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#1836977 - 02/02/12 04:30 AM Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist?
Pianolism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/10
Posts: 54
All the intense playing and pressure given to the hands and knuckles... Will transform the hands to look veiny and muscular? Will anyone be able to look at someone's hands and say, "Ok, you have not been practising your piano much because your hands look too delicate and fine." Is there a sort of look for a pianist hand. The typical description of a pianist's hands would be slim, slender and long?

Yes, it's a quirky question but I thought it would be interesting since a person who does alot of housework would seem coarser than one who doesn't do housework at all. Just like different people with different professions would have hands that a look different. eg. A labourer's hand would generally look veiny and big because of the amount of manual work he has to do.

So, what about a pianist?

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#1836978 - 02/02/12 04:31 AM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
Lain Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 613
Farias J, Ordonez FJ, Roset-Rodriguez M, Carrasco C, Ribelles A, Rosety M, Rosety JM, Gomez del Valle M: Anthropometrical analysis of the hand as a repetitive strain injury (RSI) predictive method in pianists. Ital J Anat Embryol 2002; 107:225–231.
http://music.unt.edu/pianoresearch/reference/Farias.pdf

Wagner CH: The pianist’s hand: anthropometry and biomechanics. Ergonomics 1988; 31:97-131.
http://music.unt.edu/pianoresearch/reference/Wagner.pdf
_________________________
"You are the music while the music lasts" - T.S. Eliot

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#1837066 - 02/02/12 09:07 AM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
LadyChen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Canada
I remember reading somewhere, but can't recall where, that the fleshy part of the palm connected to the thumb is usually more developed with pianists because of octave playing and other extended hand positions.

Mine doesn't seem terribly different than anyone else's, but that's probably because i don't practice enough wink.

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#1837101 - 02/02/12 09:58 AM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
kind of my observation (inscientific) like LadyChen mentioned.. i notice the musculature of the palm to be more heavily developed in serious players. Church pianists.. who bang bang bang and music class teachers (with a classroom of noisy kids) seem to develop knuckle issues.
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accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1837247 - 02/02/12 01:31 PM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
bennevis Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 8390
My hands & fingers do look more sinewy than those of my non-piano playing peers. Though that might be because I also rock-climb and train with pull-ups etc.... grin
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1837314 - 02/02/12 03:41 PM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
jdhampton924 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1048
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
I am sometimes rather jealous of my non piano playing friend's hands.

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#1837354 - 02/02/12 04:41 PM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4690
Loc: not somewhere over the rainbow
My hands look like a man's hands.........

Also has anyone noticed that our fingertips are shaped differently than normal people? There's definite pads where the keys go..
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"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."

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#1837374 - 02/02/12 05:12 PM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
mine are pretty muscular and heavy looking.. definitely not delicate. I've played all my life and know they look quite a bit different than my 3 sisters who are similarly built.

I bet i have piano bench..... you know.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1837381 - 02/02/12 05:27 PM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
Cheeto717 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 1059
Loc: Pennsylvania
I actually get a little self conscious about my hands sometimes. I have long fingers and the rest of my hand has really toned muscles, and they're really vascular (aka they're veiny haha!). I've done a lot of weight lifting in the past so that probably has more to do with it than piano playing i think.
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"I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well."

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#1837387 - 02/02/12 05:40 PM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8735
People have been remarking on my hands since I was a kid - the first time I remember it happening was some adult saying I had "piano hands" when I was around 12-13, IIRC.

Some of the most interesting things that have happened regarding my "piano hands" aren't really suitable to talk about here. Let's just say that more than one person have fallen in love with them over the years, and that manifested itself in ways that sometimes really surprised me. shocked ! blush ! laugh !!

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#1837390 - 02/02/12 05:49 PM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
shocked
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accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1837418 - 02/02/12 06:59 PM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
Jolteon Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/11
Posts: 526
Loc: Perth, Australia
A friend of my mum's who is studying Medicine (I think he's finished now) reckoned that pianists will develop what is essentially "patellas" (effectively a knee-cap) on the knuckles in the middle of the fingers. I don't know how true it is, but I've been carefully observing various piano players' hands, and many do seem to have wider knuckles there than average.
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Algernon: I hope, Cecily, I shall not offend you if I state quite frankly and openly that you seem to me to be in every way the visible personification of absolute perfection.

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#1837437 - 02/02/12 07:54 PM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1524
Loc: NJ
Yes, I have wider knuckles on some of my fingers. I have long thing fingers overall, but now that I am "older" and lost alot of the tone I was so blessed with not too very long ago, my hands look horrible. I have some arthritic looking fingers, especially thumb and index finger of right hand, and very prominent veins. I've exercised for 30 years, and don't think it's a result of exercise - just age. frown
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#1837443 - 02/02/12 08:07 PM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pogorelich.]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1264
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
My hands look like a man's hands.........

Also has anyone noticed that our fingertips are shaped differently than normal people? There's definite pads where the keys go..
I just now looked for this and I think I see it on mine, there's a bit of a slant to part of the tip, its not completely rounded anymore. I would never have noticed though if someone hadn't mentioned it.
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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#1837457 - 02/02/12 08:45 PM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
Pianolism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/10
Posts: 54
Maybe we should do some detailed analysis by posting some non-pianists' hands vs pianists' hands. Hehe. The larger than average knuckles plus that pad on the tip of the fingers does make sense.

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#1837482 - 02/02/12 09:37 PM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
pianist.ame Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1166
Loc: Singapore
My sister and I often put our hands side to side for the fun of it... Especially everytime my fingers develop more or get stronger. I have bigger knuckles.... Muscles in my fingers so much so that when my mom or sis attempt to slip a ring on for fun it can't go past the first joint and can only fit on my pinkie :p
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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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#1837522 - 02/02/12 10:41 PM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
gooddog Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 5361
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Mine are muscular and veiny and I'm proud of the way they look. I've been told my hands, (when not playing) are very graceful.
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Deborah

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#1837604 - 02/03/12 12:34 AM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
Ferdinand Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 954
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Pianolism
Is there a sort of look for a pianist hand.

The nails tend to be short.

But seriously, I think pianists's hands are more likely than others' to have a spread-out look, due to development of the muscle along the 5th-finger edge of the palm.

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#1837605 - 02/03/12 12:36 AM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6449
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
My hands are sinewy, veiny, well-webbed and have abnormal knuckles...
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Music is my best friend.
“Haters don't really hate you. They hate themselves because you are a reflection of what they wish to be.” ― Yaira N


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#1837615 - 02/03/12 12:43 AM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: wr]
Cheeto717 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 1059
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: wr
People have been remarking on my hands since I was a kid - the first time I remember it happening was some adult saying I had "piano hands" when I was around 12-13, IIRC.

Some of the most interesting things that have happened regarding my "piano hands" aren't really suitable to talk about here. Let's just say that more than one person have fallen in love with them over the years, and that manifested itself in ways that sometimes really surprised me. shocked ! blush ! laugh !!


LOL! I'm imagining some bizarre situations...
_________________________
"I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well."

J.S. Bach

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#1837619 - 02/03/12 12:55 AM Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? [Re: Pianolism]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24305
Loc: Oakland
Pianists' hands are more likely to have keyboards under them.
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Semipro Tech

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