Piano Exercises: Develop Your Technique

Piano exercises provide tools for developing finger, hand, and arm techniques for playing the piano. Technique develops while working on actual pieces, but sometimes a few exercises come in handy, especially for beginners.

They are generally not complex. Simple patterns allow the piano student to focus on the feel of the keys, piano technique, steadiness and evenness.  Repeating a pattern, over and over, while moving it up and down the keys helps the pianist build keyboard awareness.  

When you master an exercise pattern, and then work with a metronome to play it faster and smoother and more flowing, your overall piano-playing foundation grows more solid and you gain confidence.  If you are a beginner, the exercises offer a chance to work on your independent finger action, as well as simply getting to know your piano fingerings and how the keyboard feels beneath your fingers.  

To see how your work here fits into your piano-playing foundation,  read "Piano Player... You".



The Piano Exercises Plan:

With my beginning piano students, I use the following 8 exercises in progressive order for developing finger ability and technique from the beginning. Do these 8 exercises before moving on to scales.  Each one consists of a pattern which you can learn easily and then play, with both hands, starting in C position and then moving up a step to the next position.  After repeating the pattern 8 times ascending, put the pattern in reverse and play it 8 more times, moving down a step on each one.  

A video demonstration for each exercise will help you learn quickly, though you can also print up the music if you'd like to see what it looks like on the page.

Follow each exercise with Arpeggios, a Cadence, and Twinkle (a precursor to Burlesque), and you have complete workout for the continued development of your piano-playing foundation.



Exercise #1: Peanut Butter Etude

To see the music notation: Peanut Butter Etude


Exercise #2: Stepping & Skipping

To see the music notation: Stepping and Skipping


Exercise #3: M & W

To see the music notation: M and W exercise 


Exercise #4: "3rds Etude"

To see the music notation: 3rds Etude 


Exercise #5: "4ths Etude"

To see the music notation: 4ths Etude


Exercise #6: "5ths Etude"

To see the music notation: 5ths Etude


Exercise #7: "6ths Etude"

To see the music notation: 6ths Etude


Exercise #8: "Interval Fun"

To see the music notation: Interval Fun exercise 


Next: Scales, Arpeggios, & Chords

Once you have made it through these exercises, capable of playing each one confidently, comfortably, smoothly- flowing, and musically... you are ready to move on to SACB.


The basic stuff: Scales

Click here for a simple and basic overall view of the scales.


Wikipedia's Information on piano exercises 

For more about some other keyboard studies, click here.



Serious about playing the piano?

Read Piano Player... You

A guide to building a solid and complete piano-playing foundation.

-Click here to learn more about this e-book-


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