I've had this on my mind for a long time and it's regarding whether I should properly warm-up for every small practice sessions I play (30-45 minutes) or if I should just warm-up the on my first session and continue the rest with none.

I know that the difference between playing with warmed up hands and non-warmed up gives very different results, but is this something I should worry about? Could anyone give any advice regarding this issue and what I can do about it?

Personally, I think every practice session, no matter how long or short is important and I'd like to make the most out of it without wasting too much time.

P.S My warm-up routine normally consists of ~10 Hanon excercises (x2)

  • Are your playing sessions happening multiple times per day, or on different days? My recommendation would be to do a daily warmup routine before your first session of the day; then consider yourself "warm" for any other sessions you have that day. – NReilingh Jun 14 '16 at 12:36
  • I play multiple session a day (around 3-5 sessions a day).. and by saying that I should "consider" myself "warm" for other sessions after the first meaning I should ignore the fact that I haven't warmed up for those sessions? – Nadfee Jun 14 '16 at 12:42
  • You've warmed up for the day. And if you continue playing throughout the day, you're going to stay warm. You "cool off" when you go to sleep for the night, and need to warm up again in the morning. It's a pretty reliable metaphor--think about the engine in a car. You might need to let the engine warm up before it's at peak performance, but if you drive to the grocery store and do some shopping, when you come back, it will not have bled off so much heat in a short amount of time. The difference with piano playing is that you're talking about neural pathways and muscles. – NReilingh Jun 14 '16 at 12:49

What about a pre-warm-up, and a pre-pre-warm-up! Unless you're going to be playing frantic tunes, or very complex stretchy chords, etc., then a gentle warm-up will get you into most.There are many other 'exercises' that will warm-up apart from Hanon. Try playing scales/arpeggios/chromatics/block chords up and down the 'board. Try playing some known pieces, faster and slower than usual.Use the 'warm-up' time to actually practise some of the stuff you're learning. As I say, if you're going crazy, then make it a longer warm-up, but don't worry unduly about harming yourself due to insufficient warm-up.

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  • Thanks! The tips really helped and I decided to play pieces faster/slower and turned out it helped a bit! – Nadfee Jun 14 '16 at 14:06

The simplest answer is "just try not doing it, and see what happens". You aren't going to injure yourself permanently by not going through your lengthy warming up procedure for a few days. If you don't discover any downside, you just gained a few more hours in each day, either to practice longer or do something else.

Personally, I would consider spending hours a day on something as mind-numbingly boring as Hanon exercises a complete waste of time. If you really need to spend hours "warming up" before you can start "practising", at least do something that exercises your mind, and not just your fingers.

There are plenty of ways to warm up that don't involve actually playing your instrument - for example a 5 or 10 minute jog around the block might be better for your overall fitness and stamina levels than 30 or 45 minutes of only exercising your fingers.

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  • Thanks! Well I dont usually spend hours on Hanon but at least run it twice a day in order to keep building finger strenght (I've been playing for 9 months). I'll definitely consider that running around the block thing, I've heard similar advice when it comes to studying and that doing something that makes your body and mind work will help other things in general. – Nadfee Jun 14 '16 at 22:52

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