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The two images below show an exercise set I was contemplating practicing. The fingering is my own and would focus a lot on changing position with the fifth finger for the part playing eighth-notes. I though the fingering could be used in all keys.

This there anything about this exercise that would be harmful or counter-productive? Could it risk tendon strain, or is it contrary to standard piano methods? Am I overlooking a more typical fingering.

I can't find a good method book with these kinds of running eighth-note figures in all keys. This exercise is my own attempt to make one. But, I don't want to use it if it's bad technique.

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It is not the exercise nor fingering that can cause tendon strain, it is how you use your arm (or elbow) to place the fingers where you want them. It is how much weight you leave or press into the keybed after you strike the notes. It is about whether or not you play with tendon straining flat fingers or with curved fingers with a slight forward shift with a forearm shape. It is contingent upon whether or not you twist your wrist (ulnar deviation, radial deviation).

In other words, driving a car doesn't wear out the tires. Driving a car with poor alignment wears out the tires. Driving a car with a bend in the frame wears out the tires. What is "right" can still be very wrong.

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This is a good exercise and not harmful. Finger patterns like this are common.

"The Virtuoso Pianist" by Hanon is full of exercises like these. It's been a standard exercise book for a long time.

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  • is it true that Hanon is meant to be practiced using the same fingering in all keys, meaning the C major fingering would also be used in E flat, F sharp ,etc? – Michael Curtis Sep 26 '16 at 1:43
  • For an exercise like that, yes you should practise the same fingering on black keys as well as white. To make the exercises closer to "real music", you could add a sustained note for your thumb, an octave away from the fifth-finger note. (But this is not a general recommendation to use Hanon - all copies of it should have been burned at least 100 years ago IMHO). – user19146 Sep 26 '16 at 2:16

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