Category Archives: Blog

A hyper-raised thumb in piano technique

So I said to him, “Imagine you see a guy walking down the street, and he is holding his arms out horizontally to the sides, like pontoons, with his forearms hanging down from his elbows. You tell him, ‘hey, relax your arms, let them hang by your sides’ and he replies, ‘no, that wouldn’t be normal…’ Huh?”

Seymour Fink on the fifth finger’s role in piano technique

Seymour Fink writes, ““Let me give you some of my background on collapsed fifth fingers. Most students are given no awareness of their failure to use fifth fingers like the others fingers. In my early years of teaching I faced fifth fingers that were held needlessly high that tended to lock the other fingers, and fifth fingers that were always played as the result of an arm stroke. I experimented with my students and found out what worked…”

A change of mind about piano technique

“Avoiding ulnar deviation is not bad!!! This one section in Seymour Fink’s Mastering Piano Technique about moving the arm into the fifth finger to help it play, exposes a major weakness of my own approach. You can see it in my film: to illustrate the second, transverse arch of the hand, I allow my metacarpal-phalangeal ridge to slope down to my fifth finger. But this lowers its potency!”