Why Play Piano With The Correct Fingers?

6 October 2017

HandsThose pesky little numbers above or below the notes on the sheet music… they’re one more thing for you to follow that you could do without, right?


After all, you’re busy following the notes and timing, etc. Surely you can just use whichever fingers you prefer?


Well… not quite. The finger numbers are actually there to help you.


Benefits Of Playing With The Correct Fingers


There are many benefits to using the correct fingering, one of which is; by deciding upon a set sequence of fingering for each piece, and using that fingering consistently, you are calling upon your muscle memory to help you learn and perform each piece with stability.

In other words, in addition to the mental learning in a song (e.g. the sequence of notes), there is also a physical learning whereby we learn the physical shape of the movements required to play the piece comfortably reliably.

If you are inconsistent with your fingering, you will be much less secure and confident when playing in front of others.

There are also plenty of other reasons for using the prescribed fingers. Trust me when I say, it’s a mistake not to use the correct / prescribed fingers.


How To Motivate Yourself And Others To Use The Correct Fingers


So how do you keep yourself motivated to make the effort to follow the finger numbers and use the correct fingers? And how do we encourage younger students to play with the correct fingers?


If you’re a parent or piano teacher, how best to encourage younger students to use the correct fingers will vary depending on such factors as your parenting / teaching style, the personality and maturity level of each student, the level of their skills and knowledge, etc.


For most kids (and even adults), an effective approach is to help them understand why it's in their best interests to follow the fingers numbers and use the correct fingers.


What The Finger Numbers On The Sheet Music Are Really Teaching You


In most piano lessons, and especially in the case of Musiah lessons, students are gradually taught a system of fingering they can use as they become more advanced so that they will always know the best fingers to use in any piece they might choose to learn (whether or not the fingering is written on the sheet music).


The prescribed fingering is 99% of the time derived from two principles;


a) the fingering one would use to play scales and

b) the fingers that correspond to the current hand position (also known as the five finger position),

e.g. if the Right Hand is in the C position, it helps to know that the 2nd finger will always be on D, the 3rd finger on E, etc.


Using the correct fingers means students will grow to automatically know which fingers to use because they will be aware of their hand positions and they’ll recognize scales when they occur in pieces.


They’ll also make fewer mistakes, they won’t need to look down at their hands unnecessarily (so they can follow the sheet music more easily), and they will be able to play their pieces faster and with more confidence than if they use the wrong fingers.


How Using The Correct Fingers Helps Your Playing


When encouraging younger students to modify their behaviour, it often helps to ask them questions in order to get them thinking about their what they are doing (or not doing), e.g.;


1) Would you like to be able to play your pieces with fewer mistakes?

2) Would you like to be able to play faster and with more confidence?

3) Would you like to always know which fingers are the best ones to use?

4) Would you like to be able to play without needing to look down at your hands?


Hopefully, the answer to each of these questions will be "Yes".


In which case, you can follow up with, “Then, you need to use the correct fingers – now, while you are still in the early stage of your piano lessons journey. Very soon, you will be a much better pianist if you do.”


I hope these brief thoughts on the benefits of following and using the correct fingers are helpful.


To experience how Musiah piano lessons naturally encourage students to;


  • use the correct fingers
  • become aware of hand positions and
  • develop a solid foundation in playing technique, music reading skills and much more…


why not take our Free Online Piano Lessons 14 Day Trial.


Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment below.


Happy playing,


Brendan Hogan L.Mus.A., A.Mus.A.

Piano Teacher & Musiah Inventor


P.S. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with others on your facebook page, blog or website.


Please — Tell your friends / relatives about Musiah


Earn cash rewards with our Referral Rewards Program


Enroll Now




Related Articles



Could A Piano Lessons App Be “More Human Than A Human Teacher”?

Reflection On Piano Lessons With Musiah: First Two Weeks — Absolutely Dumbfounded

Video Presentation: Online Piano Lessons — A Fun Way To Learn Piano 16 Times Faster

What Is A Real Piano Lesson?


Piano Lessons Articles

Best Free Piano Lessons — Why Learning Piano With Musiah Is Better Than Free Piano Lessons

Best Piano Lessons

Best Piano Method

Can You Really Teach Yourself Piano/Keyboard Online?

How To Learn Piano 16 Times Faster

Learning To Play Piano: The Greatest Benefit You Never Heard Of

Online Piano Lessons Software

Piano Lessons — A System For Rapidly Learning Piano Pieces

Piano Lessons Or Keyboard Lessons — What Is The Difference?

Piano Practice Tips: The 12 Most Common Piano Practice Mistakes And How To Correct Them

The Damage Caused By Online Piano Lessons And How To Avoid It

Why Learning Piano As An Adult Is Easier Thank You Think


More Articles

Posted in: Learning To Play Piano




Return to Blog Home

Comment on this post


(your email address will not be displayed with the comment)


Note to Spammers: All comments on this blog are subject to approval before they are published. Only genuine comments will be published.

* Required

Free Trial

Try Musiah
Online Piano Lessons NOW
FREE for 14 Days

Start my free trial
  • 100% FREE Trial
  • No contracts
  • No risk

Tell A Friend

Or Follow Us



Article Categories


Tag Cloud

A.I.  Benefits  Practice Tips  Reviews  Free  Adults  Beginners  Kids  Parents  Learning  Software 




What people say about Musiah


Excellent, Congratulations to all the Musiah team... I have been able to learn more about pedagogic system from Musiah. In my 41 years old I have received my first piano lesson and I'm  very excited, Musiah is an excellent teacher and he has an infinite patience. Thank you, and you have a great team.


Carlos Arias (adult student) - Zamora, Spain


Gift Certificates

The Gift of Music is a
lifelong gift. Give it to
someone you love with
a Musiah Gift Certificate.


Receive Musiah Updates


Musiah Latest News

Musiah for iPad Status Update – Overall progress is good despite some delays. Our brand new web site and the official release of Musiah for iPad are now on track for mid-March.



RSS Feed