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I'm getting back into piano (background: trained in classical from age 4 to 14; finished RCM 7) and am having some trouble synchronizing my solid chords, particularly with sharps/flats using my pinky.

I've searched on some forums and youtube about this, but I've only found info on basic fingering or syncing left and right hands.

Would anyone have tips on how to train or think about (strategically/philosophically) to improve this? (I've been also training with Hanons, though I've gathered from forums that Czerny may be better...?)

Are you having trouble making your solid chords not sound like they're being arpeggiated (slightly broken up)?

Yes, whenever I use my pinky on a black key, it tends to play before the rest of the chords. to be specific, I'm working on Chopin's prelude 4; it's most obvious in the first progression from G-B-E to F#-A-E

I can feel that my left pinky is still quite weak (pinky before or after the rest of the chord), but I've generally had trouble with (if not) syncing then over-voicing black keys. probably to do with lengths of fingers and how black keys are raised.

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It's unlikely that your pinky is weak. If you can hold a glass of water, your pinky is plenty strong for playing the piano.

Pinkies often feel weak, but this is usually because our hands and fingers aren't being used efficiently, and likely there is unnoticed tension in your hand or arm.

To practicing synchronizing the notes in a chord:

  1. touch your fingertips to the surface of the keys in the chord, and allow your other fingertips to rest on the keyboard wherever they're comfortable.
  2. Relax all of your fingers as well as your palm, wrist, and arm so that there is slight pressure on your chord-note fingertips, but the keys don't start to go down. Your non-chord fingertips should remain in gentle contact with the keyboard.

This is the starting place for playing a chord (i.e., not dropping onto the keys from above the keyboard).

  1. Press your palm gently downward, relaxing your arm so that it follows along. The fingers that play the chord will maintain their shape from step 2; the other fingers remain relaxed so as not to inadvertently press other keys.

Step 2 requires that all of your fingers are at the same starting height, regardless their relative lengths. By pressing with the palm, the fingers stay in that alignment. If instead one "plays with just the fingers", then the fingers are free to misalign themselves.

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