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Best Finger Stretches For Pianists

13 Mar 2023

Have you ever thought about how to build up your fingers so you can play the piano? You’ve probably watched in awe as a professional pianist played lightning-fast notes without tiring. You may have wondered how to play the Grand Piano, Upright Piano or Digital Piano with less effort and a louder volume while sounding musical. All of this involves acquiring the proper finger strength and piano playing technique. All the hand and arm muscles that move your fingers are connected to tendons that run from your arm muscles down to your fingers to help you regulate how they move. There are several of them, and pianists frequently perform unknowingly while utilizing them. They could even be unsure which portion of their mechanism—not the fingers—is the “strong” one.

You can channel all that good body weight into your fingers, which are just conduits and balancing points for sending energy into the keyboard, when you start playing with your finger, hand, and arm working as a unit that swings from your shoulders/torso.



Scales are a fundamental part of piano playing and are used to develop technique, coordination, and finger strength. Practicing scales regularly can help improve finger dexterity and accuracy. To practice scales:

  1. Start with C major, which has all the white keys.
  2. Play the notes sequentially using your thumb on C, index finger on D, middle finger on E, ring finger on F, and pinky finger on G, and then reverse the pattern with the same fingers.
  3. Repeat the pattern moving up and down the keyboard.
  4. Once you are comfortable with C major, move on to other scales, such as G or D minor.
  5. Remember to practice with both hands.


Hanon exercises

The Hanon exercises were created by French pianist Charles-Louis Hanon in the late 19th century. They consist of finger exercises designed to improve technique, speed, and skill. The exercises are sequential and increase in difficulty as you progress. You can find Hanon exercises in many piano method books or online. It’s essential to start with the more straightforward exercises and gradually move to the more difficult ones as you become comfortable with each one. Always practice with both hands. The finger exercises help pianist develop their wrist flexibility, finger speed, agility, strength, and precision. The Virtuoso Pianist, which Hanon created and collected into a book, was initially published in 1873. It has 60 finger exercises. They are appropriate for all skill levels and abilities and are divided into three categories of difficulty.



Arpeggios are another important exercise for pianists. They are used to develop finger strength, coordination, and accuracy. To practice arpeggios:

  1. Start with a basic C major arpeggio.
  2. Play the notes C, E, and G with your thumb, middle finger, and pinky finger.
  3. Play the notes in reverse, G, E, and C. Practice with both hands, and once you are comfortable with C major, move on to other arpeggios, such as G major or D minor.


Finger stretches

It’s essential to stretch your fingers before playing to prevent injury and improve flexibility. One simple stretch is to place your hands palm-down on a flat surface and spread your fingers as far apart as possible. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Another stretching exercise is to slowly bend your fingers back toward your wrist until you feel a stretch, hold for a few seconds, and then release. Repeat these stretches before and after playing.

  1. Finger curls: Hold your hand in front of you with your palm facing down. Curl your fingers inward toward your palm and hold for a few seconds. Then, straighten your fingers back out. Repeat this stretch several times with both hands.
  2. Finger taps: Place your hand on a flat surface with your fingers spread apart. Tap each finger down one at a time, starting with your pinky finger and working your way up to your thumb. Then, tap each finger up one at a time, starting with your thumb and working your way down to your pinky finger. Repeat this stretch several times with both hands.
  3. Thumb pulls: Hold your hand before you with your palm facing down. Use your other hand to gently pull your thumb back toward your wrist until you feel a stretch in your forearm. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat with each thumb several times.
  4. Finger circles: Hold your hand before you with your palm facing down. Make a circle with your thumb and index finger, then rotate your wrist to make a circle with your thumb and middle finger, then your ring finger, and finally, your pinky finger. Reverse the direction of the circles and repeat with your other hand.
  5. Wrist stretches: Hold your arm before you with your palm facing down. Use your other hand to gently pull your fingers back toward your wrist until you feel a stretch in your forearm. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat with your palm facing up.

Take breaks and stretch your fingers regularly to prevent injury and improve flexibility. These stretches can be done before or after playing the piano or anytime throughout the day. Regular practice can help improve finger dexterity and overall hand flexibility. 


Etudes are short musical pieces designed to focus on a specific technical skill, such as finger independence or speed. They can be found in many piano method books or online. Practice each etude slowly at first, gradually increasing the speed as you become comfortable. Remember to practice with both hands.

When practicing finger exercises, starting slowly, and focusing on accuracy and control is essential. Gradually increase the speed and difficulty of the exercises as you become comfortable with them. Remember to take breaks and stretch your fingers regularly to prevent injury. With regular practice, these exercises can help improve your piano playing and overall finger dexterity.

Additional Info:

Looking for a piano store in Dubai visit The Piano Gallery. We are the trusted Piano dealership in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, UAE. We offer a wide collection of branded pianos at the best price. We also offer piano services, for example, piano rental, piano repair, piano moving, and repainting services. For more contact us today.

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