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So Many Fingers . . .

Student NotesIn order to play notes on the piano and not trip over your own fingers, there are methods shown on the staff to help you know which finger (or thumb) to use to start playing the notes you see written.

Hold your hands up in front of you (palms pointed away from you). Spread your fingers apart. Look at your left hand. Beginning with your little finger, this finger is called #5.

Now look at the thumb of your left hand. The thumb is called #1. There are five fingers and five numbers, one for each finger (or thumb). What number would you guess would be assigned to your pointer finger?

Answer = #2

How about your ring finger?

Answer = #4

And, how about your middle finger?

Answer = #3

Do the following exercise.

  • Wiggle your #5 finger.
  • Wiggle your #1 finger.
  • Wiggle your #2 finger.
  • Wiggle your #3 finger.
  • Wiggle your #4 finger.

It takes some practice for any student learning to play the piano to do this. It's not easy to think about wiggling one finger at a time and having your brain tell the nerves for just that one finger to move (wiggle). With some practice, you will be able to do this without having to concentrate on doing it.

Now look at your right hand. It is also numbered in the same way as your left hand.

  • Thumb is 1
  • Pointer is 2
  • Middle is 3
  • Ring is 4
  • Little is 5

Repeat the exercise above using your right hand.


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