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Practising Hanon,and Czerny Exercises= A waste of time ?

Discussion in 'Technique' started by Bubbles, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Personally, I prefer to develop the technique as I need it with "real" music. I can either play Czerny exercises that involve scale passages or other techniques found in the music of his day, or a Mozart, Haydn, or Beethoven Sonata that does the same, and if necessary make an exercise out of those sections. And, In the end I have a real piece of music.

    As far as Hanon, some of the five-finger patterns make good warm-up material, but beyond that, I'm not sure of their value. Remember, Hanon, Czerny, and company wrote his exercises in a time when the keyboards were lighter and the technique was and could be primarily based on finger movement as opposed to employing more of the larger muscles. And, as far as finger strength -- your pinkie will never be as strong as your thumb (unless you let your thumb atrophy) nor as independant as your thumb (it can't move laterally like the thumb), but you can learn to compensate for the differences in each finger so that they can provide the same sound when used (i.e. causing the hammers to attack the strings at the same velocity regardless of which finger is used.)
     
  2. lucas

    lucas New Member

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    I don't think that Hanon is just a waste of time, but it depends on how many years you're playing on piano. If you are just starting, the etudes of Hanon help GREATLY to gain strenght, "sureness" to your fingers, dexterity and they will teach you to touch the keys correctly if you play them conscientiously. But if you play the piano for long time and you start to play the etudes of Chopin, Hanon is practicaly inutile, you can use him only for warm-up. The etudes of Czerny help to obtain technique and "clearness" to your playing which will be very useful when you will start with compositions mainly of classicism and of baroque. So, if you´re beginner and you want to be "good" pianist, i suppose you to play these etudes, but later you can leave it. And don't forget Bach which is very very important!!!!
    And sorry for my english . :D
     
    pianostyle100videos likes this.
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes :!: :!: :!: :!: :!:
    I am glad someone says this at last :lol:
     
  4. avguste

    avguste Member Piano Society Artist

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    For me, Hanon is necessary and needed. Provides great exercises, makes fingers work and has all the scales and arpeggios.
    Another one is the Brahms exercises. Those are quite difficult, challenging as well. But oh so well done :)
     
  5. Radar

    Radar New Member

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    Any of the exercises like Hanon, or Cherney are only going to help if done with proper technique. I made the mistake of working through the Hanon Exercises, and the School of Velocity without the benefit of an instructor, and found that all it did was firmly reinforce my bad technique, and bad playing habits. Now with my limited practice time, I would rather work on Technique while learning new repertoire.
     
  6. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Radar has a good point. Practicing good technique develops good technique. I think that it is also important to understand the physiolgy of the the hand, arm, etc. Understanding the connections between the 3rd, 4th, and 5th finger can help to guide one towards developing techniques for finger "independance." Also, understanding the the muscles that control your fingers are actually in your forearm can make a difference. Little things like aligning your 5th or 4th finger with your forearm so the the tendon is not curved when used can increase independance (that's just one little example.)

    Scott
     
  7. paulturtle92

    paulturtle92 New Member

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    Hanon = depends on your level,
    Czerny = definitely NO.

    Hanon is useful as a stepping stone for Czerny and Czerny is a stepping stone for Chopin, which in turn is a stepping stone for Liszt. I normally do not run through Hanon once a day, as suggested(what a waste of time = =). I only run through the scales, scales in octaves and the arpeggios. Then I'll move on to whatever I wanna do, which will DEFINITELY not be Hanon anymore.
     
  8. Piano21

    Piano21 New Member

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    for hanon, i can say it "yes"

    but for Czerny, "No"

    Czerny Etude is very good for developing technique, but not "Musicality". I think it's very good to practice czerny and other musical etude (like Moszkowzki) simultaneously..
     
  9. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    First, in my youth I played a few Czerny etudes and found them not particularly helpful, as there is little transfer from them to the Chopin, Debussy or Liszt etudes which are true concert etudes. Time would be better spent on the latter, not the former. So I do not believe there is much value in Czerny.

    As for Hanon, in my time I've played all of Parts I and II and have used Part III selectively based on specific needs. The scale fingerings there are definitely useful. Other than that, I reserve Hanon for one purpose only: Once in awhile we pianists have a day where our playing seems a bit uneven or ragged (probably attributable as biorhythms being out of synch.) I find that playing through Part II at MM = 100 remedies that problem nicely and takes only a few minutes. Other than that, I've found no other benefit(s) in Hanon. Rachmaninoff used to deal with the unevenness problem by stopping what he was doing and turning to Scarlatti, which is probably the better idea.

    One thing that as pianists we must be able to play at all times are scales and arpeggios in parallel, four octaves, in both major and harmonic minor (more complex than melodic minor) modes. The practical reason for this is that scalar and arpeggiated figurations very frequently appear in the piano literature. By knowing the scales and arpeggios, most often the very same fingerings can be applied in musical contexts. Thus, there is real value there.

    Overall, I'm a strong believer that pianists do not develop technique through "exercise books" such as Hanon, Pishna, Philipp, Cramer, Schmidt, Czerny or the others. Rather, technique is developed within the repertoire when during practicing we encounter technical problems. By isolating each problem with a bit of context to either side of it, we can make a real-world exercise out of the difficult figuration. In successfully solving it, we have enhanced our technique, and that skill is then transferable to similar passages in other works that we might face. In this approach, precious practice time is not squandered on mindless exercises, but more profitably spent on repertoire, and therein enhancing piano technique as we progress.

    David

    P.S. I just noticed that I posted this which is so similar to the posting above a year later. I must have been really tired. Anyway, I'm consistent!!! :lol:

    David
     
  10. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    When I was learning the teacher took one look at Hanon and suggested I chuck it out. I worked on Czerny and Cramer, but only because, as a begginer adult learner, I was not yet prepared for the real stuff.
     
  11. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    When I was a kid I had to practice Hanon finger exercises, some Czerny, and Alloys Schmitt for independence of the fingers, along with all scales and arpeggios major and minor in the Circle of 5ths plus the chromatic scale. Here are my thoughts:

    Hanon, for the greater part is useless. The scale fingerings in Part III are in fact helpful when one is first learning them. Now, there is only one purpose for my resorting to Hanon. Maybe two or three times a year, for some unaccountable reason (maybe biorhythms out of synch), my playing seems ragged. To remedy that I open Part II of Hanon and play it through at about MM = 100, which only takes a little while. That medicine restores evenness. (Rachmaninoff preferred playing Scarlatti sonatas to regain evenness.) So that's the only application I use there.

    The Schmitt (and Phillipp) independence exercises can be dangerous. My second artist-teacher gave me one simple independence exercise which works very well for both hands, and these days I rely on it occasionally when the need arises.

    Pianists must know all scales and arpeggios by memory, major and harmonic minor for four octaves in parallel motion. (Harmonic minor is a better workout than melodic minor.) The reason is that scalar and arpeggiated passages occur quite often in music. If one already knows the standard fingerings, much time can be saved while practicing those passages.

    Apart from scales and arpeggios, the other 99% of technique is developed by practicing actual repertoire pieces. Whenever the pianist works on a piece and encounters a difficulty, solving that difficulty through intelligent practice and repetitions becomes a "technical exercise" and most benefits the pianist. Thus, learning the literature of the piano is the best technique builder of all.

    David

    P.S. Egad! A third post on this! I must have been super-adamant about this subject! :lol:

    David
     
  12. hanon-online

    hanon-online New Member

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  13. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    David, for some reason someone is trying to get us to see some on-line Hanon, otherwise I would not have seen your last post on this thread. I agree with you about the extreme limited nature of the Hanon exercises (despite it being a required staple at the Moscow conservatory [at least 100 years ago]). However, your statment above that said, "Besides arpeggios and scales the other 99% of technique ..." I think misses the important difference between technique and mechanics that I discussed in reply to this post:
    http://pianosociety.com/new/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4606
     
  14. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Could it not be that what you, Eddy, divide, is regarded by some people as a unit?
     
  15. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I would answer you this way: Mechanics is in the domain of piano literature, technique is in the domain of pianists, and there are very noticible differences in general and specifics in the approach of, shall we say, German School, Russian School, French School, etc. The differences are about technique.
     
  16. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, this is a clearer concept, thank you. Understood.

    I was tought by a follower of the French school but I do regret not having followed the Russian one: I would have become a better pianist, but then, when I was young a foolish, what did I know? :oops:
     
  17. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ah hum <swallow>, If Hélène Grimaud is an exponent of the French School, then I love the French School :wink: !
     
  18. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    I did once read someone who said that there was something wrong with the French school (a follower of the Russsian one), as it had not produced a single great pianist. Think of Horowitz and his flat fingers which would be out with the French. I was certainly taught never to play with finger movements but only with arm and wrist.
     
  19. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    I think Cortot was a great pianist. Perlemuter trained in the French school. Yves Nat deserves to be better known, it's a shame his recordings are so hard to find. Pascal Rogé and Pierre-Laurent Aimard seem to be doing OK.
     
  20. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Indeed, how right you are. I was not agreeing with that argument, mind you.

    But then it is not said that all French pianists follow the French school. Interestingly enough there are in Paris not one, but two Russian conservatoires! One is surely the Sergei Rachmaninoff (I went there once for something) and the other, if memory does not fail me, is the Skriabine.

    I cannot say more than that.
     

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