Anybody hoping to become or remain a proficient keyboard player needs daily technical practice to develop and maintain their skills.
The Hanon finger exercises have been a staple of piano teaching for a century and a half - and with good reason. They are easy to understand and play, and train the fingers as well as warming the hands up nicely for repertoire practice and performance.
Why another edition of Hanon exercises?
There is no shortage of free Hanon finger exercises to download, so
you might wonder why Musicarta expects you to pay for a new version!
The problem with the original exercises is two-fold. Firstly, they span two octaves - more than needed - and present a dense and off-putting appearance which puts off a lot of beginners and stifles critical practice.
Secondly, once you know the exercises, it's easy to lapse into mechanical repetition - and miss out on an excellent opportunity to develop your keyboard smarts!
The Musicarta Hanon addresses these shortcomings by presenting video performances of the exercises, so that you copy a simple performance rather than grappling with a sea of dots - which automatically lets non-readers get the benefit too.
The screen shot on the right shows a typical Musicarta Hanon web page - a much more inviting experience!
The exercises are presented over one octave only - rather play two different, shorter exercises than one long one!
There are lots of visual cues to help reduce dependence on the written music - like the 'contour line' shapes which mirror the up-down (pitch) shape of each exercise.
The more quickly you can see and play 'the pattern' rather than the music, the sooner you will listen to your own performance and truly let the exercise improve your technique.
Watch the Hanon Exercise 1 video reference performance.
THE MUSICARTA HANON
The Musicarta Hanon is a fully featured video version of these timeless finger exercises, accessible to players of all levels and orientations. Explained, demonstrated and expanded with ten sets of stimulating and challenging variations, this collection will help unlock your musical potential.
Introductory offer price on Udemy
One of the problems with any set of exercises is that, once they become familiar, they cease to be a challenge. You then get mindless, mechanical practice - not how we hope to play the piano!
To address this, the Musicarta Hanon has ten sets of variations designed to keep you comfort zone expanding.
One essential skill for the creative modern-styles keyboard player could be described as "spotting a pattern and sticking with it". Playing alternating patterns one each up and down the keyboard can be one such challenge.
Here's the Combined Patterns nobody-gets-left-behind 'talking head intro'. It demonstrates how Musicarta uses the Hanon exercises to teach a bit of theory and make you a more independent musician.
Here's an audio of one of the combined patterns exercises. (If you already know your Hanon, try to work out which exercises are alternating here!)
Patterns at a tenth or a sixth
Playing your daily finger exercises hands a tenth or a sixth apart works on your appreciation of tonality, clarifies whether the hands are really playing together and generally challenges creeping automatism.
Listen to an audio file of the familiar Hanon No.1 at a tenth.
Much nicer to listen to, isn't it? You could try the combined patterns (above) at a tenth or a sixth, for an added challenge!
Touch and dynamic variations
The eight notes of each Hanon pattern offer an excellent repeating opportunity to practice keyboard touch (staccato-legato) and phrasing, and (soft-loud) dynamics.
Here's the kind of variation you might find yourself playing once you've loosened up and 'given yourself permission' to experiment.
'Held thumbs' variations
One hand playing more than