Not just practicing scales and arpeggios might improve the piano technique. There are lots and lots of exercise which will help us improve our piano skill. Composers like Brahms, Czerny, had given hard piano exercise to improve our technique skills. Apart from
- Five-finger exercise
- Diminished chord exercise
- Circle of 5th and 4th scale exercise
- Scales and arpeggios exercise
- Broken Chords
This exercise will make your finger placement ver string. Where you are just playing five notes and by practicing it, again and again, you will build a solid form to place the finger at the correct note will the correct velocity. Let me explain how to practice this five-finger exercise.
Take any scale, Let us take D major ( lets us be different by not choosing C major 😀 ). in both right and left hand play the first five notes of the scale ascending and descending. Her in D major the first five notes are D, E, F#, G#, A, Play these five notes up and down continuously with some velocity. Velocity is one of the important factor practicing exercises, Where we have to show some dynamics for each and every note we play.
Diminished chord exercise
Diminished chord exercise playing the first and fifth scale degree ( 1st and 5th note) of the chord. Starting from C diminished to B diminished chord this exercise has to be played chromatically so that it will bring flexibility to each finger were while playing piano at some parts fingers had to stretch to its most.
First, start from C diminished which is C-E♭-G♭-B♭♭ which is a full diminished chord then move to C♭ diminished chord which is C♭-E-G-C♭♭. To understand the basics of notes and accidents ( # and ♭ ) check music theory lesson 1.
Circle of 5th and 4th scale exercise
Circle of 4th and 5th is something music works with and that is why this is taken at the beginning of the lessons. Circle of 4th is where everything moves in a 4th interval. Let us see that practical where we are starting from C. From C move to the 4th interval ie F and from F move to the 4th interval B♭.
The entire circle of 4th will be C – F – B♭ – E♭ – A♭ – D♭ – G♭ – C♭ – F♭ – B – E – A – D – G. Here in the circle of 4th all the notes will move in flats where else in the circle of 5th all the notes will move in sharps. As the circle of 4th moves in the 4th interval, Circle of 5th moves in the 5th interval. Starting from C – G – D – A – E – B – F# – C# – G# – D# – A# – E# – B#.
Practicing scales and arpeggios in the circle of 5th and 4th will be much effective than just practicing in a normal way. Intervals play a major role in understanding the circle of 4th and 5th and that will provide the ability to play the notes we think in our mind.
Scales and arpeggios exercise
This is one of the common and easy piano exercises to do. Scales and arpeggios can be practiced just as a warmup while will give the finger memory of the scales and chords and arpeggios. It can be practiced in many ways, One of the common ways is to practice in a chromatic way. Starting from the C major scale and move to C# major and D and goes on. Same with the arpeggios, Start with the C major arpeggio and C# then D and goes on like that till B major. After completing all the major scales and arpeggios start with the minor scale and arpeggio with the same pattern as you did with the major scale and arpeggio.
When chords played with all the possible inversions then it is said as broken chords. Broken chords often help while accompanying the singer or another lead instrumentalist where each chord has to be played in different inversions.
- C – E – G = Root Position
- E – G – C = 1st Inversion
- G – C – E = 2nd Inversion
Starting from C major chord, Chord must be played in the root position first and the first inversion and the second inversion. If you are playing a tension chord like 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th then the inversion also gets added.
There is a lot more exercise to practice to improve your skill. But keep these 5 exercises as a goto exercise which will bring discipline in playing pattern and finger technique. Piano exercise is not just to improve finger technique it is also to improve the musical skill.