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#1383032 - 02/25/10 10:19 PM How many keys across can you stretch?
Jeffrey Preston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Elma NY


Simple question really. I have bigger hands I'd presume, and I've been told I have bigger hands by many people.

I can reach up to the 10th of a scale with one hand (I don't know if that's worded right, but I can reach an octave up above C, plus 2 more notes.)

How many keys can YOU reach? Is there any exercises that you know of that are PROVEN to increase finger length? Or by first hand experience?

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#1383033 - 02/25/10 10:20 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Jeffrey Preston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Elma NY
* I forgot to add that i'm starting from middle C -

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#1383054 - 02/25/10 11:07 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Brandon_W_T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 1940
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
I can do a 10th fairly comfortably. But no more.

mr Rachmaninoff probably could do a 13 using his pinky and ring finger. ha But seriously, he probably could do a at least a 12.
_________________________
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Home -
1905 Story and Clark Art Case smile

--NEW!--- 1964ish Conn 640 vacuum tube theatre organ! (with leslie!) smile

Grandmas- New Hyundai petite baby grand

Church (the organ I practice on)-
1998 Bedient (Built about 45 minutes from me!) 2m/pedal 24 rank Cavaille-Coll style pipe organ

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#1383223 - 02/26/10 07:30 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Brandon_W_T]
Nikorasu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/01/10
Posts: 66
10th more or less comfortably, 11th at the very edge. I'm 19 though so I still hope for some growth =P

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#1383425 - 02/26/10 01:00 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Nikorasu]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
One octave exactly. I don't expect any improvement, I'm 38 and this is already a big improvement from when I started 2 years ago. My favorite pianists are Elton John, Billy Joel and Ben Folds and none of them can reach a very wide span that I know of, in fact Elton has stated he can only reach one octave and that's it. I should be OK for most of what I want to play.
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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#1383699 - 02/26/10 09:45 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Brandon_W_T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 1940
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
Man

Mr. Abraham Lincoln needed to play the piano!

Look at the size of those hands!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Abelincoln1846.jpeg
ha

is it just me or are those hands just irregularly large!?!
_________________________
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Home -
1905 Story and Clark Art Case smile

--NEW!--- 1964ish Conn 640 vacuum tube theatre organ! (with leslie!) smile

Grandmas- New Hyundai petite baby grand

Church (the organ I practice on)-
1998 Bedient (Built about 45 minutes from me!) 2m/pedal 24 rank Cavaille-Coll style pipe organ

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#1384054 - 02/27/10 02:39 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
appleman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 188
10th comfortably, 11th barely and 12th, well, I can just barely hold the keys down after warming up, but I doubt I'd be able to play them.

Of course, I suffer from another problem, I can only place my fingers between the black keys before my second knuckle. I am at a size right before it would become a serious handicap.
_________________________
Dr. Appleman, former NASA engineer, Empire of Earth and B.S. of Ninjutsu at MIT.

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#1384471 - 02/28/10 01:26 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Brandon_W_T]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Brandon_W_T
I can do a 10th fairly comfortably. But no more.

mr Rachmaninoff probably could do a 13 using his pinky and ring finger. ha But seriously, he probably could do a at least a 12.


He could, by accounts that I have read, take an octave and a sixth easily with one hand.

I have an octave and a third or thereabouts. smile
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#1385298 - 03/01/10 05:08 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Ludwig van Bilge Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/09
Posts: 204
An octive at maximum stretch.

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#1389238 - 03/05/10 08:43 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Horowitzian]
Jeffrey Preston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Elma NY
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Originally Posted By: Brandon_W_T
I can do a 10th fairly comfortably. But no more.

mr Rachmaninoff probably could do a 13 using his pinky and ring finger. ha But seriously, he probably could do a at least a 12.


He could, by accounts that I have read, take an octave and a sixth easily with one hand.

I have an octave and a third or thereabouts. smile



and a third? big hands!

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#1389242 - 03/05/10 08:46 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Only around or a bit larger than average.
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Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1404357 - 03/26/10 03:01 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Horowitzian]
Chopin is up there Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/09
Posts: 35
Loc: Lisbon, Portugal
Hmm... 10th easily, 11th with some strain.
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#1413050 - 04/07/10 04:11 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
MamaHenn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 19
Loc: Minnesota, USA
In my younger day, since I am built like a baboon, I could reach from middle C to upper G (when my fingernails were long.) Since I broke my hand, though, and had a plate put on my pinkie (boxer's fracture, open reduction), I can make an octave but no more. My pinkie sticks up like I'm drinking a cup of proper tea.

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#1416960 - 04/14/10 10:05 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: MamaHenn]
TADutchman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 760
Loc: Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
So far I'm not very impressed with the results: I can easily reach over a two octaves range, at least when using two hands laugh
_________________________
K A W A I ..... R O L A N D ......... E - M U
C A - 9 3 ......... A X - 7 ...... X B O A R D - 4 9

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#1419269 - 04/18/10 01:42 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: TADutchman]
Lunatic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/02/09
Posts: 44
An octave plus a second... a third, but I'd play some notes in between

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#1426035 - 04/28/10 04:35 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Lunatic]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3505
I'm playing a piece with some octave+third (g-b) where I sometimes accidentally hit octave+fourth (g-c)... but I guess much further it won't go

I wonder what hands debussy had, for instance bar 6 of 'fille aux cheveux de lin' I see a chord es2-bes3.
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#1426215 - 04/28/10 10:06 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: wouter79]
Brandon_W_T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 1940
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
Yes that part in in Fille aux Cheveux is one thing that ruins me from playing the song through well. laugh

I am just rolling it up at the moment.
_________________________
______
Home -
1905 Story and Clark Art Case smile

--NEW!--- 1964ish Conn 640 vacuum tube theatre organ! (with leslie!) smile

Grandmas- New Hyundai petite baby grand

Church (the organ I practice on)-
1998 Bedient (Built about 45 minutes from me!) 2m/pedal 24 rank Cavaille-Coll style pipe organ

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#1428190 - 05/02/10 06:53 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Brandon_W_T]
Pianosaurus Rex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 305
I can do an 8th with ease, a 9th with a bit more trouble. So far this hasn't proven to be a limitation in anyway, but it would be nice if I somehow got a bigger span. :þ

I'm turning 20 next week and have been playing for 5/6 months, any chance of my fingerspan still growing? I think not, but I can still hope!

Originally Posted By: TADutchman
So far I'm not very impressed with the results: I can easily reach over a two octaves range, at least when using two hands laugh


Pffuu, get good! I can span over the entire clavier! whistle


Edited by Pianosaurus Rex (05/02/10 06:54 AM)
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#1429421 - 05/04/10 08:04 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Pianosaurus Rex]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
10. I can maybe get 11, but it's not useable.

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#1496620 - 08/15/10 05:08 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: HomeInMyShoes]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2337
Loc: UK
According to this article Lang Lang can reach twelve.

I can reach an octave with the RH and lost the pinkie in an accident. LH can do 9.

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#1496624 - 08/15/10 05:16 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: spanishbuddha]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
i can just reach ten...damn my small hands, it makes everything so difficult frown
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#1496764 - 08/15/10 08:50 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: TheHappyMoron]
RaindropPrelude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 73
An octave and a key!
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#1539222 - 10/20/10 03:34 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Jared Hoeft Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 174
Loc: Hutchinson, Minnesota, United ...
If I stretch, I can reach a perfect eleventh (octave plus a fourth) but that wouldn't be practical for performance. The most I would dare try to play without risking a serious cramp is a ninth, or perhaps occasionally a tenth.

As far as I know, there are no ways of increasing your finger stretch, since it is largely dependent upon your hand size. I think you'll probably just hurt your hand before you increase the stretch! smile

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#1539227 - 10/20/10 04:37 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
DadAgain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 365
Loc: Brisbane, QLD
Scales in 10ths no problem...
Scales in 11ths? .... would be do-able
Scales in 12th?.. no chance (but I can JUST stretch it in a one off).

I can comfortably play C-C-E (8va with ring finger +10th with pinkie) in my RH - which comes in handy from time to time.
_________________________
Parent....
Orchestral Viola player (stictly amateur)....
Hack Pianist.... (faded skills from glory days 20 yrs ago)
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Former conductor... (been a long time since I was set loose with a magic wand!)

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#1545669 - 10/28/10 09:11 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Lunatic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/02/09
Posts: 44
A tenth at most, if in the white keys by "cheating" by playing from the edge, putting the thumb and little finger completely under the level of the unpressed keys (hopefully you can understand), or a minor 10th from C to Eb at MOST, quite uncomfortably.

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#1545719 - 10/28/10 10:56 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Infinity Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 102
Loc: West Orange, NJ
I can comfortably play a ninth. This is where men have the adavantage: bigger hands.
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Infinity
Pianist and Teacher
West Orange, NJ
www.pianolessonsnj.com

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#1549541 - 11/02/10 06:36 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Fawkx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/31/10
Posts: 4
Nine ten-ish, it's kinda cool when you think about it.
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#1549855 - 11/03/10 05:05 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Pianosaurus Rex]
TADutchman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 760
Loc: Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Pianosaurus Rex
Originally Posted By: TADutchman
So far I'm not very impressed with the results: I can easily reach over a two octaves range, at least when using two hands laugh


Pffuu, get good! I can span over the entire clavier! whistle

thumb ha
_________________________
K A W A I ..... R O L A N D ......... E - M U
C A - 9 3 ......... A X - 7 ...... X B O A R D - 4 9

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#1641815 - 03/15/11 09:12 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
fledgehog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 273
Loc: West Hartford, CT
10th white-white on the edge of the keys

i can do all 9ths comfortably, as well as 1-4 and 1-3 octaves.


Edited by fledgehog (03/15/11 09:13 PM)

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#1648462 - 03/26/11 05:21 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
WinsomeAllegretto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 828
I can reach a 9th if I stretch, but only on the white keys. When I first started piano I could only do an octave, but doing finger stretches and stuff I guess widened my span after several years. I will never be able to reach a 10th, but that's ok I guess.

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#1655240 - 04/05/11 06:03 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Michael Steen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/07
Posts: 366
Loc: Sciota, Pennsylvania
An ocatave comfortably, a ninth to play, a tenth with extreme stretch and no hope of actually playing it.
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I'm getting there--note by note.

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#1689487 - 06/02/11 07:58 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
emmov Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/29/11
Posts: 72
Rachmaninoff had huge hands....

But I'm happy with mine, mind you. smile Let's see...octaves are really fairly easy, I can do a ninth with a little stretching, and I could attempt a tenth with an extremely slow tempo and lots of confidence.

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#1694499 - 06/12/11 06:16 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
prowannabe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/09/11
Posts: 6
Loc: USA
Barely 9, I feel disadvantaged. If only I could reach 10, it would make rolling those commonly 10 key spread chords so much easier.

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#1698929 - 06/20/11 09:06 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
BadOrange Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 368
Loc: Banned
can do 10ths comfortably chromatically. 11ths chromatically but not really at a speed you would consider practical and only certain notes. A few i just have to do a little slide.

don't think it really gives any sort of advantage other than well you know what they say about people with big hands.

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#1699922 - 06/22/11 12:54 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
AaronL619 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/11
Posts: 46
Loc: United Kingdom
a rather uncomfortable 9th

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#1707927 - 07/05/11 05:42 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
klauseman1988 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 3
4

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#1714882 - 07/17/11 05:11 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
cindycindy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 10
Loc: New Zealand
A 9th comfortably. I can reach a 10th but I need time to prepare the stretch so usually in performance I just roll those chords.
_________________________
2011 repertoire

SOLO
Bach P&F G maj book I
Chopin Etude Ab major Op. 25 no. 1
Chopin Impromptu no. 1 op. 29
Bartok 3 Burlesques op. 8
Liszt Annes de Pelerinage - Sposalizio
Haydn Sonata in b minor XVI: 32
Debussy Prelude - Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir
Schumann Arabesque Op. 18

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#1716412 - 07/19/11 01:39 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
PaulaPiano34 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1217
A slightly painful octave and a very painful ninth (if I want to push it)

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#1718288 - 07/21/11 07:52 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Saul Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 743
Loc: Banned
From C to the second F ..
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http://www.musicalpaintings.net

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#1719380 - 07/23/11 03:35 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
TonalHarmony Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/11
Posts: 73
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Jeffrey Preston


Simple question really. I have bigger hands I'd presume, and I've been told I have bigger hands by many people.

I can reach up to the 10th of a scale with one hand (I don't know if that's worded right, but I can reach an octave up above C, plus 2 more notes.)

How many keys can YOU reach? Is there any exercises that you know of that are PROVEN to increase finger length? Or by first hand experience?


An octave is comfortable for me. Any farther and I fudge it.
_________________________
Currently playing:

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
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#1832373 - 01/26/12 02:40 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
JKiff Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/24/12
Posts: 2
I can do a scale quite speedily in 10th's, but my left hand can do an 11th scale. I can't even stretch a 11th with my right. Strange haha 9ths are my comfortable position.

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#1833058 - 01/27/12 04:51 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: JKiff]
Parishrut Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/01/11
Posts: 11
AArrgghhh! Don't laugh.
I was so happy watching me and my hand grow faster than anyone else in my class. Unfortunately, it stopped growing early, and I can stretch to a tenth, but I can play comfortably only an octave.

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#1873553 - 04/04/12 09:32 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
RandomPianist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/12
Posts: 51
Loc: China
At the moment I can reach from C to D with both hands. A month ago I could only do C to B. smile
_________________________
"Just practice diligently and you will do very well. You have five fingers on each hand just as healthy as mine."
~ J.S. Bach

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#1895834 - 05/12/12 04:27 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Richard Parizer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/11/12
Posts: 5
Loc: Los Angeles, California
I like going for the 1st, 8th and 10th all together with one hand smile
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Richard Parizer

PIano Instructor, Musician, and Audio Engineer

Great Piano Tutorial

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#1898952 - 05/18/12 01:28 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Mozart'sGal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/12
Posts: 82
An octave is great, but a 9th is quite a stretch.
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#1941035 - 08/11/12 08:12 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
9symphony9 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Long Island, New York
An octave and one white key. Middle C to two D's.

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#1944939 - 08/18/12 08:50 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: 9symphony9]
Stefan_Banach Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/29/11
Posts: 10
Loc: Sweden
Despite rather small hands I often use tenth cords with 5 notes for right hand, combined with octaves for left hand.

As an extreme, I´ve used 7 notes for the right hand in a chord. In a couple of arrangement I use totally 11 notes (both hands of course) in a chord.

Trying to emulate (and exaggerate) a Rachmaninovsk style.


Edited by Stefan_Banach (08/18/12 08:54 AM)
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#1948362 - 08/24/12 09:57 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
Digite1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 59
my hands are big, i can play from c3 to e4 (11 keys) and if i strech it i can go up to f4.


Edited by Digite1 (08/24/12 09:58 AM)

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#1966308 - 09/29/12 03:16 PM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: Jeffrey Preston]
MusicaMusique Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 47
8th, I envy everyone with long fingers, I find that I cannot hold the octave chords firmly. I am not happy with that.
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#2299707 - 07/08/14 01:50 AM Re: How many keys across can you stretch? [Re: MusicaMusique]
MarieJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/13
Posts: 20
Loc: Queensland Australia
Relevant to this discussion, if you haven't already seen it on YouTube, google 'Rachmaninov had big hands' ...

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