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Posted By: John32 Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 12:12 AM
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!
Posted By: PhilipInChina Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 01:31 AM
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.
Posted By: Rickster Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 02:00 AM
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
Posted By: Almaviva Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 02:52 AM
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!
Posted By: WBLynch Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 03:22 AM
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! 🙂
Posted By: Lady Bird Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 05:20 AM
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 ?
Posted By: dogperson Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 05:57 AM
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.
Posted By: Animisha Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 05:57 AM
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.
Posted By: trigalg693 Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 06:08 AM
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.
Posted By: K8KT Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 07:09 AM
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!
Posted By: BDB Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 07:15 AM
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.
Posted By: Hakki Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 11:11 AM
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.
Posted By: Lady Bird Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 01:50 PM
John
What kind of music do you like ?
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 02:19 PM
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...
Posted By: Rich Galassini Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 04:20 PM
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.
Posted By: Beemer Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 04:43 PM
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
Posted By: Rickster Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 04:54 PM
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
Posted By: Beemer Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 04:59 PM
These might be useful:
https://media1.giphy.com/media/cwLs...mc39iyp4zvjivnmfxi6sfc&rid=giphy.gif
Ian
Posted By: DanS Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 05:30 PM
I'm 5' 10" and my hand span is just under 10". I would image you could probably reach much more than 9.5"
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 05:59 PM
The overwhelming majority of pieces don't require large hands.
Posted By: Carey Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 06:17 PM
Originally Posted by DanS
I'm 5' 10" and my hand span is just under 10". I would image you could probably reach much more than 9.5"
You got me beat. I'm 5'10" and my left hand span is 9.5" and my right hand is a tad over 9 inches. Actually I'm surprised that there is such a difference between the two hands. grin
Posted By: dhull100 Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 08:01 PM
The skill resides in the ear and mind as much as the hand, extremities, shoulder, etc. I’m afraid I am somewhat deficient in all of these areas, but progress, progress!
Posted By: j&j Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 09:32 PM
Originally Posted by K8KT
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!
Large hands with long spidery fingers with great agility would certainly be nice.
Posted By: DanS Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/06/20 10:47 PM
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by DanS
I'm 5' 10" and my hand span is just under 10". I would image you could probably reach much more than 9.5"
You got me beat. I'm 5'10" and my left hand span is 9.5" and my right hand is a tad over 9 inches. Actually I'm surprised that there is such a difference between the two hands. grin

Well I do have a taller person's torso and a shorter person's legs. smile

Originally Posted by johnstaf
The overwhelming majority of pieces don't require large hands.
True. Plus it's better to not spend a lot of time playing with your hands at their extremes, be it in their reach, or tilt or bend, etc. That's one way injuries happen.
Posted By: gwing Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/07/20 09:19 AM
Originally Posted by j&j
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!
Large hands
Check
Originally Posted by j&j
with long spidery fingers
Check
Originally Posted by j&j
with great agility
Oops, how about arthritic and stiff and needed weeks of gentle exercise to be able to play the notes at all??
Originally Posted by j&j
would certainly be nice.
Ah well, two out of three isn't too bad :-)
Posted By: Roy123 Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/07/20 12:02 PM
If you want to sound better at the piano, practice, and don't worry about your hand span. I can barely play a 10th on all white keys and have envied some piano teachers I had that could play larger intervals. Then, I had a female teacher, who couldn't reach too much more than an octave, and she was a superb player.
Posted By: j&j Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/07/20 02:53 PM
Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by j&j
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!
Large hands
Check
Originally Posted by j&j
with long spidery fingers
Check
Originally Posted by j&j
with great agility
Oops, how about arthritic and stiff and needed weeks of gentle exercise to be able to play the notes at all??
Originally Posted by j&j
would certainly be nice.
Ah well, two out of three isn't too bad :-)

I’m out on all 3 and also getting arthritis. But we can dream can’t we? Besides it motivates me for hand stretching and gentle exercise. wink
Posted By: PhilipInChina Re: Brand new! Tall and handspan - 09/08/20 06:07 AM
When I was in Sichuan I noticed that the people there are very small. Plenty of the women were about 5'. There were some very good pianists there.

I suppose the longer arms will be usecful as well as the hand spread.
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