June 13, 2021

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Being a piano beginner, playing on the piano keys can get frustrating when your fingers are not functioning as how you expect them to function. And there are times when you try to play a certain passage and you find it extremely challenging to execute it, it can get annoying and you might tend to end up asking yourself “is piano playing really possible for me?”.

Lack of finger dexterity is one of the obstructions for piano learners because they feel that it is the end for them, as it limits their capabilities to play the instrument and hinders them to grow and stops their progress.

Inability to execute different passages effectively on the piano for beginners is totally normal and it is also certainly not unusual for advanced piano players to experience that, as it is common to encounter passages that you are not familiar with that are difficult to perform.

Roadblocks are not forever unless you stop trying to make ways to pass through it. This obstruction in piano playing is surely passable as there are many possibilities to overcome these. There are exercises that could help you to perform better on the instrument and we will be discussing them in this article.

pianist performing in public

Five-Finger Scale

The five-finger scale exercise begins by playing the notes by each finger, usually starting with the key of C, where the notes are C-D-E-F-G. The fingers are then positioned on top of these keys and pressed one by one beginning from C to G then going back to C. You can start playing it with each hand at first and eventually play with both hands to improve hand coordination.

This exercise is one of the most accessible exercises for piano beginners as it is pretty straightforward because it does not require any hand shifting on the piano keys which makes it accessible for anyone to do. It is an excellent exercise in developing the strength of each individual finger.

man playing the grand piano

Broken Chords

Broken chords or arpeggios is a set of notes played one by one in an ascending or descending order. It is usually practised on a major chord, the 1-3-5 notes of the scale. For example, in C major scale, your 1-3-5 notes are C, E and G. This can be practised in different keys and inversions. Arpeggios for beginners is a good exercise in developing individual finger strength as well as preparing your hands and fingers to be familiar in playing block chords because beginners are often not comfortable playing chords at first.

Block Chords

A block chord is also a set of notes played together to create a harmony. There are several chords in music, namely, the major, minor, diminished and augmented chords. These chords vary depending on the intervals or distances between the three to four notes that build them. It is also essential to learn how to play chords in different inversions so that it will help the piano learner become familiar with different kinds of chord positions. Music has a lot of harmonies which creates a lot of ”chord playing” on the piano. That is why it is important to learn how to play chords with mastery.

hands playing the piano

Playing Exercises in Different Dynamics

There are several dynamic markings in music and the two most common ones are the Piano which means soft and the Forte which means loud. When you play loud on the piano, it requires you to press the piano keys with strong and firm fingers so that it causes a mechanism where the hammers inside the instrument strike the strings hard, which makes the strings vibrate and resonate with loud sounds. By playing exercises loud, it aids in developing stronger hand and finger muscles that helps in creating loud sounds according to your will. On the other hand, playing piano or softly, requires good control of the keys. It can be a bit more challenging but it is a good way to improve fine control over the piano keys.

Playing exercises in different dynamics gives you the awareness of how much control you should put in order to produce a desirable sound. It is a good way to improve a musician’s musicality and the quality of his or her sound production.

man playing the piano


A scale is a set or sequence of notes arranged in an ascending or descending order by pitch. It is one of the most important pieces of knowledge that every piano player must ever learn to play. Practising scales does not only help in improving finger strength and dexterity, but also gives the advantage of being familiar with the structure of a certain key and the intervals of the notes that creates it. That is why it is essential for musicians to be knowledgeable with scales, especially learning scales in all keys.

For beginners, playing the scale can be quite tricky as it requires good concentration in order to learn and obtain the muscle memory in playing it. It is usually practised by each hand at first, slowly getting the hang of playing each note and learning importantly the “thumb-under” motion. Because when you play scales with both hands, the “thumb-under” motion is not played together by both hands. Learning how to play the scales for both hands will extremely contribute a lot in improving hand coordination and muscle memory.

Being a pianist, it is vital to include exercises in daily practice as it prepares you to perform effectively during practise and decreases the chances of getting an injury. The exercises mentioned above are useful especially for beginners as they improve not just finger strength but also finger dexterity. There are plenty of ways to practise the piano, it can vary depending on what technique you want to achieve. When you begin to learn how to practise exercises, it is best to learn them under the supervision of a professional piano teacher. Because piano teachers are trained to guide students, especially beginners, to learn in the most effective and efficient way.

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