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#3080763 02/10/21 09:33 AM
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Hi - Can you please let me know if this what playing tenth should look like or is my hand too small?

I’ve never played them before was just trying it out of curiosity. If I continue to play them will and more reach develop? I know hand won’t get bigger but does the elasticity or reach stretch with time?

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Sebs #3080766 02/10/21 09:46 AM
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I'd say you already have very good reach. If you look at your hand in this pic - having more elasticity and stretch would not increase your reach, as your fingers are basically as close to 180 degrees as possible while still being able to play individual notes, only way of increasing reach would be to make your fingers longer. However what stretching could help with is making the reach you have a bit more comfortable if you're experiencing pain when reaching this far, don't overdo it though.

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My comfortable reach has extended— just through playing.


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Sebs #3080779 02/10/21 10:29 AM
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If you lower your wrist your effective stretch will increase greatly and it will be much easier. I don't know if your actual reach will increase as you play more tenths, but it will probably feel more comfortable.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 02/10/21 10:34 AM.
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I wish I could play a tenth frown ....


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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I wish I could play a tenth frown ....

Same here. I struggle with an octave.


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Sebs #3080822 02/10/21 12:31 PM
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The minor tenth is actually more difficult to play than the major tenth.

Sebs #3080845 02/10/21 01:44 PM
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You have exactly the same reach as me. I doubt it will increase any further.
I think of my span as an uncomfortable tenth which is only useful in certain situations like the one you illustrate, but it does make for a comfortable ninth which is very nice to have.

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I can only play a ninth in Moonlight sonata.



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Originally Posted by WittyName
I'd say you already have very good reach. If you look at your hand in this pic - having more elasticity and stretch would not increase your reach, as your fingers are basically as close to 180 degrees as possible while still being able to play individual notes, only way of increasing reach would be to make your fingers longer. However what stretching could help with is making the reach you have a bit more comfortable if you're experiencing pain when reaching this far, don't overdo it though.
Yes, I'm only working on this lightly and not overdoing it.

Originally Posted by dogperson
My comfortable reach has extended— just through playing.
Good to know. Since this is my first time I think Im fortunate I can reach it and I'll see how comfortable it gets over time.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If you lower your wrist your effective stretch will increase greatly and it will be much easier. I don't know if your actual reach will increase as you play more tenths, but it will probably feel more comfortable.
I know it's hard to tell but I have the wrist pretty low when I play it.


Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I wish I could play a tenth frown ....
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I wish I could play a tenth frown ....

Same here. I struggle with an octave.

Finally something I can do! Too bad it's nothing to do with skills just anatomy but I'll take it. hahah


Originally Posted by timmyab
You have exactly the same reach as me. I doubt it will increase any further.
I think of my span as an uncomfortable tenth which is only useful in certain situations like the one you illustrate, but it does make for a comfortable ninth which is very nice to have.

Is it comfortable for you? Or is the tenth still tough?

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Sound like it's ok to play a tenth like this if you can reach it? I was wondering if someone would have said "Better not to play it, you're too low on the keys" I know there's no exact science so was looking for general feedback and this is good to know that this reach is not common and seems like it's common for it to be stretch for many.

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While it is certainly desirable to play “in the heart of the key” if you can rather than round the ends like you are doing, well there’s no option really is there other than not playing it at all (unless you could rearrange the music for a different harmony which can sometimes be an option).

As another data point, as an older adult beginner I started 4 years ago not being able to reach a 9th. Thanks to playing and regular stretching I can now get a 9th “round the ends” although it’s not easy. I doubt it’ll improve much more. You’re lucky being able to get a 10th just starting out.


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Originally Posted by scirocco
While it is certainly desirable to play “in the heart of the key” if you can rather than round the ends like you are doing, well there’s no option really is there other than not playing it at all (unless you could rearrange the music for a different harmony which can sometimes be an option).

As another data point, as an older adult beginner I started 4 years ago not being able to reach a 9th. Thanks to playing and regular stretching I can now get a 9th “round the ends” although it’s not easy. I doubt it’ll improve much more. You’re lucky being able to get a 10th just starting out.

What is 'round the ends'

Awesome to hear with time you got to the the ninth, nice work!

I actually thought I had a small reach and most could comfortably play a tenth and that my reach in the image was going to torn apart.

Sebs #3081040 02/11/21 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
What is 'round the ends'

Just what you are doing, where your horizontal fingers are contacting the vertical front edge of the next unplayed key rather than pointing downwards and descending onto the keytops from above and brushing the long, horizontal edge of the next unplayed key.

Ideally you wouldn't do this; the idea is to play say 15 or 20 mm up the key from edge rather than at the extreme edge. But for those big stretches, reaching round the ends buys you an extra bit of reach.

In theory it shouldn't matter where you hit the key - it's solid and all parts of it descend at the same time. But playing a bit further up the key gives you better control of your fingers rather than almost falling off the edge, and you'd aim to do that unless unavoidable due to a interval that's at the limit of what you can reach.


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I know you enjoy jazz and pop music. For jazz/pop musician it's a real blessing to be able to play tenth comfortably, because 1-5-10 re-voiced triad sounds so much better than 1-3-5. But certainly you need to work on your stretch daily in order to learn to play tenths comfortably, from above, without any delays. The stretch grows very slowly, but seeing the picture I'm sure you can do it, there is a reserve for stretching in your hand.

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To me it looks like you're reaching the minor third! :-)


Hopefully one day I will do my interpretation of Bach French Suite no. 2 in C minor, BWV 813
Working on Bach Minuet G Major! :-)
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Originally Posted by Relaxing_Music
To me it looks like you're reaching the minor third! :-)

In this case, the physical span is the same as for a major tenth like C-E; it is more difficult to reach a C-E flat with the right hand.

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I guess technically I can, but not practical. I don't think I could do this while playing anything. I might be able to stretch further if I cut some skin/webbing off.

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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I wish I could play a tenth frown ....

Same here. I struggle with an octave.


Of course I can play a tenth! It just takes both hands.


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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I wish I could play a tenth frown ....

Same here. I struggle with an octave.


Of course I can play a tenth! It just takes both hands.

Well, problem solved! Thank you! Lol grin

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 02/11/21 02:10 PM.

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