Warming up before playing the piano

Before you start to play the piano, whether it’s a practice session or before a gig, it’s good to start with a ‘warming up’ for piano players, just like you would do before sporting.

Now, to be honest, when you’re a total beginner and you do very simple exercises, it’s perhaps less important (well, actually not important at all) to warm up before starting your practice session, but when you’re already (a bit) more advanced and you have to play pieces that contain a lot of notes and/or are difficult to play, then a warming up is probably a good idea to do before playing the piano.

Also before a gig, it’s mostly a good idea to start doing your warming up.

So, how does it look like, such a warming up for piano players?

Exercise 1

Stretch your arms in front of you and let your hands hang. In this position, shake your hands as if you wanted to shake them dry. Do this during about 10 seconds.

Then hold your hands up (the arms still stretched) and wave with both hands as if you were waving goodbye. The arms may move along with your hands. Do this also during approximately 10 seconds.

Exercise 2

Bring both hands together like in the first image.

warming up before piano playing

Turn your hands down as much as possible till you can’t go further (second image) and leave it there for some seconds. Then turn your hands as much as possible in the opposite direction (third image) and leave it for some seconds.

Exercise 3

Stretch the fingers of one hand and then, with your other hand, bend the stretched fingers backwards (not too much, it may not hurt).

Do the same with your other hand.

You could also do it with only the thumb (also of both hands), and eventually also with all the other fingers.

After that, shake your hands for a short while.

Exercise 4

This is the only exercise on the piano.

Play one or more scales several times up and down with your right hand as well as with your left hand.

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Martin Cohen

Martin Cohen is a science and piano teacher. He is also a jazz musician and composer.

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