Your Arm is a Team

A lot of people think they play piano with their fingers. That’s like saying you run with your feet.

When we run, even if you don’t move your arms, your feet and your legs are working as a team in order to help you move along faster.

When you’re playing piano, if you only use your fingers it leads to a lack of control. It’s very difficult to keep any level of consistency. Accents start to creep in where you don’t want them and timing can be difficult to control as well.

As early as possible, when learning the piano, we want to make sure that we control our playing mainly from the elbow down to the finger tips. Yes, there are times where the upper arm, shoulders and torso are involved. Our legs are also involved for balance and pedal.

Consider your forearm, hand and fingers as a team. Working together to create a beautiful tone at the piano. Using the large muscle in your forearm along with rotating from the elbow allows you excellent control.

Sometimes it it feels counterinuitive to use large parts of your arm to play the piano, especially when you want to play as quiet as possible. However you really should experiment.

Where this approach really stands out is when you try to play quitely using your 4th and 5th fingers. We often feel that these fingers aren’t as strong as fingers 1,2 and 3. If you align your arm behind fingers 4 and 5 along with your vertical movement controlled from the forearm you’ll find much more support in your playing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Free top 10 tips to effective practice

10 top tips and our newsletter.