I experimented a bit on the piano, say you play a chord with thumb, index finger, ring finger and little finger in a fast rhythm, and then play longer notes in a melody with the middle finger on the same hand, what is the best way to do this? If I lower/raise the hand with the arm or wrist or combo I have to counter with the middle finger so it doesn't get pulled up, and if I try to move the fingers individually it feels a bit more complicated.

What way is safest, i.e. least chance of injury?

  • 1
    Your question is a bit strange. Can you provide a possible example of what you're trying to achieve? Is this a composition of yours? Is it a written piece? Are you trying some kind of arrangement? Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 21:05
  • I am trying to improve my finger coordination by playing different rhythms with different fingers, and noticed this particular case felt strange when playing, so wondered how to do it best.
    – Emil
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 21:07
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    That's a very specific technique question, and if I were in your shoes I wouldn't ask it in a generic Q&A website: 1. unless somebody answers you with a video, it's really difficult to give such specific kind of suggestions in a way that they cannot be misunderstood (so you might apply the suggestion in a bad way); 2. you don't know the actual experience and background of people answering you. You might risk getting injured because you followed a "suggestion read on the internet" (or didn't correctly follow it). I strongly suggest you to find a good teacher. Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 21:12
  • I don't want a teacher, I enjoy exploring on my own. But sure if noone knows how to do it here I will find out in some other manner.
    – Emil
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 21:59
  • I've known aspiring musicians that got their tendons and articulations completely ruined for years due to bad posture, wrong technique and terrible application of "self-taught" practices. Nobody says you need a teacher for your life, but asking advice from processionals (especially when dealing with physical aspects of musical technique) even for a shortgood period of time is always a good idea. Risking hurting yourself for the wrong reasons is not. Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 22:10

1 Answer 1


Although I've never dealt with this personally, I have dealt with similar issues where the thumb or pinky is playing a melodic line while the rest of the hands plays accompaniment.

When players are first learning how to play a moving line with the thumb or the pinky, we often teach them to lean their hand in that direction. Thus, if your right thumb is playing part of a melodic line while the remaining right-hand fingers are playing chords, envision leaning the hand to the left so that the emphasis is placed on the thumb. (You'd want to lean the hand to the right if you want to emphasize the pinky.)

Of course, this brings with it some timing issues that you'll want to work out: the lean may create a problem where the thumb articulates before the other fingers, so this is where personal practice comes in to alleviate that problem.

So to answer your original question, I'd say to follow the natural anatomy of the hand. Since the middle finger is the longest finger, try leaning the hand forward (towards the finger tips) to give the natural emphasis to the middle finger. But as above, this is only a starting point; you'll need further practice to address any ways in which this affects your tone and timing.

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