Czerny, finger exercises and playing the piano

When I first started playing the piano…now over 16 years ago, I thought the best way to start was to read music and play simple finger exercises so I could get used to the instrument.

Turns out he was kind of right. Some of Czerny’s exercises are very good at developing finger strength and dexterity. When I have nothing better to do, I practice five-note finger patterns on the white keys.

But now, I don’t do scales, drills, or any other kind of “technique” exercises. Why? Because I’ve figured out a better way to warm up and get your fingers going. Of course I’m talking about improvisation. You know, the good thing about improvisation is that the technique is invented when required.

Learning fingering by heart will never make you a good pianist. Trusting your intuition and letting your fingers guide you will serve you much better.

Using finger exercises to warm up isn’t a bad idea at all, but it won’t give you the dexterity and skill that only improvisation will. This is because the first form is routine, while the second is a spontaneous creation from one moment to another. The fingers will follow the heart and lead you to new combinations and ways of expressing yourself. In fact, through improvisation, you will come up with completely new fingerings.

Imagine being able to sit down at a piano and just PLAY – Ballads, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Ragtime, even amazing Classical pieces? Now you can… and you can do it in months not years without wasting money, time and effort on traditional Piano Lessons.

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