Finger Position Between Black Keys

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BigTexJr
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Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:18 pm

Finger Position Between Black Keys

Post by BigTexJr » Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:37 pm

Hello fellow piano learners,
I have having trouble with sharps and flats, specifically with my hand position. It seems like the most experienced piano players I know move their hands up higher on the keyboard to where their fingers are between the black keys to play the white keys.

This seems like a much more natural hand position to me, but I can't seem to work it out. I have large hands and fat stubby fingers. When I have my finders straight on into the black keys, placed on the white keys, my fingers sit tightly between the black keys and when I press a white key the black keys touch the finger I am pushing with also get pressed due the friction from the side of my finger up against the black keys.

I thought I would try rotating turning my fingers outward, about 45-70 degrees so they won't press up against the sides of the black keys. Most of some of the time this works, some of the time not so much. My chances of successfully only pressing the key I desire is higher this way is higher than with my fingers straight on, but I still regularly catch the black keys with the 3rd knuckle of my finger, or from the pad of my hand rubbing on the black key, or a finger nail catching.

This feel like when you learn bar chords on a guitar. Yes you have to practice, practice, practice, but there is also some technique to it that is really important to doing it well.

Thanks for the help.

andrewwegierski
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:37 pm

Re: Finger Position Between Black Keys

Post by andrewwegierski » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:09 am

Hey there!

I'd have to see a picture to really help you with your hand position technique, but I just tried something myself:

Even with skinny fingers, my knuckle gets stuck between the black keys too, say, if I'm playing an F chord: F A C, and my hand is too flat.

When you say rotate, do you mean curl? If not, Try arching / curling your hand more so that just the tip of your finger is on the white key, between adjacent black keys!

Andrew
Andrew Wegierski

Support Tech & Music Arranger
andrew@playgroundsessions.com

BigTexJr
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:18 pm

Re: Finger Position Between Black Keys

Post by BigTexJr » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:54 pm

Here is what I meant by fingers "straight on" https://imgur.com/a/sXzWhEH

Fingers rotated https://imgur.com/a/G6JYz8z

sw1tch73ch
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:23 pm

Re: Finger Position Between Black Keys

Post by sw1tch73ch » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:19 am

Flat won't work, because the knuckles of your fingers and the black keys will bind and you'll press them when you press the white keys. The twisted is not recommended for physical health of your hands reasons.

What Andrew was referencing was trying to curl your fingers which should be similar to the relaxed position of your hands and fingers when you are not resting them on a table top. With the fingers curved so just the tips extend down between the black keys, you probably (no always though) can play the white notes without pressing the black keys down. You want the palm of your hands, and the wrists a good two or three inches above the keys (depending on the size of you hands, bigger going higher). Here is a shot of my fingers fitting between the black keys:
WIN_20191101_02_04_37_Pro.jpg
WIN_20191101_02_04_37_Pro.jpg (310.38 KiB) Viewed 585 times
See if you can get to the white keys this way, basically, with the fingers curved so the tips reach roughy straight down. I didn't get the best camera angle - other than the little finger which is somewhat turned sideways to reach the outside of the black key, the fingers are essentially straight up and down. If they don't look like it in the picture I blame the camera angle. And old-ish fingers.
== Just keep playing. Just keep playing. Just keep playing, playing, playing! ==

-- jbs --

BigTexJr
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Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:18 pm

Re: Finger Position Between Black Keys

Post by BigTexJr » Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:45 pm

So, I can't say the palms of my hands are that high when I play, but that is closer to what I do when I am playing. The picture with my fingers straight I took to demonstrate how little space my fingers have between the black keys. I'll give it a shot having my palms that high.

Also, I have two different keyboards. I keep one at work and practice at my desk during lunch, which is when most of my practice time occurs. The keyboard I have at work is a 4 octave keyboard. I have another at home that is a full 88 keys. The 88 key keyboard at home feels like it has more space between the keys than the 4 octave keyboard does. My fingers still rub against the black keys when I push the whites, but not as bad. Is this a normal thing?

sw1tch73ch
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:23 pm

Re: Finger Position Between Black Keys

Post by sw1tch73ch » Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:01 pm

Let us know how working with the hand position goes. It should help - even on my relatively deep throw piano I find the keys are all the way down before my first knuckle tries to squeeze in. My #3 finger does touch both of the black keys, but so far isn't pressing down more than one key at a time.
== Just keep playing. Just keep playing. Just keep playing, playing, playing! ==

-- jbs --

andrewwegierski
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:37 pm

Re: Finger Position Between Black Keys

Post by andrewwegierski » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:10 pm

There's a good chance the 4 octave keyboard is a little smaller in terms of the width of the keys.

If you're able to play the 88 key one without pushing down unwanted keys, I would focus on that one.

And yes, it is normal to rub against the black keys. As long as you're not striking them, it's ok.
Andrew Wegierski

Support Tech & Music Arranger
andrew@playgroundsessions.com

sw1tch73ch
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:23 pm

Re: Finger Position Between Black Keys

Post by sw1tch73ch » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:36 pm

Hey, that's a good point, Andrew! I just checked on my 49 Key synth and my flat hand does press on the black keys more than on my 88 key piano. But my fingertips still fit if I align them with the curved fingers so that the tips are straight up and down.

If I try to play just the white keys on either keyboard with the flat hand I will mash the black keys too.

If I try to use just the tips of my fingers between the black key on both keyboards, I can play the white keys only.
== Just keep playing. Just keep playing. Just keep playing, playing, playing! ==

-- jbs --

BigTexJr
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:18 pm

Re: Finger Position Between Black Keys

Post by BigTexJr » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:42 pm

So, I have tried having my palms higher off the keyboard. Its a little better, but still not as good as rotating my wrists to turn my finger sideways. My ring fingers can push a white key no problem, but middle and point fingers still regularly bring another black key with them.

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