There are plenty of top exercises for beginner pianists targeting different areas of the learning process. These include practices meant to improve your hand independence, skill, speed, as well as control.
Therefore, it is sometimes quite difficult trying to decide which of the options is best suitable.
Luckily, we have simplified that for you. In this article, we’ll talk about 5 easy piano exercises for beginners.
Even if you are an intermediate piano player, these five exercises can still help you learn and retain the knowledge you already have. Read on to learn more.
1. Five Finger Scale
Starting us off on the top exercises for beginner pianists is the five finger scale exercise. Typically, this exercise seems an easy one but poses a challenge to most beginner players. However, you shouldn’t feel inadequate or frustrated if it takes a bit of time to master this skill.
What the five finger scale exercise does is that it wakes up five notes and back down again. It gives you time to understand your different sides independently, aside from using both hands to get started.
Control is the main focus when it comes to this exercise, and you need to apply even pressure at all times. Afterward, when you have full control, it gets easier to work on building up your playing speed.
After gaining control, the next step is to differentiate how to play each note. Here, you learn that your left-hand focuses on playing smoothly, while the right hand is more about hitting those sharp notes. Finally, in this exercise, you tend to get familiar with the rhythm switch up.
By switching up rhythms, it means that the left and right hands will each play different length notes. The left-hand plays quarter notes, while the right-hand plays the eighth notes. One fundamental take away in this exercise is that you should never forget to switch hands.
2. Black Key Awareness
If you own a full-size 88 key digital piano, then you know that the first black key on the far left side is a single key. Black keys move up and down the keyboard in groups of two and three. As a beginner, it is essential to note and be aware of the black keys on your keyboard.
It becomes easier to even understand the white keys by just being aware of every black key on a piano. You can take the groups of two black notes and start playing them with either the right or left hand.
As a beginner, you should take it easy as this helps you capture the note variance. Another method is to alternate your right and left hands when stroking the groups of two black notes.
Do the same thing with the groups of three black notes. Play around enough and make sure you can locate each key with consistent practicing.
You can also use different fingering combinations to get more familiar with the keys. The main to remember is to take it slow, and not hasten things.
3. Hand Position and Efficiency
As a piano player, the position of your hands is a very crucial thing to master. It enables good playing habits and familiarizes you with the keyboard. Wrong hand positioning, can develop bad habits, which slows your learning process.
For most beginners and even intermediate players, hand positioning is a difficult lesson that isn’t that fun to learn. But, as the saying goes, for you to be a good driver, you have to have your hands on the steering wheel. This is the case when learning how to play a digital piano.
You have to understand how to strengthen, shape, and use your hands, as well as fingers in the best position for progress. Hand positioning lessons help you counter fingerings, speed and challenging notes to play.
The fact that it’s difficult doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. The best way to tackle any issue that you may have with hand positioning and efficiency is to practice, practice, and more practice.
4. Time Signatures and Tempo
Time signature is also one of the best exercises for beginner pianists. They in struct you on the number of beats you should count before you can start counting over. The time signature is based on numbers (patterns) that repeat until the end of the song in question. Rhythm and counting are by far some of the biggest hurdles to overcome when learning to read music.
One of the best and less difficult ways to do this is to train naturally. By this, it means you can start by counting out loud while at the same time, tapping both your left and right hands. Start counting in fours and touch your right hand on your lap in relative to the count.
Do the same with your left hand on your left lap. You can also change hands when you start the count over, or alternate counts of two’s with both sides.
Tempo, on the other hand, is how slow or fast you can count the numbers or beats in a song. In piano lessons, rhythm helps you count the beats until the end of a song. Therefore, you must understand how to do this well with your tempo.
5. Ear Training
Another one of the many top exercises for beginner pianists is ear training. It entails a lot that takes both time and effort to understand fully. But, to make it a bit light for you, we have two essential recommendations that you should understand first.
- The Bass
- The 5ths
We are going to start with the bass notes located on the left hand. When you play any note in your right hand over and over again, it usually sounds the same.
But, when you play a bass note in the left hand simultaneously, the right-hand note doesn’t sound the same anymore.
Therefore, the bass is a determinant in arrangement or band. They determine whether a note sounds dark or bright altogether.
It is also imperative as a beginner to understand the importance of the 5ths. Indulge in exercises that work to enhance your knowledge and memorization on the cycle of the 5ths.
The two complement each other, and once you understand how they work, ear training will be much easier and more straightforward for you.
The above-suggested exercises each vary in both skill and difficulty. Some may turn out to be more challenging than others, but this is normal in the learning process.
Don’t get alarmed if you are struggling to learn a particular lesson. Instead, dedicate time to it and take it a day at a time.
Practice daily, if possible, as this helps you to retain what you learned earlier and swiftly move on to the next level. The bottom line is to always find ways to make it fun and exciting.