Today I’m going to teach you a few finger exercises to help you build up speed and dexterity on the piano. Let’s start our finger exercise in that old standby, C Major. With whatever hand you choose to start with, play the first five notes of the scale, using all five fingers. Work your way from C to G, then back down again. Don’t play as fast as you can just yet. Start off nice and slow and make sure that all of the notes are the same volume. You want steady movements. Don’t flick your fingers, move them steady and in a straight down motion.
Now let’s move on to a full scale, say the F major scale. Start slowly, playing just one octave at first. Play up and down the octave, nice and slowly. Once you are sure that you are playing the notes steady and evenly, you can begin to pick up speed. It’s best to use a metronome for these practice sections. Start at a slow tempo and slowly turn up the pace of the metronome. Practicing this way insures that you will develop a proper sense of musical timing. It’s also a fun idea to practice playing blues scales. When you are playing a blues song it sounds really great to play a fast blues scale at an appropriate part of the song.
The last finger exercise I am going to talk about is arpeggios. An arpeggio is when you play the individual notes of a chord instead of hitting them all together. Play the notes of your chosen chord and then work your way up the keyboard, playing higher and higher octaves of the chord.
Whatever methods you chose for finger practice, remember that starting off slow and building speed is the proper way to insure that you aren’t learning bad habits. As you practice the exercises your fingers will develop the muscle memory required to play the scales faster and faster without having to think about the notes.