Learning the proper piano hand position is essential for both beginner and advanced piano players as not only does it prevent injury, it also allows a pianist to get better tone quality.
As a beginner you may think that the tone of the piano is unchangeable but in fact the position of your hands can absolutely affect the sound coming out of the piano.
Fortunately it is pretty easy to learn how to do a good piano hand position!
- Step One: Firstly perfect your sitting position in front of the piano. You should sit far enough from the keyboard to let your fingertips rest on the keys without effort whilst your elbows are bent, and your feet should reach the pedals without stretching.
- Step Two: Your hand should make a cupping shape over the piano with the knuckles being slightly higher than the wrist and the thumb and index finger making a slight “C” shape. Like the image below.
- Step Three: It is important that your wrist is relaxed so you’ll need to find the right position for you. Place your fingertips on the surface of the keys whilst maintaining the cupping position of your hand. Move your wrist up and down and find the place that feels most natural, usually this is where the wrist is even with the arm.
- Step Four: It is also important for your arms and shoulders to be relaxed too to avoid building any tension in your muscles.
- Step Five: Practice the hand position by doing some basic scales. To maintain the proper piano hand position you will need to consistently practice!
Exercise for Proper Piano Hand Placement
Place your thumb on middle C, your index on D, your middle finger on E, your ring finger on F and your little finger on G, play the notes simultaneously. Gradually let your thumb come up letting the key lift with it and then rest your thumb on top of the key (so it is touching it) and then press back down again with the thumb.
Check your hand position – are your knuckles firm and slightly higher than the wrist? Are your shoulders and arms relaxed? Is your elbow bent?
Repeat this process with the other keys each individually being lifted up and then pressing down again and each time checking your hand position.
Check out our easy piano tutorials to get playing!
Once you are comfortable with this exercise you should start practicing songs whilst keeping in mind your hand position, if you’re unsure what to play you can find free interactive piano sheet music on Jellynote. Bring up the piano under the sheet music to help you play!