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The Ultimate Piano Workout
2016 - Enchanting Music
The Ultimate Piano Workout is one of a series of instructional books by pianist/composer David Hicken. Hicken receives questions almost daily about how he has achieved such a dazzling piano technique, and in his books, he explains many aspects of playing the piano and reveals some of his “secrets.” He makes it no secret at all that he believes that playing and understanding scales are two of the most important building blocks of good piano technique, and most of this book is filled with major and minor scales and arpeggios with the correct fingering notated. Hicken took an extra step and marked all of the black keys in these exercises as clear, diamond-shaped notes so that the pianist can focus on the playing of the scales without worrying about which keys are black or white. (It should be noted that in the first printing of this book, there is an error where the Cb’s in all ten of the Gb major scales are marked as black keys. Hicken is aware of this and will correct it for the next printing. It should be very simple for users to go in and fill in those notes to keep the notation consistent.)
There are twenty-three pages of text in the book that explain the origins of scales and why they are such an important part of playing the piano well, the different types of scales and arpeggios, the do’s and don’ts of the exercises, tips, and an explanation of the conventions used in the book. This is very helpful and very user-friendly text that is both interesting and easy to understand. Hicken was a piano teacher for many years, so he is very accustomed to explaining this material to various age groups without talking “up” or “down” to anyone.
The rest of the book consists of major scales an octave, a third, a sixth, and a tenth apart; major scales in contrary motion with the same intervals (an octave, a third, a sixth, and a tenth apart); major scales in double thirds, double sixths, and double octaves. Then he goes into major broken chords in compound time, standard pattern and alternative pattern; major arpeggios in their root, first and second inversions; and then he does the same thing with harmonic and melodic minor scales and arpeggios; arpeggios of the dominant and diminished seventh chords in root position and two inversions; arpeggios of augmented triads; chromatic scales in parallel motion an octave, a minor third, a major sixth, a minor tenth, starting on the same note, a minor third, and a major sixth apart, in double thirds and double octaves; and whole-tone scales with all of the starting positions. Lastly, Hicken has included York Bowen’s Workout, an exercise given to Hicken’s mother by her piano teacher. This is likely the first time this exercise has been written down, so Hicken named it for his Mom’s teacher.
So, you can see that this book contains a wealth of information as well as exercises that will be useful and beneficial for pianists at any playing level. The Ultimate Piano Workout is available exclusively from www.DavidHicken.com. Very highly recommended!
"It is not so much your effort that produces the results that you are seeking, but in fact it is time." That's one of the statement in David Hicken's the Ultimate Piano Workout that truly reveals the truth of us as teachers or students. As we get good book and good exercises, often we're rushing to complete them as quickly as possible. But as David said, nothing is instant, everything takes time.
My son never stops talking about how good this book id. He keeps telling me that he`s seeing great results! The theory, he says, is easy to understand too, and he just keeps telling me how much he loves this.
— September 18, 2016 by email@example.com (Woodbridge, NJ)
Not a moment did I hesitate in getting a copy of "The Ultimate Piano Workout" after having read his earlier book "Secrets to Better Piano Playing". David writes as a mentor would talk to you. His passion for the piano and his experience that he shares in the book has made this a valuable addition to my music library.
The fundamentals of music theory are reviewed. Until I read his explanation on determining the relative minor key by counting down three half steps instead of counting up six degrees, little did I know about the problem with the second method.
A no gimmick approach, the author advocates diligent practice. To advance that mindset he provides a systematic guideline with words of encouragement and caution.
David's efforts will benefit many a piano player. Keep writing and keep playing David.
— August 28, 2016 by firstname.lastname@example.org (Ottawa, Canada)
Wow! David has put together a remarkable book! I have been searching for a book like this for YEARS!
This book is an absolute MUST-HAVE for any serious pianist and an invaluable resource for teachers! It contains every scale and exercise you will ever need to practice and includes the correct fingering - all in one convenient location!
Not only is the material itself solid and complete, but David has also incorporated a detailed explanation of applicable theory, plus a practical practice routine to follow. I received my book and have already started working through it. It's exceptional!
I haven't gotten the book and CD yet, but David's friendly and prompt service is excellent, and I'm sure the products will be excellent also. David you are a tremendous pianist and I love listen and watching you play. Keep the good music coming.
— August 20, 2016 by doug alexander (buchanan, ga)
The only book you need for practicing your technic !
This book contains not only a plenty of scales exercises, but also a lot of advices which are very helpful ! These explanations are very clear and understandable, even for those who are not gifted in music theory.
David wrote the perfect combination of theory and practice. The exercises seem difficult at first, but reading the tips and the theory parts, everything becomes clearer and easier !
It's not just a training book full of scales, it's a partner who will follow you daily to help you become better !
Finally, this new book is the perfect complement of David's previous one "Secrets to better piano playing". If you liked this one, then don't hesitate and purchase "The Ultimate Piano Workout" now !
— August 17, 2016 by Maxime Dussubieux (Ennevelin, France)