Non-musicians may try to argue otherwise, but playing an instrument is a physical workout for your body. You end up strengthening certain muscles needed to hold your instrument properly and play different kinds of chords. But there are more things you can do to strengthen those muscles outside of practicing your music. These are some off-bench piano exercises to improve your playing.
Hand and Finger Stretching
Before you begin playing, do some stretches to loosen up your playing muscles.
- Extend your arm in front of you with your palm facing up, and gently pull your hand down and back. You should feel a stretch in your wrist and forearm.
- Extend your arm again with your palm facing down. Pull each individual finger back as far as you can without causing yourself pain to feel a nice stretch in each one.
- Shake out your hands for a few minutes to get the blood flowing.
Do you notice how swimmers tend to be very muscular? That’s because swimming has great physical benefits for your physique and, yes, your piano skills.
- Use a floatation device, such as a noodle or raft, to float your legs, and use just your arms to swim around.
- If you don’t have anything to float your legs with, simply doggy paddle. This uses your entire upper body as well as your legs, giving you a great workout for piano playing.
Using a Stress Ball
This is one exercise you can do literally anywhere — in class, at work, hanging out at home, anywhere. Constantly squeezing a stress ball can increase the stamina in your hands, resulting in your being able to play piano for longer without your hands and fingers getting tired.
This one is not for those afraid of heights, but it’s definitely a fun way to workout. Rock climbing strengthens your fingers, hands, and forearms, really acting as one of the best off-bench piano exercises to improve your playing.
Grace Music School teaches proper technique that you can utilize both on and off the bench to make you the best pianist possible. For more information or to schedule a lesson, call us at 631-239-6169 (Fort Salonga) or 631-470-9705 (Melville).