I recently noticed that when I press the piano keys, I do not lift my fingers fast enough off the keys. This causes a "dragging sound". However, I seem to keep the music tempo going. This slow lifting of my fingers, makes the notes sound dragged out. For example, when I played "Danny Boy" it sounded like each note was in slow motion. Help!

  • Is your question about how to learn to move your fingers faster? If so, the answer is to practice. Jul 8, 2023 at 0:19
  • Not exactly, its how to lift them, off each note faster. Not to play faster. Any technique for that?
    – Annetta
    Jul 8, 2023 at 0:23
  • I was just realizing that "Danny Boy" is a pretty slow tune, so now I'm not sure what your problem is. Are you leaving your fingers down for too long a time? Or when you start to lift your finger does it take a long time for your finger to lift? Again, the answer is probably going to be "practice". Lifting fingers when playing piano does not have anything special about it. It's just like lifting fingers when typing. It might be that your hands or wrists are positioned incorrectly and that might make it harder to lift your fingers properly. Can you put up a short video of your playing? Jul 8, 2023 at 0:31
  • 2
    You shouldn't lift your fingers at all. Rather, just release the effort of playing the note, and your finger will return to its natural position, allowing the key to come up. Chances are, you're playing with too much tension in your hands and forearms, or else you're pressing to hard on the keys.
    – Aaron
    Jul 8, 2023 at 0:34
  • 1) I think I am leaving my fingers down too long and not re
    – Annetta
    Jul 8, 2023 at 16:52

2 Answers 2


I suspect you're holding your hand too low and playing with flat fingers. Raise it, curve the fingers. You shouldn't need to think of consciously lifting your fingers, more of the normal finger position being poised above the key, ready to strike down when it's time to play a note. Can't really help more without seeing you play. You could post a video?

  • Could my bench be too low in comparison to the keyboard? How high should my elbow be in relation to my hand when on the keyboard curved? I'm trying how to send a picture of the bench and keyboard relation.
    – Annetta
    Jul 8, 2023 at 20:20
  • With curved fingers resting on the keys, your forearm should be horizontal. piano-keyboard-reviews.com/tutorials/…
    – Laurence
    Jul 9, 2023 at 12:53

If the keyboard itself is high in comparison to your seated position, it will make your wrists so low, that lifting fingers isn't easy. Your hands/wrists need to be above the board, so sit with your elbows slightly higher than that.

Then, you can use your fingers better, sometimes your whole hand, even, sometimes your whole arms from the shoulder. But, obviously, for faster note articulation, the smaller parts of your anatomy - fingers - are above the keys, not climbing up to press them down. Meaning they need to climb back up to release.

Grand pianos will have a better (faster) release of their own, compared to studio pianos, and electronic ones vary considerably - we don't know what you're using.

  • @Laurence - I re-read it, and changed it, probably as you were typing...
    – Tim
    Jul 8, 2023 at 16:32

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