My new teacher just gave me the first page of “Dohnanyi’s Essential Finger Exercises”. Boy, are they challenging. Of course, I like a challenge. Documents Similar To Dohnanyi Erno Book Essential Finger Exercises. Alfred Cortot – Rational Principles Of Pianoforte Uploaded by. Daniela. Ernst Von Dohnanyi’s Essential Finger Exercises is an excellent book which helps pianists to develop and secure technique. (Z) en-GB.

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Please Pass It On! AdminGlobal ModMod. Boy, are they challenging. Of course, I like a challenge otherwise I wouldn’t be playing piano. Dphnanyi, I can see the benefit in finger strength and agility. I thought I was pretty decent with the fingering until I started these. I piajo almost like a beginner. I was wondering if anyone else has done these exercises? If so, do you exerciss them difficult? How much have they helped you. BTW, he also said not to waste my time with Hanon and Czerny.

I have worked on a few of these. They’re not for beginners! If you read the preface, you’ll find they’re written for professionals to maintain technique.

And the first one IS difficult. I would recommend practicing hands separate ONLY for at least a couple weeks – probably longer. You can concentrate better on what you’re doing that way, and these require you to concentrate on every note. Don’t worry about trying to go fast. Don’t worry, it will dohnnyi easier. Doing a few of these every day with some scales and arpeggios and you will notice a definite improvement in your technique in short order.

Hanon are good exercises – esp. Basically not enough variety for a more advanced student. Mark, Thanks for your reply. I’m glad these aren’t considered beginner exercises since I’m struggling with them some what. My teacher did say I’m at early intermediate level. He only gave me the first page. Are the other pages any easier? I would guess they get harder as go?

What exactly are “essential” finger exercises? Do they help you understand dominants and subdominants? Do they have any musical value? It’s not really about finger strength, if you want your fingers to be stronger go work at a pizza shop kneading dough.

And the fingering techniques are way overblown, once you play a piece that uses unorthodox fingering, like most pieces in the world, you have to relearn the fingerings. Even scales use completely different fingerings in something as scaley as Mozart. There’s no such thing as a general technique.


Dohnanyi | Essential Finger Exercises (Piano)

The exeercises preparation for playing real pieces is to play real pieces. Finger exercises are baloney. Go tell your teacher to get you some Bach. That’ll work your left hand. Or tell your teacher to bring you some Brahms.

This will dhnanyi your ears. But finger exercises, waste of time. Mikester, I know from reading these forums that most execises are not highly regarded. However, I think these do help with finger independence. Otherwise I wouldn’t be struggling with them so much.

My teacher feels these will help my sense of touch also. As a student, I feel I must put my trust in my teacher. That is why I’m paying him. He did agree that Hanon and Czerny are not worth too much. Hey Devils, My teacher gave Dohnanyi to me last monthst 2 pages. I disagree that Czerny and Hanon are time wasters. They build the muscles in your hands. I think “Essential” is just a weak translation from exerfises original Hungarian or whatever.

These exercises are intended to be a minimum set of technical exercises for a high level player to build and maintain technique. Hanon are dohnznyi knee pushups. Dohnanyi are your one-handed pushups. Once you are strong enough to do them, you do a few every couple of days to maintain strength.

They are not in order by difficulty. In the preface, Dohnanyi groups them roughly into three difficulty groups. But they aren’t intended to be progressive.

Rather, they tend to address specific problems. For instance, I was having problems with block chords getting all the notes to come down precisely together.

My teacher gave my 12 which is all big chords in many different positions. Anyway, they tend to address specific weaknesses, so many are difficult. For instance, scales in thirds, or trills in thirds. I agree that many technical exercises at best ineffecient, but I think these are very dohnxnyi. I don’t agree that all exercises are a waste of time but some arebut I wouldn’t spend more than min per day on technique at your stage.

Have to agree with Piano WannaB’s comments. I had a very hard time with 1 at first, especially with L hand. Makes you feel like you have NO control over your hand.

Gets easier with time never “easy” though. A particular passage in the Chopin c minor scherzo that gave me problems descending flourishes based on broken chords – awkward L hand part became noticeably easier.

The independence gained by playing Bach is of a different type than this exercise provides. Third and fourth fingers are very weak, and this will really help strengthen them.

Bach is often the first music people try that has independent voices in the music, but that’s not necessarily the same as finger independence. Bach inventions present more mental problems than physical ones, as evidenced by the fact that the difficulty comes when the two parts are combined, but not when played separately.


For those of you who are curious – try this. Then pick up each finger while holding down the others and play the note dohnayi.

Try each hand in several keys. Try a trill with 3rd and 4th fingers. My teacher gave Dohnanyi to me last monthst 2 pages. Don’t laugh, but on the 1st page ppiano I first started them I would hold down fingers with the other hand Just on left hand LOL. Mark D The independence gained by playing Bach is of a different type than this exercise provides.

Bach inventions 2 part are often some of the earliest pieces given to help the left and right hands gain independence from each other – a very difficult and important hurdle for beginners. I agree with three voices it gets exericses issues of same hand finger independence, but still it is often not the physical obstacles that make it difficult but just trying to keep in mind what each finger is supposed to be doing more things to do and think about at once.


Dohnanyi just takes these problems to the next level – kicks it up a notch so to speak. Imagine the first Bach you ever played X That’s what it feels like. Making you use very weak muscles that you didn’t even know you had and probably don’t have good control over. Thanks, Mark, for your clarification.

I would agree with you on Bach’s inventions. Essential to whom and for what? I have found such individual differences in hands One thing I will say.

Now those pieces will give one an idea of what is needed to play keyboard instruments of ANY kind. The inventions are very useful as well. One American pianist from the past is well worth knowing: His approach and philosophy makes good sense. I loved the density of these exercises, after enjoying Czerny and Hanon, but would be remiss suggesting them without a teacher.