I'm an aspiring jazz pianists but my right hand falls short in navigation and attempting runs. I need to buy etudes and exercises for fingering. That is, fingering for the various scales (I don't know them), for instance.

What do you recommend? Hanon - Virtuoso Pianist?

closed as off-topic by David Bowling, user45266, Richard, Shevliaskovic, Tim Jun 10 at 6:35

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  • Work out your own fingering for scales. And bounce from that to how you may finger runs using only several of those notes - which may well necessitate different fingerings. Look at modes. Work it out for yourself - it's more fun and more revealing than merely workig through any excercise book. Re-word the question with that in mind, and it may be re-opened. – Tim Jun 10 at 8:01

Personally I would avoid Hanon. There are plenty of more interesting etudes and if you do not have a teacher to guide you (because if you did you would just be asking them - wouldn't you!) then there's a chance of going too far too fast, which can be damaging, and also of being bored to death.

Lots of other stuff is available, so lets look at Czerny as an example. Czerny wrote masses (really masses) of studies varying from straightforward scale and arpeggio type stuff to really complicated and difficult things. If you do not yet know your scales you need to start with the ones that concentrate on scales. Type "Czerny etudes for scales" into Google and you will find loads of stuff, much of it downloadable for free.

Having said that: if what you actually require is quite literally scales with fingerings then I would recommend the ABRSM Manual of Scales and Arpeggios. All major and minor scales in similar and contrary motion also in thirds, sixths and double thirds. Plus arpeggios of major, minor dominant 7th and diminished seventh chords. Not very exciting but an invaluable resource.

Good luck.

  • I agree, Czerny is an excellent way to develop finger work overall. – Grace Jun 10 at 8:45

Some stray thoughts from someone who enjoyed scales and disliked Hanon in my younger days.

Starting point

Most people start with Cmaj. From my pov an unpleasant choice. Which scale makes your hands/nervous system most happy will of course vary. For me it was:

Most liked: Bmaj, C#maj, F#maj, Emaj in decreasing order. Also Dmin Most disliked: Cmaj, Eb, Bb

Decide what scale you most like (pick one). Stay with that (if can't decide just take Bmaj) and move on to...

Next steps

1 hand, 2 hands in 1,2,3,4 octaves (2 octaves in pairs, 3 in triplets 4 in quadruplets etc). Helps to strongly emphasize 1st note of grouping.


  • Staccato legato, different in different hands
  • Different dynamics (loud soft)
  • Non-octave distance between hands (3rd, 6ths common but you can do any)
  • Different groupings eg 1 in right hand 4 in left
  • Polyrhythm : eg triplets in rh quadruplets in lh


More than getting good learn to feel happy practicing!

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