The advanced book contains within its pages the most comprehensive means for developing piano technique available today. Every exercise has a unique combination of held notes and repeated notes. When played with a quick attack and release using the whole arm from the shoulder, these exercises are the most effective in developing the muscles for strength, endurance, and responsiveness, which in turn leads to increased finger independence and tonal control.
The exercises are built in motivic layers, with each layer having its own unique rhythm. The first layer in Exercise 1 of Chapter I has a rhythm consisting of two eighth notes and two sixteenth notes in 3/8 time. This rhythm is the leitmotiv
for the entire book. It occurs first in this exercise and later in most of the other exercises. A second layer is added, with a rhythm of six sixteenth notes. The combination of these two rhythms gives us the held notes, which are the two eighth notes, and the repeated notes, which are the sixteenth notes. Exercises with held and repeated notes in this book are more effective in developing technique than any other kind of exercise.
Mastery of the exercises in this book will provide the necessary means for performing the major works of the piano literature. Practice the exercises strictly in sequential order, from the beginning of the book to the end, because each exercise builds upon skills acquired in preceding exercises. In this way technical skills are developed thoroughly and methodically, one step at a time. Pay careful attention to the longer, held notes, so that they are released exactly as written.
The book is organized into six chapters. It is important that all of the difficulties in Chapter I be thoroughly studied before beginning work on the later chapters. You may divide Chapter I into sections. Learn each section thoroughly before proceeding to the next one:
1 Two-Note Patterns: Exercises 1 - 8
2 Three-Note Patterns: Exercises 9 - 15 (seven exercises)
3 Four-Note Patterns: Exercises 16 - 27 (twelve exercises)
4 Five-Note Patterns: Exercises 28 - 42 (fifteen exercises)
5 Thirds: Exercises 43 - 44
6 Sixths: Exercises 45 - 51 (three-note pattern - seven exercises)
7 Sixths: Exercises 52 - 58 (three-note pattern - seven exercises)
8 Sixths: Exercises 59 - 70 (four-note pattern - twelve exercises)
9 Sixths: Exercises 71 - 77 (three-note pattern - seven exercises)
10 Sixths: Exercises 78 - 84 (three-note pattern - seven exercises)
11 Sixths: Exercises 85 - 96 (four-note pattern - twelve exercises)
The chapters with double note thirds, sixths, and octaves, chapters III and V, alternate with the chapters of thumb-under and extensions, Chapters II and IV. Chapter VI is a complete treatment of finger exercises having a held, supporting finger, and pays homage to the earlier technical works of Rafael Joseffy, Carl Tausig, Isidor Philipp, and Johannes Brahms.
Before you begin to practice Chapter I, you may go to Chapter VI on page 99. Practicing this chapter will give you an evaluation of your current technical proficiency and indicate any weaknesses you may have. After that you can begin work on Chapter I, paying careful attention to those areas which may need improvement.