Just recently I was wondering on how to best translate the figurative German word 'Fingerübung'
In particular I am referring to the second meaning in the authorative German dictionary duden1, which translates to
b) small/easy piece of an exercise (translation: me)
In my research, I stumpled upon the verbatim translation finger exercise, however it only seems to be valid for the first meaning in German, i.e. its meaning being limited to music2.
I also encountered the phrase apprentice piece but I was not able to find water-proof resources or a confirmative entry of the dictionaries I know of.
So my question remains, is there an equivalent idiom (preferably a single word, if there is one for this purpose) in the English language that can be used figuratively in the sense that it refers to a small, easy exercise which neither needs much time nor effort to solve or complete3?
Footnotes & References:
3 To give an example for the use of the word in the German language. For instance, one can refer to small, i.e. not out-of-the-oridnary tricky, calculus problems such as solving an integral or computing the derivative of a well-behaved function as a 'Fingerübung' (when the student itself attends a lecture on 'Mathematical Methods in Physics', in which tasks like integrals or derivatives are seen as preliminaries.)