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  • Writer's pictureAdam Hope

A piano warm-up routine by Murray Mclachlan

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

These can also be found on Murray's website, which is packed full of excellent resources.

1 Basic posture-check, with weight balanced between the feet, (standing up first, then with same approach seated with stool at correct height and correct distance from the keys, a straight back, and relaxed neck). ‘Dropping and flopping’. ‘Imaginary suspension from strings’, with complete relaxation. Feeling blood circulation to the finber-tips. 2 ‘Gripping’ exercise with firm fingers but relaxation behind them- fingers down on 8 notes and then checks on thumbs, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck and trunk in turn. 3 Basic 5 finger independence exercise with 5 fingers on the keys and each one playing in turn. No other movements allowed. All to be done with complete relaxation. and good posture. To be done non legato, staccato and legato in turn 4 Trill exercise in triplets, legato only and in each hand. Uses same principles as in 3 above. 5 Basic thumbing under exercises using major and minor triads on white notes, firstly with fingering 1-3-1-3-1 then 1-2-3-1-3-2-1 in both hands, (contrary motion principle, therefore for C major the right hand equals: C-E-G-E- and C-E-G-C-G-E-C, whilst the left hand equals: C-G-E-G-C and C-G-E-C-E-G-C) 6 Arm weight exercise using three note then four note major and minor chords 7 ‘Supermarket trolley’exercise in single notes, so that the arm moves the hand rather than the hand moving the arm. This is then extended to octaves 8 Single note scales using 5th finger alone and each hand separately, trying to join the notes in sonority and thus striving for deep tone and relaxation of the wrists. This is done firstly in RH with a one octave C majot scale, descending,(slowly, using the 5th then the 1st fingers) and in the LH with an ascending one octave C major scale using the same fingers in turn. Murray McLachlan (

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