Piano Lesson 2 – Tension is not good

Lesson recap

It had been a while since I had my last Piano lesson with Gary as I have just moved house. My ability to practice took a beating so I don’t feel I have come as far as I would have liked to. That is me being impatient and I have to just accept that it is not always possible to practice loads. I need to just do what I can when I can and that is fine.

So starting the piano lesson with Gary we went over a lot of what we did in the last piano lesson. I found this pretty helpful and it reinforced in my head what we had done previously regarding notes on the stave for left and right hand. The rhymes I had for this helped.

The C Major Scale

Gary asked me to play a C Major scale using the correct fingering.

When doing this we assigned each finger on my hand a number. Starting with the thumb and moving to little finger going from 1 to 5 as in the photo below. Piano finger numbers  Piano Lesson 2 – Tension is not good Piano finger numbers1 768x1024

Then on the piano starting on middle C you play all the white keys in sequence starting with your thumb (number 1)  1-2-3-1-2-3-4-5.

After playing notes C, D and E with fingers 1, 2 and 3, bring the thumb underneath ready to play the remainder of the scale withs fingers 1 to 5.

Use the same fingers on the way down as the video below shows…


While I was practicing the C major scale Gary made an observation that I was holding quite a lot of tension in my wrists which is never good. Identifying it is one thing but I found changing it another. I have a tendency to hold myself in a certain way, I slouch as well so all these things add up. These are things that I need to change as I know it is going to have a negative effect on my playing.

In the photo below you can see I am bending my wrists unnaturally. Although this how I naturally position myself I need to stop. I found that by the end of the lesson I was feeling very tired and my wrists were aching on the outside. Further proof that things need to change.

Bad hand position for Piano  Piano Lesson 2 – Tension is not good IMG 4061 1024x768


Below is how Gary would like me to position myself. This does not feel natural to me so this is going to take some work to get into my playing I think.Correct and tension free piano hand position   Piano Lesson 2 – Tension is not good IMG 4060 1024x768

Ode to joy, Song of the Cello and Alpine Melody

Ode to joy from last weeks piano lesson felt a lot easier this week and I got through it more confidently with less mistakes then I thought I would.

Song of the Cello was also better but I still am not at ease in playing in bass clef. More work is certainly needed with this and I want to turn it around with my practice this coming week and really work on my bass clef reading.

Alpine Melody was the only piece from last lesson that involved playing with both hands in the same piece. This had also made progress from the last lesson. I was reading the notes much. I was really happy with this but it still needs work.


Intermezzo was certainly a step up in difficulty. Like Alpine Melody it involves playing with both hands but Intermezzo seems to be more of a challenge.

There is a phrase in bar 7 that I found really difficult. In beat 1 there is a crotchet playing an A note on the left hand then moving to a D on the right hand which is a minim going to a crotchet playing an E. I found this really difficult.Intermezzo bar 7  Piano Lesson 2 – Tension is not good Intermezzo


I really like this piece and I think it will be a good challenge for me to achieve for my next lesson. Lots of practice is needed.