Not everyone understands how to play Hanon.
There are 60 exercises, but you are not meant to do them all at once. They are tools in your arsenal for each of the different areas you need to improve on.
Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts, and this is true for a lot of things in life, especially piano technique.
If you only had 5 minutes for technique and you’ve laid the groundwork for other fundamentals (scales/arpeggios/etc) I’d recommend spending time on Hanon.
In the video below, I share tips for playing Hanon:
- If you are stiff or tense, how to move your wrist
- How to properly press your fingers down to each key
- Where you’re wasting energy when playing piano
I get a lot of questions about Hanon, so I’ve included an FAQ below.
Hanon Piano Exercise Tips – FAQ
I learned this exercise yesterday and I’m playing it fast but I’m still not seeing results. What’s going on?
You are probably playing it too fast for your level of understanding of the exercise. Are each of your notes exactly even?
I’m having trouble playing evenly.
Place an accent on the first and middle beat of each bar, or whenever the beat is, when you play. Do you hear a steady beat coming from the accent? If not, slow down the exercise and add the beat in.
Does Hanon make your playing mechanical?
No, because exercises are meant to drill your fingers in one or few areas of piano technique. Look, if you’re an athlete and you warm up by waving your arms in circles, does that mean you always flap your arms when you’re playing sports?
Also, don’t forget to keep your arm and wrist loose as you play. If you are new to this, start by moving your wrist in a “U” motion up or down the keyboard. Watch the video above to see what I mean.
My fingers/arms/wrist hurts when I play.
Take a break. In fact, take a rest for a few days. If you suspect that you have an injury from a sport or music or other activity, please consult a healthcare professional.
My fingers are flat when I press the keys. What’s wrong?
Please watch the video above. Your fingers should be curved and hitting the very bottom of the key, and you should be lifting them as high as possible.