Two Piano Exercises to Strengthen Your Fifth Finger

[1] Piano exercises to strengthen your 5th finger: Exercise No.1 - Play Scales

Place the right thumb on middle C. Index finger on D, middle finger on E and the rest of your fingers on the subsequent higher keys.

Now play CDEFG with your right hand using the fingering you have prepared as I have described in the paragraph above. Next play the scale in reverse, GFEDC. Maintain the same fingering.

Place the left pinkie on the C one octave lower from the middle C. Fourth finger on D, middle finger on E and the rest of your left fingers on the subsequent keys.

Now play CDEFG with your left hand using the fingering described above.Then play them in reverse GFEDC. Use the same fingering.

Practice the exercise with your right hand, then with your left separately at first. When you are able to play smoothly try playing with both hands at the same time.

Why is this piano exercise useful?

The 5th finger – our pinkie is the weakest finger we have. When playing the piano you will notice as I did when I was a beginner that it is difficult to hit a key firmly with the pinkie. It is also the first finger that tires after playing for an extended period of time.

By practising scales we are forcing the pinkie to do work. The more work the pinkie has to do on a regular basis the stronger it gets. Practising scales often also increases the 5th finger’s stamina so that it can play a longer piano piece without getting tired too soon.

[2] Piano exercises to strengthen your 5th finger: Exercise No. 2 - Arpeggios

Place the right thumb on middle C. Press it. Using your index finger - play E. Then play G with the middle finger.

Move your thumb under the palm of your hand to hit the C one octave higher from the middle C. Using your index finger play E, then G with the middle finger and finally the C on the next higher octave with your pinkie.

Play them in reverse, CGECGEC. That’s right, use the same fingers as when you were playing the arpeggio ascending just now.

Place the left pinkie on the C one octave lower from middle C. Play it. Using your middle finger play E then G with the fourth finger and hit the middle C with your thumb.

Swing your middle finger over your thumb to play E, followed by G with the fourth finger and finally reaching the finale by playing the C one octave higher from middle C with the pinkie. Next play it in reverse.

Practice the exercise with your right hand, then with your left separately at first. When you are able to play smoothly try playing with both hands together.

The piano exercise is called arpeggio. Why is it useful?

Soon enough you will learn that the 5th finger is one stubborn cookie. It does not really follow your commands when playing the piano. When playing a fast paced bar of semiquavers for instance it tends to attach itself to the fourth finger when you actually want it to hit the keys independently on its own.

By practising arpeggios we are training the pinkie to not cling itself to the fourth finger and enable it to play as an individual finger.

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