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So.. About Hanon (Read 7181 times)

Offline vincentl

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So.. About Hanon
« on: October 01, 2010, 05:19:33 AM »
I know this topic is already discussed too much, but I feel like I like Hanon's exercises. I need a little advice on this because I am a little worried; I spend 30 - 45 minutes on Hanon and scales, but does Hanon's exercises do more harm than good? I still play it musically though, being aware of staccato, legato, etc. Will it be alright to do some exercises of Hanon if I keep it that way?
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." -Oscar Wilde

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


Offline gyzzzmo

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #1 on: October 01, 2010, 05:39:14 AM »
Yes.
1+1=11

Offline pianist1976

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #2 on: October 14, 2010, 11:51:35 PM »
Just my opinion: keep yourself away from Hanon, as far as you can :) But do continue with the scales, they are very beneficial. But according to Hofmann (and I think that also Lhevinne) 30 minutes a day is enough of technical exercises and scales.

Quote
staccato, legato, etc. Will it be alright to do some exercises of Hanon if I keep it that way?

In my humble opinion, I don't think so. It's absurd to try to put musicality to something that is not musical at all. The scales case is different, the scales are music (or, at least they are part of, or some of the basis of) and it's good to practice them with some expressive variations, as you already do.

In my opinion Hanon is potentially harmful, both physically (they are boring and strenuous, the exercises are excessively long, they can injure your arms) and mentally (45 minutes of those unmusical exercises... Oh my...). But, the most important: they are useless. In my opinion there's nothing in the real musical world that you will find on those exercises, so they cannot prepare for anything of the real world.

Offline jiafei

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #3 on: October 15, 2010, 12:40:31 AM »
I treat Hanon as an auxiliary reference book.  I used No.38 to prep for my scale study.  When I struggle with a specific finger pattern in my practice piece, I'd try to figure out the problem and ask my teacher to recommend a specific Hanon exercise to target my weakness.  I do spend quite sometime on Hanon, but I do not believe it's meant to be studied one by one in the arranged order.

I know this topic is already discussed too much, but I feel like I like Hanon's exercises. I need a little advice on this because I am a little worried; I spend 30 - 45 minutes on Hanon and scales, but does Hanon's exercises do more harm than good? I still play it musically though, being aware of staccato, legato, etc. Will it be alright to do some exercises of Hanon if I keep it that way?

Offline brogers70

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #4 on: October 15, 2010, 12:43:32 AM »
I know this topic is already discussed too much, but I feel like I like Hanon's exercises. I need a little advice on this because I am a little worried; I spend 30 - 45 minutes on Hanon and scales, but does Hanon's exercises do more harm than good? I still play it musically though, being aware of staccato, legato, etc. Will it be alright to do some exercises of Hanon if I keep it that way?

Drop Hanon, keep scales and arpeggios. I made much better progress when I abandoned the daily 45 minutes of Hanon. Doing a lot of Hanon makes you feel like you're working hard, but it's very easy to be lazy in your mind even while your fingers are zooming up and down. It's addictive and relaxing to just let your fingers fly, but I think it is largely a waste of time.

I had entirely stopped doing any scales or exercises and made faster progress. Lately, my teacher told me to to scales and arps just 10-15 minutes a day. I'm trying it out to see whether it helps; I'm not convinced that it's any better than working on repertoire with lots of scales and arps included in the music. And it's amazing how easily the 10 minutes can stretch into 40-50. My teacher agrees, though that Hanon, as opposed to scales and arps, is of little use.

Offline Bob

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #5 on: October 15, 2010, 02:22:43 AM »
Hanon is just a pattern over scales, isn't it?  And just a finger pattern.

I found them useful for learning them in all keys.  Haven't done Hanon in years though.  I came up with my own stuff beyond that.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline faa2010

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #6 on: October 15, 2010, 03:18:03 AM »
As someone said in this post, it is good as long as you practice 30 minutes.

The scales of course are important (in some piano exams scales are asked to be played before the selected pieces).

If you exaggerate with Hanon, then of course it will be more harmful and useless rather than beneficial.

If we see playing piano as physical exercise and fitness, then Hanon could be considered as warm-up exercises: short and quick in order to warm the body so it won't be very rigid.

Offline mistermoe

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #7 on: October 15, 2010, 10:53:49 AM »
I think hanon can be very useful if you use it the right way. There are some exercises that work on important basics, like no 1 (the 3 4 5 4 3 fingering).
What i mean by "use it the right way" is:
try to know your technical weaknesses, then find a suiting exercise (hanon, czerny, brahm, etc) and come up with your own ones in the style of those exercises.
I, for example use one of the hanons (no46) which i modified to work on my trills. And the same one in thirds.
I often play No1 like that: 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 4 5 4 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 (like one of the czernys, but the hanon way ;)) and if i feel like it, i do more 34543.
The thing with exercises is: use your brain, know what you have to work on.

In fact, i use Hanon as a sheme to create my own exercises.

Offline jbmorel78

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #8 on: October 15, 2010, 12:03:09 PM »
My mother once gave me a list of three things not to be brought up in polite society: Money, religion, and politics.

To that list, I would like to add Hanon.

Offline birba

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #9 on: October 15, 2010, 12:26:20 PM »
This obsession with Hanon is truly bizarre.  As if it were the key to piano-playing.  :o

Offline jbmorel78

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #10 on: October 15, 2010, 12:31:38 PM »
This obsession with Hanon is truly bizarre.  As if it were the key to piano-playing.  :o

Actually, it is extremely useful - - but as in many things, the key is in how it is used  ;)

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #11 on: October 15, 2010, 01:50:10 PM »
I like Hanon. I now practice Hanon in octaves, actually!  ;D And I never practiced Hanon for more than 15 minutes... It was never the cornerstone of my technique, but it helped me out. I don't think you have to do all the exercises in a row without stop, though.

If you actually are practicing it with good hand position and without tension, then you should be fine. It should help. However, I also recommend plenty of Bach and Mozart/Haydn for technical practice as well... Plus, it adds to your repertoire! :P

Offline maestro1987

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #12 on: October 16, 2010, 06:23:56 PM »
When I struggle with a specific finger pattern in my practice piece, I'd try to figure out the problem and ask my teacher to recommend a specific Hanon exercise to target my weakness. 

Why not practise difficult part within context?
Work in progress:
F.Chopin prelude op 28 no 15 "Raindrop" (learning)
J. S. Bach WTC I prelude in C major (learning)
M. Clementi op 36 no 3  sonatina in C major (learning)

Offline braintist

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #13 on: October 24, 2010, 08:44:55 AM »
I am not sure why people are negative towards Hanon. But IMO I find Hanon very useful in building coordination between the hands and making the 4 and 5 finger more accessible and building strength. My technique improved substantially when I started playing Hanon. And doing exercises musically is actually the ideal way of practicing, if you can do exercises musically then doing pieces musically shouldn't be a problem too. I believe doing Hanon mindlessly and not being conscious of what you are doing is the cause of bad technique and even injury. You can also try varying the rhythm of the exercise and play with different dynamics, articulations and also tonality. But the only thing I disagree with Hanon is with practicing it daily because I don't really find a need to do so as when a technical problem is dealt with I don't really meet it again.

Offline sonatainfsharp

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #14 on: October 25, 2010, 07:17:20 PM »
Hanon is just a pattern over scales, isn't it?  And just a finger pattern.
No.

The pedagogy behind Hanon (if you read all of the text before you get to the "music") is very outdated and damaging.

Offline dlipatti

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #15 on: October 25, 2010, 08:15:26 PM »
No.

The pedagogy behind Hanon (if you read all of the text before you get to the "music") is very outdated and damaging.

I agree with you. I ordered a copy of Hanon's exercises in the belief that they should provide me some well-needed training for my fingers, but I "stopped" the very moment I read the introductory text.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #16 on: October 25, 2010, 08:32:57 PM »
No.

The pedagogy behind Hanon (if you read all of the text before you get to the "music") is very outdated and damaging.

Astounding the amount of people who say it has helped them then.

Are they all suffering delusions??

Thal
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Concerto Preservation Society

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #17 on: October 25, 2010, 08:44:12 PM »
I ordered a copy of Hanon's exercises in the belief that they should provide me some well-needed training for my fingers, but I "stopped" the very moment I read the introductory text.

That is a bit like buying a CD, reading the cover notes and posting a horrific revue without listening to the music.

These threads always make me laugh and they are always inconclusive as they always will be. The antihanonists and their doom laden warnings are of most amusement to me, almost as much as when the "read Chang and play Scarlatti" brigade was amongst us.

My advice is the same as that given to me by my teacher. If it works use it, if it don't, dump it.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #18 on: October 26, 2010, 02:29:43 AM »
"If it works use it, if it don't, dump it."

Sounds good to me! It worked for me, but it probably doesn't work for everyone else. Although I kind of agree that the way Hanon tells you to play his exercises may not be the most effective.

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #19 on: October 26, 2010, 05:32:11 AM »
OMG IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO PLAY EVERYTHING (EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!) WITH GREAT MUSICALITY, OR YOU WILL DIE!!!!!!!

No but seriously, play Hanon. How much do you practice each day? Just make sure you have time for real pieces as well.
Though, if you're going to play Hanon, play it very even and relaxed.

Offline sonatainfsharp

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #20 on: October 26, 2010, 03:50:08 PM »
Astounding the amount of people who say it has helped them then.

Are they all suffering delusions??

Thal
Sorry, couldn't resist:

http://www.amazon.com/Billy-Joel-Fantasies-Delusions-1-10/dp/B00005Q6KS

Offline go12_3

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #21 on: October 26, 2010, 05:33:00 PM »
I think 10 minutes of Hanon is good enough, to warm up the fingers.
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Offline thalbergmad

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Re: So.. About Hanon
«Reply #22 on: October 26, 2010, 06:13:42 PM »
Indeed, i rarely go beyond that myself, unless have i have been away from the piano for a few months.

The only piano piece that ever caused me an injury was the "Staccato" etude by Rubinstein.

Now that should have a health warning.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society