Saturday 16 January 2021

Book Review: FingerTips for Pianists by Elizabeth Hembrey (Non-Fiction/Music)

Title: FingerTips for Pianists
Author: Elizabeth Hembrey
Publisher: Matador
Publication Date: 28 January 2021
Pages: 240
eBook - PDF
Genre: Non-Fiction / Music
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Part of the enjoyment of playing the piano is the challenge it brings. FingerTips for Pianists is the ideal companion. It provides tips and strategies to help you achieve new skills and advance your technique. It troubleshoots any tricky bits and systematically looks at ways to approach or correct them. It offers fresh insight into interpretation of the music you play and helps you prepare and polish your piece for performance.

There are tips, strategies and guidance on learning new music; and valuable advice on sight reading, memorising, health and posture. It studies the characteristics and qualities that influence you as a player and includes an interesting and welcome contribution from world class concert pianist, Stephen Hough.

Many of those who learned to the play the piano as a child are finding pleasure in returning to it as an adult. This book will refresh and stimulate their knowledge in a way that gives encouragement, confidence and a mature understanding.

FingerTips for Pianists has something for everyone and leads players to constructive thinking that paves the way to discovery and progress. Be prepared to think ‘outside the box’.


FingerTips for Pianists contains some interesting and useful suggestions that cover everything from good posture to how to approach sight-reading and dealing with stage fright. Any budding pianist would find something to take away from these pages, depending on their current level of competence. I was reading an ARC, so this may be something that gets fixed prior to publication, but one issue I had with the eBook was that the images did not present well. They were overblown, distorted and often completely illegible. I was also less than impressed with the stick-figure drawings. These would have worked better if more carefully illustrated or if photos had been used instead. But the general information was, as I said, good, and I will definitely try a few of the tips as I continue my own piano practice. This was a 3.5-star read for me.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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