Hanon Piano Exercises: Does It Bring Benefit or Harm?

Hanon Piano Exercises

Hanon: The Virtuoso Pianist

Title               :

Hanon The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises  – Complete (Comb Bound)

Composed by: Charles-Louis Hanon

Edited by       : Allan Small

Publisher       : Alfred Music


Price            : $9.99

Rating         : 4.5/5.0

Level           : Suitable for levels ranging from late beginner to advanced

Available at: SheetMusicPlus


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The 60 Exercises


Since I was at the late beginner level, Hanon was introduced to me by my teacher. I was dumbfounded when I opened the book for the first time. Every single page of the book is filled with semiquavers which made my eyes blurred. Can I really play that? Nevertheless, my adventure with Hanon began.


Part 1:

Part 1 of the book consists of 20 exercises which are specially written to provide preparatory training for the development of finger strength, precision, agility, and speed. They are also designed to acquire the flexibility of the wrists while playing hard pieces. These 20 exercises are simple and suitable to use for warm-up before practicing.


Part 2:

The second part of the book include exercises 21 to 43 which are designed for the development of a virtuoso technique. This part emphasizes on trainHanoning the strength of weak fingers. It also prepares the evenness of the fingers for the playing of trills. At the end of this part, the 12 major and minor scales, chromatic scales and arpeggios are introduced.


Part 3:

Exercises 44 to 60 are comprised in the last part of the book. These exercises are aimed to help pianist to master the greatest technical difficulties in piano playing. These technical skills include trills, tremolo, wrist exercises using detached thirds and sixths, and scales in thirds, sixths, and octaves.


Pleasant Appearance and Ease of Use


This edition of Hanon is arranged in pleasant appearance and easy to read typeface. It is comb bound to ease the flipping of pages.


The Debates


Although Hanon piano exercises is a conventional method used by many music teachers to improve student’s finger strength and agility, there is a huge debate out there about the effect of these exercises. Does it bring benefit or harm to the pianist?



1. Hanon piano exercises are useful for the development of finger strength, agility, and dexterity.

2. It is a good exercise for warm-up before practice.

3. It is a good exercise to develop independence of each individual finger.

4. Practicing Hanon allows the hands to be more familiarized with the piano keyboard. Hence, notes and intervals can be easily located without looking at the keyboard. This is particularly beneficial for sight reading.



1. Playing Hanon piano exercises for a long period of time without resting the fatigued hands may cause stress and injury.

2. The repetitive nature of Hanon exercises are robotic and can lead to students devoid of musicality.


The Verdict


Hanon is a good practice to develop technical skills if it is used properly. Part 1 of the book is very useful for warm-up whereas exercises in part 2 and part 3 of the book can be used selectively to improve certain weakness of the student or pianist. There are reviews from many students who proved that these exercises really worked in improving their technical skill. Personally, I think Hanon is a must have for every pianist. It can bring more benefits than harm if you put it to good use. Check out the book from SheetMusicPlus!


What do you think about the effect of practicing Hanon? Feel free to express your view or add a review on this book at the comment box below.

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  1. Very interesting but good information and advice when it comes to Lessons and other techniques to help learning to play the piano. Great Job!

    1. Hi Michael, thanks for stopping by. Hope that the information in my website do help you in your piano learning!

    1. Hi Mr. John Daniel, welcome to My Journey To Distinction and thanks for your comment. Fingers exercises are indeed important in developing good technical skills. However, for students who are really bored with Hanon, there are other more interesting alternatives such as A Dozen A Day. Wish you all the best in your teaching.


  2. Love Hanon……
    once I got over trying to play fast and loud. Settled in on soft and pleasant. Each daily episode with Hanon produces interesting results, vis-a-vis, my physical and mental state. Progress is assured, often times in small steps. Currently just into #39. Can hardly wait as I learn each new scale. Never thought, that at 70, I would be playing at my current level. Of course I intersperse pieces, other than Hanon, that appeal to me like Chopin etudes, Schumann, Bach, Beethoven, etc.

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