The ideal hands-on reference for piano students who want to strengthen their skills and refine their technique--and the perfect companion and next step to the bestselling Piano For Dummies. Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.
Introduction 1 About This Book 1 Conventions Used in This Book 2 What You’re Not to Read 2 Foolish Assumptions 3 How This Book Is Organized 3 The CD 4 Icons Used in This Book 4 Where to Go from Here 5 Part I: Waking Up Your Fingers 7 Chapter 1: Getting Ready to Practice 9 Warming Up Away from the Instrument 9 Releasing tension and releasing your muscles 9 Breathing in an unending circle 10 Massaging, stretching, and contracting your hands 10 Warming up your wrists 12 Swinging and twisting your arms 13 Stretching your shoulders and neck 15 Working on your back 17 Stretching your hamstrings 17 Perfecting Practice with Proper Posture 18 Sitting at the piano: Height and angle 18 Getting a handle on proper hand position 19 Hands on the fallboard: Counting out loud and bouncing 20 Hands on the fallboard: Hand arches and finger drops 20 Hands on the fallboard: Rotation in and out, movement up and down the keyboard 21 Hands on the keyboard: Sound and movement on the keys 22 Overcoming other posture pitfalls 22 Chapter 2: Isolating and Exercising Your Fingers 23 Two-Finger Exercises for the Left Hand 23 Fingers one and two (left hand) 24 Fingers two and three (left hand) 24 Fingers three and four (left hand) 25 Fingers four and fi ve (left hand) 25 Two-Finger Exercises for the Right Hand 26 Fingers one and two (right hand) 26 Fingers two and three (right hand) 26 Fingers three and four (right hand) 27 Fingers four and fi ve (right hand) 27 Three-Finger Exercises for the Left Hand 28 Fingers one, two, and three (left hand) 28 Fingers two, three, and four (left hand) 28 Fingers three, four, and five (left hand) 29 Three-Finger Exercises for the Right Hand 29 Fingers one, two, and three (right hand) 29 Fingers two, three, and four (right hand) 30 Fingers three, four, and five (right hand) 30 Four-Finger Exercises for the Left Hand 31 Fingers one, two, three, and four (left hand) 31 Fingers two, three, four, and five (left hand) 31 Four-Finger Exercises for the Right Hand 32 Fingers one, two, three, and four (right hand) 32 Fingers two, three, four, and five (right hand) 32 Performance Piece: “Come Back to Sorrento” 33 Chapter 3: Music for Five Fingers 35 Smooth Articulation: Playing Legato 36 Legato exercise for the right hand 36 Legato exercise for the left hand 36 Short Articulation: Playing Staccato 37 Staccato exercise for the right hand 37 Staccato exercise for the left hand 37 Developing Right-Hand Finger Independence with Five-Finger Position Scales 38 Major: In sequence, out of sequence 38 Minor: In sequence, out of sequence 38 Whole tone: In sequence, out of sequence 39 Chromatic: In sequence, out of sequence 39 Developing Left-Hand Finger Independence with Five-Finger Position Scales 40 Major: In sequence, out of sequence 40 Minor: In sequence, out of sequence 40 Whole tone: In sequence, out of sequence 41 Chromatic: In sequence, out of sequence 41 Doubling the Fun: Putting the Hands Together 42 Legato articulation, five-finger positions 42 Staccato articulation, five-finger positions 43 Performance Piece: Paganini Variation for Ten Fingers 44 Part II: Developing a Strong, Supple, and Speedy Hand 45 Chapter 4: Passing Under and Crossing Over 47 One Under Two, Two Over One 48 One Under Three, Three Over One 49 One Under Four, Four Over One 50 Extending Scales with Crossovers and Pass-Unders 51 C- and G-major scale passages 51 B-fl at and F-major scale passages 52 Performance Piece: Aria from La Cenerentola 53 Chapter 5: Playing Intervals 55 Playing Seconds with Different Finger Combinations 55 Finger combination: Two and three 56 Finger combination: Three and four 57 Finger combination: One and two 58 Finger combination: Four and five 59 Playing Thirds with Different Finger Combinations 60 Finger combination: One and three 60 Finger combination: Two and four 61 Finger combination: Three and five 62 Finger combinations: One and four, two and five, one and five 63 Playing Fourths with Different Finger Combinations 64 Finger combinations: One and four, two and five 64 Finger combinations: One and three, one and two 65 Playing Fifths, Sixths, and Sevenths 66 Exercise in fifths 66 Exercise in fifths and sixths 67 Exercise in fifths, sixths, and sevenths 68 Performance Piece: “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” 69 Chapter 6: Playing Chords Without Tension 71 Chord Relaxation 71 A simple two-chord progression 72 A longer progression 72 Voicing Chords 73 Chord Repetition 74 Pulsing rhythms 74 Changing dynamics 75 Simple Progressions, Adding Small Arm Motions 75 Progression #176 Progression #2 76 Chord and Melody Combination Exercises 77 Chord and melody combo #1 77 Chord and melody combo #2 78 Chord and melody combo #3 79 Performance Piece: “Battle Hymn of the Republic” 80 Part III: Including Your Arms and Body 81 Chapter 7: Extending Your Scales 83 The 12 Major, Harmonic Minor, and Melodic Minor Scales 83 The Three Diminished Scales 90 The Chromatic Scale 91 The 12 Blues Scales 91 Gaining Greater Command of Scales 95 Performance Piece: Variation VII from “Variations on ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’” 97 Chapter 8: Parallel and Contrary Motion 99 Parallel Movement at the Octave 99 Parallel octave exercise #1 100 Parallel octave exercise #2 101 Parallel Movement at the Interval 102 Parallel sixths 102 Parallel tenths 103 Contrary Motion Away from the Center 104 Scalewise motion away from the center 104 Chromatic motion away from the center 105 Contrary Motion Toward the Center 106 Scalewise motion toward the center 106 Patterns toward the center 107 Combination Movement Exercise 108 Performance Piece: “Turkey in the Straw” 109 Chapter 9: Footwork: Using the Damper Pedal 111 Pedaling Chords 111 Broken-chord pedaling 113 Block-chord pedaling 114 Pedaling Changes on a Single Line 115 Uniform pedal changes 115 Varied pedal changes 116 Pedaling for Effect 117 Blurred lines and long sustains 117 Sustaining as the hands leave the keyboard 118 Performance Piece: “Simple Gifts” 119 Chapter 10: Jumping Across the Keyboard 121 Jumping and Landing Accuracy Skills 121 Note-to-note jumps 122 Note-to-chord jumps 123 Chord-to-chord jumps 124 Mastering More Complicated Jumps 125 Accents on the downbeat 125 Accents on the upbeat 126 Jumping with Both Hands Together 127 Two-hand parallel motion jumps 127 Two-hand contrary motion jumps 128 Left-Hand Accompaniment Patterns (With Pedal) 129 Bass-note-to-chord pattern in 4/4 129 Bass-note-to-chord pattern in 3/4 130 Left-Hand Accompaniment Patterns (Without Pedal) 131 Ragtime and stride pattern 131 Waltz pattern 132 Performance Piece: “Lily Pad Rag” 133 Part IV: Integration and Independence 135 Chapter 11: Playing Arpeggios 137 Finger Jumps 137 Jumping thirds 138 Jumping fourths 139 Jumping fifths 140 The Arpeggiator 141 Triad arpeggio exercise #1 141 Triad arpeggio exercise #2 142 Seventh-chord arpeggio exercise 143 Broken Chords (And How to Fix Them) 144 Alberti bass exercise 144 Guitar-style broken chord exercise 145 Blues-style broken chord exercise 146 Octave and extended broken chord exercise 147 Performance Piece: “Harp Heaven” 148 Chapter 12: Alternating Hands 151 Hand-to-Hand Scale Handoffs 151 Scale handoff exercise #1 152 Scale handoff exercise #2 153 Hand-to-Hand Arpeggio Handoffs 153 Arpeggio handoff exercise #1 154 Arpeggio handoff exercise #2 155 Crossing Over 156 Crossing over with the right hand 156 Crossing over with the left hand 157 One Hand on Top 158 Right hand on top exercise 158 Left hand on top exercise 158 Extreme Keyboard Positions 159 Full Keyboard Exercises 160 Full Keyboard arpeggios 160 Full Keyboard triads 161 Full Keyboard seventh chords 162 Chord “Drumming” 163 Performance Piece: “El Choclo” 164 Chapter 13: Stretching Out with Octaves and Broken Octaves 165 Opening Up to the Octave 165 Octave scale exercise 166 Octave interval exercise 167 Octave Jumps 168 Exercise with shorter jumps 168 Exercise with longer jumps 169 Broken Octaves 170 Exercise with wrist rotation 170 Exercise with hand contraction and expansion 171 Octave Chords 172 Adding one inner note 172 Adding two inner notes 173 Performance Piece: “Schumann’s Octave Workout” 174 Chapter 14: Chord Progressions and Cadences 175 Triad Progressions 175 Diatonic triad progressions 176 Chromatic triad progressions 177 Seventh Chord Progressions 178 Seventh chord progressions exercise #1 178 Seventh chord progressions exercise #2 179 Chord Cadences and Familiar Patterns 180 Cadences 180 Turnarounds and sequences 181 Extended Chord Progressions 182 Extended major-key chord progression 182 Extended minor-key chord progression 183 Chords in One Hand, Melody in the Other 184 Chords with melody exercise #1 184 Chords with melody exercise #2 185 Performance Piece: “Awake, My Heart, and Sing” 186 Chapter 15: Trilling Thrills and Other Fancy Ornaments 187 Grace Notes 187 Trills 189 Mordents 190 Turns 191 Repeated Notes 192 Repeated notes in triplet rhythms 192 Repeated notes in eighth- and sixteenth-note rhythms 193 R-R-R-Rolling Chords 194 Rolling chords in the right hand 194 Rolling chords in both hands 194 The Glissando 195 The Tremolo 196 Performance Piece: “Caro Nome” 197 Chapter 16: Maximum Independence: Challenging Rhythms and Syncopations 199 Combining Scale and Arpeggio Patterns 200 Independent rhythms, scales, and arpeggios #1 200 Independent rhythms, scales, and arpeggios #2 201 Exercises with Changing Note Values 202 Scale patterns with changing note values 202 Arpeggio patterns with changing note values 203 Exercises with Changing Meters 204 Changing from 6/8 to 3/4 204 Expanding and contracting meter changes 205 Syncopation Exercises 206 Syncopation exercise #1 206 Syncopation exercise #2 207 Exercises with Polyrhythms 208 Two in the right hand against three in the left 208 Three in the right hand against two in the left 209 Performance Piece: “I’ll Build A Stairway to Paradise” 210 Part V: The Part of Tens 211 Chapter 17: Ten Dances for Your Hands 213 Jig: “Captain Jinks” 213 Calypso: “Water Come-a Me Eye” 214 Waltz: “Waltz from Faust” 215 Tarantella 216 Tango: “El Porteñito” 217 Mexican Hat Dance 218 Polka: “Pizzicato Polka” 219 Boogie: “Johnson Rag” 220 “Hungarian Dance No. 5” 221 Gypsy Dance from Carmen 222 Chapter 18: Ten Great Composers and Their Daily Workouts 223 Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) 223 Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849) 223 Muzio Clementi (1752–1832) 223 Karl Czerny (1791–1857) 224 Claude Debussy (1862–1918) 224 Enrique Granados (1867–1916) 224 Franz Liszt (1811–1886) 224 Edward MacDowell (1861–1908) 224 Carl Nielsen (1865–1931) 224 Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943) 224 Appendix: About the CD 225 What You’ll Find on the CD 225 Customer Care 227
David Pearl is the author of The Art of Steely Dan and Color Your Chords. His other books include Burt Bacharach Piano Solos, jazz transcriptions of artists such as Grover Washington, Jr. and Dave Douglas, and arrangements of jazz tunes, classical pieces, and opera arias for piano. He has taught piano and performed jazz and classical music professionally for more than 30 years.
The fun and easy way to tune up your technique and improve your playing Is the piano your passion? This easy-to-read guide is bursting with fun exercises designed to hone your piano-playing technique, from warm-ups and major and minor scales to octaves, chord cadences, and more. You'll play challenging rhythms, practice with different tempos, play a performance piece at the end of each chapter, and find inspiration for performing music your way. Warm up away from the piano — release tension in your hands, wrists, and arms and go to the piano feeling loose and comfortable Wake up those fingers — perfect your hand position and develop left and right hand finger independence Develop greater control — practice smoother finger crossovers and pass-unders for speedier scales and arpeggios Incorporate greater movement — play chords without tension, jump across the keyboard, and move with ease in parallel and contrary motion Ramp up your skills — perfect your pedaling, play grace notes, trills, and other fancy ornaments Open the book and find: More than 150 exercises that vary in style, key, and tempo Major and minor scales Blues, diminished and chromatic scales Finger, rhythm, and chord progression exercises Left-hand accompanimentpatterns Performance pieces with every chapter Ten one-page dance pieces Bonus CD Includes More than 70 tracks all played by the author Selected exercises from each chapter Every performance piece Ten dance pieces from the book
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