Lesson 275

More Hanon Exercises: No. 8-10

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Hello and welcome back. I'm Joseph Hoffman, and in this lesson we're going to be looking at a few new Hanon finger power exercises. I'll also share some new tips on how to practice them to maximize your benefits. Let's come to the piano to get started. As with every time we play finger power, or anything on the piano, it's always super important to make sure you're using your best piano posture. Quick checklist: Make sure your bench is in the right position. Make sure your back is nice and tall, make sure you're playing with arm weight, and make sure your finger shape is in the curved and relaxed position we want it to be. Now let's check out Hanon Number Eight today. I know we're not going completely in order. That's on purpose. We're going to go back and learn the ones we've skipped later. This is the order that I find most helpful to my students. Now, can you take a look at this first measure, and figure out this pattern on your own? I want you to look carefully for when the notes are stepping, when they're skipping, and check the finger number. See if you can learn measure one on your own. Press pause to do that, then press play and we'll check it out together. All right, if you played it successfully, you should have noted that we start up with a skip up, but it's a finger 2, and then we have another skip up this time up to finger 4 so 1 2 4, then a step up, skip down, step up, skip down, step up, and then, Well let's actually stop there. Can you play that with me? Let's start with finger 1 on C, go, 1 2 4 5 3 4 2 3, pause if you need more work with that, otherwise let's keep going. Now we go to D, and we do the same pattern again. We skip up, we skip up again, and make sure the fingering is correct, step up, skip down, step up, skip down, step up. We do the same pattern again but this time on E. So, if you've been keeping up with our Hanon so far, you know that this is the pattern you're expecting. We do one pattern, then we do it again one step higher, then we do it again a step higher. You may recall that this is called a sequence. We do the same pattern over and over again, but one step at a time going higher, higher, higher, or lower, lower, lower. So now I'd like you to pause the video and work on this entire ascending, which means going up, ascending section, which is the first seven measures of Hanon Number Eight. Work on that on your own, then press play to go on. All right, so you've gone through this pattern seven times bringing you all the way up to B, and then here the pattern changes, and we start descending, which means going down. So we jump back up to this G, we skip down, we skip down, and then we're basically doing the pattern in reverse. Skip down, skip down, step down, skip up, step down, skip up, step down, and you see the pattern. All the way down until we get to here. And then we're done. Okay, so starting back up here on G with the right hand, and if you want to throw in the left hand, the left hand is doing the same thing. You might as well bring in your left hand as well. But it's up to you. If you want to start just learning right hand alone, left hand alone, but they're playing the same notes two octaves apart. I'd like you to pause the video and now work on the descending pattern all the way until you make it back to C. Work on descending on your own, press pause to do that, then press play to go on. Now, many thousands of pianists around the world use Hanon as a way to train, strengthen their fingers. So you can play faster and more advanced pieces down the road. Over the years, I've come across many tricks that pianists use to help them practice Hanon. Practicing Hanon just normal like that is just fine, but sometimes it can be helpful to try different rhythms. So instead of playing these all as eighth notes like you see written in the music: TI-TI TI-TI TI-TI TI-TI You can change the rhythms for practicing. One rhythm I like to use is the slow, quick, slow, quick, slow rhythm. Slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, You make the slows very slow, and the quick's very quick. Slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, and then after you've done that once, you reverse the pattern, and do quick, slow, quick, slow. Quick, slow, whoops, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, Let's try it once. Let's take just measure one, and I'd like you to do slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, and then stop there. Try that, go. And again, you want to make the notes sound very precise, almost like you're a robot. And make the notes sound very even and strict sounding. By even I mean don't make it like: Each one is equally loud. Okay? Now, let's try the opposite and do quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow, quick, slow. Try just measure one in little groups like that. Go. Now I find that it's very helpful if you're going to use this rhythm technique. To if you do slow, quick, slow, then the next time you need to reverse it and do quick, slow, quick, slow, because if you only do one of them, it can make your playing actually more uneven. but if you use both they balance each other. Another trick I like to use is what I call fast fours, and that's where you play four in a row fast. 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, and after a fast group of four you pause for a moment and that gives your body a chance to relax, and it helps your posture from getting tense. one of the things to watch out for when you're playing Hanon. If you play continuously and fast, sometimes tension will creep into your hands. It's important as you play to keep that tension out. To have moments where you release the tension. So, after you play four in a row fast, that's a chance to kind of just check in with your body and make sure you don't have any tension. Four in a row fast. 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, and I call that fast fours. So sometimes just play it normal. Sometimes you can use the slow quick, or quick slow. And then sometimes you can use the fast fours. All of these tools can be things you try, and maybe some will work for you and some won't, but I want you to try them out and find the tools that work best for you. If a tool is working for you, you'll know because then when you go back to playing normal it will feel easier. You'll feel like your fingers are stronger, more coordinated, and quicker. And of course don't forget our tool the metronome. You can do one note per click at first when you're learning, and then when you feel ready, you can do two notes per click. For a real challenge you can even try four notes per click. I recommend you spend about a week on each hand and exercise. So today we're looking at number eight. After a week you can switch and start working on number nine, which looks like this: And then skipping ahead to descending. You can spend about a week on number nine, and then when you're ready you can try number ten. Then let's skip to descending. Things to remember are great piano posture, finger shape, start slow, use a metronome, try some of the different rhythms that I showed you, the slow, quick. Quick, slow, and fast fours. 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4 Remember, Hanon is an exercise, and this is preparing you to be able to play really amazing, advanced and fun repertoire in the future. Great work today learning some new Hanon finger power exercises. Happy practicing and see you next time! Ahhhh What's wrong? Is he gone? Is who gone? Sharky! He was chasing me all the way down the mountain! Sharky was there? Yep! He was helping with my training! Wait! So you actually found a master teacher? 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