You may think that perfect posture and hand positions are only applicable for women joining a beauty pageant.
Posture is, in fact, one of the rudiments to help you attain your goal to become a good piano player.
So how does it help?
What can go wrong?
Bad hand posture can affect your performance. It can fail your fine motor skills and it can hurt you. Poor hand posture may cause cramps thus limiting your time for practice. When you don't have enough practice, you won't be able to play your piece correctly. One must sit with his back straight but the neck should be relaxed. Both feet must be near the pedals and the elbows are the same height as the keys.
You may want to consider cutting those nails short or just about the right length wherein when you press a key on the piano, the tip of your finger will touch the surface and not your nail. Otherwise, your performance might end up sounding like a typing class rather than a concerto. Remember that your audience came for music, not to listen to any clicking noise.
Now, what is a good hand posture?
Try holding a ball about the size of your palm. The knuckles will naturally come out and the fingers will be curved. Try doing this without a ball and position both of your thumbs in the middle C and make sure that the fingers are a bit arched. It might feel a little awkward at first but it will pay off as you continue. The way your fingers are positioned will help you avoid cramps, you would not get tired easily and you will notice you have enough access to the keys, black or white.
This is just about the same way as how you use your fingers in typing. If you consider yourself good at typing, then consider yourself lucky. Hand posture will not be as hard as you thought it would be.
Fingering, in playing piano, refers to the correct usage of each finger of your hand to play a note for a song or a piece. The thumbs are labeled number 1, indices as 2, and so on. Some piano pieces have indicated the finger number for each note.
It may be a little helpful for beginners to write the finger numbers on your hand, but use the non-permanent markers, unless you would want to be questioned for an interesting choice of tattoo design.