Three piano exercises to improve accuracy in hitting the keys

[1] Find the C

The first of three piano exercises that I wish to share here is finding the Cs on the piano. As you may well know by now the keyboard on the piano is made up of 88 keys. They can be grouped into 7 octaves. That also means that there are seven Cs on a piano.

First using your right thumb - locate all the Cs one at a time. Found them? Excellent! Now repeat the same exercise using your right pinkie.

Continue this exercise with the rest of the fingers on the right hand. Once you are able to hit the Cs accurately with every finger on your right hand, start the same exercise again only this time use the fingers on the left hand.

Why is this exercise useful?

The middle C acts as the reference key to locate and play accurately the keys within its viccinity. By training your fingers, hands and arms to find all Cs on the piano, you will naturally develop a strong sense of direction on where to place you hands and fingers.

The skill in finding the Cs will go a long way in helping you play a full piano piece smoothly and accurately.

[2] Play the keys immediately next to the C

What are the notes immediately next to C? OK, maybe that was too easy for you. B and D it is. Here is the second of our three piano exercises to improve accuracy in hitting the keys on a piano.

Put your right thumb on B, index finger on middle C and you guessed it middle finger on D. Now press the three keys together firmly.

Next, try playing the notes separately one at a time using the same fingering. Play them slowly at first and increase the speed gradually as you get more confident.

Why is this exercise useful?

After you have become adept at finding the Cs, it is time to get to know her neighbours. The C is the reference key, if you put the index finger on it, naturally you will know to play B with the thumb and D with the middle finger.

With this exercise your fingers are learning to press the keys as an individual finger, with practise they will become flexible, easier to curve and obedient of your commands.

We are training the fingers to work in harmony to put the notes together eventually forming one musical phrase.

[3] Practise playing octaves

The last of the piano exercises you can practise to improve accuracy is playing the octaves.

Let’s start with the octave of C. Position your right thumb on middle C and your pinkie on the C one octave higher and play the notes together.

Maintain the same fingering while moving your hand to the next notes, D. Remember, thumb on D (next to middle C) and pinkie on the D one octave higher.

Continue the exercise with the octaves of E, F, G and so on. It may take a while before you notice you are hitting the notes firmly and accurately so keep practising. Then you can try the exercise with your left hand.

Octaves are common in piano compositions. They elevate the intensity and suspense of the music. Composer Paul de Sonnenville weaved a string of quaver octaves into a riveting tempo in ‘Marriage de Amour’ a song performed and made famous by Richard Clayderman.

Listen to how a beautifully played octaves sounds, download ‘Marriage de amour’ and ‘Adieu au Piano’ by composer Beethoven from emusic.com. Take advantage of the free trial membership to download for free.

These piano exercises are meant to improve your accuracy as quickly as possible so that you can continue to make big gains in your progress.

For some more good tips and ideas have a look at Learn Piano and Shine. The photos and explanations there are quite helpful and easy to use.

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