a piece of music, using the 'fingering'recommended for the scale that the piece was written in,which was also advised by my tutor. That way I don't have to think too much about which finger to use next, as having learned off some of the scales, it comes naturally.

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