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#1662375 - 04/18/11 02:30 PM Hanon in all keys
Lingyis Offline
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Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 832
Somewhere else on this forum somebody mentioned practicing hanon in all keys.

Which made me realize, nobody made me play Hanon in any other key than C. That's probably why my left hand technique on certain passages isn't as good as it can be.

Is practicing Hanon in all keys common?

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#1662379 - 04/18/11 02:37 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
Elysia Offline
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Registered: 09/28/10
Posts: 193
Loc: Canada
I believe that practising hannons in all keys is common. I have a whole book of hannons somehwhere. C is probably the first one that everyone learns, I don't think anyone has to make you play them you are probably just suppose to do them. If you are learning D maj for eaxample then you do the d maj hannon etc. Just a nice exercise to warm up with.

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#1662380 - 04/18/11 02:42 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
Hakki Offline
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I can't comment on whether it is common or not. But, I had studied Hanon in different keys, and also in various rhythmic variations.
Some consider it as a waste of time. However while I was studying those exercises I hadn't spent more than 15-20 minutes on them daily, yet benefited very much in my later years.
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#1662389 - 04/18/11 03:01 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
Lingyis Offline
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Posts: 832
Ok. Well, back then as a kid I don't see how I would automatically play in all keys if nobody told me to.

Maybe I should print out those hanon and see how playing in different keys feels like.

It's ironic because I'm picking up the viola and only then I was thinking, huh, I need to learn these things in all kinds of different keys, and I thought, NO! Not these exercises all over again! I was showing a violinist friend Hanon exercises and that kind of got me wondering.


Edited by Lingyis (04/18/11 03:03 PM)

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#1662394 - 04/18/11 03:11 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
tangleweeds Offline

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I don't do it in "all keys", but I'll transpose whatever Hanon exercise I'm working on to an alternative key when I feel that particular key needs work.

I find that it does a lot to improve my familiarity with the keyboard geography of less familiar (to me) keys.
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#1662403 - 04/18/11 03:39 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Elysia]
BruceD Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Elysia
I believe that practising hannons in all keys is common. I have a whole book of hannons somehwhere. C is probably the first one that everyone learns, I don't think anyone has to make you play them you are probably just suppose to do them. If you are learning D maj for eaxample then you do the d maj hannon etc. Just a nice exercise to warm up with.


The man's name is Hanon.
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#1662417 - 04/18/11 04:10 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: BruceD]
Elysia Offline
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Posts: 193
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: Elysia
I believe that practising hannons in all keys is common. I have a whole book of hannons somehwhere. C is probably the first one that everyone learns, I don't think anyone has to make you play them you are probably just suppose to do them. If you are learning D maj for eaxample then you do the d maj hannon etc. Just a nice exercise to warm up with.


The man's name is Hanon.


haha lol ya thats defenetly a detail i would go years missing. I just always thought the exercises were called hannons. I did not know the man's name was hanon. did mr.hanon create the hanons. All these years and i don't know this

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#1662418 - 04/18/11 04:11 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
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Originally Posted By: Lingyis
Is practicing Hanon in all keys common?

In my opinion, practising Hanon in all keys is a waste of time. To practise the keys of Db and E is sufficient.
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#1662425 - 04/18/11 04:32 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
daviel Offline
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The reason I play them in all the keys is so it won't make a bit of difference what key I'm playing in - ever. I'll hit 2 or 3 keys a day around the cir of 5ths; play all the scales in the back; and scales in the Dan Hurley book, scales for jazz improvisation. around the circle of 5ths. If I'm really hitting the technique, I spend more time on all that, but lately I haven't spent more than about 20 minutes a session on technique. I just like doing it. some people like to jog; I like to play scales.
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#1662432 - 04/18/11 04:40 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
ChopinAddict Offline
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This site has Hanon in all keys... I want to go through all the exercises again as soon as I buy my new piano after Easter to get used to its new action. smile
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#1662434 - 04/18/11 04:43 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: ChopinAddict]
daviel Offline
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Just play the exercise in whatever key it is. e.g. if you're in G - the f is always an F# - etc.
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#1662438 - 04/18/11 04:55 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
fuzzy8balls Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 467
Loc: San Diego, CA
Actually I think practicing Hannon exercises in its original key or in any other key is a waste of time. The purpose of playing these exercises is to strengthen the fingers, which you can do when you play a piece of music.

However I think it's not just strong fingers is what makes you play well, each time you play, your mind has to connect with every single note that you play and you can do that easily in Hannon exercises because they're steady sixteenths without much variation. But this is not real music.
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#1662441 - 04/18/11 04:59 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: fuzzy8balls]
RealPlayer Offline
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Loc: NYC
Isn't there a footnote in the Hanon volume that suggests playing them in all keys? So my memory tells me, but that memory is decades old. Or maybe that doesn't appear in all editions.

I don't think it's necessary to play them in all keys, but a few with lots of black keys involved will certainly help.
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#1662446 - 04/18/11 05:16 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
Piano Again Offline
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Loc: Washington metro
I tried it once, but I think I fell asleep before I got through c minor. smile
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#1662450 - 04/18/11 05:19 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8364
Yes, it is common to practice Hanon in all keys, or at least some keys other than C major. I remember reading that, at one time, playing a randomly selected Hanon exercise in a randomly selected key was an examination item at the Moscow Conservatory.

Personally, I have been doing exercises 21-30 in the major keys, sticking to one key per month. I am somewhere in my second pass through all the keys, and I think it has been useful (obviously, or I wouldn't keep it up).

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#1662488 - 04/18/11 06:41 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
La Vega Offline
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Registered: 06/04/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Oakland, CA
So far I've just tried Hanon in D major, usually 1-20. I can see where a jazz pianist might benefit from all twelve keys for improvisation, but otherwise I think a handful of keys with good mixes of blacks and whites is sufficient.

I may try a couple of minor keys, too, just for variety.
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#1662501 - 04/18/11 07:25 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
PianoLessonGirl Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/15/11
Posts: 17
Loc: Indiana
I have never played Hanon in a different key, but I don't see what it would hurt. I am one of those people that hated having to practice Hanon's, but now that I am teaching, I do put my students through the same 'torture'. It is so helpful in the long run, I think practicing in different keys would give you a bit more control and that would be even more helpful! Thanks for the idea! smile
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#1662509 - 04/18/11 07:38 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
TylerNB Offline
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Registered: 10/21/10
Posts: 301
Loc: U.S.A.
Yea, I believe that was one of the forums I posted. But somebody posted it as a suggestion for it. I mean, if you know how to play it in all keys, you get a little key signature practice and you may expand your technical abilities even further. The Hanon Exercises are my summer project. I want to learn them and key signature as well as I can by next school year when I am in band as the pianist. And I am super excited. Ready to practice for hours on end. Well, I hope I could help.

-TylerNB
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#1662510 - 04/18/11 07:38 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Elysia]
BruceD Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Elysia
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: Elysia
I believe that practising hannons in all keys is common. I have a whole book of hannons somehwhere. C is probably the first one that everyone learns, I don't think anyone has to make you play them you are probably just suppose to do them. If you are learning D maj for eaxample then you do the d maj hannon etc. Just a nice exercise to warm up with.


The man's name is Hanon.


haha lol ya thats defenetly a detail i would go years missing. I just always thought the exercises were called hannons. I did not know the man's name was hanon. did mr.hanon create the hanons. All these years and i don't know this


Charles-Louis Hanon, (1819-1900) was a French piano pedagogue and piano teacher. The complete title - in English - of this oft-discussed work is : The Virtuoso Pianist in Sixty Exercises for the Piano For the Acquirement of Agility, Independence, Strength, and Perfect Evenness in the Fingers, as well as Suppleness of the Wrist. (Le pianiste virtuose en 60 exercices calculés pour acquérir l'agilité, l'indépendance, la force et la plus parfaite égalité des doigts ainsi que la souplesse des poignets). When people talk about "doing Hanon" they are simply saying that they are playing Hanon's exercises, as one would say "playing (some) Chopin," or "working on some Brahms (pieces)."

Regards,
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#1662514 - 04/18/11 07:43 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Elysia]
Varcon Offline
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Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
His name is Charles Louis Hanon and the exercises are referred to generally as "Hanon" and not Hannons. Plaidy, Schmitt, Wolfe, Joseffy, Pischna, are all names of the people who wrote and or developed the exercises.

Familiarity with the topography of the keyboard is essential in the development of a pianist and practising the exercises in all keys is one way to become familiar with the problems a change of key can present.

Lhevinne, in his book, and in an interview with James Francis Cooke, states the examiners in the Russian conservatories do ask for Hanon exercises and specify the key as well as the tempo. The book suggests a tempo of 108 MM to a quarter. Lhevinne states that the examiners expected 208.


Edited by Varcon (04/18/11 07:43 PM)

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#1662516 - 04/18/11 07:46 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
TylerNB Offline
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Registered: 10/21/10
Posts: 301
Loc: U.S.A.
Yea, I believe that was one of the forums I posted. But somebody posted it as a suggestion for it. I mean, if you know how to play it in all keys, you get a little key signature practice and you may expand your technical abilities even further. The Hanon Exercises are my summer project. I want to learn them and key signature as well as I can by next school year when I am in band as the pianist. And I am super excited. Ready to practice for hours on end. Well, I hope I could help.

-TylerNB
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Coming up:
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And yet another Bach piece

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#1662529 - 04/18/11 08:06 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
Lingyis Offline
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Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 832
i was browsing through hanon and... in a way it's kind of funny because in book 2 he had all 12 scales and arpeggios written out.

so... i suppose in book 1, he doesn't expect students to play them in different keys. indeed for some of the exercises, like thumb under, changing them to different keys wouldn't make make sense.

and if they're meant as strength and evenness exercises, playing in different keys would not be to the point (or less so, at least).

but i'm not to refute the value of playing them in different keys, since i flat-out think it's a good idea.

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#1662542 - 04/18/11 08:41 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
RealPlayer Offline
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Loc: NYC
Of course, what playing in different keys does is acclimate the hands to tricky stretches.

Lately I think one big virtue of Hanon is that, when you are somewhat advanced, you can play them practically (note: I said "practically") without thinking. You're still getting the benefit of stretching and awkward intervals, and finger strength, but you don't need all your brainpower to get through them. You're thinking about evenness and accuracy, of course, but the patterns at least are no-brainers.
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#1662602 - 04/18/11 11:15 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: RealPlayer]
rocket88 Offline
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Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3334
Originally Posted By: RealPlayer

Lately I think one big virtue of Hanon is that, when you are somewhat advanced, you can play them practically (note: I said "practically") without thinking. You're still getting the benefit of stretching and awkward intervals, and finger strength, but you don't need all your brainpower to get through them. You're thinking about evenness and accuracy, of course, but the patterns at least are no-brainers.


That is a good description of one of the virtues of Hanon. Because each exercise is a repetition of itself, you can focus on the finger movements themselves w/o having to read music that changes with each measure.

I suggest that you take advantage of that by playing Hanon as musically as possible, that is, not mechanically. Try to make each short passage sound like it is a section of a great piece of music.

Many of the short phrases that comprise Hanon are found in actual piano repertoire; for example, Hanon #1 is almost a scale run; later on the trill exercises are for trills found throughout music.

So if you practice Hanon with all the musicality you can, later on when you play actual repertoire, phrases and hand movements in that repertoire that are duplicated in Hanon will be hard-wired into your playing as musical phrases, not mechanical ones.

And because you have practiced Hanon thruout several octaves, and perhaps in several keys, you will have those movements "under your fingers" wherever they occur, up and down the keyboard. It will make you a better player.
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#1662620 - 04/18/11 11:31 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
TylerNB Offline
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Registered: 10/21/10
Posts: 301
Loc: U.S.A.
You don't really need to sight-read through these at all. I just played through the first one. They actually sound like, really cool if you go through them fast. It kinda sounds like you are going up and down an organ(another instrument I find fascinating) They are painful though if you aren't used to the stretches. But yes, pain is medicine for your fingers practically. You are strengthening them and your accuracy at the same time. I am sure you can further improve by doing it in a different key. I would start simple like the key of F major. Playing it in C is fun enough. I wonder what F Major would sound like. smile
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And yet another Bach piece

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#1662629 - 04/18/11 11:46 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
argerichfan Offline
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I've practised the first 30 Hanon in all keys, though not lately.

Can't say it did any harm to my hands, though after a few days I felt a dissension into a state of glazed stupor. smokin

For more advanced pianists, I think Dohnanyi a far better use of time.
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#1662631 - 04/18/11 11:52 PM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: TylerNB]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Originally Posted By: TylerNB
Playing it in C is fun enough. I wonder what F Major would sound like. smile


Unless you have perfect pitch or amazing relative pitch and you heard it , it would sound like just like the C major version.

Anyway, back to the OT, IF you're going to do Hanon, you should vary the keys and rhythms.
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#1662673 - 04/19/11 01:32 AM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: argerichfan]
Lingyis Offline
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Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 832
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
I've practised the first 30 Hanon in all keys, though not lately.

Can't say it did any harm to my hands, though after a few days I felt a dissension into a state of glazed stupor. smokin

For more advanced pianists, I think Dohnanyi a far better use of time.


What's Dohnanyi? There's an IMSLP entry but ~20 works, so I'm not sure what one you're referring to. Thanks!

EDIT: okay the concert etudes, i'm sure.

EDIT 2: i guess the 6th one is pretty popular. so many clips on youtube. even horowitz played it.


Edited by Lingyis (04/19/11 01:44 AM)

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#1662675 - 04/19/11 01:34 AM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: Lingyis]
Lingyis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 832
Speaking of all keys, if I had practiced Hanon in all keys, I wouldn't have needed to practice the 3rd movement of the Shostakovich 2nd concerto smile

(even though they're not always an octave apart)

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#1662679 - 04/19/11 01:47 AM Re: Hanon in all keys [Re: TylerNB]
BruceD Online   content
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Originally Posted By: TylerNB
[...]They are painful though if you aren't used to the stretches. But yes, pain is medicine for your fingers practically. [...]


Absolute nonsense! There should never be any "pain" in playing the piano, unless you are doing something drastically wrong.
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