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Tips For Playing Piano Without Looking

Once we get comfortable navigating our instrument, then we naturally look down at our hands less. Here are are a couple of tips that might also help:

• An easy way to move from one five-finger position to another is to literally bring our thumb under to where our pinky is, or vice versa. If we gently rest our hands on the keys without actually pressing down on them, then we can slide our fingers across the tops of them to navigate by touch without making sound.

For example, when moving from C position to G position in the right hand, the pinky would stay where it is and the thumb would slide over to meet it. Through this process, our hand naturally moves from an open position (our hand relaxed in a five-finger position), to a closed position (fingers clustered together), and then back to an open position (our hand relaxed into the next five-finger position). It is like the movement of an inchworm.

We can use this to move up or down from any five-finger position to another in either hand, all without looking. We only have to look at where we set our hands down first, and then we can direct it completely by touch after that.

• If we are sight-reading, then we would mostly keep our eyes on the sheet music, but we can use the phrasing of the piece to guide when we should look at our hands. For example, when we come to a rest, we can quickly glance down at our hands (without actually bobbing our head) to get our hands into position for what is coming up next.

A similar process can be done even when we are not reading sheet music, but just playing. All we have to do is listen for the pauses. In short, we navigate by touch as much as possible and only glance down when repositioning our hands during a pause.

Thanks for reading!