Powell artist Paul Edmund-Davies has a new series of posts titled "Finger Gym" on his personal blog. As you might suspect, these posts offer exercises and suggestions to help build finger control. In the first of the series, he presents one basic exercise in three major keys: G, Ab, and A. He recommends continuing on with the exercise through all the keys, thinking them through rather than reading off of a page to help gain greater coordination and provide the brain with "an excellent work out!" Follow this link to view the exercise.
Start off by practicing the exercise slowly and really concentrate on the finger or fingers that are lifting. After all, the muscles that close your hand are much stronger than those that open it! The fingers need to be positive, but also should never travel too far away from the keys……………the further they go away, the longer it takes to get back again. Not exactly ideal for the second or last movements of the Prokofiev Sonata! Once the thought/brain to finger connection feels more comfortable and positive, gradually increase the tempo.
Mr. Edmund-Davies offers additional tips on how to get the most our of these exercises, including suggestions on how long to practice as well as recommendations for rhythm and dynamics. Click here to read the full post on his page.