Does anyone know any exercises or techniques to help make your fingers more limber and agile when playing the keyboard?
Lookup Hanon: The Virtuoso Pianist
You can also try stretching your fingers with the other hand when you're not playing. Take your left hand thumb and put it on the right hand pinky, then take your left hand pinky and put it on the right hand thumb, then gently push them against each other. You should feel a stretch through these fingers. You can do this with any pair of fingers. Or you can try resting on one hand on a flat surface and use your other hand to gently stretch fingers apart.
Remember while playing that your arm should do most of the left-right motion while your fingers do the striking action. Don't try to twist your wrists when you play, it will fatigue you over the long-run. Keep your wrists in the same position as you move up and down the keyboard.
I think you can Youtube some finger stretching exercises...
Don't lift your fingers from the keys : your fingers press the keys, not you wrists, and when you're running through the keyboard, try to let your hands rested upon the keys. Play with you eyes closed too (or just not looking at the keyboard) it can help you to intuitively know (or feel) where you are on the keyboard and associate sound to hand position rather than visual perception and, in the end, play more relaxed.
P.S. : as for exercices, simple scales and arpeggios, one and two hands. That's already good technique. Play with a metronome, too. Getting the rhythm right gives sense to your playing
Hi, I found this post a while back on Google and have been using this technique ever since. It has helped me reach my octaves faster and more efficiently. I do this exercise on the chromatic scale and in whatever key the song I’m making is in.
THIS IS NOT MY POST.
(I've been experiencing the same type of problem as you except I needed to be able to reach 9ths comfortably. I know what you mean about consecutive octaves - it's very difficult and normally we have difficulty in doing so because we haven't needed to stretch our hands and maintain the gap in everyday life. If you practice some of these exercises you should be well on the way to mastering the octave. The important thing for you to remember is not to strain your hand or you can forget about playing even consecutive fifths if you do any serious damage. You know the composer Schumann? He made a contraption to increase his hand span and ended up in agony, his career as a concert pianist ruined!
On the piano: It's important to warm up first. Play some scales and arpeggios to make sure your hands are feeling comfortable. Then, start on middle C with your right hand. Hold down middle C with your thumb, then stretch to the C an octave above it and play that C twice, while holding down middle C. Then, go up a semitone to C sharp. Play C sharp with your thumb, then stretch to the C sharp above with your fourth finger (this can be a bit tricky to get used to!) and play that twice. Go up the rest of the scale in the same manor, using finger five for white notes and finger four for black. You should feel that your hand is being challenged. After you've finished the exercise, loosen your hand and shake it about in order to relax it because it's just been stretched.
Do the same with the left hand - finger five on C. Hold it down and press the octave above twice with your thumb. Finger four on C sharp and thumb on the C sharp an octave above. Continue the chromatic scale for an octave and remember to shake your hand afterwards.
Now, try and play the scale of C major in octaves with your right hand only. Take it slow to begin with and you can increase the pace when you become more confident. Do the same with your left hand. Try some other keys a different day. Remember when you come across two black notes to use your fourth finger instead of the fifth so that your hand is gradually stretching. Then, try and do C major as legato as you can by alternating fingers one and five with one and four. Do the same with the left. Do the same with other keys.
Don't spend too much time doing this and remember to loosen your hands after doing the exercises.
This worked with me.
Off the piano: Spread your hands out on a flat surface. Use your other hand to gently increase the gap between each finger and while doing this raise the back of the pressured hand slightly but make sure that your fingers stay on the table. You should feel a bit of pressure in the tendons between your fingers, but don't force it - you don't want to be in pain, just feel ever so slightly uncomfortable. Do the same with both hands and then shake them, like you did after playing the piano.
Maybe try a few scales in octaves after doing this exercise off the piano. It's not mandatory, however.
If you ever feel pain after doing it, you must stop doing the exercise or try it in a milder dose. Pain is bad! )