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Hannon Exercises (Read 8805 times)

Offline trampindenial

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Hannon Exercises
« on: February 20, 2008, 05:11:46 PM »
I'm thinking of taking up these exercises as I want to improve my technique, I just wanted to know if anyone here has tried them and whether they worked or not.

piano sheet music of The Virtuoso Pianist Part 1 (1-20)


Offline Alde

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #1 on: February 20, 2008, 08:09:44 PM »
Hanon is awesome.  Just make sure to observe tension and take breaks.

Offline trampindenial

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #2 on: February 20, 2008, 08:19:13 PM »
How do you mean observe tension?

Offline thierry13

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #3 on: February 20, 2008, 08:46:59 PM »
How do you mean observe tension?


Allways stay conscious of the amount of tension you have to reduce it the most possible. A good trick for beginners is to make an impulsion/complete release on neach note very slowly, and very gradually increasing speed with that same feeling.

Offline guendola

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #4 on: February 20, 2008, 11:57:31 PM »
Hanon can help! But don't overdo it because Hanon is very intense when you follow the instructions exactly. Don't play on when you detect any major tension in your hands/fingers/arms and don't increase the tempo before you feel completely comfortable with the current tempo. If you feel any pain after playing Hanon, ask a teacher what is wrong and put Hanon aside until you have worked on that problem.

But the best way to improve your "technique" is to get a teacher and tell him that. He will be able to help you much more effectively.

Offline cygnusdei

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #5 on: February 21, 2008, 12:41:01 AM »
If you feel sexual tension, you need to release!

Offline jinfiesto

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #6 on: February 21, 2008, 04:16:36 AM »
Hanon is fine and dandy, but there are better ways to improve your technique. I suggest that you seriously sit down and consider your technical strengths and weaknesses, actually write it out, and establish a plan to deal with it. Mindlessly plodding through hanon will just get you tendonitis. In fact, in my mind, the first 20 are only good for teaching gestural technique, and the same gesture at that. By the time that hanon becomes feasible, the point of the first twenty is moot anyways, since the main points of the exercises should already be taken care of by now.

Also, Maurice Hinson edits an excellent collection of exercises published by alfred, It shouldn't be that hard to find, it's a collection of studies from lots of people. Also, personally, while there are some good hanon exercises, I'd take some time to familiarize yourself with lots of exercise literature, before starting on a regimen, and try targeted practice, so you get the most out of it. Czerny has some excellent studies, personally, I'm a fan of the 8 bar etudes. Also, you may want to consider the Bartok Mikrokosmos, Dohnanyi exercises, Brahms exercises, and Feuchtwangler exercises. The latter are hard to find. I also have a hand written copy of Alicia de Larrocha's exercises, they are not in print, and I'm unfortunately not at liberty to distribute them, but someone else may have them who is, although they're extremely rare, as they were never published. The situation with the Feuchtwangler is the same I believe. Although, I can supply you with those. I think someone else on this site has them though, and has posted them already.

Offline gyzzzmo

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #7 on: February 21, 2008, 08:14:58 AM »
Ive tried them, but i dont think they're really usefull, except for the scales.
Most excersises are terribly repeatetive and boring, and because of that you tend to play them like automated wich isnt good. So you'll need alot of self-discipline to make Hanon worth the effort.
1+1=11

Offline guendola

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #8 on: February 21, 2008, 01:20:22 PM »
Ive tried them, but i dont think they're really usefull, except for the scales.
Most excersises are terribly repeatetive and boring, and because of that you tend to play them like automated wich isnt good. So you'll need alot of self-discipline to make Hanon worth the effort.

You definitely need a good amount of self-discipline to become a good pianist anyway. And anything can be played with musical expression, even garbage.

Offline jazz-piano

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #9 on: February 21, 2008, 01:27:35 PM »
Hanon's Exercises are useful to develop a piano technique.
I suggest you to play these exercise also in D flat Major key or in other keys.

Offline Alde

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #10 on: February 21, 2008, 06:38:59 PM »
Here is what Hanon suggests:

"The entire volume can be played through in an hour; and if, after it has been thoroughly mastered, it be repeated daily for a time, difficulties will disappear..."

I can't imagine doing all 60 exercises in one day or all of them in an hour.  Does anybody know if Hanon was a phenomenal pianist?  I don't I recall reading about him in Shoenberg's "Greatest Pianists" book.

Offline gyzzzmo

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #11 on: February 21, 2008, 09:11:34 PM »
You definitely need a good amount of self-discipline to become a good pianist anyway. And anything can be played with musical expression, even garbage.

True, but since there are very few good pianists who use these boards to actually get even better, i wouldnt advice doing Hanon to the average pianostreet reader ;)

Gyzzzmo
1+1=11

Offline sarah the pianist

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #12 on: April 02, 2008, 07:15:31 PM »
I think that Hannon is quite good but I prefer Czerny. Have you tried it?
My teacher told me that it would be better to practice parts of pieces in rhythms (dotted etc.) and make up little excersises to suit what you are trying to achieve.

 ;) :D ;D
(-: slow practice = fast progress :-)
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Offline gyzzzmo

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #13 on: April 02, 2008, 07:26:37 PM »
Czerny is good too yes, but has its pro's and cons like Hanon. Czerny has more melody (wich is better vs boredom), but is less focussed on perticular techniques.
1+1=11

Offline slobone

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #14 on: April 02, 2008, 09:44:35 PM »
The main disadvantage of Czerny is that most of the exercises are only for the right hand. The left hand just goes oom-pah-pah or similar. He does have some for the left hand, but in those the right hand doesn't have much to do.

I love Hanon precisely because it makes my left hand work exactly as hard as the right. That ought to be good for enlivening the corpus callosum...

Offline thierry13

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #15 on: April 02, 2008, 09:52:31 PM »
I can't imagine doing all 60 exercises in one day or all of them in an hour.  Does anybody know if Hanon was a phenomenal pianist?  I don't I recall reading about him in Shoenberg's "Greatest Pianists" book.

Going trough the volume in one hour is possible for many people, much more people than those who actually enter the category of "Greatest pianists". Even an advanced amateur could play Hanon in an hour. Doesn't make them a great pianist. Technique is not the only factor to decide whether one is a great pianists or not.

Offline slobone

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #16 on: April 03, 2008, 07:03:07 AM »
Takes me about half an hour to do 1-30, and that's not going particularly fast. In the second half, though, you have the complete scales and arpeggios. But if you only do them once each, it shouldn't take that long.

People shouldn't have the impression that Hanon is some kind of Bible for technique. The number of different technical problems he addresses is actually very limited. I mostly use him just as a warmup to get my fingers going in the morning.

I'd be interested to know if anybody's ever written a Hanon volume 2, that would cover things like jumps in the left hand, hands crossing over, "rolling" of chords, pedalling, etc. I imagine there's some good stuff in Czerny somewhere...

Offline rachfan

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #17 on: April 03, 2008, 09:16:01 PM »
I derive most of my technical "exercises" from the piano repertoire I study.  Daily, however, I do go through a warm-up of all major and minor scales in the Circle of 5ths followed by all the arpeggios, plus one sufficient and effective independence-of-the-fingers exercise.  All this takes just minutes to complete.

Two things I like about Hanon though: 1) The fingerings for the scales are excellent.  I used  them to learn scales as a kid and have stuck with those fingerings ever since.  2) Every once in a while, we all find that our playing can become ragged, seemly from a lack of control over articulation.  Part II of Hanon alone will restore total evenness in playing without fail.

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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #18 on: April 04, 2008, 02:52:13 AM »
The main disadvantage of Czerny is that most of the exercises are only for the right hand.
Really? He did write exercises which where solely for LH one eg: 24 Studies for the LH Op. 718

Hanon is very good so long you understand what each exercise tries to improve. To tell you the truth I only use a very few of them and alter them myself to exercise different fingering weaknesses in my beginner/intermediate students.
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Offline slobone

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #19 on: April 04, 2008, 03:59:49 AM »
Really? He did write exercises which where solely for LH one eg: 24 Studies for the LH Op. 718

I believe I said that, if you read a couple sentences later. I don't know of any exercises of his that work the left and right hand at the same time, but since he wrote over 800 opus numbers, obviously I don't know them all.

Hanon is very good so long you understand what each exercise tries to improve. To tell you the truth I only use a very few of them and alter them myself to exercise different fingering weaknesses in my beginner/intermediate students.

I'm a perpetual beginner so that suits me fine. I just use them to get my fingers warmed up. If they're too easy for your students, try moving the metronome up.

I always do them in C# instead of C, and lately I've been doing them in triplets, which is good for evenness.

Offline nia_kurniati

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #20 on: April 23, 2008, 02:13:23 AM »
Following this conversation, I like to know is there an exercise for duplets againts triplets? Thanks

Offline thierry13

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #21 on: April 23, 2008, 02:19:48 AM »
Following this conversation, I like to know is there an exercise for duplets againts triplets? Thanks

Try Brahms 51 exercises, if you dare so  ;D

Offline dan101

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #22 on: April 23, 2008, 12:46:41 PM »
With all due respect to Hannon exercises, and that one in particular, I find the Brahms exercises more beneficial and diversified. Having said that, the Hannon example does use all of the fingers and is of benefit.
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Offline slobone

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #23 on: April 25, 2008, 01:57:54 AM »
It depends on what you're using exercises for. I use Hanon to warm up at the beginning of the day, then I do a Slonimsky scale, then I go on to my pieces.

The advantage of the Hanon is that I don't have to spend any time learning notes or polishing "expression," etc. Sometimes I just want something where I can completely concentrate on what my fingers are doing, and not what the notes are on the sheet music.

I don't know the Brahms etudes, but in general composers' etudes should be treated like regular pieces, right? If it's a piece you want to work on, fine. But they take a lot more time to learn than a mechanical exercise like Hanon.

Offline omei

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #24 on: May 02, 2008, 03:51:30 PM »
The Hanon exercises provide many patterns. Once you have mastered those patterns, it is highly recommended that you do them with variations, then the fun part begins.

You can do it staccato or legato; You can anchor the first note of each pattern and play the rest of it either staccato or legato; You can do it in dotted rhythm, or in combination of duplet and triplet…etc.; You can also try to transpose. Challenge your self to do it in a different key, even bi-tonally. Technical exercises should be done creatively, and the possibilities are endless. 

Offline slobone

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #25 on: May 02, 2008, 08:11:25 PM »
And -- play them fast, and play them hard! Really dig down into the keys. They're strength-building exercises, not poignant little Chopin miniatures. Keep the metronome moving up. If you can plan your shopping list while you play them, you're going too slow...

Offline tgpianist

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #26 on: June 05, 2008, 02:38:04 PM »
The Hanon can both make or break your playing. You have to see if it has improved your playing or not. But relatively, I've been practicing the Hanon exercises, and they seem pretty ok, considering I have a good teacher. So test the waters first, then take the plunge.

Offline cloches_de_geneve

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #27 on: June 09, 2008, 10:47:28 AM »
Try Brahms 51 exercises, if you dare so  ;D

Once you have mastered Brahms' 51 exercises, there is little else you need to learn to achieve good technique. THAT could hardly be said of Hannon.
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Offline cloches_de_geneve

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #28 on: June 09, 2008, 10:48:12 AM »
Once you have mastered Brahms' 51 exercises, there is little else you need to learn to achieve good technique. THAT could hardly be said of Hanon.
"It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it." -- Glenn Gould

Offline ahkow

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #29 on: June 09, 2008, 11:40:56 AM »
It depends on what you're using exercises for. I use Hanon to warm up at the beginning of the day, then I do a Slonimsky scale, then I go on to my pieces.

Wats a slonimsky scale?

Offline slobone

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #30 on: June 09, 2008, 01:10:10 PM »
One of the scales from Nicholas Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Musical Patterns. He's got over 1300 of them, every imaginable pattern of notes you could play. I use them as an alternative to major and minor scales, both to keep myself from getting bored and to challenge my fingers (and brain) with new combinations.

Actually they're not all scales, some of them are more like arpeggios or something in between.

An example would be one I did the other day: the ascending pattern is

C D Eb F# G# A

This one is obtained by dividing the scale in two sections (that gives you your C and F#), then interpolating two notes in each section. I do this one with both hands, up and down 4 octaves.

Another type I like is the "bitonal arpeggios", such as the one combining C major and Eb major:

C E G Bb Eb G   

then going down you do

C G E Eb Bb G

That one will really keep you on your toes.

The only drawback to the book is that he doesn't include fingering. But I usually like to work out my own anyway.

Offline gyzzzmo

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #31 on: June 09, 2008, 01:38:55 PM »
One of the scales from Nicholas Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Musical Patterns. He's got over 1300 of them, every imaginable pattern of notes you could play. I use them as an alternative to major and minor scales, both to keep myself from getting bored and to challenge my fingers (and brain) with new combinations.

Actually they're not all scales, some of them are more like arpeggios or something in between.

An example would be one I did the other day: the ascending pattern is

C D Eb F# G# A

This one is obtained by dividing the scale in two sections (that gives you your C and F#), then interpolating two notes in each section. I do this one with both hands, up and down 4 octaves.

Another type I like is the "bitonal arpeggios", such as the one combining C major and Eb major:

C E G Bb Eb G   

then going down you do

C G E Eb Bb G

That one will really keep you on your toes.

The only drawback to the book is that he doesn't include fingering. But I usually like to work out my own anyway.

Sounds like a way of practising wich has an incredible bad learning curve :p
1+1=11

Offline ahkow

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #32 on: June 09, 2008, 02:28:35 PM »
One of the scales from Nicholas Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Musical Patterns. He's got over 1300 of them, every imaginable pattern of notes you could play. I use them as an alternative to major and minor scales, both to keep myself from getting bored and to challenge my fingers (and brain) with new combinations.

Actually they're not all scales, some of them are more like arpeggios or something in between.

An example would be one I did the other day: the ascending pattern is

C D Eb F# G# A

 

Sounds rather like different modal scales such as aeolian lydian etc

Offline slobone

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #33 on: June 10, 2008, 02:19:36 AM »
He includes the modal scales but many others besides.

Slonimsky himself was a 12-tone composer, so I guess he thought it would be useful for others (composers as well as pianists) to learn how to play exercises that aren't just restricted to traditional tonality. Some of them are easier on the ears than others.

Progressive jazz musicians apparently use the book a lot, it's kind of a cult classic with them.

Offline ahkow

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #34 on: June 10, 2008, 11:48:31 AM »
guess i gotta try them out.. hope they're useful

Offline slobone

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Re: Hannon Exercises
«Reply #35 on: June 10, 2008, 05:10:55 PM »
They have them on Amazon for about $20 (if I'm allowed to say that here.)

They're fun. I should caution you that I've never heard a piano teacher express an opinion about them one way or another. I just thought I'd try them for fun. And I have a short attention span, so I do a different one every day.