Technique Checklist

A student and I were recently trying to list all the basic technique that one could do for each key. I used to have an exhaustive list provided to me by an old teacher, but over the years I lost it somehow. Anyway here are some ideas off the top of my head:

  • Major and Minor Scales, hands alone and together
  • Chord Inversions: Triads, triads with the octave added, Seventh Chords
  • Inversions like above but with the chords arpeggiated in various ways
  • Scales hands together at the third and sixth (and perhaps other intervals)
  • Scales in double thirds, sixths, and octaves
  • Arpeggios of triads and seventh chords
  • If you like, you can invert the chords of the arpeggio and practice starting on the first   finger of the right hand (or fifth of the left) for each inversion, instead of using the standard fingering.
  • Chord Progressions – There are limitless possibilities here, but the standard I-IV-V-V7-I progression in all inversions is a good place to start
  • Chromatic Scale (in thirds, sixths, etc. as well if you like)
  • Chromatic scale in double minor and major thirds
  • Five Finger patters with a fixed hand position, or “moving” patterns such as found in the Hanon exercises
  • Fixed hand position double note exercises in thirds, sixths, etc.

Last but not least:

  • Trills in various finger combinations (Neuhuas argued that trills are the most important of all technical exercises!)

It seems like you could formulate a pretty extensive technical regimen from the above list — of course focusing on what you think needs the most work. Of course finding music that works the above is always better than dry repetition.

Any other ideas?

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