I have Hanon's Virtuoso Pianist, (Hinrischen Edition, Edition Peters Ltd. 1987 ,©).

Towards the end of first exercise, it says "Important: proceed chromatically through all major keys!"

I couldn't understand this. I guess I can try doing this with most keys with sharps (CGDAE) or F, but how on Earth am I supposed to follow this fingering with keys like Bb, Eb, Ab etc. which has more complicated fingering any way.

Can I get some easy to understand explanations and tips?

Thank you!

  • The picture would help. I can't find the instruction to "proceed chromatically" in other editions on the internet. Maybe it only occurs in the Peters Edition. That said, would be a valid exercise to play this in all keys with the same fingering as for C major. It might feel unnatural and uncomfortable at first but sometimes fingerings like that are the "best" option in real music. Of course you wouldn't use fingerings like that in real music if there was an easier altermative.
    – user19146
    May 31, 2018 at 10:05
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    OK. I'll try to take a full pic tomorrow when I'm back home and update. Thank you.
    – Subir Nag
    May 31, 2018 at 14:44
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    i would not play Hanon exercises in all keys. Some of them would create too much distance between fingers and could cause injury. For example, I think exercise #1 starting on an Eb would put an enormous strain on the pinky and 4th fingers, going from Eb to G.
    – Heather S.
    May 31, 2018 at 18:02
  • Exactly, Heather. I tried Eb and was totally confounded.
    – Subir Nag
    Jun 1, 2018 at 0:07
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    @HeatherS. Well, personally I wouldn't waste time (either my own time or a student's) playing any of the Hanon exercises in any key, but that wasn't the OP's question!
    – user19146
    Jun 1, 2018 at 9:46

2 Answers 2


This means that you shall transpose the piece to all twelve keys. Hanon pieces are (as far as I remember) all notated in C-Major. Thus you must transpose it to C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, Bb and B.

Transposing the exercises is really helpful, but I don't think it is necessary to transpose it to every key -choose keys with different hand-positions or keys you want to learn.

Edit: I changed my mind - I think it is useful to transpose it to every key.

You can change the fingering for every key to an appropriate one, or keep the same (as far as I remember this works for most Hanon exercises).

  • tommsch, which keys would you recommend to leave out and which you think are must? Thank you.
    – Subir Nag
    Jun 1, 2018 at 2:57
  • @Marzipanherz. After long thought, I decided it is useful to transpose it into every key.
    – tommsch
    Jun 1, 2018 at 19:04

Don't do this. Hanon is not an exercise in scales. It's an exercise designed to pit your weak fingers against your strong fingers to help you learn to play with equal facility across all fingers. The fact that you're playing the notes of a C major scale is inconsequential. Consider: would it be worth playing them in A minor?

Playing Hanon in all 12 keys is the most colossal waste of time I can imagine.

  • In my opinion hanon is waste of time at all, but for people who like hanon, this is a way to practice transposing a little bit, which is of value at least. Thats why I edited my answer.
    – tommsch
    Jun 4, 2018 at 16:40
  • You can practice transposing on literally anything though.
    – MattPutnam
    Jun 4, 2018 at 16:49

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