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Originally Posted by Pianoperformance
Haha. Now, this may be a little too much 😬
I hope you're not going to do all this during the next week!

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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Pianoperformance
..it is repetitive and boring, my teacher always says..

This is a major sign that the pianist should stop playing Hanon. Playing the exercises without a specific goal - it is like shooting in air, eyes closed: a waste of bullets, time and effort.
  And here is possible targets:

Play with both hands at the same time completely in different tempos - from very slow (40 BPM) up as quickly as possible

Play sounds perfectly with the same dynamics - in different volume

Play with different dynamics in each hand

Play up the crescendo from pianissimo, down - diminuendo .

Play up diminuendo, crescendo down.

Play simultaneously in one hand crescendo, diminuendo in another
Change combination between hands

Play with accents on each eighth, each quarter .  at the beginning of each bar (in fast tempos); accent only on one sixteenth in a bar - at each of eights notes

Play dotted rhythm

Play dotted rhythm on the contrary

Play with both hands at a distance of 1,2,3,4, 5 octaves

Change hands places:   the right hand plays the lower voice - above the the left, under the left

Play legatissimo, legato, non legato, staccato, very staccato

Combine different types of articulation

Turn a group of 4 sixteenths into eighth + triplet of sixteenths


And all this needs to be improved.


Now we can start talking about a boring exercises.


Well said.
But - why it isn't so obvious that one should practice these excersis in that way? When I was playing them, after I got them under my finger, for not to be boring, I was always changing something. Diminuendo, creascendo staccato, one note with accent, etc, you can have tons of fun with them!

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Originally Posted by Nahum
As in the novel of Sholem Aleichem: "The main thing forgotten!" smile

Play in all keys!


Do say major only or major and minor?

I have bought Hanon and been having it for about 2 weeks now. There are 60 exercises. Obviously, at the beginning I need to learn exercises before I introduce variations. So they are not going to be boring at all. But do you have any routine how to approach them? 60 exercises is a lot. I can't learn everything at once. How do you progress with Hanon? Or anything like this? Do you start with 1st and then move and learn the second exercise and then move to 3rd etc. or do you take groups of 10?

Last edited by Celdor; 09/17/16 09:47 PM.

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Originally Posted by Celdor


Do say major only or major and minor?

Natural major and minor are identical, but yes - you can add a harmonic and melodic minor.

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Celdor, you may want some guidance from your teacher. Initially, we started on 1 as I was not familiar with such exercises...certainly, the top 20, part 1, are very similar in objective. However, we did jump into different exercises in part 2 to support any score that I am working on..like the thumb under third finger, say..part 3 is more scales, arpeggios related..

For me, I going back and trying to be more methodical, but likely to jump round in part 2/part 3 to assist with score/scales-arpeggios. I would recommend, if you just started, work through the the first 10 to familiarize yourself.

Harmonic minor is more common, and I learn the melodic too.

Last edited by Pianoperformance; 09/18/16 11:57 AM.

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Thanks for the clue.

I looked at books I and III.

I can see book I contains 5 finger exercises of different patterns being played across 2 octaves (ex. 1-20). I played them at tempo 65 BPM and I can tell I went through them rather quickly. I can play ex. 1-15 without major mistakes. I did not feel much fatigue in fingers. There are exceptions, like ex. 9 which requires work with pinkies. And then 16-20 are ok besides 20th which needs stretching a little bit. All in all, I have not spotted any major problems with book I considering tempo 65 of course :p. I think it will be ok if I play book I every day to get evenness and sync between hands at decent level smile It just takes slightly more than 15 mins!

Book III, on the other hand, as said, contains exercises for thirds, sixths and octaves. I did try a few and I must say they are extremely hard. I think for those exercises I am going to reduce tempo to less than 60 even lower what Hanon suggests. I feel like I should do those exercises along with book I. Plenty of pieces involve octaves, sixths and thirds.

That's my plan smile


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You have the right approach. .focus on evenness and tempo..work with the metronome at 65, this will keep you honest 😊. You are inspiring me to keep going too.


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Originally Posted by Pianoperformance
You are inspiring me to keep going too.


Yes. Keep going smile

You probably know that so you can ignore me on what I am about to say! Make sure Hanon is only a part of the technical part of your routine. I still do scales, arpeggios, and try to learn chords. I try to do this for all keys. Obviously not all of them everyday. I have family :p Usually, per day, I alternate between major and minor scales, play arpeggios in one or two keys only, play chords but alternate between majors and minors. I try not to exceed 1h for a technical part. Otherwise I am too exhausted to properly practice pieces.

My other plan (not tested it yet :p ) is that, for technical part, I would play most or all of it on Saturday/Sunday and see where I struggle. Then during the week I would focus only on difficult problems. I have never put it into practice, though :p


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haha, I appreciate your inputs Celdor! it is good to share, because so many of us are under so many demands, and here we are: all wanting to play well even though we recognize that we are not going pro anytime soon. I like your ideas too.

I thought about dedicating a day to technicals [scales, hanon, etc]. but homework is priority first, and I try and focus on them on the weekend when I am fresh and alert. I recommend you read Alan Rusbridger [play it again]: great tips from some master classes, which I will adopt like break up the whole score, practice on difficult measures, and only play the whole piece [where ever you are up to on it] once or twice a week. it seems to be helping, and stops me from repeating the easy measures.


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There will always be anecdotal stories of success with Hannon, but I would ask vs. what? Or course if you are not doing any other technical exercise then it would obviously benefit but the question is if it would be better in regards to time/reward over doing various scales & arpeggios etc... It is nice to come across a piece and find a scale or arpeggio even if a variation that you already know well. Fingering and wrist movements immediately falls right in place along with speed and articulation.

You might want to check out Peskanov Russian Regimen. All the scales, various forms of arpeggios and broken chords etc nicely formatted with fingering and arranged in a way for mindful practice and correct wrist movements.





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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Celdor


Do say major only or major and minor?

Natural major and minor are identical, but yes - you can add a harmonic and melodic minor.

I was thinking about this answer and it did not give me rest. Perhaps when you play the whole scale the keys are the same but when you practice Hnon, the keys will be different because Hanon's pattern uses only 5 fingers. Therefore it is going to be different anyway for majors and any minors, itns't it?


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Originally Posted by Celdor
Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Celdor


Do say major only or major and minor?

Natural major and minor are identical, but yes - you can add a harmonic and melodic minor.

I was thinking about this answer and it did not give me rest. Perhaps when you play the whole scale the keys are the same but when you practice Hnon, the keys will be different because Hanon's pattern uses only 5 fingers. Therefore it is going to be different anyway for majors and any minors, itns't it?


It's different in the sense that you start on a different note of the scale. But otherwise they are the same.

For example, C minor, in the natural minor mode, is the same as E flat major, except you start on C instead of E flat. If you practice Hanon exercises in natural minor, you will end up playing the same thing as the corresponding E flat major, just starting on a different scale degree.

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Originally Posted by Celdor
Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Celdor


Do say major only or major and minor?

Natural major and minor are identical, but yes - you can add a harmonic and melodic minor.

I was thinking about this answer and it did not give me rest. Perhaps when you play the whole scale the keys are the same but when you practice Hnon, the keys will be different because Hanon's pattern uses only 5 fingers. Therefore it is going to be different anyway for majors and any minors, itns't it?

But you are going to cylce through all the 5-finger positions as you do the pattern over 2 octaves. The only difference is the starting point.

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Originally Posted by Pianoperformance
here we are: all wanting to play well even though we recognize that we are not going pro anytime soon. I like your ideas too.
Pro is a thing I am not really worried about smile I don't think I will go for this career. It's too stressful :p

Originally Posted by Pianoperformance
I recommend you read Alan Rusbridger [play it again]: great tips from some master classes, which I will adopt like break up the whole score, practice on difficult measures, and only play the whole piece [where ever you are up to on it] once or twice a week. it seems to be helping, and stops me from repeating the easy measures.

Thanks for the title smile

I was advised to do something similar. Learning bar by bar, isolating hardest parts and practising them separately. I do this when I sight read. Sometimes I take even from a middle of a bar and stop in the middle of another one. It's really help with both sight reading and learning a piece. I think it will be good do so with hardest exercises of Hanon.

Before I was learning pieces by heart, only, regardless the difficulty. Now, I am practising pieces and memorising then we well as practising sight reading. This method bar by bar is excellent for the sight reading. First, I can see how bad I am :p but somehow I can see that my fingers have started finding right keys, getting sense an offset between current key and another one.

Edit. thanks Wr and Qazsedcft. I don't know why I did not realise keys would be the same after playing 2 octaves. It was yesterday! Today my mind is not blocked anymore smile

Last edited by Celdor; 09/20/16 03:24 AM.

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Take a look at Technique for the Advancing Pianist by Valerie Cisler and Maurice Hinson. There you have a variety of scales, exercises, music theory and piano studies. And some Hanon too.

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The first time I read this...

"...the keys will be different because Hanon's pattern uses only 5 fingers..."

...I thought the poster might be a person with a mutation which had gifted him or her with a sixth finger--- rarer still, a sixth finger that works. And, I got the impression that this poster was criticizing Hanon for lacking drills and technical studies for persons with the sixth finger. I was wondering how long it would take the publisher to earn back the investment which would be required. I wondered on which side of the hand sixth fingers occur.

Woolgathering, of course. Then this epiphany:

"...I don't know why I did not realise keys would be the same after playing 2 octaves."

Well that's right: one octave, two octaves, a million octaves; they are what they are, always the same. It is one of those reassuring facts.

If you would like a further epiphany, let me suggest you go past a single octave, or two octaves, when you are practicing your scales like a good pianist. Why not go for the whole keyboard? This conserves the knowledge you have learned, yet lets it inform you of a few other things. That, and it knocks the dust off the keys at the top and bottom of the keyboard.

I like to start with the scale in regular duple meter, and a moderate tempo. Next time through, play them in triple meter--- don't complain before you try it; some keys are actually easier to play this way. Finally, as fast as I can, up and down the keyboard. You've heard accomplished pianists do runs like this; now you can, too. Or, now you can try, too.

Same scale, same notes each time. But, a little something to get you out of your rut, and get you past complaining how boring it is to do scales. Maybe it is, if you let it. But anyone who is at least a little serious about piano finds that the discipline of doing of the technical studies is essential, and that it sets you free.

It can help you to seek out exemplars of pieces with keys of the same pitch, and the different rhythm patterns. Applying your new knowledge to real-world examples is another way to make it yours, for good. And, turning it around, I find that when learning a new work, it helps me to run through the key's (or keys') scale a few times. It helps my fingers know where they are.


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Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
The first time I read this...

"...the keys will be different because Hanon's pattern uses only 5 fingers..."

...I thought the poster might be a person with a mutation which had gifted him or her with a sixth finger--- rarer still, a sixth finger that works. And, I got the impression that this poster was criticizing Hanon for lacking drills and technical studies for persons with the sixth finger. I was wondering how long it would take the publisher to earn back the investment which would be required. I wondered on which side of the hand sixth fingers occur.

Woolgathering, of course. Then this epiphany:

"...I don't know why I did not realise keys would be the same after playing 2 octaves."

Well that's right: one octave, two octaves, a million octaves; they are what they are, always the same. It is one of those reassuring facts.

This is quite strong indication of one's silly writing and I am happy only one person brought it back in this context! That's why I like this community. I thought to give an explanation because there is one but reslised perhaps it wouldn't make much difference on that particular occasion.


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