Exploring the Truth Behind High Lifted Piano Fingers

beginner tutorial Jan 25, 2024

In the exploration of piano technique, a method once heralded by Hanon involves practicing with high lifted fingers. This technique, though popular years ago, is now often criticized for leading to tension and technical problems. However, the discussion raised a question: Is playing with high lifted fingers entirely detrimental? A closer examination reveals a nuanced view. It's essential to distinguish between fingers being 'high lifted' versus 'just lifted' before pressing a key. Beginners might not lift their fingers at all, leading to overlapping notes due to lack of control over key attacks and releases. Considering our daily routines do not replicate the movements required for piano playing, lifting fingers becomes an unfamiliar, challenging task. To acclimate to this new movement, it's suggested to lift fingers high, albeit in a slow tempo, to enhance control over pressing down and releasing the keys.

However, for fast passages, high lifted fingers are deemed unnecessary and counterproductive, as they can induce tension, waste time, and energy due to the increased distance between finger and key. A modest lift, providing just enough space to ensure clarity and control, is recommended for fast playing. The technique of slightly lifting fingers can significantly impact the clarity of playing without complete elevation. Proper posture and finger positioning, such as not sitting too high and maintaining a slight curve in the fingers, are crucial for effective finger lifting. Each finger may not lift in the same manner due to anatomical differences, with the fourth finger being less independent. Awareness of body signals is vital to avoid tension or pain.

In summary, while the practice of lifting fingers, particularly in a high manner for slow passages, can aid in mastering control over key attacks and releases, it's essential to adjust this technique for faster pieces. The goal is to achieve a balance that allows for clear, controlled playing without inducing unnecessary tension. This nuanced approach to finger lifting in piano practice underscores the importance of adapting techniques to suit the needs of the piece being played and the physical comfort of the pianist.


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