The Best Piano Exercises (Part 1) – Broken Triads

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Welcome to my multi-part series of piano exercises. This is a great exercise I learned in conservatory that provides a wonderful way to build strength in your technique.

Sometimes you don’t have a lot of time to practice but you want to get the maximum amount of production out of your time – this is great exercise for this exact situation. It’s something you can easily do with just a few minutes every day.

Rather than playing an entire series of scales or arpeggios and without having to learn an entire etude, you can perform this exercise – which is based on a pattern of chords – relatively easily and frequently as a great way to improve your strength.

The exercise goes from a major triad, to a minor triad, to a diminished triad, to an augmented triad. If you’re unsure of what these mean we will have a series of videos explaining them in the near future.

The best way to learn this exercise is to watch the video included with this article, if you can’t watch I’ve included a link to download the exercise right here.

When you start with the C-major triad, you simply play the top two notes in the right hand and the bottom two notes in the left hand. From here you simply go back and forth through the scale notes. You’ll want to use all five fingers – this is a crucial step for the exercise as it’s all about building strength.

After you play the major, you simply move on to the minor, the diminished, and finally the augmented. When you actually perform the exercise you will want to go in a seamless line between each form of the triads and you will do this is every single key moving up chromatically.

This whole exercise takes only a few minutes and it’s an incredible workout for your fingers. There is no phrasing or dynamics to worry about; it’s simply a way to improve your strength. Over the years I’ve found this to be an incredibly helpful exercise and something I can do when I simply don’t have the time to sit down and practice for an extended amount of time.

Thanks again for joining me, there will be a couple more exercises for you in the next coming weeks, so stay tuned!