Piano songs - Rondo Alla Turca

Acquire the strength needed in the fourth and fifth fingers to play piano songs with panache. The exercises explained build strength as well as flexibility and agility

Fourth and fifth fingers slaughter piano songs


I touched briefly on the subject of the dreaded sympathetic finger movement and suggested bouncing the fingers off the piano keys as an exercise to overcome it. Then, I explained on the method available to gain speed in playing the piano. Both of these actions need strong fingers for their successful executions and I came across some useful exercises that can help.

To keep things simple, I would practice them on the scale of C major. Place the thumb of the right hand (RH) on C and the rest of the fingers on the subsequent keys. Begin by pressing the index finger (2nd finger) down on D, hold it in place without ever lifting it while playing the rest of the keys one at a time. As in ; C (with the thumb), D (held down with the index finger), E (middle finger), F (4th finger) and G (with pinkie/ 5th finger).

Next, do it with the left hand. On the C one octave lower place the pinkie of the left hand (LH) and the rest of the fingers on the subsequent keys. Start the practice with the left hand by pressing the 4th finger down on D, hold it in place without ever lifting it while playing the rest of the keys one at a time. As in ; C (with the pinkie), D (held down with the 4th finger), E (middle finger), F (index finger) and G (with thumb).

Initially just like learning a new song, slow practice is recommended hands separately. Once you begin to see progress, play both hands together.

The exercise is meant to strengthen the 4th and 5th fingers. When the middle finger (3rd finger) is pressed on a key and held down, playing other keys with the 4th or 5th fingers independently is strenuous. By repeating the action, strength and flexibility are built in them. The same thing happens with the 5th finger, when the 4th finger is pressed and held down.

A lot like going to the gym to work out by lifting weights to build upper body strength, we do it by increasing the load we lift, for example from 10kg to 20kg to 30kg – compared to the earlier exercise explained in the above paragraphs, this next exercise is a heavier load practiced to build stronger 4th and 5th fingers.

Practice heavier loads to play piano songs better


With the fingers of the right hand place the thumb on C, index finger on D and the pinkie on G. Press and hold them down at the same time without ever lifting it while playing the rest of the keys one at a time. As in ; E (with the middle finger), F (with the 4th finger).

Then do it with the left hand, but with a small difference on the fingering used to hold the keys down. With the fingers of the left hand place the thumb on C, index finger on D and the middle finger on E. Press and hold them down at the same time without ever lifting it while playing the rest of the keys one at a time. As in ; F (with the 4th finger) and G (with the pinkie).

Keep in mind that this exercise is tough on the fingers, so if you are not able to do it immediately it is not something to be ashamed of. Stay with it because you will see some improvement after a while. Another thing to remember is that it does not require spending an extended amount of time practicing them because it will cause pain. 10 to 15 minutes every day is enough to produce results.

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