One of the most important steps when sitting down to play the piano is to
do some warm-up exercises with your fingers on the piano keyboard. This with help your fingers to get
accustomed to the movements, position of your fingers and your hands on the keyboard.
On top of that, you also get your hand and fingers aligned with the part of your brain which helps you learn and
condense information while you are practising the piano.
Piano warm-up exercises can be individual and customed to the person practising. One person may prefer to start
by practicing chords, while another may like to do specifically designed piano warm-up exercises from sheet music
and yet another might enjoy doing different chord variations and playing from memory.
One of the most important reasons to do piano warm-up exercises is to prevent any repetitive strain injuries
which may hurt our hands. Like athletes who run a 400 metres sprint without any form of warm ups will expose
himself to getting injured.
Likewise, if you dive right in to play that complex piece of music you have been dying to practice without
warming up your fingers, you could develop undesirable health conditions in the long term.
Warm-up practices also allow you to learn correct techniques while practicing the piano such as hand positioning
and playing notes smoothly. Just as you would warm-up before a run it is advisable to warm-up with piano exercises
before practising the piano. This will get the blood flowing, the ligaments moving and relax your hand to get the
most out of your piano practice session.
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Here are some suggestions for piano warm-up exercises.
1. Warm up by practising your piano scales. Scales are a good way to
practice the piano and warm-up your fingers. They are fairly repetitive and easy to practice. They get your
hands moving and you can practice them at any pace you feel comfortable in.
They are also fairly changeable and involves in moving different parts of your hand. For example, major scales
will warm up your fingers, while arpeggio scales will warm up your wrists.
2. Another way to warm up is to simple play five consecutive notes together ascending and then descending.
Practice with each hand separately and then together. Change the rhythm to keep things fresh. Play it faster or
slower or put a beat to the warm-up exercise where some notes are played quickly and then the remainder slowly.
Extend this warm-up to play for two octaves if you would like to vary the exercise more.
3. There are also piano warm-up books which you can buy which teach you finger dexterity. Look into getting one
of these books. Hannon is an excellent book to buy because it teaches you various ways to warm-up your
fingers and teaches you different finger techniques at the same time. On top of that, it works the brain as
4. Playing chords is another good way to warm-up. Chords can be fun to play. Mix it up, play major chords on piano then minor chords, then diminished sevenths.
Finally have fun when warming up. You shouldn’t see the warm-up exercises as a boring chore which you cannot
wait to get over and done with. Instead, you should try to make use of the warm up exercises to further improve on
things like timing or rhythm. Vary the exercises each day so that you do not get bored.
Here's another video to help you get ideas on warming up exercises for pianists...
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