28 May 2018
By Ellie Palmer
We have all been in that frustrating situation where your hands just don’t seem to be working properly when playing piano. I have your answer in two simple words: Finger arching.
We have all been in that frustrating situation where your hands just don’t seem to be working properly when playing piano. Perhaps your fingers keep cramping up or you just can’t nail that impossibly fast section.
Fortunately, I have your answer in two simple words: Finger arching. This easy piano playing technique is finally going to fix those issues that you have. So don’t throw the towel in just yet! Here are 3 reasons why the finger arching technique is going to change the way you play - for the better.
1. It strengthens your wrists
This is a huge benefit. I’ve had wrist pain for 5 years simply because my childhood piano teacher did not stress the importance of wrist positioning.
How does it improve your wrist strength?
Naturally arching your fingers over the keys transfers the physical pressures of playing into your fingertips, and acts as a cutoff between your finger and wrist muscles. In essence, the arch prevents long term wrist injury.
2. It prevents note clashes
Accidentally playing more than one note is hugely irritating for you as a player. It can ruin the entire mood of the piece. Note clashing usually happens because your fingers are in a flat position.
Imagine this: Half the length of your finger is covering one key. That one finger is taking up a whole load of surface area, and is extremely likely to slip and hit the neighbouring key, right? However if you are playing with your fingertips, you will only use up a very tiny amount of surface area. The finger arching technique gives you a lot more control over your playing.
3. It increases your playing speed
It wasn’t until I was 17 that I was finally taught the finger arching technique properly. Within the space of one quick practise, I was able to increase my playing speed drastically.
At the end of the day, it’s your fingers that are directly playing the piano, so it needs to be your fingers that put in the most work. This finger arching technique allows you to do exactly that with its ability to focus the pressures of playing into your fingers, thus strengthening their muscles.
Stronger fingers = quicker playing. Problem solved.
This is just a small but crucial handful of reasons why the finger arching technique improves your playing style drastically. So, keep your fingers high and your wrist up, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a better piano player.
Find more tips on piano fingering techniques, in our latest issue, no. 102! Subscribe here.