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Hello! I'm trying to teach a friend of mine piano and also up my skills. I started using the Czerny book but noticed all the exercises are mostly in C Major. Does anyone know a good beginner, intermediate and advance skills building exercises book that aren't all in C Major mostly?
Any really good skills building books would be a great help!
Right now we are both just playing pieces to keep our skills up.
What skills piano book do you recommend that most helped you?

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Ernö Dohnanyi's "Essential Finger Exercises." It's available at IMSLP:

Dohnanyi's Essential Finger Exercises

These exercises are great for learning finger independence but some may be too advanced for an absolute beginner.


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Regarding Czerny exercises in C major, I think the idea is to transpose them.

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Originally Posted by AaronSF
Ernö Dohnanyi's "Essential Finger Exercises." It's available at IMSLP:

Dohnanyi's Essential Finger Exercises

These exercises are great for learning finger independence but some may be too advanced for an absolute beginner.

... and they are literally "finger exercises;" as helpful as they may be in the development of finger independence, there is no music in them.

Regards,


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C major is most difficult. After you master C major other keys will seem easier.

Many exercises could be easily transposed. I find playing Hanon transposed to other keys an excellent thing.

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
C major is most difficult. After you master C major other keys will seem easier.

Many exercises could be easily transposed. I find playing Hanon transposed to other keys an excellent thing.

Transposing Hanon sounds fun. I might try that doing #1 in in G or F. I imagine when you have more than one sharp or flat fingering gets tricky?

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Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
C major is most difficult. After you master C major other keys will seem easier.

Many exercises could be easily transposed. I find playing Hanon transposed to other keys an excellent thing.

Transposing Hanon sounds fun. I might try that doing #1 in in G or F. I imagine when you have more than one sharp or flat fingering gets tricky?

The fingering stays the same in all keys, that's the point.

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
C major is most difficult. After you master C major other keys will seem easier.

Many exercises could be easily transposed. I find playing Hanon transposed to other keys an excellent thing.

Transposing Hanon sounds fun. I might try that doing #1 in in G or F. I imagine when you have more than one sharp or flat fingering gets tricky?

The fingering stays the same in all keys, that's the point.
The fingering stays the same and that's what's tricky. Playing these exercises in, say, D-flat major but with C-major fingering is not so easy.

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
C major is most difficult. After you master C major other keys will seem easier.

Many exercises could be easily transposed. I find playing Hanon transposed to other keys an excellent thing.

Transposing Hanon sounds fun. I might try that doing #1 in in G or F. I imagine when you have more than one sharp or flat fingering gets tricky?

The fingering stays the same in all keys, that's the point.
That doesn't make sense imo. Why would you teach a beginner how to play 12345 on the first five notes of the C# major scale when they would almost never do that in practice? You need to learn when to cross over with the 2,3 or 4, and so on, concepts much more important for playing in black key signatures. A Bach prelude would make much more sense as I see it, even if you have to play with one hand at a time.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
C major is most difficult. After you master C major other keys will seem easier.

Many exercises could be easily transposed. I find playing Hanon transposed to other keys an excellent thing.

Transposing Hanon sounds fun. I might try that doing #1 in in G or F. I imagine when you have more than one sharp or flat fingering gets tricky?

The fingering stays the same in all keys, that's the point.
That doesn't make sense imo. Why would you teach a beginner how to play 12345 on the first five notes of the C# major scale when they would almost never do that in practice?
Who said this is a beginner exercise? It certainly isn't one.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
C major is most difficult. After you master C major other keys will seem easier.

Many exercises could be easily transposed. I find playing Hanon transposed to other keys an excellent thing.

Transposing Hanon sounds fun. I might try that doing #1 in in G or F. I imagine when you have more than one sharp or flat fingering gets tricky?

The fingering stays the same in all keys, that's the point.
That doesn't make sense imo. Why would you teach a beginner how to play 12345 on the first five notes of the C# major scale when they would almost never do that in practice? You need to learn when to cross over with the 2,3 or 4, and so on, concepts much more important for playing in black key signatures. A Bach prelude would make much 5sense as I see it, even if you have to play with one hand at a time.

It is not an exercice for beginners. But Iaroslav is correct. You keep the same fingering as with C major one. In fact it is a fairly common exercice to play all the scales also with the C major fingering in addition to the standard one. There are a few reasons for doing this. The first one is that in real music you do have to be able to play a scale in a different fingering than the standard one, so it is good to get used to play scales differently. It also helps to develop finger independance. When playing the Hanon exercices or a scale with the C major fingering, you get into some inconvenient or unusual finger positions. That is actually helpful to develop both finger dexterity and resistance.


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I've read that at one time in one the major Russian conservatories, doing Hanon exercises in all keys (I'm assuming major keys) was a requirement that came up in testing. One of the examiners on the exam panel would simply give an exercise number and a key, and the pupil was expected to be able to play it, and at a pretty high speed.

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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by Sebs
Transposing Hanon sounds fun. I might try that doing #1 in in G or F. I imagine when you have more than one sharp or flat fingering gets tricky?

The fingering stays the same in all keys, that's the point.
That doesn't make sense imo. Why would you teach a beginner how to play 12345 on the first five notes of the C# major scale when they would almost never do that in practice? You need to learn when to cross over with the 2,3 or 4, and so on, concepts much more important for playing in black key signatures. A Bach prelude would make much 5sense as I see it, even if you have to play with one hand at a time.

It is not an exercice for beginners. But Iaroslav is correct. You keep the same fingering as with C major one. In fact it is a fairly common exercice to play all the scales also with the C major fingering in addition to the standard one. There are a few reasons for doing this. The first one is that in real music you do have to be able to play a scale in a different fingering than the standard one, so it is good to get used to play scales differently. It also helps to develop finger independance. When playing the Hanon exercices or a scale with the C major fingering, you get into some inconvenient or unusual finger positions. That is actually helpful to develop both finger dexterity and resistance.

Right. And talking about scales with unusual fingerings I'd also like to mention the chromatic scale with fingerings 243 and especially 345. It's a miraculous exercise for weak fingers, I had never understood how undeveloped and clumsy my 5th finger really was before doing this exercise.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
C major is most difficult. After you master C major other keys will seem easier.

Many exercises could be easily transposed. I find playing Hanon transposed to other keys an excellent thing.

Transposing Hanon sounds fun. I might try that doing #1 in in G or F. I imagine when you have more than one sharp or flat fingering gets tricky?

The fingering stays the same in all keys, that's the point.
That doesn't make sense imo. Why would you teach a beginner how to play 12345 on the first five notes of the C# major scale when they would almost never do that in practice? You need to learn when to cross over with the 2,3 or 4, and so on, concepts much more important for playing in black key signatures. A Bach prelude would make much more sense as I see it, even if you have to play with one hand at a time.

One of the main points of practicing fingerings like that, where the thumb plays black keys, is to learn to move hand forward to the closing lid and backward when playing. Make a keyboard three-dimensional, so to say.

You're right that it's not for beginners.


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