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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been using the Hannon ones for years whenever It's been awhile since I've played seriously that seems to build up my hand strength in ways it needs to be built up. Now I know that several well known composers have etudes that are supposed to be kind of like it. I've wanted to fiddle with the Debussy ones for years, but never gotten around to it, maybe it's time? Will they help? They show off different ways of playing with chords and single notes. I don't know how it will help with finger and hand strength.
 

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Exercise are an xtremely overlooked and neglected part of playing piano, mainly because it is boring to just do exercises, I hated them as a child, , but I realise my music teacher was right! Repetition also brings about, how shall i put it, muscle memory or whatever, that is when you encounter a similar or identical part in a piece of music, you will automatically know how to play it instead of struggling with it.
 

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Exercise are an xtremely overlooked and neglected part of playing piano, mainly because it is boring to just do exercises, I hated them as a child, , but I realise my music teacher was right! Repetition also brings about, how shall i put it, muscle memory or whatever, that is when you encounter a similar or identical part in a piece of music, you will automatically know how to play it instead of struggling with it.
I should have been doing Exercises when I was taking lessons but my teacher never required them. Now I see that with my interest in classical music, they are what I should have been learning.
 

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Scales and arpeggios in particular; when you are learning a more complex piece of music the last thing you want to be doing is picking out how to play the scales and arpeggios instead of getting to the heart of the music. I wish I had worked harder at scales when I was younger and could keep things in my head with little effort.
 

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When Liszt went to Czerny "he stressed the great need of flexing and relaxing the fingers in all directions by multiple exercises for at least three hours a day; these exercises would include varied scales in octaves, thirds, arpeggios in their inversions, trill, chords and finally, everything that one is capable of doing. When one has perfectly flexible and strong fingers, one has conquered the greatest difficulties of the piano."

Czerny would "use short passages (a few bars) which do not belong to the text, but with similar technical demands. In this case, the student is clearly told that his aim is to acquire technique for subsequent musical expression, and he is only required to practice for technique. In an apparently incomplete "excerpt", there are no tendencies of musical flow which would urge them to rush through. Hence he would be better able to focus his attention in completing the task."
 

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Exercises (The correct ones) are essential in learning a variety of things: keys of scales, technique, dexterity, speed, and proper form. There are many pianists who have ruined their careers because of poor or improper form. Without it, there are certain pieces that are virtually impossible to play.

Scales, Hannon books are good. As Taggart mentioned above, Czerny's school of velocity are challenging, teach a lot of essentials, and are often fun.

Yes, by all means, do your exercises.

V
 

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exercise have helped me quite a bit. i was resistant to doing scales and exercises when i first started studying but after studying for 3 years the desire to do more advanced repertoire won out and i told my teacher i would do whatever it took to get there. i work on scales every day and i started with louis plaidy exercises which i hated but which made my hand very much stronger. now i can do the repetoire i have longed to do (bach toccata) and i have much greater endurance and better tone quality. the payoff has been so worth it. i enjoy my technical work now. and i've seen real progess. i can't recommend it highly enough. having a good teacher is important too. i probably spent around 45 min on scales each day and i also do cramer bulow etudes which have taken the place of the louis plaidy. i really hated the plaidy but the results were undeniable. i have the endurance to practice for hours now.....its been wonderful.
 
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I spend about 30 minutes a day on Hanon, scales, and arpeggios--all are extremely helpful in developing speed and finger independence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have another question along the same lines, will excersizes help minimize what I like to call typos? You know you're speeding along and accidentally hit two keys at once without meaning to?
 
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I suppose if you don't make "typos" with exercises, then you are less likely to make them in actual pieces. Try to figure out the source of the mistake--is it a large stretch, wide leap, etc.? Isolate the problem and figure out what creates the error rather than just robotically repeating the passage. As one noted pianist, whose name escapes me, said, "Don't practice mistakes." Simple but vital advice.
 
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