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Free PDF: Rachmaninoff's 10 Essentials Of Piano Playing

Free PDF: Rachmaninoff's 10 Essentials Of Piano Playing

Peer into the mind of Sergei Rachmaninoff, a composer regarded as among the most formidable virtuosos of the 20th century.

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Hand placement on the piano is one of the most important subjects to address as you develop your piano technique. Proper hand placement will open you up to new repertoire that would otherwise be too difficult to play.

Here, tonebase Head of Piano Ben Laude will show you how to incorporate “in-and-out” movements to properly address your piano hand placement and take your piano technique to the next level.


Piano hand placement with “in-and-out” movements

The so-called "in-and-out" movements are essential to developing your technique to play just about any repertoire. 

When you see pianists moving nearer to the fall board, it's likely they're playing black keys. 

We forget sometimes, but we live in 3 dimensions and we should absolutely move our arms forward in order to balance on black keys. This is a common oversight among beginners who get used to keeping a fixed write position in front of the keyboard and then wonder why it's so hard to play black keys. I always say "just go run up there and stand on them!"

Furthermore, it becomes an issue for advanced pianists when we sometimes fail to utilize inward movements, and instead we twist the hand to get the shorter fingers closer to the key. 

At 7:40 in this complementary tonebase lesson, Bob Durso catches me twisting instead of going in – which was inhibiting my command over the passage.

But in-and-out movements are important even when playing white keys, because our fingers are different lengths and we have to adjust inward when playing the 4th and 5th fingers. Durso has an entire tonebase lesson on in-and-out motions where he discusses exactly this.


Now that we have established what “in-and-out” movements are and how they work, you should be well on your way to proper hand placement on the piano.

If this post helped you in any way, let us know!

Shoot us a DM on Instagram at @tonebasepiano, we’d love to hear your thoughts :)

Did you learn something new?

Feel free to click this link to check out our in-depth courses on piano, taught by artists including Grammy winning pianists and professors from schools such as Juilliard, Curtis, and more.

On tonebase, you will find in-depth courses and workshops with some of the world’s top pianists, covering a wide range of subjects such as repertoire-specific lessons, piano technique, and more.

Happy playing!

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Dave McLellan

Concert & Chamber Musician

Join over 10,000 fellow musicians improving every day on tonebase.