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Perfect key technique

You took your time to sit properly, so you should also take the time to play the keys properly.
It’s all about control over the notes and maximising dynamic range (the range of volumes available to the player).Now, we try to ensure that you are able to play each note with maximum range, to get the most out of the instrument.
If you have seen players hammering the keyboard, every note the same volume and intensity, then you know what can happen if you get it wrong. Imagine a world-class concert pianist, or watch a video. They have total control over the energy they transfer to the notes. Even if they move in exaggerated gestures, they can quickly move between soft and aggressive notes.

The technique


Pick a key. We will go over correct starting position in the next chapter, but for now, any white key around the centre of the keyboard will do. If you want to be precise, then find Middle C (I will talk about that later in my posts).
Remember your hand position. The left side of the thumb, near the tip, is touching the key while the rest of your fingers curl around an imaginary ball. Your little finger, wrist and elbow should make a relatively straight line. Now drop your finger to the key, don’t hit it. When your finger drops, keep your wrist loose and let it fall a little. When you pull back up from the key, let your wrist move back to the starting position. This natural movement will make your playing smoother, less stiff, and allow for greater dynamic range.

Experiment. Play the key hard and hold it. Raise your finger slowly and listen to the soft sound of the hammer pulling away. Play hard again but pull away quickly and pay attention to the difference in the sound. Play soft and long, then soft but bouncing back gently.

Getting to know the instrument is a matter of seeing how it reacts in different situations. Just like people. It’s not hard to understand why lifelong pianists see the piano as a friend. Next time we will talk about how to start playing your first melodies.

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