\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Has anyone learned ALL Hanon exercises in ALL keys, MEMORIZED? (Read 1667 times)

Offline cuberdrift

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
Rachmanioff said that the Russian schools would require students to be able to play any Hanon exercise at any key.

Has anyone here been able to accomplish this? If so, what are the effects?

I plan to embark on a year-long venture to do this.

2 hours a day should be enough, given that I do it on most days.

I'm working on the First Book now. So far I have almost pretty much memorized every exercise, though only in C and F yet.

This is my system for learning that First Book:

--

Day 1

1.) Ex. 1-2, At 60, 72, 84, 96, 108 bpm
2.) Ex. 1-2 at 108 bpm, four times (as the book dictates);
3.) Ex. 3-5 at 60-108 bpm
4.) 3-5 at 108 bpm 4x
5.) 6-8, 60-108 bpm
6.) 6-8, 108 bpm 4x

Etc. until Ex. 9-11.

Then after that I repeat each exercise from one to eleven at 108 bpm, once each.

Day 2

1.) Do Ex. 1-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-11 4x at 108 bpm;
2.) Do Ex. 12-14 at 60, 72, 84, 96, 108 bpm;
3.) Ex. 12-14 at 108 bpm, 4x;
4.) Ex. 15-17 at 60-108 bpm;
5.) Ex. 15-17 at 108 bpm, 4x;
6.) Ex. 1-17 at 108 bpm, once each;

And on

Day 3

1.) Do Ex. 1-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12-14, 15-17 at 108 bpm, 4x;
2.) Do Ex. 18-20 at 60, 72, 84, 96, 108 bpm;
3.) Ex. 18-20 at 108 bpm, 4x;
4.) Ex. 1-20 at 108 bpm, once each.

--

This means that 3 Days are required to complete Book I on one key.
36 Days in all to complete it in all keys.

Given that Book II is about twice as long, that makes 72 Days.

And Book III, say is thrice as long, that takes 108 days.

36 + 72 + 108 = 216 Days.

It will take 216 Days, about 2 hours a day, to complete all Three Books in all keys.

What do you think of this?

Has anyone ever attempted something like this?

I am curious as to what the merits of making a thorough and unquestioned study of Hanon are.

This should be the only what to refute what Hanon says at all. Only if you have followed what he says and seen the results can you accurately judge if it's worth it.

Thoughts?

Offline dogperson

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 984
Re: Has anyone learned ALL Hanon exercises in ALL keys, MEMORIZED?
«Reply #1 on: June 23, 2017, 09:00:54 AM »
Thoughts?  I consider this to be a total waste of time, and would much rather spend my time at the piano learning  repertoire and extracting from that repertoire the sections that need skill development.   I don't need to refer to Hanon to do this.  I know what I will get after two hours per day for two years: increased skills and increased repertoire.  

 But if you think that spending two hours a day on this project is worthwhile, more power to you .  in fact, I think even coming up with this plan and making this post was a waste of energy that could have been  better spent somewhere else.   Even the proponents of Hanon  do not propose learning everything in all keys and memorizing it.

Offline feddera

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
Re: Has anyone learned ALL Hanon exercises in ALL keys, MEMORIZED?
«Reply #2 on: June 23, 2017, 09:05:08 AM »
Didn't he also say that they played them at twice the indicated tempo? Also they had 5 years. I think that if you are doing this to get a better technique, you'll be much better off if you just take the first exercise in C major only and focus on getting it to 216 bpm.

Offline cuberdrift

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
Re: Has anyone learned ALL Hanon exercises in ALL keys, MEMORIZED?
«Reply #3 on: June 23, 2017, 09:34:12 AM »
Thoughts?  I consider this to be a total waste of time...

So you think that the Russian Schools wasted their students' time?

And it was Rachmaninoff (or maybe he is just referencing the Schools) who proposed that memorizing Hanon in all keys would be beneficial.

I'm trying to examine if the Russian Schools were right.

Didn't he also say that they played them at twice the indicated tempo? Also they had 5 years. I think that if you are doing this to get a better technique, you'll be much better off if you just take the first exercise in C major only and focus on getting it to 216 bpm.

Oh. So now I have to increase it to 216 bpm and spend FIVE YEARS on doing this.

This would be a FAR GREATER WASTE if ever it is not beneficial at all, as many would seem to claim.

Are you saying you are Pro-Hanon?

Offline feddera

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
Re: Has anyone learned ALL Hanon exercises in ALL keys, MEMORIZED?
«Reply #4 on: June 23, 2017, 10:11:10 AM »
Each Hanon exercise is just a repeated pattern of notes. If you can play a pattern of notes faster and better then of course that means you've improved. I just think it's better to really master one pattern than to memorize thousands and play them sloppily.

Offline adodd81802

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1103
Re: Has anyone learned ALL Hanon exercises in ALL keys, MEMORIZED?
«Reply #5 on: June 23, 2017, 10:13:29 AM »
Firstly I like Hanon, personally. But I can tell you now this may work in your head, but in practice is massively flawed. Maybe you could explain your thought process.. but I will give you something better.

Secondly, don't take one quote from Rachmaninoff out of context to make it an argument to for your statement. I don't believe there was anywhere that he stated it was the only thing they did, or that they did it in all keys. I also don't think you can use your made up 'system' as a comparison to a so-called 'Russian School' It's also worth noting that if their system alone was 100% successful then everybody that came out of there would be virtuoso's... And there's no evidence to support that did happen.

The tempo switches you are suggesting, if they can be accomplished in one sitting, in my opinion is pointless. If you can already do 108BPM, the exercise is completed as stated in the book. The aim of the tempo is to increase if you can't already do that tempo. e.g. start on 60 work your way up over time, just like you would learning a piece of music. If there's something you can't do at speed, you practice it slower. I personally in my left hand cannot do the exercises at that speed, so one could argue there is benefit for me to do these exercises, if Hanon was a choice of mine.

NEXT

The following 2 books are nothing alike, and so while I haven't personally worked out the maths on those like book 1, I can tell you they are far more complex, and far more about addressing a technical requirement, rather than simply going through the tempo motions.

NOW!

Now as I said I personally like Hanon, I find it useful, I'd rather ruin his exercises than beautiful music with my lack of finger control... and so here are some realistic suggestions.

1 - hands separately, start exercise one by ramping up the tempo in both hands separately to find out what your hands are capable of to maximise your efficiency in speed. You are not aiming for your break neck tempo but one that's comfortable and yet FEELS like your hands are getting a work out. Continue to practice hands separately. You will undoubtedly find one hand is stronger, and so you are getting reasonable workouts in both hands. You will probably also find the weaker one catches up somewhat.

2- Consider holding down fingers to make the exercises more difficult, for almost all of the exercises in Book 1 you can hold the thumb going up and little finger going down in the right and and vice-versa in the left.  You will find the exercises hugely more difficult, and the fixed position of your hand allows your fingers to do more work than the hands.

3- Change up the rhythm. WHY? this tricks your fingers into going faster without you feeling like you're working harder, It's almost like jogging for a few steps, walking for a few steps.

2 good rhythms are simply the gopause on 2 notes and the pausego on 2 notes so where dashes are pauses it would loo like this

C-EF-GA-GF-ED- and
CE-FG-AG-FE-DE

Do these while keeping in the beat and this makes every other finger work doubly hard for a split second while not losing control.

Lastly doing these exercises in all keys while cute as it is, makes no sense, we will never aim to play a piece of music using fingering more difficult than necessary, and it is super rare we have to use the most difficult fingering.... Thinking about it logically there are 6 scenarios for the fingers when pressing 2 adjacent keys, of which we want our brain to get better at co-ordinating.

white-white e.g. E-F
white-black (semitone) e.g. F-F#
white-black (tone) e.g. E-F#
black-white (semitone) e.g. F# - G
black-white (tone) e.g. Eb - F
black-black e.g. F# G#

Now all you have to do is find the keys that accomplish this task and as you run up the keyboard all your fingers will get practice in that interval. e.g. E major as an example covers a lot of these scenarios. Tick them off and find another key that covers the rest...

So I wouldn't even bother practicing them in C major at all in all honesty and you will find you only need to practice in 2-3 keys to cover all these different scenarios.

You may consider taking this a step further by ensuring that a black-white semitone occurs both in and out of the black key area, i'm thinking Bb-B as an example of non-black key area and C#-D as an in black key area where the finger will have to slot between 2 black keys...

Lastly and to summarise your statement that only if you complete Hanon can you truly assess it...

While arguably true, there's 2 points.

1 - Make a book too long to realistically complete and you can say anything on it, I don't know anybody that's actually completed Hanon in such depth because it's not practical to do so.

2- And refer back to my 1st statement, if this instruction is true of the so called Russian School, and they do complete them, they why are not everybody virtuoso's? Because the piano is more than simply finger to key exercises.

Nevertheless good luck. Consider a diary.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline visitor

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4812
Re: Has anyone learned ALL Hanon exercises in ALL keys, MEMORIZED?
«Reply #6 on: June 23, 2017, 11:22:01 AM »
Better to learn the mcfarren manual all keys w good tech and fast tempo 4 8av where pattern allows.

If still time i would supplement the new hannon composed  works from new hannon /hannon companion i and ii, even the.concert prelude and fugue based on bk 1 ex 1 would help more., i have it, tough pieces i have been needing to find time to learn, would open a recital well or 1st work after an intermission.
The hard to find etudes from Hebble and Lindberg  exploiting and based on ea exercise would be better use of that time, they are smart well done difficult (some less so some a lot more so as in youll  weeks or months one)

Ie


I have the first set.of etudes but the 2nd set.eludes me, is hard to find, out of print but if you can borrow from a library, would be worth it


Thoughts?  I consider this to be a total waste of time, and would much rather spend my time at the piano learning  repertoire and extracting from that repertoire the sections that need skill development.   I don't need to refer to Hanon to do this.  I know what I will get after two hours per day for two years: increased skills and increased repertoire.  

 But if you think that spending two hours a day on this project is worthwhile, more power to you .  in fact, I think even coming up with this plan and making this post was a waste of energy that could have been  better spent somewhere else.   Even the proponents of Hanon  do not propose learning everything in all keys and memorizing it.
+1