The Best Piano Finger Placement and Why
Have you ever wonder why instructors always advise you to learn proper piano finger placement as a beginner?
For every beginner learning to play the piano, the right and proper finger placement/positioning are very crucial and essential as it’s going to be a lot easier and better to learn everything properly from the jump rather than learning wrongly and having to unlearn and relearn the right methods and practices later on. The proper piano finger placement technique when learned properly and mastered will make playing the piano very enjoyable and sound more professional.
The idea is basically to ensure the use of all the fingers optimally while playing the piano. This can only be done or achieved with a good knowledge of the correct finger placements on the keyboard. If you were to take two pianists/keyboardists, one with the correct finger placement techniques and one without playing the same music piece, you’re definitely at some point going to notice that the one with the correct and proper finger placemen techniques on the piano is going to play more at ease and with less stress.
You’re also going to notice differences in their transition (the way they move between the notes) While the one with the correct finger placement tends to move more smoothly between the notes, the pianist without the essential correct piano finger placement techniques would tend to play kind of scattered and truncated transitions (known as staccato) which may always be the right blend for the particular music piece. Also, learning the correct piano finger placement will facilitate your progress with getting better at playing the piano in general.
Now, starting out as a beginner, you should always try to resist the urge to constantly use only your thumb and Index while playing the keys on the piano. Remember the idea is to involve each and every finger optimally. Aim to include all the fingers to make your transitions smoother and not broken, truncated, or scattered. Good and correct finger placement techniques will make it easier to read notes and play sheet music. Once you’ve been to master the correct finger placements on the piano, you will be definitely able to play simultaneously while reading the notes with more ease. This can only be achieved with constant good piano finger placement technique exercises and habits.
So let’s get to the main crux of the article, what is the proper piano placement technique for beginners? Keep in mind this while running a scale. Most times, the scale most beginners start with is usually the C major scale. The correct piano finger placement technique will allow for the proper running of the C major scale (the way you okay all the notes in the scale octave) To this effect, we then introduce the concept of “Finger Numbers”. This is the allocation of numbers to the fingers on your hands starting from the thumb on your right hand and your pinky ring finger on your left hand.
Finger numbers to help with proper piano finger positioning:
2= index finger
3= middle finger
4= ring finger
5= little finger
1= little finger
2= ring finger
3= middle finger
4= index finger
When running a scale(which mostly consists of eight notes), on your right hand, you start with your thumb which is number 1. Let’s assume we are playing on the C major scale, we are going to use the correct finger placement by starting with our thumb on the first note middle C, then our index finger on the second note D, and then our middle finger on the third note E. Then after placing our middle finger on the third note, (listen carefully, this is where the trick happens), we take our thumb to the next note (which would be F) and start again, placing our thumb on F, our index finger on the next note (which would be G), followed by the middle finger and the remaining two fingers; the ring finger and the pinky finger to complete the scale. So you see, the pattern here according to the finger numbers is;
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
So you begin by placing your right thumb on the first note; C, then you play the next two notes which would be D and E with your index and middle finger and place it on the next note F and then you continue the rest of the scale ending with your pinky finger on the last note C. With constant practice, this would get easier and more interesting.
For the left hand, we begin with our pinky finger, then our ring finger followed by our middle finger, index finger, thumb, and then we CROSS over our THUMB with our MIDDLE FINGER, and then play the remaining two keys with our index finger and then the thumb. The pattern here according to the finger numbers for the left hand is;
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 3, 4, 5.
Keep in mind however that I just the finger placement pattern in ascending the scale. Descending the scale, however, the pattern according to the finger placement numbers is;
5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1
For both the right and left hand.
With constant practice running the scale with these finger placement techniques, you will be on the right path to becoming a professional pianist/keyboardist.