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Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: Ralph] #1882526 04/19/12 04:11 PM
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DanTheMan14 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Ralph
Two of the greatest pianists ever had very small hands;

Alicia de Larrocha and Josef Hofmann.

Mine are not so small and I'm not so good.


Nice, i am surprised how popular this post got so quickly.

Are you sure that having small hands is a advantage? I am 5 Ft 9 and my furthest reach is 10th and and barely a 11th but not enough that it's playable but i feel like having bigger hands makes playing the piano more comfortable i know growing since i am not 18 or so yet. What about composers like Franz Liszt or Beethoven? they have huge hands. To be honest i am a little Jealous of people with large hands. But i guess me being able to play octaves is all that really matters the most.

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Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: Batuhan] #1882529 04/19/12 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Batuhan
As you see my fingers are not long nor my hands are big but i can stretch 12th I dont know but isn't it strange?

[Linked Image]



You still have big hands, more like long fingers too. But that's pretty insane lol.

Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: nocturne152] #1882534 04/19/12 04:17 PM
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I can effectively reach a 8th and a 9th, if i do 9th's slow. My maximum going under the keys is a 10th. I am 5 Ft 9.

Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: DanTheMan14] #1882647 04/19/12 07:21 PM
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I can reach a tenth comfortably in both hands. I can't recall any piece I've played where this was somewhat important save one.

Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: DanTheMan14] #1882662 04/19/12 08:07 PM
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Lento? Nine.
Allegro? Octave, with strain.


Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: SamXu] #1882690 04/19/12 08:56 PM
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I think you can hurt yourself by stretching too much on just the piano, too.


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Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
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Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: DanTheMan14] #1882707 04/19/12 09:33 PM
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Not big enough. 9th - and it's a stretch.

I hate having to break chords in the Liszt Sonetto 104 but I have no choice. I spent quite a bit of my lesson time today trying to find workarounds that sound decent. Redistributing between my hands just shifted the problem from my LH to my RH. Changing the octaves of the notes sounded weird. Leaving out notes sounded thin. Mark had a few ideas that made it sound better but none sound as good as the full chord played simultaneously.

Some of the ideas were interesting:
1. The obvious one: break the chord and play the first LH note before the RH.
2. Break the chord and play the first LH note simultaneously with the RH and play the second LH note afterwards.
3. Best solution for measure 67: In a figure where the LH plays a A/F#, then G#/B then G natural/A# Play this way:
A/F# then #G/B but playing the lower G# a little late, then rolling the G natural/A#.

The opening measures still sound hackneyed because I have to break the chords. Grrrr.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: gooddog] #1882718 04/19/12 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by gooddog
Not big enough. 9th - and it's a stretch.
I hate having to break chords in the Liszt Sonetto 104 but I have no choice...
The opening measures still sound hackneyed because I have to break the chords. Grrrr.
Well I have a comfortable 9th and some usable 10ths (depending what they are) but I still need to break the opening chords in the sonetto 104, and (maybe I'm just used to it) I actually like it better the way I do it. smile I think it gives it a bit of urgency.
I'm short, 158cm (or 5'2 in OldSpeak smile ) but as I said, I have no problems with 9ths. I've only managed 10ths rather recently, when I accidentally discovered I have a greater stretch with 1-4 than I do with 1-5. And my LH stretch is better than my RH, which makes me think that years of playing stretchy LH parts has produced this difference. LH stretchy chords are often reaching up to the thumb, and something about this configuration has aided my stretch. Or at any rate I like to think so. It's nice at my age to discover things I can do better than when I was young. smile


Du holde Kunst...
Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: gooddog] #1882741 04/19/12 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gooddog

3. Best solution for measure 67: In a figure where the LH plays a A/F#, then G#/B then G natural/A# Play this way:
A/F# then #G/B but playing the lower G# a little late, then rolling the G natural/A#.


Why not just roll them all? All the other left hand notes in that and the previous 3 measures are rolled.

Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: Damon] #1882924 04/20/12 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by gooddog

3. Best solution for measure 67: In a figure where the LH plays a A/F#, then G#/B then G natural/A# Play this way:
A/F# then #G/B but playing the lower G# a little late, then rolling the G natural/A#.


Why not just roll them all? All the other left hand notes in that and the previous 3 measures are rolled.
It is an option, but I don't like the sound.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: DanTheMan14] #1883379 04/21/12 12:29 AM
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Oh my gosh this is a huge (haha) problem for me. My hands are super small. My reach has much improved through necessity, and I can now play octaves fairly comfortably, but since I have to play them on the edges of the keys, octave passages really are awkward. :[ Not impossible, but just way more difficult than for other people. (Chromatic octaves? Ugh.)

I can very barely hit a ninth at the very edge of the key with certain notes. Haha, I'm working on Gershwin's Prelude 1 right now, and I'm so proud of myself for managing to hit the ninth chord at theme 1 (..sometimes >_<). (Also, the whole epic octave recap.)

Also, as someone who cannot play them, 10ths (well, and 9ths) come up a lot more than you think! And sometimes, rolling it sounds really bad, depending on the context.

But yeah, I complain about this, and I definitely do still wish my fingers were just a teensy bit longer, but I'm really proud of myself for working past it! laugh

Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: DanTheMan14] #1883384 04/21/12 12:33 AM
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Not very big, actually small, but I can handle most pieces. However, sometimes I have to ignore the indicated fingerings (not a big problem of course...).



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Music is my best friend.


Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: DanTheMan14] #1883951 04/21/12 07:57 PM
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I've just had an article published in the MTNA e-journal about the experience of pianists who use reduced-size keyboards:- http://mtnaejournal.org/publication/?i=108005

Trying to overcome the 'small hands' handicap by work-arounds is time-consuming and frustrating. This only really sinks in after you've spent some time with a smaller keyboard. There is no need for the 'one size fits all' for the piano keyboard.

Approx 80% of women cannot reach a 10th even on the edge of the keys. For Asian women the proportion is probably greater. (Alicia de Larrocha could play a 10th so was in the top 20% of women in terms of hand span.) See hand size stats on www.smallpianokeyboards.org, on the "hand size and the piano keyboard' page.

Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: DanTheMan14] #1883963 04/21/12 08:19 PM
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I don't know... Maybe it is just my personality, but I don't always like the easy way... (It gives less satisfaction in the long run.) But of course it is a matter of personal choice.



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Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: Rhonda B] #1883964 04/21/12 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Rhonda B
I've just had an article published in the MTNA e-journal about the experience of pianists who use reduced-size keyboards:- http://mtnaejournal.org/publication/?i=108005

Trying to overcome the 'small hands' handicap by work-arounds is time-consuming and frustrating. This only really sinks in after you've spent some time with a smaller keyboard. There is no need for the 'one size fits all' for the piano keyboard.

Approx 80% of women cannot reach a 10th even on the edge of the keys. For Asian women the proportion is probably greater. (Alicia de Larrocha could play a 10th so was in the top 20% of women in terms of hand span.) See hand size stats on www.smallpianokeyboards.org, on the "hand size and the piano keyboard' page.
Yeah. Usually if you can reach a octave that's about all you need to play. Very rarely do songs have 9ths or 10ths in them.

Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: Rhonda B] #1883967 04/21/12 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Rhonda B
I've just had an article published in the MTNA e-journal about the experience of pianists who use reduced-size keyboards:- http://mtnaejournal.org/publication/?i=108005

Trying to overcome the 'small hands' handicap by work-arounds is time-consuming and frustrating. This only really sinks in after you've spent some time with a smaller keyboard. There is no need for the 'one size fits all' for the piano keyboard.

Approx 80% of women cannot reach a 10th even on the edge of the keys. For Asian women the proportion is probably greater. (Alicia de Larrocha could play a 10th so was in the top 20% of women in terms of hand span.) See hand size stats on www.smallpianokeyboards.org, on the "hand size and the piano keyboard' page.


De Larrocha "grew" her hand to that span through daily stretching exercises; she didn't start out that way. Before her stretching regime, I think she could barely reach an octave, IIRC.



Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: Rhonda B] #1883969 04/21/12 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Rhonda B
I've just had an article published in the MTNA e-journal about the experience of pianists who use reduced-size keyboards:-
That would be a nice solution if smaller pianos were available everywhere but we pianists have to move from place to place without our instruments so practicing on a smaller keyboard would become a handicap. I've taken harpsichords for a test drive and the narrower keys are hard to adjust to.

A little OT: My teacher has told me that it can be very frustrating to work with other instrumentalists because they expect him to sit down at any piano and immediately be able to play it well. They carry their precious flutes and violins with them everywhere and never have the challenge of performing on an entirely different instrument. They become impatient when he takes some time to get to know the piano. They also do not understand why it takes the pianist longer to learn the music because most of their music requires them to play just one note at a time as compared to the pianist who has to decipher chords, bring out fugue voices and could possibly be playing 10 notes at a time. For many instruments, such as the woodwinds, some of the brass and some of the strings, the notes are right under their fingertips, not a yard apart. I'm not suggesting it is easy to play the violin, trumpet or flute well; I'm just saying the pianist's task can be a little more complicated. It's bad enough adjusting to different pianos; I wouldn't want to add to that by having to adjust to different sized keyboards.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: currawong] #1883985 04/21/12 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by currawong
Originally Posted by gooddog
Not big enough. 9th - and it's a stretch.
I hate having to break chords in the Liszt Sonetto 104 but I have no choice...
The opening measures still sound hackneyed because I have to break the chords. Grrrr.
Well I have a comfortable 9th and some usable 10ths (depending what they are) but I still need to break the opening chords in the sonetto 104, and (maybe I'm just used to it) I actually like it better the way I do it. smile I think it gives it a bit of urgency.
I'm short, 158cm (or 5'2 in OldSpeak smile ) but as I said, I have no problems with 9ths. I've only managed 10ths rather recently, when I accidentally discovered I have a greater stretch with 1-4 than I do with 1-5. And my LH stretch is better than my RH, which makes me think that years of playing stretchy LH parts has produced this difference. LH stretchy chords are often reaching up to the thumb, and something about this configuration has aided my stretch. Or at any rate I like to think so. It's nice at my age to discover things I can do better than when I was young. smile
That's interesting. You have about the same reach as me and i am a lot taller than you. It could be because my age or growth since i am a teenager. What piano or keyboard do you own? I notice i can reach further when i am on a keyboard that is touch sensitive since the keys are smaller compared to a real piano. Could that possibly be the reason for your success? That's still impressive, a lot of the short people i know can barely reach a octave.

Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: DanTheMan14] #1883994 04/21/12 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by DanTheMan14
Originally Posted by currawong
Originally Posted by gooddog
Not big enough. 9th - and it's a stretch.
I hate having to break chords in the Liszt Sonetto 104 but I have no choice...
The opening measures still sound hackneyed because I have to break the chords. Grrrr.
Well I have a comfortable 9th and some usable 10ths (depending what they are) but I still need to break the opening chords in the sonetto 104, and (maybe I'm just used to it) I actually like it better the way I do it. smile I think it gives it a bit of urgency.
I'm short, 158cm (or 5'2 in OldSpeak smile ) but as I said, I have no problems with 9ths. I've only managed 10ths rather recently, when I accidentally discovered I have a greater stretch with 1-4 than I do with 1-5. And my LH stretch is better than my RH, which makes me think that years of playing stretchy LH parts has produced this difference. LH stretchy chords are often reaching up to the thumb, and something about this configuration has aided my stretch. Or at any rate I like to think so. It's nice at my age to discover things I can do better than when I was young. smile
That's interesting. You have about the same reach as me and i am a lot taller than you. It could be because my age or growth since i am a teenager. What piano or keyboard do you own? I notice i can reach further when i am on a keyboard that is touch sensitive since the keys are smaller compared to a real piano. Could that possibly be the reason for your success? That's still impressive, a lot of the short people i know can barely reach a octave.
I'm not sure if you are addressing this to me or Currawong. I practice on a Steinway O, (6 foot grand).


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: How big are your hands? Curious.. [Re: DanTheMan14] #1884013 04/21/12 10:51 PM
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Stretching makes only a marginal difference to hand span or finger length - see article by Kloeppel in Medical Problems of Performing Artists March 2000. Slight differences in finger length in the left hand of cellists is put down to callouses that form on the fingertips over time. Also in Otto Ortmann's 'The physiological Mechanics of Piano Technique', he says 'To what extent can the skeletal part of the hand or arm be modified by appropriate massage or so-called 'stretch-excercises'? So far as the skeletal part itself is concerned, very little indeed. In order to modify the bone articulations themselves, a beginning would have to be made in early infancy.' Alicia Larrocha may have stretched every day, but what difference it made to her hand span is another matter. Stretching may be beneficial as a warm-up routine however.

In much advanced repertoire (esp Romantic onwards), one does need a span that reaches more than an octave....and it's not only playing an octave itself that's the issue, but everything else becomes so much easier if the keyboard suits your hand - eg broken octaves, broken chords, there is less fatigue and pain, and so much more power (and speed) is possible.

Making things harder for yourself might seem satisfying when you master something very difficult, but you will always be disadvantaged compared to someone else with equivalent musical ability but with a bigger hand, who can learn the same thing much more quickly and as a result play it much more convincingly with less risk of coming to grief. It also frees up your brian to think more about the music and less about getting the notes. For those who are skiers, it is like comparing the long skis of decades ago with today's shorter ones - who would want to go back to those?

At this stage reduced-size keyboards are not widely available - it may take another generation, but ultimately there needs to be two sizes. Moving from one to the other is no problem - like violin players also play the viola, or driving two different cars. After playing about a bar (including a few octaves) when you swap over, your brain sort of 'changes gear'.


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