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#1383032 - 02/25/10 10:19 PM How many keys across can you stretch?  
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Jeffrey Preston Offline
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Elma NY


Simple question really. I have bigger hands I'd presume, and I've been told I have bigger hands by many people.

I can reach up to the 10th of a scale with one hand (I don't know if that's worded right, but I can reach an octave up above C, plus 2 more notes.)

How many keys can YOU reach? Is there any exercises that you know of that are PROVEN to increase finger length? Or by first hand experience?

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#1383033 - 02/25/10 10:20 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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Jeffrey Preston Offline
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Elma NY
* I forgot to add that i'm starting from middle C -

#1383054 - 02/25/10 11:07 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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Brandon_W_T Offline
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I can do a 10th fairly comfortably. But no more.

mr Rachmaninoff probably could do a 13 using his pinky and ring finger. ha But seriously, he probably could do a at least a 12.


______
Home -
1905 Story and Clark Art Case smile

--NEW!--- 1964ish Conn 640 vacuum tube theatre organ! (with leslie!) smile

Grandmas- New Hyundai petite baby grand

Church (the organ I practice on)-
1998 Bedient (Built about 45 minutes from me!) 2m/pedal 24 rank Cavaille-Coll style pipe organ
#1383223 - 02/26/10 07:30 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Brandon_W_T]  
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10th more or less comfortably, 11th at the very edge. I'm 19 though so I still hope for some growth =P

#1383425 - 02/26/10 01:00 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Nikorasu]  
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Little_Blue_Engine Offline
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One octave exactly. I don't expect any improvement, I'm 38 and this is already a big improvement from when I started 2 years ago. My favorite pianists are Elton John, Billy Joel and Ben Folds and none of them can reach a very wide span that I know of, in fact Elton has stated he can only reach one octave and that's it. I should be OK for most of what I want to play.


I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#1383699 - 02/26/10 09:45 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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Brandon_W_T Offline
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Man

Mr. Abraham Lincoln needed to play the piano!

Look at the size of those hands!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Abelincoln1846.jpeg
ha

is it just me or are those hands just irregularly large!?!


______
Home -
1905 Story and Clark Art Case smile

--NEW!--- 1964ish Conn 640 vacuum tube theatre organ! (with leslie!) smile

Grandmas- New Hyundai petite baby grand

Church (the organ I practice on)-
1998 Bedient (Built about 45 minutes from me!) 2m/pedal 24 rank Cavaille-Coll style pipe organ
#1384054 - 02/27/10 02:39 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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appleman Offline
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10th comfortably, 11th barely and 12th, well, I can just barely hold the keys down after warming up, but I doubt I'd be able to play them.

Of course, I suffer from another problem, I can only place my fingers between the black keys before my second knuckle. I am at a size right before it would become a serious handicap.


Dr. Appleman, former NASA engineer, Empire of Earth and B.S. of Ninjutsu at MIT.
#1384471 - 02/28/10 01:26 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Brandon_W_T]  
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Horowitzian Offline
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Originally Posted by Brandon_W_T
I can do a 10th fairly comfortably. But no more.

mr Rachmaninoff probably could do a 13 using his pinky and ring finger. ha But seriously, he probably could do a at least a 12.


He could, by accounts that I have read, take an octave and a sixth easily with one hand.

I have an octave and a third or thereabouts. smile


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1385298 - 03/01/10 05:08 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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An octive at maximum stretch.

#1389238 - 03/05/10 08:43 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Horowitzian]  
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Originally Posted by Horowitzian
Originally Posted by Brandon_W_T
I can do a 10th fairly comfortably. But no more.

mr Rachmaninoff probably could do a 13 using his pinky and ring finger. ha But seriously, he probably could do a at least a 12.


He could, by accounts that I have read, take an octave and a sixth easily with one hand.

I have an octave and a third or thereabouts. smile



and a third? big hands!

#1389242 - 03/05/10 08:46 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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Horowitzian Offline
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Only around or a bit larger than average.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1404357 - 03/26/10 02:01 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Horowitzian]  
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Chopin is up there Offline
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Hmm... 10th easily, 11th with some strain.


Currently working on:

Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor
Scriabin's Étude op. 2 no. 1
#1413050 - 04/07/10 03:11 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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In my younger day, since I am built like a baboon, I could reach from middle C to upper G (when my fingernails were long.) Since I broke my hand, though, and had a plate put on my pinkie (boxer's fracture, open reduction), I can make an octave but no more. My pinkie sticks up like I'm drinking a cup of proper tea.

#1416960 - 04/14/10 09:05 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: MamaHenn]  
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TADutchman Offline
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So far I'm not very impressed with the results: I can easily reach over a two octaves range, at least when using two hands laugh


K A W A I ..... R O L A N D ......... E - M U
C A - 9 3 ......... A X - 7 ...... X B O A R D - 4 9
#1419269 - 04/18/10 12:42 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: TADutchman]  
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An octave plus a second... a third, but I'd play some notes in between

#1426035 - 04/28/10 03:35 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Lunatic]  
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I'm playing a piece with some octave+third (g-b) where I sometimes accidentally hit octave+fourth (g-c)... but I guess much further it won't go

I wonder what hands debussy had, for instance bar 6 of 'fille aux cheveux de lin' I see a chord es2-bes3.


[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
#1426215 - 04/28/10 09:06 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: wouter79]  
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Yes that part in in Fille aux Cheveux is one thing that ruins me from playing the song through well. laugh

I am just rolling it up at the moment.


______
Home -
1905 Story and Clark Art Case smile

--NEW!--- 1964ish Conn 640 vacuum tube theatre organ! (with leslie!) smile

Grandmas- New Hyundai petite baby grand

Church (the organ I practice on)-
1998 Bedient (Built about 45 minutes from me!) 2m/pedal 24 rank Cavaille-Coll style pipe organ
#1428190 - 05/02/10 05:53 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Brandon_W_T]  
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I can do an 8th with ease, a 9th with a bit more trouble. So far this hasn't proven to be a limitation in anyway, but it would be nice if I somehow got a bigger span. :þ

I'm turning 20 next week and have been playing for 5/6 months, any chance of my fingerspan still growing? I think not, but I can still hope!

Originally Posted by TADutchman
So far I'm not very impressed with the results: I can easily reach over a two octaves range, at least when using two hands laugh


Pffuu, get good! I can span over the entire clavier! whistle

Last edited by Pianosaurus Rex; 05/02/10 05:54 AM.

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Student/apprentice technician
#1429421 - 05/04/10 07:04 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Pianosaurus Rex]  
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10. I can maybe get 11, but it's not useable.

#1496620 - 08/15/10 04:08 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: HomeInMyShoes]  
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According to this article Lang Lang can reach twelve.

I can reach an octave with the RH and lost the pinkie in an accident. LH can do 9.

#1496624 - 08/15/10 04:16 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: spanishbuddha]  
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i can just reach ten...damn my small hands, it makes everything so difficult frown


All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.
#1496764 - 08/15/10 07:50 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: TheHappyMoron]  
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An octave and a key!


If they cut off both hands, I will compose music anyway holding the pen in my teeth. - Shostakovich
#1539222 - 10/20/10 02:34 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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If I stretch, I can reach a perfect eleventh (octave plus a fourth) but that wouldn't be practical for performance. The most I would dare try to play without risking a serious cramp is a ninth, or perhaps occasionally a tenth.

As far as I know, there are no ways of increasing your finger stretch, since it is largely dependent upon your hand size. I think you'll probably just hurt your hand before you increase the stretch! smile

#1539227 - 10/20/10 03:37 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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Scales in 10ths no problem...
Scales in 11ths? .... would be do-able
Scales in 12th?.. no chance (but I can JUST stretch it in a one off).

I can comfortably play C-C-E (8va with ring finger +10th with pinkie) in my RH - which comes in handy from time to time.


Parent....
Orchestral Viola player (stictly amateur)....
Hack Pianist.... (faded skills from glory days 20 yrs ago)
Vague Guitar & Bass player.... (former minor income stream 15 yrs ago)
Former conductor... (been a long time since I was set loose with a magic wand!)
#1545669 - 10/28/10 08:11 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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A tenth at most, if in the white keys by "cheating" by playing from the edge, putting the thumb and little finger completely under the level of the unpressed keys (hopefully you can understand), or a minor 10th from C to Eb at MOST, quite uncomfortably.

#1545719 - 10/28/10 09:56 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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Infinity Offline
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I can comfortably play a ninth. This is where men have the adavantage: bigger hands.


Infinity
Pianist and Teacher
West Orange, NJ
www.pianolessonsnj.com
#1549541 - 11/02/10 05:36 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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Nine ten-ish, it's kinda cool when you think about it.


I need to find something clever to put here.

-Fox
#1549855 - 11/03/10 04:05 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Pianosaurus Rex]  
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Originally Posted by Pianosaurus Rex
Originally Posted by TADutchman
So far I'm not very impressed with the results: I can easily reach over a two octaves range, at least when using two hands laugh


Pffuu, get good! I can span over the entire clavier! whistle

thumb ha


K A W A I ..... R O L A N D ......... E - M U
C A - 9 3 ......... A X - 7 ...... X B O A R D - 4 9
#1641815 - 03/15/11 08:12 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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10th white-white on the edge of the keys

i can do all 9ths comfortably, as well as 1-4 and 1-3 octaves.

Last edited by fledgehog; 03/15/11 08:13 PM.
#1648462 - 03/26/11 04:21 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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I can reach a 9th if I stretch, but only on the white keys. When I first started piano I could only do an octave, but doing finger stretches and stuff I guess widened my span after several years. I will never be able to reach a 10th, but that's ok I guess.

#1655240 - 04/05/11 05:03 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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An ocatave comfortably, a ninth to play, a tenth with extreme stretch and no hope of actually playing it.


I'm getting there--note by note.
#1689487 - 06/02/11 06:58 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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Rachmaninoff had huge hands....

But I'm happy with mine, mind you. smile Let's see...octaves are really fairly easy, I can do a ninth with a little stretching, and I could attempt a tenth with an extremely slow tempo and lots of confidence.

#1694499 - 06/12/11 05:16 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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Barely 9, I feel disadvantaged. If only I could reach 10, it would make rolling those commonly 10 key spread chords so much easier.

#1698929 - 06/20/11 08:06 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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can do 10ths comfortably chromatically. 11ths chromatically but not really at a speed you would consider practical and only certain notes. A few i just have to do a little slide.

don't think it really gives any sort of advantage other than well you know what they say about people with big hands.

#1699922 - 06/22/11 11:54 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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a rather uncomfortable 9th

#1707927 - 07/05/11 04:42 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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#1714882 - 07/17/11 04:11 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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A 9th comfortably. I can reach a 10th but I need time to prepare the stretch so usually in performance I just roll those chords.


2011 repertoire

SOLO
Bach P&F G maj book I
Chopin Etude Ab major Op. 25 no. 1
Chopin Impromptu no. 1 op. 29
Bartok 3 Burlesques op. 8
Liszt Annes de Pelerinage - Sposalizio
Haydn Sonata in b minor XVI: 32
Debussy Prelude - Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir
Schumann Arabesque Op. 18
#1716412 - 07/19/11 12:39 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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PaulaPiano34 Offline
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A slightly painful octave and a very painful ninth (if I want to push it)

#1718288 - 07/21/11 06:52 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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Saul Offline
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From C to the second F ..

#1719380 - 07/23/11 02:35 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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Originally Posted by Jeffrey Preston


Simple question really. I have bigger hands I'd presume, and I've been told I have bigger hands by many people.

I can reach up to the 10th of a scale with one hand (I don't know if that's worded right, but I can reach an octave up above C, plus 2 more notes.)

How many keys can YOU reach? Is there any exercises that you know of that are PROVEN to increase finger length? Or by first hand experience?


An octave is comfortable for me. Any farther and I fudge it.



Currently playing:

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
Mozart Sonate
Mozart's 21st Concerto Mov.3
Maple Leaf Rag
#1832373 - 01/26/12 02:40 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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I can do a scale quite speedily in 10th's, but my left hand can do an 11th scale. I can't even stretch a 11th with my right. Strange haha 9ths are my comfortable position.

#1833058 - 01/27/12 04:51 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: JKiff]  
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Parishrut Offline
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AArrgghhh! Don't laugh.
I was so happy watching me and my hand grow faster than anyone else in my class. Unfortunately, it stopped growing early, and I can stretch to a tenth, but I can play comfortably only an octave.

#1873553 - 04/04/12 08:32 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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At the moment I can reach from C to D with both hands. A month ago I could only do C to B. smile


"Just practice diligently and you will do very well. You have five fingers on each hand just as healthy as mine."
~ J.S. Bach
#1895834 - 05/12/12 03:27 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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Richard Parizer Offline
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I like going for the 1st, 8th and 10th all together with one hand smile


Richard Parizer

PIano Instructor, Musician, and Audio Engineer

Great Piano Tutorial
#1898952 - 05/18/12 12:28 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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An octave is great, but a 9th is quite a stretch.


Student/teacher
Student of 5 years

“It’s not what your are, it’s what you don’t become that hurts.”
~Oscar Levant
#1941035 - 08/11/12 07:12 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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An octave and one white key. Middle C to two D's.

#1944939 - 08/18/12 07:50 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: 9symphony9]  
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Despite rather small hands I often use tenth cords with 5 notes for right hand, combined with octaves for left hand.

As an extreme, I´ve used 7 notes for the right hand in a chord. In a couple of arrangement I use totally 11 notes (both hands of course) in a chord.

Trying to emulate (and exaggerate) a Rachmaninovsk style.

Last edited by Stefan_Banach; 08/18/12 07:54 AM.

C. F. Gauss
#1948362 - 08/24/12 08:57 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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my hands are big, i can play from c3 to e4 (11 keys) and if i strech it i can go up to f4.

Last edited by Digite1; 08/24/12 08:58 AM.
#1966308 - 09/29/12 02:16 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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MusicaMusique Offline
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8th, I envy everyone with long fingers, I find that I cannot hold the octave chords firmly. I am not happy with that.

#2299707 - 07/08/14 12:50 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: MusicaMusique]  
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MarieJ Offline
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Relevant to this discussion, if you haven't already seen it on YouTube, google 'Rachmaninov had big hands' ...


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An hour or two with my Yamaha C3 and Einaudi's music - STILL my idea of happiness.
#2353737 - 11/22/14 09:36 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: TheHappyMoron]  
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Starting at middle C I can get the F in the next octave above.

Guess that 's eleven white keys....

#2358862 - 12/06/14 12:04 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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mc9320 Offline
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I can stretch to a 10th, but only for certain intervals i.e can't reach Db to F


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#2393315 - 03/03/15 01:45 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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9th / diminished 10th

#2443830 - 07/22/15 10:40 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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harrrb Offline
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An octave plus 2 more notes.

#2446297 - 07/31/15 02:44 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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PaulHS Offline
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Can reach from C to E easily, however on the downside I can hardly get any gloves that are long enough for my hands...


1975 Lindbergh upright acoustic
2015 Kawai MP7
#2451601 - 08/17/15 08:21 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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pianogoals Offline
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I can reach a 9th. I can reach a 10th with a stretch. But I mainly only required octaves for my pieces.

#2465224 - 09/30/15 06:37 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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Right hand an octave max, left hand 9th stretched (kind of difficult for me to do).

The weird thing is I have pretty large hands for a girl...but my thumbs are really short for whatever reasons which is not great for playing the piano.

I wish I had at least a 10th but oh well. Roll everything is how I do it hahaha.

Last edited by Michiyo-Fir; 09/30/15 06:42 PM.

Yamaha C3, Yamaha Avant Grand N1 (sold), Steingraeber 170 (family's)
#2468306 - 10/09/15 04:37 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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I can stretch a 9th on the conventional keyboard, which means octaves and large chords are still rather uncomfortable...
But if we pianists weren't stuck with just the large 'standard' size, I could reach a 10th on a narrower 15/16 keyboard and possibly an 11th on a small 7/8 piano keyboard !

Also why do we pianists treat hand size (something very important with significant implications) like a physical competition?
http://www.smallpianokeyboards.org/

Last edited by jbolt91; 10/09/15 05:39 PM.
#2477474 - 11/05/15 09:56 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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I can play an octave. If I really try, I can (barely) make a 9th.

Last edited by PlumBlossom1; 11/05/15 09:59 AM.
#2491310 - 12/17/15 12:26 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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9th white frown

#2492344 - 12/20/15 01:38 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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Moose776 Offline
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I can reach 9th comfortably, 10th if I really try but I can't play the 10th.

#2534785 - 04/28/16 12:39 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]  
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HappyHelen Offline
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I used to be able to reach 11th but then injured my wrist so that reduced to 9th - strange how that would affect things! I then discovered a product, fortunately, that has helped me heal the wrist issue and since then I am back to reach 11th smile try this out, not only helps you keep supple, but also helps to heal.....

http://kingbrand.com/Wrist_Injury_Treatment.php?REF=1094PV110.391

let me know if anyone has tried this product, I would be very interested to see how it works for you smile

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