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Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises

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Socorro 19 Aug 02 - 03:23 PM
NicoleC 19 Aug 02 - 04:54 PM
Justa Picker 19 Aug 02 - 05:22 PM
Justa Picker 19 Aug 02 - 05:26 PM
Socorro 19 Aug 02 - 06:34 PM
Mary in Kentucky 19 Aug 02 - 06:58 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 19 Aug 02 - 07:25 PM
Mary in Kentucky 19 Aug 02 - 09:06 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 20 Aug 02 - 04:59 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 20 Aug 02 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,teshimababy 12 Jun 10 - 10:28 PM
Smokey. 12 Jun 10 - 11:53 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Jun 10 - 05:01 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Jun 10 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,giovanni 13 Jun 10 - 09:10 AM
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Subject: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: Socorro
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 03:23 PM

Do you recommend specific finger exercises for dexterity, speed, flexibility? I am an adult piano student, at present teaching myself, and sometimes find my fingers not fast enough or in the right position for what I want to play. I play mostly by ear, & prefer playing with others, and accompanying singers. I will take all advice very seriously. Thank you very much.


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Subject: RE: Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: NicoleC
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 04:54 PM

Piano playing IS a finger dexterity exercise :)

Be careful with flexibility exercises on the fingers. There's so many little things in there that can get damaged if you get too carried away. I've been doing Alexander Technique to improve my flexibility and range of motion in one hand -- I lost a lot of my range due to RSI. I've noticed the exercises are having the side effect of improving my dexterity, particularly in the hand that isn't damaged.

The book "Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome" has a bunch of great hand and wrist exercises. Just be sure to do them very gently (and ignore the carpal tunnel bits.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: Justa Picker
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 05:22 PM

Here's an excellent stretching exercise but go easy with it and heed Nicole's advice as well.

With your left hand play a C octave. Thumb on middle C and baby finger on the C an octave lower. With your right hand, play an octave C with your baby finger on the C above middle C and the thumb on the C above that.

Play them in unison with both hands...then...keeping the baby fingers anchored on the notes, stretch your thumbs towards each other. No they won't meet and touch. But do this exercise for 5 minutes a couple of time a day, and damn if you don't extend your reach. Especially useful for ragtime piano for the left hand, if you want to hit 10ths on the fly and make fatter sound bottom end chords. Also improves the span of the right hand as well. But do this in moderation as you will feel the tendons.

Another good one to gain dexterity, it make a triad chord as in the notes being C,E, and G. Thumb on C, middle on E and baby finger on G. Break the chord up and play the G followed by the E and followed by the C, with the fingers as mentioned. Then shift everything done one whole tone and do it all again, and just keep shifting down (or up) one tone and repeating and bringing it up to a faster and faster smooth speed. Then, do a variation on it. Start with the thumb and then the middle and then baby fingers and go up the keyboard a whole tone at a time. If you want to get really adventurous do it with both hands at the same time!


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Subject: RE: Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: Justa Picker
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 05:26 PM

(Damn spelling mistakes, but you got the gist of it. *g*)


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Subject: RE: Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: Socorro
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 06:34 PM

Thank you both. I am off to try the exercises, and will heed the cautions!


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Subject: RE: Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 06:58 PM

I taught piano lessons to all ages, and I used the Dozen a Day series. You can find them at any music store that sells instruction books. Look for the level you're comfortable with. They also have sight reading exercises that are good.

As with any instruction materials...motivation is the key!


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Subject: RE: Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 07:25 PM

Go to any decent music shop and ask for a book of Hanon exercises - likely to cost around $10. They're widely available in the UK and mainland Europe - don't know about stateside.


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Subject: RE: Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 09:06 PM

Fionn, I grew up on Hanon - and usually hated them. (But like a lot of things, I appreciated them when I was older.) A lot would depend of the ability level of the person doing the exercises. I used the first Hanon (the one that just uses the five note scale with a skip) for beginners to play with different speeds, loudness, phrasing, etc. But the other Hanon exercises were just too difficult for beginners (or at least not fun).

A close friend's gifted daughter was pushed into Hanon and classical exercises too early and gave up piano lessons.


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Subject: RE: Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 04:59 AM

I second Nicole's caution (strongly!) and also the Hanon recommendation, though I'd skip the simplified versions and wait until you're ready to tackle the original. In particular, go for the first 20 exercises of The Virtuoso Pianist (there are about four volumes of "Hanon" but these are what is commonly meant, at least where I come from. Remember you can play them at any speed you can comfortably handle and work up gradually, which makes the difficulty level fairly flexible. Then, when you get really nifty, try playing them in different keys, hee hee hee...


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Subject: RE: Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 06:36 PM

A public domain source for the Hanon exercises.

http://pianopublicdomain.tripod.com/hanon.html

I recommend using a metranome with them. OUCH! some are painful - he is merciless on the ring-fingers - but you will develop dexterity.

Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: GUEST,teshimababy
Date: 12 Jun 10 - 10:28 PM

I know UR going to hate me if I say this, but I took piano, harp, drums, and can tell you that NOTHING beats have a VERY experienced teacher sitting right there next to ya. She can "fix" any potential problems on the spot, PLUS "push" you a little, that helps move you along a little faster! :> hoped that helped.


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Subject: RE: Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: Smokey.
Date: 12 Jun 10 - 11:53 PM

JS Bach's 48 preludes and fugues.

Admittedly I only ever managed a handful of them, but the benefit was obvious.


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Subject: RE: Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Jun 10 - 05:01 AM

A public domain source for the Hanon exercises.
http://pianopublicdomain.tripod.com/hanon.html

is now reported as not available


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Subject: RE: Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Jun 10 - 05:02 AM

"the Dozen a Day series" link is now also unavailable


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Subject: RE: Help: Piano playing:finger dexterity exercises
From: GUEST,giovanni
Date: 13 Jun 10 - 09:10 AM

Or did you mean actual finger exercises rather than piano pieces?

Try this


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