Students ask me all the time “How can I play faster on the piano.” When it comes to pieces (songs) that they are playing, Speed actually comes last. Note accuracy, evenness, smoothness, and dynamics come first. Then, a metronome is a great tool for building speed at the piano. But, that is another blog!
Speed Building Exercises for Piano
There are exercises designed to increase your finger speed, strength and independence. One of the best series of exercises is Hanon – The Virtuoso Pianist by CL Hanon. Here is a free sheet music copy of the Hanon’s first exercise, Hanon Exercise No. 1 (CLICK HERE). This exercise is great because it is so easy to learn. Any beginner can do it. It is nothing more that a repeated pattern. The first pattern is CEFGAGFED using the fingering 123454321 in the right hand and 543212345 in the left hand. Then, the pattern simply moves up one note (transposes) DFGABAGF; then EGABCBAG; etc. To do this just move your hands up to the next key on the keyboard, and repeat the pattern. After transposing the pattern 13 times, the pattern changes to an opposite pattern and transposes down a step. The new pattern is GEDCBCDE; FDCBABCD: etc. The fingering is also the opposite of the first pattern 54321234 in the right hand and 12345432 in the left hand. This develops strength and speed in your hands and fingers evenly and that strength and speed will transfer over to the song or piece you are playing on the piano.
Enjoy these exercises and I hope you develop fast fingers while playing the piano!
If you would like personal assistance with any of the blog concepts, online and on-location lessons are available from Let’s Play Music and Make Art, LLC located in Derry and Londonderry, NH. www.letsplaymusic.com