Do Pianists Have Big Forearms? Myth Busted

Being a successful pianist, takes years of dedication, thorough practice, painstaking schedule and discipline. The greatest pianists of all time, have been following all these above positive traits to achieve the pinnacle of success in their piano performances. There are certain physical aspects when it comes to our body – especially hands, fingers, arms and posture that are influenced by our piano playing.

Pianists, need not necessarily have big forearms. Forearm sizes do not matter significantly for a musician to become a good pianist. It is usually the fingers, wrist and the techniques – coupled with thorough practice and playing skills that make a good pianist in true sense.

In this article, we are going to cover the aspects and traits of a good pianist. Also, we will discuss about how a musician can become a good pianist and follow the best practices of a good piano player to effectively improve the performance quality day-by-day.

Who is a good pianist?

A good pianist is one who blends in emotion and expertise while playing the piano. With a sound knowledge on music theory, the pianist maintains a good hand-speed with proper finger to key positions while playing any music piece. The ultimate objective is to keep the audience engaged and mesmerized with your piano performance. Obviously without any question, pianist hands are every important when it comes to a good performance with the instrument.

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In the below section, we shall cover the perfect body posture and traits of a good pianist which make him/her different and unique from other musicians.

Do Pianists have big forearms?

Not necessarily. There are various pianists who have small forearms but still play piano very well. All that matters is practice, technique and skill mastery. With respect to the hand and finger sizes it matters a bit. But still, with various tricks and techniques, the playing difficulties with smaller forearms and hands can be easily overcome in the long run.

  • Pianists with small forearms use proper height adjustment for the piano bench so that their fingers can reach the piano without any issues.
  • Smaller forearms do not necessarily mean less strength in hand. Piano strength training can be done using recurring fingering sessions with your instrument.

How can you be a good pianist?

To be a good and admired pianist, a musician must follow the below steps in his music career and learning process:

  • Choose a good and certified mentor

    As a pianist, learning is the key. Correct form of knowledge about piano playing can be possible when you choose a good certified mentor with abundant piano playing experience

  • Be disciplined and have patience 

    Every skill needs strict discipline and patience to master it. Piano learning is no exception. Follow your mentor diligently and be structured in your learning and practice sessions.

  • Practice for several hours daily 

    This is the key to success. You must dedicate min 4-5 hours of daily practice of progressions, chords and pieces of classic composers to get into the professional league.

  • Get feedback from audience and mentors

    A professional pianist or any musician always aims for improvement in playing techniques and skill. Constant feedback from the mentors and audience helps to change course or correct yourself and bring out a better version of you.

  • Maintain Correct Posture and Hand Position While Playing the Piano

    It is very important to use proper finger placement and playing techniques, good hand position and erect posture on the piano bench. Doing so, puts a pianist at ease to play most of the compositions and songs.

  • Learn end-to-end music theory and notation writing

    Music theory essentially helps pianists to overcome physical strength issues with hands and it provides a holistic playing experience for a song or a composition.

  • Undergo ear training sessions till perfection

    Ear training is very essential to catch the notes, chords and progressions used in a song. If your mentor conducts regular ear training session, you are on the perfect track for success.

  • Follow other successful pianists for constant improvement

    Beginners are advised to carefully observe the posture, hand arm and finger position of seasoned pianists and try to learn from them to be a better performer on the stage.

Tips on Body and Hands Posture for a Pianist to play piano better

  • ALWAYS use proper hand positions while playing the piano. Follow your mentor advise to use the correct fingers for chords, progressions and arpeggios.

Free Close-Up Photo Of Person Playing Piano Stock Photo

  • DONOT use your own fingering techniques for piano playing as it may lead to incorrect way of practice.
  • ALWAYS sit straight with your backbone vertical while playing the piano.

Free Grayscale Photography of Woman Sitting in Front of a Piano Stock Photo

  • DONOT sit sluggishly or lean forward or backwards too much while playing your piano
  • ALWAYS use both the hands for MELODY LINES and CHORDS in an integrated fashion. This will make your piano playing experience more fulfilling.
  • DONOT use single hands solely for playing the piano. This will make your song sound incomplete.

Free Top view of crop unrecognizable male musician plating piano with music paper on stand during rehearsal Stock Photo

  • ALWAYS keep your eyes and fingers focussed on the piano keys to avoid note misses or delays.

Free A Little Girl Playing an Electronic Keyboard Stock Photo

  • ALWAYS use proper BENCH HEIGHT while playing the Piano, DONOT make it too grounded or too much upward. Proper bench height will help you to play the piano with proper arm and finger positions.

Free From above side view of attentive little African American girl with curly hair in stylish hoodie sitting on chair and playing piano with unrecognizable sibling Stock Photo

  • ALWAYS put your weight balance on your Back and also keep your Feet grounded to the floor. DONOT keep your Feet hanging while playing the instrument.

Free A Young Boy Sitting on a Wooden Chair while Playing Piano Stock Photo

  • ALWAYS be on a relaxed mind and also ensure to keep your hands RELAXED and LOOSE to play with ease. Do not use firm or tight fingers while playing the piano. The speed of your playing depends on how relaxed your forearms and fingers are on the piano keys.

Free Grayscale Photo of Person Playing Piano Stock Photo

Image – Double hand finger placement for a Piano


It is evident from the above discussion that to be a good pianist – practice, skill, posture and techniques matter the most. Also fingers and wrist movements influence the piano playing style of a pianist much more that the forearm sizes. We hope our musician friends, get all success in their piano playing journey and improve their skills to be great pianists making the audience happy and spell-bound with their performances.

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