2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Who's Online Now
85 members (Alex_Ki, A Guy, aphexdisklavier, adoser, accordeur, anotherscott, 21 invisible), 607 guests, and 439 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
#2236426 02/23/14 03:28 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 251
A
ADWyatt Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 251
I'm getting fairly close to finishing the "Downton Abbey Theme Song for Piano", composed by John Lunn and arranged by a composer with the internet handle of TweedleDee1. My current metronome speed is reliably 82 for the quarter note in 4/4 C Major, and I will eventually reach the full speed of 112 as I smooth out the more difficult passages.
Although TweedleDee1's version does not encompass the full piano suite of Downton Abbey, I really like this arrangement, and find it not too long or too short for the average listener's attention span. But there are three bass measures at the end of the piece that seem to be impossibly difficult for me to handle.
Written as triplets, for each the bottom note is located on F two octaves down from middle C, the second note is the C up from the F key, and the highest note is on A. My hand actually can stretch that far, but only barely. However, in doing so, the pinky of my left hand just can't keep from pressing down on the G key. Quite simply, my hand isn't big enough to play this properly.
I stand 5'8" tall, and I believe I have an average sized hand print. There certainly are excellent pianists with smaller hands than mine, and it seems to me that they couldn't reach these notes with a stepladder. As you read this, I have no doubt that you've run into this problem yourself. What solution have you found, or if you're taking lessons, what has your teacher recommended? Thanks for sharing your answers.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
ADWyatt #2236439 02/23/14 04:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,953
J
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,953
Maybe I'm missing something--but why do you need to hold onto the bottom note (the F I guess, though later in the post it says G)? Normally with widely spaced triplets you would let go of the bottom, using pedal if you want the chord sustained.


1989 Baldwin R
Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
ADWyatt #2236440 02/23/14 04:29 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 96
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 96
I wouldn't stretch too far I'd roll the note using the sustain to prevent it going stuccato.


I want to be so good at Piano like VK, that Roland gives me a free piano too!
Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
ADWyatt #2236457 02/23/14 05:07 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,596
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,596
You know, you see 9 yo`s on Youtube playing Fantasie Impromptu and you wonder how. I did the "stretch" you write about, on Griegs "Erotik" Don`t think I`ve yet recovered from it . . . . Some of us are too long in the tooth! Hope you`re not . . .


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

"[Linked Image]"
Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
ADWyatt #2236464 02/23/14 05:17 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 3,949
Z
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Z
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 3,949
It looks like F is played with 5, C with 2 and A with 1; a tenth. Either roll off the F or use thumb and pinky on the front edges of the keys to avoid adjacent whites.



Richard
Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
peterws #2236465 02/23/14 05:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 251
A
ADWyatt Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 251
Thanks for all your replies. When I last took lessons, back in 1992, I don't think I was faced with the above problem, as I was just beginning to enter the intermediate level. I can see now by your answers that I will have to sustain the F and roll my wrist to catch the other notes, rather than trying to stretch to play all of them at once. And this would explain why people with smaller hands than mine don't have trouble. I'm going to take a hard stab at doing this properly, but I think a teacher is going to have to show me the best method.

I very much appreciate everyone's input.

Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
ADWyatt #2236466 02/23/14 05:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,581
W
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,581
F-C-A that's a 10? Yes many people have too small hands for that. Unfortunately for those, many composers seem to have bigger hands and use that where possible.

My teacher always envies me how I can tackle big chords laugh

But yes, how about a bit of rolling? The roll can be extremely fast, as you need to jump only 1 key up? Or, maybe you can reach the A with the RH?


[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
ADWyatt #2236512 02/23/14 08:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
Why not just let go of the F before playing the A?


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
hreichgott #2236539 02/23/14 09:20 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 251
A
ADWyatt Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 251
I've found that it isn't possible to roll the wrists, as these triplets must be played immediately, as one chord sound. Also, the right hand can't assist, as a high octave of E in one treble measure, followed by E,B and E an octave lower must be played. But I've found what I think is a workable compromise.

TweedleDee1 has made a video of him playing his arrangement, and his hands are very large indeed. He can handle playing 10 keys apart. I cannot, so to adjust in what I think is a reasonable manner, I've shifted the key of A to an octave lower, so now it's F-A-C, very easy to play. Yes, it's a little deeper, but I prefer to play bass slightly softer than he does, so the difference is not really so noticeable, to me at least. And since TweedleDee1's arrangement is just one of many, why not? That seems a better solution than hitting wrong keys at the end, and ruining the piece.

For those who would like to download his arrangement and try my solution, please feel free to tell me if you think this works.

Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
ADWyatt #2236658 02/24/14 06:18 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 96
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 96


I want to be so good at Piano like VK, that Roland gives me a free piano too!
Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
Mken #2236663 02/24/14 06:49 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 579
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 579
Originally Posted by Mken



That was absolutely BRILLIANT! So funny! thumb

I can only get up to the 8th note, the 9th means smashing all the ones in between. Definitely need some of those!


Serious since Dec 2013. March 2014, Kawai CA95!

Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted

[Linked Image]
Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
ADWyatt #2236665 02/24/14 06:58 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,953
J
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,953
Originally Posted by ADWyatt
I've found that it isn't possible to roll the wrists, as these triplets must be played immediately, as one chord sound.


I would normally take the word "triplet" to imply that the notes are played separately, not together as a chord. Just a matter of terminology, maybe.


1989 Baldwin R
Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
Mken #2236755 02/24/14 11:39 AM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 251
A
ADWyatt Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 251
Mken, I loved that video and I appreciate you sharing it with us. But it shows that we're really right back to square one.

The fact of the matter is that many of us simply don't have the keyboard reach of a select few. And as such, we won't quite attain the depth of expression of some of the more complex pieces. So what do we do? Quit the piano, or find a compromise style of playing that is acceptable to us and our listening audience? Or is there some secret I'm not aware of for fluently reaching 10 keys beyond the starting gate?

I haven't heard from any teachers on this, but I'm going to guess that the solution is to play within your abilities, and when necessary, to substitute a chord pattern that can be easily played. I would imagine that for a professional this would be unacceptable, but for us amateurs this might be the only workable solution.

If there are teachers reading this, by all means feel free to comment.

Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
ADWyatt #2236760 02/24/14 11:54 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,596
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,596
There must be many, many professionals who cannot manage more than the octave . . . Some might not even have 5 fingers . . . shocked


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

"[Linked Image]"
Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
peterws #2236770 02/24/14 12:15 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 251
A
ADWyatt Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 251
In searching the internet, here is the most common answer I've come up with...

For classical pieces, compromise is not acceptable, and in playing these people with small hands must either learn to roll the wrists as quickly as possible, be able to play with the tips of their fingers on white keys, or properly master stretching exercises that will allow reaching to the 10th key.

For all other pieces, such as pop or movie piano solos, an acceptable solution appears to be playing only those notes in a chord that best accentuate the piece, or inverting the chord to the best effect. This is what I've done for 'Downton Abbey', and it seems to work for me. I just cannot play from F to the A next octave up (10 keys distance) without hitting other notes, and because there are two groups of triplets in a measure, rolling the wrists doesn't work. But I've found that simply playing F-A-C seems to work just fine. And since I'm not going to grace the world stage as a concert soloist, who cares? If the people I play for won't notice anything unusual about the sound, I'm not going to sweat it.

Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
ADWyatt #2236777 02/24/14 12:26 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 96
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 96
Originally Posted by ADWyatt
Mken, I loved that video and I appreciate you sharing it with us. But it shows that we're really right back to square one.


Well there is another solution...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X4O2QmiPg4
Quote

Fun fact: For 2-3 weeks, I didn't cut the fingernail on my right thumb, to help me reach the note at 0:06. It ranges from B to C#.


I want to be so good at Piano like VK, that Roland gives me a free piano too!
Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
ADWyatt #2236855 02/24/14 03:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
Classical pianists routinely roll chords they can't reach, or create grace notes, or omit notes if a roll is very undesirable.

(All my teachers have said so. I'm now a teacher and a professional.)


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
jdw #2236947 02/24/14 06:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 7,083

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014
7000 Post Club Member
Offline

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 7,083
Originally Posted by jdw
Originally Posted by ADWyatt
I've found that it isn't possible to roll the wrists, as these triplets must be played immediately, as one chord sound.


I would normally take the word "triplet" to imply that the notes are played separately, not together as a chord. Just a matter of terminology, maybe.


They are actually chords of triplets.


[Linked Image]
18 ABF Recitals, Order of the Red Dot
European Piano Parties - Brussels, Lisbon, Lucern, Milan, Malaga, St. Goar
Themed recitals: Grieg and Great American Songbook


Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
ADWyatt #2237002 02/24/14 07:42 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,607
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,607
Why not cheat a little? In repertoire printed for children, octaves often have 5ths as alternate chords. Life is too short to risk injuries for a dead composer or even a live one. Do what feels comfortable.

Re: How do you stretch your fingers "beyond the beyonds"?
ADWyatt #2237293 02/25/14 10:03 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,470
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,470
I am 5'8" have small hands and enjoy overcoming such challenges. The way to play this and other similar chords is to use the FRONT of the key, not the top for the pinky and thumb. Use 5,2,1 fingering and lightly jam the tip of your pinky and thumb into the little tabs that extend from the front edges of the keys. The middle note should be playable from the key top. This should give you enough grip to play the outer keys without hitting their neighbors. I hope this makes sense. Like everything else with a little practice it will become fairly comfortable. Good luck and let us know if this works for you!


Estonia L190 #7004
Casio CDP S350
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  BB Player 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
(ad) SWEETWATER Cyber Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
CLP 735 vs CA49 vs HP704
by Einaudio - 12/02/20 02:49 PM
Is there a term for this?
by TBell - 12/02/20 02:04 PM
Something cheerful, please!
by gooddog - 12/02/20 01:53 PM
Corona Virus Lock Down....
by Duaner - 12/02/20 12:49 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics203,213
Posts3,029,683
Members99,449
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4