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No Paine, No Gain


When I was 8, I had a bike accident that took the tip of the index finger on my left hand. I didn't start piano until I was 12, so I've never played with that finger in it's original form. However, I had started the drums that year and remember being bummed that I had to stop and wait for my finger to heal.

It's no big deal, I use a few different fingerings on my LH because that finger won't fit between 2 black keys. I use my 4th finger a lot and as a result can spread wide between my 4th and 5th.

I didn't practice scales until I got to St.f.x. university. In fact I didn't even know the fingerings for them. It wasn't until I studied with the great New York pianist, Richie Beirach, that I had my first piano technique lesson.

He said "you're sloppy and you don't give a f@#* about the piano".

So I got to work! I was 24.

We're always looking to improve our technique and want the best results in the least amount of time. But it's got to be done. I like to create technique exercises that combine a good work out and things that can be used for improvising.

Cycle Scales

This is one my exercises that moves thru all the arpeggios of the key ( maj7, 4maj7, 7min7(b5), 3min7, 6min7, 2min7, and 5dom7) with some scale connectors in between.

I play it in every key (same fingering) and do the same study with Harmonic minor and Altered scales.

Print it, Play it! Click here for the PDF

For lessons ( Toronto or via Skype) and booking - Contact

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