The original Hanon exercises for the most part follow the shape of the (right) hand and place the principal 'skip' (third) between the thumb and the index finger.
Melodies, however, and the general run of piano playing, have no reason to be so considerate!
Varying the Hanon No.1 pattern by moving the skip to between RH fingers 2 and 3, or 3 and 4 (and so on) offers a useful opportunity to prepare the hand for a greater variety of demands.
Download the music for the Musicarta Mind the Gap series of exercises here.
Here's the original Hanon No.1 exercise.
We can be more independent and 'get away from the dots' by internalising the pattern and playing from a shorthand version like this.
You understand that, between the dashed bar-lines, four repetitions of the pattern will creep up the keyboard note by note.
The 'gap' in the rising first half of each bar is between the lowest and second note up. If we move the gap up one note, we get this exercise (which you will learn from the shorthand).
The training for a different spread of the fingers leaves a new feeling in the hand.
The exercises in this series can be practiced with a held (or held and repeated) thumb. This balances the hand and develops independence of the fingers.
Here is how you would approach exercise MTG1.
The thumb plays at the start of the right-hand pattern and with the little finger (RH5) both times it plays.
Running up and down between fingers RH2 and RH5 twice gives you the odd time signature of 7-8 (seven quavers in a bar). You don't have to count this, or think about it at all. Just play the notes equally until you've got through the quota and that's it - you've played a bar of 7-8!
(Out of interest, the count-in on the video divides the seven beats 1 2 1 2 3 1 2 |1 2 1 2 3 1 2. When you're proficient, you can count yourself in and play along.)
The left hand does not need to do this exercise, so it simply has a seven-note 'ambling around' pattern - which is rather Hanon-like, too.
We can again devise a shorthand version of these held-note intensive exercises.
You're shown two patterns to 'get the picture', and are expected to supply the missing four bars between the dashed bar lines. The last pattern is shown in full again.
Now play exercise MTG2A straight from the shorthand version MS. The right hand gap is between fingers 2 and 3.
The left hand has an even simpler 'ambling around' accompaniment.
Now here is the third possibility. The gap ion the pattern moves up one more finger, to between RH3 and RH4, and between LH3 and LH2.
This example is presented with just the shorthand version, first for two hands, then the right hand held-note intensive version.
This is how the rest of the 'Mind the Gap' exercises are presented.
Now go on to Mind the Gap Page Two for the last of the simple patterns and some more advanced ways of using them.
MUSICARTA HANON SERIES
Hanon in Six-Eight
In Sixths and Tenths
In Sixths and Tenths