Fingers 4 & 5
Found in: Musicality, Pedaling, Technique
Marcia V., North Carolina
One of my students wants to understand the mechanics behind his fingers as he plays. Is there a good resource for this? Also, does anyone know a good way of explaining why finger 4 is not quite as cooperative as the others? Is it simply because they get less use? Also, any tricks for strengthening finger 5 other than daily playing and practice?
Rebecca G., Colorado
Nancy Reese would be an excellent resource for this. She teaches that we actually don’t play the piano with our fingers – we play it with our arms and back, which causes our fingers to come down onto the instrument. Playing with your fingers is very limiting, and you’ll probably never be able to play fast passages that way (I know from personal experience!). Also, the reason finger 4 is so tricky is because in addition to being shorter than finger 3, there is a tendon that runs across the top of your hand (I think near/along the knuckles) that connects fingers 3, 4, and 5, which makes it nearly impossible to move finger 4 independently of finger 3 and 5. Again, that’s why it’s so important to play with your arms and back instead of your fingers – they’re just not that cooperative on their own!
Brenda D., Colorado
The tendon of finger 4 is attached to fingers 3 and 5 which makes it physically impossible for it to be more independent.
Cate R., Australia
Fingers 4 and 5 were developed for gripping and holding onto things.