is achieved by understanding the mechanics of the piano and the way you
physically execute your performance on this remarkable instrument.
Piano Action and
seated at the piano you
should be able to perfectly
balance your arms and hands without playing the notes or feeling any
should be naturally
on the tips of the fingers or fleshy part next to your fingernails
keep your fingernails trimmed).
should form a "paw".
Knuckles should not be caved
in or too high. Knuckles could be fairly flat, but just slightly up,
a bridge. The same with the wrists and elbows.
should be even with the
white keys, never
too high or low.
should be out from the
body, allowing the
weight of your arm to travel freely to your wrists and allowing for
movement across the keys.
sit up straight,
shoulders back, create a
small arch in the middle of your back. Imagine a string going up
the center of your body, out of your head. Your pelvic bone slightly
in towards the piano.
should sit far enough from
the piano so that
your elbows are slightly towards the front of your chest.
no more than one half to
three quarters on the
bench. Both feet flat on the floor or pedals.
each part of your body is
doing its job, playing
is effortless. If it doesn't feel good and wonderful, it is wrong.
to the extreme range of motion is the main cause of most performance
cannot over practice, only
practice wrong." Dorothy
are a few considerations that
you need to
understand in order to develop a beautiful tone and wonderful technique.
behind each note.
your volume, controlled by your shoulder, arms and forearms. Learning
control the weight creates effortless playing. Tension, and strain
the muscles of your arm create fatigue, and cramps. Practice just
your arms into your lap, then onto the keys. Controlled movement, using
the weight of your arm is all you need to play effortlessly with a full
range of dynamics.
behind each note. This
the speed in the hammer, so it rebounds quickly off the string allowing
it to vibrate more freely, producing all of the rich overtones that it
is capable of.
were to strike a stretched
wire with a
pencil, even as you hit the wire, the pencil would be dampening the
If you could get your pencil away from the wire fast enough, your wire
would vibrate more fully, creating more overtones in the process thus
a wonderful tone quality.
key is depressed, the
releases the hammer before it strikes the string. Your "point of sound"
(the little bump) is before you hit the key bed.
Power does not
produce speed. Hitting a key hard retards speed. Aim for the point of
use your arm weight and simply let your fingers fall.
also important that you allow your
fingers to continue down to the key bed, even though your hammer has
already been released. This is a safety feature that is
a well maintained piano allowing the action parts to reset themselves
(referred to as aftertouch). If this is not done,
you might be
experiencing double strikes, poor tone and sluggish repetition.
technique is effortless
is at its absolute minimum.
All Rights Reserved by
K. Wayne Land ©1998
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