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OliverYoung's avatar

How to correctly position the thumb while playing piano?

Asked by OliverYoung (382points) February 4th, 2011

So, I was just wondering, how do you correctly position the thumb while playing piano?
I have been told, that to play piano correctly and most efficiently, you have to play with the tip of your fingers. But is that also the case for your thumb?

Seeing as your hand is as it is, I believe a lot people will naturally use their thumb in a less efficient way. I think I might even do that myself too.

What I mean by less efficient is that I believe I “tilt” my thumb slightly. So instead of hitting the keys with the “tip” of my thumb, I probably hit it a bit more with the side of my thumb (I am not quite sure how to explain it, I hope someone gets it).

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4 Answers

bobbinhood's avatar

You are correct in using the side of your thumb a bit more than the tip.

gailcalled's avatar

I think that everyone plays with the side of the thumb. Trying to hit the key with the tip would turn the hand and distort the position of the other fingers.

Watch this guy’s hands.

And here’s one of the greatest 20th century pianists, Vladimir Horowitz.

jazzticity's avatar

I wouldn’t get hung up with form and recommendations. Your hands will find their natural position. Even Horowitz played “wrong.” His fingers were too straight, according to people who couldn’t do half of what he could. Go for a relaxed position with a natural curve. Make your scales come off gracefully, whatever that means for your hands, and keep it up for your pieces.

OliverYoung's avatar

Thanks for the answers.
I believe too that playing like you naturally do, with the side of your thumb is the most correct thing to do. Because yes, it would be awkward to play with the tip of the thumb. I was just wondering, because such things do vary for person to person.
But thanks again! : )

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