Daily exercise

I know that we’ve all been told that it’s important to do daily exercise in these ‘lockdown’ days. If you can tear yourself away from Tom Daley’s 10 minute home workout, here’s what I’m doing to exercise my fingers.

A daily dose of Hanon may annoy the neighbours, but it’s very good for strengthening all five fingers. I was introduced to these exercises when I was about 14 or 15 and although my practice of them has been intermittent, currently I try to do them every day. They are quite boring, but it’s only 10 minutes and they work!

First published in 1873, Wikipedia tells me that The Virtuoso Pianist is Charles Louis Hanon’s most well-known work. I can’t wait to hear his 1st Symphony! Or maybe he did an arrangement of these for string quartet?


  1. Thanks Nick. I am on it….. starting at book one, coupled with a dose of The Laggard Left. Pleased to see the metronome ticking away too.

    1. Author

      Hi Jean. Glad you’ve got Hanon going again. I find the metronome very valuable, it’s stops me getting faster……..and faster!
      Happy Easter. Nick

  2. As something of a lapsed pianist, Hanon exercises are the only thing I can remember by heart and the first thing I’d do to loosen up my fingers!

    1. Author

      Well, you’ve no excuse then Anne, have you. Get practising! Nick

  3. I’ve a copy of Hanon so may join you, should I wish to counter neighbours’ electrical DIY… I like the sound of The Laggard Left, too, that’s a new one to me.
    I’ve been enjoying Flashmob Nurnberg 2014 = Ode to Joy. Google it, it’s fun and rather moving. [Even I can manage that much techie stuff].
    Play it in C major – a fine 5-finger exercise, apart from one note; begin on E, middle finger. The neighbours will love it…!!
    All this self-improvement reminds me that one Christmas I was given The Reluctant Organist [publ. RSCM] by a well-meaning daughter – I must have been grumbling about turning out for Evensong, something I’d very much welcome at the moment….
    Keep well and safe, everyone! Susan

  4. I took up the piano again when I retired and when I did the Hanon exercises, I developed bilateral tennis elbow, which led to surgery on one side and effectively stopped me playing. I got Distinction in Grade 7 (fifty years after taking Grade 6), but my dreams of taking Grade 8 and doing some accompanying have been blighted. So please watch out, if you are thinking of using Hanon!

    1. Author

      Hi Sophia. I’ve been doing Hanon since about age 14 and I’m used to them. If I haven’t done them in a while, I can feel the strain in my wrists, so I know to stop. I suppose it’s like any other exercise. I don’t play squash any longer…….for obvious reasons! Best wishes. Nick

Leave a Reply