how to play Hanon : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I'm sort of confused on the directions in Hanon to "lift the fingers high and with precision, playing each note very distinctly." What does this mean? Am I supposed to lift the fingers off the keys when I play them? And am I supposed to play sort of non legato, or is it alright if I play legato (which is the only way I can play up to speed right now)? Also, should the unused fingers stay on the keys all the time, or is it okay if they sometimes stay in the air? For example, in certain exercises my unused fingers like to lift into the air, especially when I'm playing with my 4th and 5th fingers. Should I practice trying to keep my other fingers to stay on the keys?


-- John (, June 24, 2003


That's the exact question I asked my piano teacher John and she said, that the Hanon book was written long long ago and teachers do not advise lifting the fingers high and off the keys now, that we need to keep the fingers that aren't playing touching the keys below them . Maybe there are other thoughts on this?

-- Rose (, June 27, 2003.

I am a teacher myself. Personally I feel that lifing fingers away and with fingers touching the keys are just two different teachnique of playing. From experience, I found that lifting fingers at the early stage of learning helps to create a clear and distinguish sound and finger strength.

-- Ellena (ellenayong@hotmail.cim), June 27, 2003.

The ability to lift the fingers off the keys when you need to is totally different from the problem you describe, John. If your other fingers are popping up uncontrollably when you play the 4th and 5th fingers, it is because you are overly tense trying to compensate for the natural weakness of the 4th and 5th fingers. Each time you see fingers popping up, pause on the note, relax your shoulders and "let" the other fingers (including the thumb) relax and gently fall back to the surface of the keys, then continue. Practice slowly, "letting" the fingers stay on the keys, rather than "forcing" the fingers to stay on the keys. In addition to legato, also try 2-note slurs, staccato-slur combinations, dotted rhythms, etc. for variety.

-- anon (, June 27, 2003.

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