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Joined: Oct 2010
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Hello! Today I bought my first piano! I am so excited to have it delivered on Wednesday. My problem is that I have pretty much been playing the same music I played in high school. I never had the time (nor the piano) to learn anything new since. Now that I am getting my own piano, I'd love some suggestions on new pieces to play. I just don't know where to start!

To give you an idea of my ability, in high school I played Schubert's impromptu Op 90 No 3&4, Pathetique sonata, Rach 2 (2nd movt only, 1 & 3 are way too hard for me!), Rach's Elegie, chopin waltzes, nocturnes, various mozart sonatas, etc.

The main reason I have a hard time finding pieces to play is that I can just barely reach an octave (in order to reach it, I have to dip my hand below the level of the keys) So long octave passages or repeating octaves hurt my hands. I know there are so many amazing pieces out there that I just can't play because of my hand size. I often have to leave out notes in octave chords, which is sad because it just doesn't sound the same frown

But if anyone has any advice on how to increase my flexibility or help with reaching octaves, I'm all ears!

Last edited by lilicala; 10/23/10 10:31 PM.
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From what I heard, stretching out your finger span as I call it, takes some time. Some people only get to reach a comfortable octave. Now, as for songs, Canon in D. It is a simple piece but still a very good one. Mozart maybe. I hear Bach has a lot of good pieces as well.


Currently Working On:
Chopin Waltz in B Minor (Finished)
Rondo Alla Turca - Mozart (Finished)
Coming up:
Phantom of the Opera?
Certainly more Chopin(Valses and Mazurkas, maybe even a Prelude)
And yet another Bach piece
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If you can't sing more than an octave, maybe you should take up piano.

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Hey! You sound just like me! (and I have played all the pieces you mentioned above in your first post!). I guess I just don't let my tiny handspan get in the way. I still play lots of Rach and when in doubt I roll what I can't reach. I guess more pieces you could try would be like Chopin: 24 Preludes, Impromptus... Rachmaninoff's Preludes op23 (all of them are ok except for no 2 which is a small-handed pianist's nightmare and no5 is iffy but I'm working my way through it). I often find that small hands are useful for moving fast and light across the keyboard. Hope this helps!

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Originally Posted by Damon
If you can't sing more than an octave, maybe you should take up piano.


thumb

Much better than what I was going to say! smile

Cheers!


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I would suggest Debussy's Children's Corner. Don't be fooled by the title; it should be a good challenge for someone at your level, but it doesn't require any large spans. If you like it, you'll probably want to explore more Debussy.

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I'm just discovering Mompou. Lots of stuff he wrote would be suitable for small hands.

Also, the Sketches in Color by Robert Starer don't require an octave.

Most pieces by Bach and Scarlatti don't require an octave, at least not parallel octaves played rapidly.


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I'll just give you the best advice I've probably gotten from my favorite teacher who is like a mom to me:

"Remember, never to limit yourself just because you have small hands. No matter what, even if you can never play a piece up to the performance standard, you will still get something up to speed. So don't be afraid to challenge yourself& tackle big works."


Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata
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Thank you everyone for all the suggestions and encouragement!

Pianist.ame, I wish I had a teacher like you have! I must admit that my teacher never really challenged me. So thanks for the inspiration. Your teacher is absolutely right! I shouldn't let anything keep me from playing the songs I want to play smile

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Have you practiced your reach a lot? I've noticed that over time, my reach has expanded significantly even though my hands haven't grown anymore (by two keys). Challenging yourself by playing a slow piece with a lot of octaves may actually help you (I'd suggest the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata).

If you find that you really just can't, I'd suggest Scriabin Opus 16, Prelude 1. It'll probably be very easy for you, but it doesn't have a lot of octave work (I think there's one small section in it with octaves, but I honestly don't know. I have no clue how I even play it myself) and it's very beautiful.


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All the suggestions so far are about choosing music. How about a physical way to make it easier. Have you ever tried to warm up all the forearm and hand muscles first.? Just a bowl of quite warm water to submerge your hands and foearms to get the blood flowing and relax any tense muscles . It`s tricky to describe the temperature without scaring the living daylights out of ultra nervous readers . Anyway don`t burn yourself .See if you can get that to work . Remember the hands will respond to regular practice with a new piano so the first day is not the best to make decisions. Be patient .
I loved the advert I saw once for a violin. It said
"Violin for sale -I bought it for my husband . He tried it Twice and can`t do it ".

Last edited by Jt2nd; 01/08/20 09:33 PM. Reason: 2 typos
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This thread is from 2010 — hopefully the OP has worked it out


"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

It's ok to be a Work In Progress

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