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Brand new! Tall and handspan
#3021720 09/05/20 07:12 PM
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Hi all!!

Brand new here! I am extremely tall. I am almost 6’10” and always get told I should try and learn the piano because I have incredible big hands.

Does this really help? I measured my handspan is about 9.5”

Can we post pics of our handspans to make
Sure I did it right!

Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3021753 09/05/20 08:31 PM
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Rachmaninoff certainly found it useful. He could play the chord C E♭ G C G with his left hand. He was only 6'6" (or a foot taller than me).

I met a guy, when I was in China, who once reached and changed light bulbs above the centre of a snooker table! I suggested he would play snooker easily with his reach. He said he had tried and asked how I would manage on a knee high table.

Last edited by PhilipInChina; 09/05/20 08:31 PM. Reason: Punctuation.

Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3021763 09/05/20 09:00 PM
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Welcome to Piano World, John32!

I would imagine big hands, with a wide finger spread/span would definitely help when playing the piano.

My hands are probably average size for a man, or maybe even a little below average, but I can easily span an octave, and maybe stretch it out to another note or two past the octave.

On the other hand, (same size, of course:-) big hands could be a blessing and a curse, especially when trying to squeeze the big fingers between the black keys. Of course, small hands can be a blessing and curse as well, I suppose.

On the other, other hand, (again the same size:-) I've seen very small children with tiny hands, play a piano better than most adults. It is quite amazing to watch.

My take-away from that is that you work with what you have, and make the best of it.

Give learning to play the piano a try. I'll bet it would be one of the best experiences of your life! smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3021778 09/05/20 09:52 PM
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True, Rachmaninoff had enormous hands, and he was a great pianist. On the other hand, Alicia de Larrocha had very small hands, and she was also a great pianist. Try your luck, no matter what size hands you have!

Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3021782 09/05/20 10:22 PM
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Big hands might be helpful but I’ve also known people with tiny hands who are amazing pianists. So I don’t think it matters. Work with what you’ve got, let the music flow! 🙂


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3021806 09/06/20 12:20 AM
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Have you got a good ear ? Do you love music ? If the answer is yes , find a piano and give it a try. You could end up playing Brahms, Scriabin and Rachmanihoff who knows ?

Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3021811 09/06/20 12:57 AM
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John
I’m missing something: do you enjoy music? If you didn’t have large hands, would you want to play the piano? If you can answer yes to both, wonderful! Big hands are great but it will not make learning to play quicker or easier... it will just make big reaches easier.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3021812 09/06/20 12:57 AM
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I am a woman, I can reach an octave, and I won't even measure. My only consolation is that I can easily play the white keys between the black keys, which some men are not able to.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
Animisha #3021813 09/06/20 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
My only consolation is that I can easily play the white keys between the black keys, which some men are not able to.

This is important. I can only barely fit my fingers between the black keys, which makes certain things take a lot of precision and training. If your hands are too big and you can't fit your fingers between the black keys at all, it's a major problem.

Last edited by trigalg693; 09/06/20 01:09 AM.
Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3021822 09/06/20 02:09 AM
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So the key(!) seems to be to have long AND skinny fingers. It must be super handy for Rachmoninoff. 😁 Puns aside, no matter your hand span, give a piano a try if you are intrigued!

Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3021825 09/06/20 02:15 AM
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Some pianos have more space between the black keys than others.

A concern for someone who is 6'-10" tall would be fitting legs under the keyboard. But there have been some pretty tall pianists. Randy Weston comes to mind.


Semipro Tech
Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3021868 09/06/20 06:11 AM
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An octave is about 6.5 inches. White keys are about 0.93 inches wide. So it means you can reach an 11th ( C to F octave above).

You should give it a try and see if you like playing the piano.

Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3021905 09/06/20 08:50 AM
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John
What kind of music do you like ?

Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
Hakki #3021916 09/06/20 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
An octave is about 6.5 inches. White keys are about 0.93 inches wide. So it means you can reach an 11th ( C to F octave above).

It doesn't necessarily work that way. The only way to really tell is to sit at the keyboard and see how far apart are the farthest keys you can comfortably play together.

But even that is not exactly informative, because in the context of real music, there are time when you can get away with rolling two keys, moving notes around between the two hands etc....

So, handspan is far from the most important issue with regard to whether someone will "succeed" at learning piano...


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3021959 09/06/20 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by John32
Hi all!!

Brand new here! I am extremely tall. I am almost 6’10” and always get told I should try and learn the piano because I have incredible big hands.

Does this really help? I measured my handspan is about 9.5”

Pianists also "stretch"their hands when playing an interval. I am 6'4" and have a 9'5" spread. I think you could have more than that.


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Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3021967 09/06/20 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by John32
Hi all!!

Brand new here! I am extremely tall. I am almost 6’10” and always get told I should try and learn the piano because I have incredible big hands.

Does this really help? I measured my handspan is about 9.5”

Can we post pics of our handspans to make
Sure I did it right!

Well I'm 5'10" with short fingers. My span which I have just measured is 9", so I guess if I had been 6' 10" my span would cover the whole keyboard smile
Ian


I'm all keyed up
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Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
Beemer #3021972 09/06/20 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Beemer
Originally Posted by John32
Hi all!!

Brand new here! I am extremely tall. I am almost 6’10” and always get told I should try and learn the piano because I have incredible big hands.

Does this really help? I measured my handspan is about 9.5”

Can we post pics of our handspans to make
Sure I did it right!

Well I'm 5'10" with short fingers. My span which I have just measured is 9", so I guess if I had been 6' 10" my span would cover the whole keyboard smile
Ian

Good one, Ian! smile

You are just a little taller than me. I'm 5'9" (except where I shrunk from age:-). Just measured my hand span on the keyboard, and it is 8.5". So, you got me there too.

Dang, this measuring body parts seems awkward. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
Rickster #3021979 09/06/20 11:59 AM
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I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3022003 09/06/20 12:30 PM
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I'm 5' 10" and my hand span is just under 10". I would image you could probably reach much more than 9.5"

Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan
John32 #3022020 09/06/20 12:59 PM
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The overwhelming majority of pieces don't require large hands.

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