Piano advice: Positioning and the Left-Hand

Piano advice: Positioning and the Left-Hand

To ensure we can adequately deploy our piano technique, we need to be sure we are playing from a position of comfort. The best piano technique for us is the one that allows us to play with precision while we are successfully connecting with the instrument. I that sense, hand insertion and weight delivery become a big focus of attention of a pianist.

I have been working a long time on trying to understand what defines a proper hand placement. There are many perspectives we can apply to how we can assess this phenomenon. Hand placement and its application to a specific musical passage and hand placement to the way it affects our body management are two of them.

Under my perspective, the way we settle in the instrument should be the primary focus of our attention. Why? Because that will either set our fingers free or precisely the opposite, it will block them. It is all about the way we monitor the tension of our hands. We need to try hard to train our brain to be attentive to how much pressure our biceps and triceps are under while we play. An overly tensed arm will always affect the way our fingers execute. And this leaves us with the issue of the left-hand.

Our hands behave quintessentially differently. Each brain hemisphere controls its opposite-sided hand. These brain hemispheres operate in different ways which implies different hand behaviour. The right side of our brain, which deals with creativity and art, is the one that controls our left hand. Due to the latter, I usually recommend approaching the memorisation of the left-hand material more intuitively. In other words, to try and remember how the left-hand sounds on top of anything else.

I will try and share more light on these and other related topics in my next posts. In the meantime, I invite you to read my last post tat WKMT blog which explains the same matters in more detail: “Hand settlement and the Left-Hand.”