Piano Finger Speed Exercises

Jordan Leibel  /  Play Faster  /  UPDATED Jan 13, 2023

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Playing fast is a great feeling. It looks impressive and is a lot of fun, so how do we develop the ability to play really fast all while maintaining tempo and control?


Start slow and gradually get faster.

It really is as simple as that.

Because here’s the truth…

There is no magical formula for playing faster.

Playing fast is all about selecting something to play and begin slowly and gradually build speed. Not the most exciting answer, but it is the truth!

Here are 4 great finger speed exercises:

5 Finger Scale

Play slowly and steadily, maintaining a consistent volume. This is great because your hands stay in one spot allowing you to focus on speed more than hand placement.

Check-in with your posture, making sure that you are hitting each key precisely.

Once you are feeling good, begin to build that speed as fast as you can go while still maintaining control.

If you lose control, slow down and work your way up again.

Full Scales

These are great for building speed and accuracy because you have a thumb tuck.

This presents a little bit of a challenge in finger/hand positioning for you to work through as you build your tempo.

Remember to start slow and really focus on making that movement as smooth as possible.

The Blues Scale

The blues scale sounds SO great and presents a little more of a dexterity challenge than the other two exercises.

Learning this will give you some fun super musical improv options.

And finally…

The Arpeggio

This one has a SUPER thumb-tuck which will force you to focus on getting that hand to reset without any pause in your tempo.

It will take practice, which is why it’s important to start slowly. The thumb has a little ways to go:

Work on your accuracy first. Once you have that dialed in, then you can start to increase your speed.

It will also allow you to cover a large span of the keyboard which is both fun and challenging.

How to get faster

In all of these finger speed exercises, be sure to focus on accuracy, maintaining a consistent volume and tempo.

Stay in control!

You can use a metronome to keep you on track starting very slow and bumping up by 5 bpm each time.

And when you’re ready to really ramp up the speed, try our training course, Faster Fingers.

It will guide you through 30 days of practicing so you’ll see BIG results.

Good luck!

Lisa Witt has been teaching piano for more than 20 years and in that time has helped hundreds of students learn to play the songs they love. Lisa received classical piano training through the Royal Conservatory of Music, but she has since embraced popular music and playing by ear in order to accompany herself and others. Learn more about Lisa.

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