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.