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Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: Colin Miles] #2826871
03/14/19 06:20 PM
03/14/19 06:20 PM
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Well done. Schumann's Traumerei is an excellent piece.

I feel that forcing the hand to get a 10th is a bad idea. There is risk of hurting the tendons.

I dont however feel that it is a useful skill.

In lessons if I cannot do something due to hand size then we find alternatives.

I have never been taught to stretch the hand to force a reach - ouch !

Last edited by Moo :); 03/14/19 06:22 PM.
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Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: Colin Miles] #2826895
03/14/19 07:07 PM
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I certainly never intended this as a competition but rather as an example of what can be achieved, albeit rather accidentally as I have never practiced stretching, and also to try to encourage all of you who are so much younger than I am to believe that you can do things if you go about it in the right way.


Roland LX7

South Wales, UK
Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: Colin Miles] #2826901
03/14/19 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
I certainly never intended this as a competition but rather as an example of what can be achieved, albeit rather accidentally as I have never practiced stretching, and also to try to encourage all of you who are so much younger than I am to believe that you can do things if you go about it in the right way.


I am not THAT much younger smile
But I think you are jumping into wrong conclusions here...your strech improved because your hand size was not fully in use yet. After it is there is no healthy way to increase one's span.

Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: Colin Miles] #2826906
03/14/19 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
I certainly never intended this as a competition but rather as an example of what can be achieved, albeit rather accidentally as I have never practiced stretching, and also to try to encourage all of you who are so much younger than I am to believe that you can do things if you go about it in the right way.
.

No worries.

I think people picked up on the 10th, rather than the achievement of the regular practice.

It is relatively common to arrpegiate 10ths, listen to it at 2:21-2:22.

I find the left hand stretch for the 10th painful so I would arrpegiate it I think.


Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: outo] #2826909
03/14/19 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Colin Miles
I certainly never intended this as a competition but rather as an example of what can be achieved, albeit rather accidentally as I have never practiced stretching, and also to try to encourage all of you who are so much younger than I am to believe that you can do things if you go about it in the right way.


I am not THAT much younger smile
But I think you are jumping into wrong conclusions here...your stretch [span] improved because your hand size was not fully in use yet. After it is there is no healthy way to increase one's span.
Exactly.


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Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: Stubbie] #2826911
03/14/19 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Colin Miles
I certainly never intended this as a competition but rather as an example of what can be achieved, albeit rather accidentally as I have never practiced stretching, and also to try to encourage all of you who are so much younger than I am to believe that you can do things if you go about it in the right way.


I am not THAT much younger smile
But I think you are jumping into wrong conclusions here...your stretch [span] improved because your hand size was not fully in use yet. After it is there is no healthy way to increase one's span.
Exactly.


Except finger extensions of course...I have them on my shopping list, just need to find some that actually work wink

Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: outo] #2826923
03/14/19 07:43 PM
03/14/19 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by outo
Except finger extensions of course...I have them on my shopping list, just need to find some that actually work wink

I'd worry that any finger extender would lead to early-onset arthritis. Since my motorcycle accident, I have become paranoid about early onset arthritis as I figure I am on borrowed time.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: Colin Miles] #2826926
03/14/19 07:51 PM
03/14/19 07:51 PM
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When I quit as a limber teen I couldn't reach tenths but I could reach ninths. Today after 1,500 hours of restart practice with a maniacal focus on technique & flexibility I can proudly announce that ... drum roll please. ... I cannot reach tenths but I can reach ninths.


Oh well. Some things change but others stay the same. My college teacher assured me my limited reach would not hinder my repertoire. I want to believe her.

Last edited by Fidel; 03/14/19 07:52 PM.

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Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: Colin Miles] #2826984
03/14/19 10:54 PM
03/14/19 10:54 PM
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It seems natural for many people to take for granted the hundreds of things they can do and keep fretting about things they cannot do. On piano forums the favourites appear to be stretching tenths and having absolute pitch, neither of which are in the slightest degree essential to enjoyment and success at the instrument.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: Ted] #2826994
03/14/19 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Ted
It seems natural for many people to take for granted the hundreds of things they can do and keep fretting about things they cannot do. On piano forums the favourites appear to be stretching tenths and having absolute pitch, neither of which are in the slightest degree essential to enjoyment and success at the instrument.



QFT


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: John305] #2827001
03/15/19 12:30 AM
03/15/19 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by John305
Originally Posted by Ted
It seems natural for many people to take for granted the hundreds of things they can do and keep fretting about things they cannot do. On piano forums the favourites appear to be stretching tenths and having absolute pitch, neither of which are in the slightest degree essential to enjoyment and success at the instrument.

QFT

I was scratching my head going: "Quantum Field Theory? Quantum Field Theory? What does absolute pitch or tenths have to do with Quantum Field Theory? wink laugh


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: outo] #2827033
03/15/19 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by outo
[
But I think you are jumping into wrong conclusions here...your strech improved because your hand size was not fully in use yet. After it is there is no healthy way to increase one's span.


An interesting comment. However, from the age of 7 to 18 I was playing the piano virtually every day - often 1 to 2 hours or more - and clocked up an awful lot of hand mileage. I was also an organist and a self-taught violinist. When I restarted playing 'seriously' at the age of 60 my hands and fingers were very stiff and the middle finger of the right hand in particular was of concern and I always thought that would be a serious limitation. But since playing carefully for a couple hours every day over the past 18 months that no longer bothers me.

I always remember back when my father and his friends were in their mid-forties, deciding that they were too old to continue playing for the local cricket club. This was clearly at odds to the way they were actually playing. But because they had reached a certain age that was what they thought.

Hand stretching is perhaps a bad example of what is possible but it was, if you like, what got me excited that particular week. And something that I had not expected.

The brain is a malleable instrument which dictates not just how the mind works, but also the body. Think about it.

Last edited by Colin Miles; 03/15/19 04:35 AM. Reason: additional comment

Roland LX7

South Wales, UK
Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: Colin Miles] #2827037
03/15/19 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by outo
[
But I think you are jumping into wrong conclusions here...your strech improved because your hand size was not fully in use yet. After it is there is no healthy way to increase one's span.


An interesting comment. However, from the age of 7 to 18 I was playing the piano virtually every day - often 1 to 2 hours or more - and clocked up an awful lot of hand mileage. I was also an organist and a self-taught violinist. When I restarted playing 'seriously' at the age of 60 my hands and fingers were very stiff and the middle finger of the right hand in particular was of concern and I always thought that would be a serious limitation. But since playing carefully for a couple hours every day over the past 18 months that no longer bothers me.

I always remember back when my father and his friends were in their mid-forties, deciding that they were too old to continue playing for the local cricket club. This was clearly at odds to the way they were actually playing. But because they had reached a certain age that was what they thought.

Hand stretching is perhaps a bad example of what is possible but it was, if you like, what got me excited that particular week. And something that I had not expected.

The brain is a malleable instrument which dictates not just how the mind works, but also the body. Think about it.


There are physical limitations though that the mind cannot change.
It is common to be tense when playing "big" things, and that can limit ones reach no matter how much you practice. Sometimes trying a little less can help you be less tense and thus get more span. Muscles do strech. It has happened to me too. However there are other structures in the hand that do not increase no matter what you do unless you start breaking them...

Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: outo] #2827039
03/15/19 05:11 AM
03/15/19 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by outo
However there are other structures in the hand that do not increase no matter what you do unless you start breaking them...

...to Schumann's dismay!


across the stone, deathless piano performances

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Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: Colin Miles] #2827060
03/15/19 06:34 AM
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As an interesting aside, my last teacher (a concert pianist) had gigantic hands - at least, they seemed to me gigantic, as he could easily encompass 11ths, possibly 12ths just like Rach - but there was one thing I could do relatively easily which he couldn't - stretch a 7th between my index finger and pinky.

This is a fairly common requirement not just in Rachmaninov (e.g. Prelude Op.23/4: C#-D-A-C#'), but even in some classical pieces, and it cannot easily be circumvented by other means, like leaving out a note, redistributing the notes between hands or rolling, because that loses the composer's intention - the clash between two adjacent notes plus the octave.

In other words, there were a few pieces I could easily play which he couldn't, with his bear-like paws smirk .


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: bennevis] #2827076
03/15/19 08:05 AM
03/15/19 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
This is a fairly common requirement not just in Rachmaninov (e.g. Prelude Op.23/4: C#-D-A-C#'), but even in some classical pieces, and it cannot easily be circumvented by other means, like leaving out a note, redistributing the notes between hands or rolling, because that loses the composer's intention - the clash between two adjacent notes plus the octave.
I think most people just play the C#-D with the thumb.

Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: Colin Miles] #2827557
03/16/19 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by outo
[
But I think you are jumping into wrong conclusions here...your strech improved because your hand size was not fully in use yet. After it is there is no healthy way to increase one's span.


An interesting comment. However, from the age of 7 to 18 I was playing the piano virtually every day - often 1 to 2 hours or more - and clocked up an awful lot of hand mileage. I was also an organist and a self-taught violinist. When I restarted playing 'seriously' at the age of 60 my hands and fingers were very stiff and the middle finger of the right hand in particular was of concern and I always thought that would be a serious limitation. But since playing carefully for a couple hours every day over the past 18 months that no longer bothers me.
[...]

The brain is a malleable instrument which dictates not just how the mind works, but also the body. Think about it.
Okay, I've thought about it. I'm going to command my hand to grow. Maybe I will ask for blue eyes while I'm at it. cool

Hand size is innate. Stiffness or lack of flexibility may or may not be something that can be remedied, depending on what is causing the stiffness or lack of flexibility. If it's from lack of use (as yours was), then it is fixible once you start using it. Other causes (e.g. arthritis or injury) are really not fixible (we do work-arounds instead).

Colin, you still don't seem to accept any innate limitations to hand span. Do you expect to be playing 12ths or 13th in another eighteen months?


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Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: Stubbie] #2827570
03/16/19 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Stubbie

Hand size is innate. Stiffness or lack of flexibility may or may not be something that can be remedied, depending on what is causing the stiffness or lack of flexibility. If it's from lack of use (as yours was), then it is fixible once you start using it. Other causes (e.g. arthritis or injury) are really not fixible (we do work-arounds instead).

Colin, you still don't seem to accept any innate limitations to hand span. Do you expect to be playing 12ths or 13th in another eighteen months?

Stubbie - l am saying that I can now reach a 10th - or the particular one I mentioned - which I couldn't when I was 18. It has nothing to do with the lack of use in the intervening period. I am not the only person who has mentioned that it is possible to loosen things up with careful use. I do stress the word careful - which didn't involve stretching. And no, I don't expect to manage 12ths or 13ths. But there are a lot of other things that I am working on which involve loosening up my hands, wrists, arms, etc. In particular thirds and sixths. And yes, in a lot of cases it is necessary to do work-arounds.


Roland LX7

South Wales, UK
Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: Colin Miles] #2827575
03/16/19 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by Stubbie

Hand size is innate. Stiffness or lack of flexibility may or may not be something that can be remedied, depending on what is causing the stiffness or lack of flexibility. If it's from lack of use (as yours was), then it is fixible once you start using it. Other causes (e.g. arthritis or injury) are really not fixible (we do work-arounds instead).

Colin, you still don't seem to accept any innate limitations to hand span. Do you expect to be playing 12ths or 13th in another eighteen months?

Stubbie - l am saying that I can now reach a 10th - or the particular one I mentioned - which I couldn't when I was 18. It has nothing to do with the lack of use in the intervening period. I am not the only person who has mentioned that it is possible to loosen things up with careful use. I do stress the word careful - which didn't involve stretching. And no, I don't expect to manage 12ths or 13ths. But there are a lot of other things that I am working on which involve loosening up my hands, wrists, arms, etc. In particular thirds and sixths. And yes, in a lot of cases it is necessary to do work-arounds.


I think the point was that if one starts with sevenths, one may be able to reach octaves, but never tenths. Your hands are larger so you can achieve more than we small handed folks ever can. Also sometimes there are extra limitations, like I cannot fully open my thumbs because of a structural anomaly. After a certain point one may as well stop trying to increase the reach. Why do you assume that other people have not found their "extra reach" already?

Re: It's amazing what you can achieve [Re: Colin Miles] #2827579
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Something that hasn't been mentioned - boys don't stop developing physically until they're in their early twenties.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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