There are all sorts of hand techniques to master when learning the piano: getting the left hand moving, having the hands play together, making your fingers play independently, stretching your hands out wide, twisting your fingers in strange ways, playing without looking at your hands... “I’m not a contortionist!” you say.
Shhh, it’s all going to be OK.
Your hands just aren’t accustomed to moving in these ways. I guarantee it took you a while to learn how to brush your teeth as a child, or how to write something with a pen, or how to pat your head and rub your tummy with different hands at the same time. By the time we get to being adults we’re pretty confident that we’ve learned all the basic motor skills we are going to need in life. But when we learn a new instrument we find we have to start from the beginning with some techniques and it can be frustrating, and a tiny bit humbling too.
Remember all the while that everyone goes through this as a beginner pianist, it’s not just you.
Just relax… each new technique will become easier as you go along: once you get your left hand moving around then you will find it easier to move those fingers independently; you’ll be playing larger and larger intervals so your hands will start to get used to spanning out wide; with more use your fingers will naturally become stronger and more agile. It’s just a matter of playing as much as you can, when you can, and having small challenges at the right times to push you further.
The myth isn't that your hands will be sore and unused to this movement, that part is very real. The myth is the belief that you're hands just won't do it - it feels impossible - but with patience, you can train your hands to dexterity. The more you play songs and exercises the more these hand-worries will take care of themselves. And remember all the while that everyone goes through this as a beginner pianist, it’s not just you.
What particular hand movements do you struggle with? Let me know in the comments.