Lesson 3

Using The Correct Fingers

In the previous lesson we learned how to find the C note on your keyboard and to identify which is Middle C. I hope you were able to memorise this! As you’ll see from this point on, the left hand will mostly play to the left of Middle C and the right hand to the right of Middle C.

Today we’re going to learn about which fingers to use when playing. The idea is that we have very minimal movement so that later in your learning you can start to play without looking at your hands. Also as pieces become more complex, using the correct fingers will help you to reach notes without playing what I call ‘keyboard twister’, where your fingers are crossing over each other incorrectly and tripping up!

Finger Numbering

You’ll see that fingers are numbered 1-5 with number 1 being the thumb on each hand.

We’re going to do a little exercise. Place the thumb of your right hand on Middle C and align your fingers above the next 4 white notes. Now play those notes, one finger per note. So number 2 finger is playing D, 3 is playing E, 4 is playing F and 5 is playing G. Play upwards and then back downwards to Middle C.

Five Finger Position - Right Hand

Now repeat the exercise with your left hand. Place your left thumb on Middle C and play the notes moving downwards first so that 2 is playing B, 3 is playing A, 4 is playing G and 5 is playing F, then back upwards again to Middle C.

Five Finger Position - Left Hand

Repeat daily until you can play smoothly. This is going to feel strange for a while and your fingers will feel clumsy. You may also get a little aching in your wrist while you’re getting used to these new movements but this will all pass and playing will start to feel more natural as the weeks progress.