Piano Technique: A Whole-Body Approach, Part 1

Master the fundamentals of piano technique including posture, wrist position, finger shape, etc. Stresses arm weight. For Part 2 & the rest of this unique course: http://www.doctorkeys.com/

(For sheet music of the piece I play: http://www.doctorkeys.com/chord-piano-lessons/prelude-in-c.html )

If you play tennis, you know how great it feels when you stroke the ball just the right way. When your movements are aligned with basic physical principles, you’re able to drive the ball with speed, accuracy, and mimimal effort.

Well, piano playing has its athletic side, too. And what you’ll learn in “Piano Technique: A Whole-Body Approach” can, without a doubt, raise the level of your “game.”

This lesson is perfect for beginners, but also for more advanced students who know there’s more to piano technique than what you do with your fingers.

An extended segment in Part 2, “Tips and Troubleshooting,” details the most common technical problems students experience, and shows you how to solve them.

PART 1 (10 minutes, 20 seconds)
01:36 Letting gravity do the work
03:33 Practicing the release
04:56 How to sit (height, posture)
05:35 Hand position; drop onto the thumb
09:02 Recap; preview of Part 2

PART 2 (Separate video) (11 minutes, 24 seconds)
• Finger position; how to play a five-note scale
• First chord exercise
• Tips and troubleshooting
• Moving on from here; playing faster
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19 thoughts on “Piano Technique: A Whole-Body Approach, Part 1

  1. Why do this on an electronic piano when in fact the acoustic piano has a specific resistance that is between the hammer and the key and what is called feeling the key bed. I had a great teacher who was from Vienna and he was particular about finger dexterity and tone production and so the fingers were to be honed with exercises and etudes and that is not to exclude the usage of the arms wrists and fingers along iwth the rest of the body. I have read Whiteside, Matthay, and many other pedagogy that emphasized many aspects of piano technique and of of course there is the French school of piano playing that puts many of the ingredients into their pedagogy as well. I recently got a copy of Cortot's Chopin Etudes and his exercises are well taken but one must not overdue any of them. Lastly the Russians have a way of promoting their technique and much of it is about arm, body and of course the way one touches the piano. Its not so much an attack but a caress of the keys and listening to your result very carefully. Nehaus goes into detail about this. Your video is well intended Dr. but as we know, there are many approaches when it comes to play the piano and one of the worst examples of technique was Glenn Gould, but he had his own way of doing things and I like to watch jazz artists such as Barry Harris , Tatum, Garner, Powell and so many others that had little formal training in classical music or if they did they utilized some of this to make their playing seem effortless. Oscar Petersen comes to mind as well. I did know about Abby Whiteside as a late comer in my life as a pianist and I knew a few of her students at the Manhattan School of Music including Robert Helps who was a very tall man looked like hippy in those days and he taught many students who used the Whiteside approach. No fingers, or what is called outlining and mapping are useful in learning the music but this is just a small indication of what it takes to learn and play.

  2. Elvis, for some reason I can't reply directly to your comment, so I hope you see this. Not that I have an answer, though, unfortunately. I'd have to see the specifics of the situation so I know what kind of "tangling" is going on! It's just too general a question.

  3. Hello, I really liked your video. I self taught myself to play the piano, and I have a few problems with moving my fingers across the piano. In my case I use a grand piano. Do you have any suggestions to help me with moving my hand across the piano, so my fingers don't get tangled up?

  4. Hi, thanks for the video!  I've found it helpful.  
    Despite playing for many years, I still have a problem with arm weight.  Recently, I have been playing Beethoven pathétique (second movement in particular), and my biggest problem is getting all the notes to sound.  Part of the problem could be my piano, but my shoulders are sometimes sore as well.  Do you have any suggestions to help me relax and begin using arm weight more effectively?

  5. Ya I will try that. Sometimes not hands are required to be in middle of keyboard though. Can't slide your way out of that one 🙂 

  6. I also wanted to ask. How can one play middle C (or middle of keyboard in general) without twisting their hands (which causes me pain)? 

  7. Do you have a Taubman background?  Your right hand is almost a perfect example of what they call "forearm rotation"… which is required in their teaching to prevent piano injury.

  8. Thank you so much. I am just a beginner and your videos are so easy to follow. I still have a long way go but with your help I'm sure my playing will improve greatly. You are terrific to watch and listen to. What a player!! Thanks again. Gisela

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