How do you put your fingers on the keys? Do you keep them low or do you allow them to be above the keys?

G# Pinkey Finger

How about that G# pinky finger?

Does that one stay on the key or does it hang below?

We all can agree that fingers that stay close to the keys are more efficient.


Fingers that stay touching the keys will give you the following benefits:

  • A more even technique
  • Less noisy fingering (which we all know is evil above evil)
  • Help clean up your glitches
  • Improve the speed of your technique

Fingers Up

Even though we agree on that, it doesn’t mean that by willing it so fingers just stay on the keys without thought.

I’m here to tell you that fingers are one of the easiest things to fix permanently.

Yes, it’s true.

A couple weeks of concentrated practice will fix them like nobodies business. In my flute education I’ve fixed fingers, embouchure problems, and breathing/support issues.

Fingers Up More

But the easiest to fix permanently was fingers… by far.

Here are a few pointers to help you on your way.

Begin with a nice finger position: fingers relaxed and all touching their respective keys. Now you need an easy fingers exercise such as Taffanel and Gaubert’s #1. Plop your stand right in front of the mirror and work slowly through the exercises glancing in the mirror constantly to make sure that your fingers are where they should be. Do this is short bursts of concentration 3 or 4 times a day.

Fingers Close

The next step after this is to move into an etude. You must play the etude very slowly and keep the stand in front of the mirror. Hey, playing slowly is good for learning the etude anyway right? If  you begin to play too fast your fingers will revert back to their comfortable old position. Change has to begin slowly with the tempo brought up only as fast as you can maintain that finger position.

Now the quickest way to fix fingers is to do nothing else except these finger exercises until they’re fixed. Take a week and only do these slow exercises. Any slow finger exercise is fine as long as it isn’t really fast and difficult where you need to be concentrating on anything else but your fingers.

Work on those fingers and you will have a lifetime to thank yourself for the time and effort you invest now.

Get to work!

Dr. Flute