Hanon piano exercises have been meticulously constructed to provide the optimum level of practice for pianists of all levels and abilities. The full series of exercises have a proven track record in improving technical skill, speed and precision stretching back well over a century. First published in , The Virtuoso Pianist by Charles Louis Hanon has become a valuable source of inspiration for piano teachers, students and performers. The original 60 Hanon exercises have now been perfected and transposed to every major key, offering participants the maximum performance training and practice available. To gain the utmost benefits from the logical progression of Hanon exercises, it is recommended to practise these piano exercises on a daily basis.
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Here are my thoughts: Czerny was a total waste of time, as there is little identifiable direct carryover into the repertoire realm. Anyone would be far better off learning some concert etudes of Moscheles or Chopin, which can then double as recital pieces, thereby building technique and repertoire simultaneously.
The "independence" exercises of Schmitt as well as some of the I. Philipp exercises of this same genre can be dangerous and even invite injury unless the pianist is very cautious in using them. One is better off devising one independence exercise and sticking with it. I have just one now, and if I find myself getting sloppy holding ties in a piece, for example, I use that exercise to beneficial effect. I have some good and bad things to say about Hanon. The good things are that playing several of the five-finger exercises can be a quick fix to ragged playing.
We all have an occasional day when unexplained raggedness is a problem. Also, the scale and arpeggio fingerings are excellent, both for the initial learning experience and as a permanent reference.
So beyond what I mentioned as a couple of pluses, I can think of no other gains to be had in Hanon. The last thing I want to emphasize is that one does not develop a technique from any of these exercise books. Instead it is actually gained through solving various technical problems in day-to-day practice of repertoire pieces.
Piano technique exercise N°1 in C
The Virtuoso Pianist (Hanon, Charles-Louis)
Exercises and Studies for Pianists