Robert Estrin - piano expert

Strength Building Technique

Simple exercises to improve your finger strength

In this video, Robert shows you how to build your finger strength technique.

Released on August 3, 2016

DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi, I'm Robert Estrin. Welcome to Today is the best exercise to develop strength in your piano playing. This is a really tough exercise to go through. If you go through this entire exercise, I guarantee you, you will gain strength, if you do it once a day, will be plenty on this one.

To explain what it is, it's basically broken 7th chords. I'm going to explain the theory behind it so you can easily figure it out for yourself. It starts with a Major 7th chord then the dominant, so the 7th goes down a half step. Then a Minor 7th chord, the 3rd goes down a half step. And then finally, half diminished with 5th goes down a half step. And then, the 7th goes down a half step. So once again, Major, dominant, Minor, half diminished, diminished.

But that's just the beginning of what we're doing here because you're playing in both hands, broken chords, so those are all the notes you're gonna play. But you only play every other note and then you skip. See, I'm just playing this chord but now I just played the C and the G. And in the left hand, you do exactly the opposite. You just play from the bottom, skipping the middle note. Then you play hands together in contrary motion, the Major 7th chord, then the dominant 7th chord, the Minor.

Here, you'll see how it works.

And is that the end? No, that's just the beginning because you're gonna through all 12 keys. You go right up to the half step higher doing the same exact chords transposed half step by half step. So now, we do the same thing on D-flat.

And you can see, I just went right through to D. If you go through all 12 keys like that, it is an incredible workout. Now, you can start off slowly because you might have difficulty. It's a very hard exercise to do. It's particularly hard for small hands, by the way. But it's a great strength builder for you.

So I hope that this has been helpful for you. I have exercises you can check out as well. Thanks once again for joining me. Robert Estrin, here at
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

joyce marshall on August 13, 2016 @9:21 am PST
Wow, thats a challenge alright. Thanks for the PDF although I like to figure out the notes to play and use my printed copy to check. Great exercise.....quite a brain teaser Thanks alot.
Ken Cory on August 4, 2016 @9:34 am PST
It would be better to work these exercises out on your own, rather than read them from sheet music or even write them down. You'll learn a lot more by doing all the transposing in your head.
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on August 4, 2016 @10:40 am PST
I agree with Ken, even because doing that will give you new hits and new possible exercises to "invent" based on them to improve your technique even further.

Great tip Ken!
Karen Long on August 3, 2016 @7:30 pm PST
I was about to transcribe this exercise, but it would be lovely if someone could do it for me.
Thanks for the hints etc.
cheeky * VSM MEMBER * on August 3, 2016 @5:51 am PST
hello, is it possible to get a pdf version for the entire exercises?
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on August 3, 2016 @2:41 pm PST
Hi cheeky,
unfortunately at the moment we don't have a PDF file with those exercises, but we'll consider to do it and I'll notify you in case we'll make it available. Thank you for your inquiry.
cheeky * VSM MEMBER * on August 3, 2016 @7:06 pm PST
Great! Thanks for your consideration and I look forward to seeing it.
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on August 5, 2016 @9:12 am PST
Cheeky, we have just created a PDF for you and for everyone else interested in having the actual sheet music for these exercises:

Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on August 4, 2016 @10:40 am PST
We'll do our best to make it available on a PDF file. I'll keep you posted.
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