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#2063770 - 04/12/13 11:10 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: Pogorelich.]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
A 9th. But I suck at small passage work and am way better at large chords. Strange.


Same here. Although a few months ago, my hands grew again, so now I can reach tenths semi-comfortably! Weird..

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#2063771 - 04/12/13 11:12 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
mermilylumpkin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 121
I can reach a ninth in both without trouble, and in my left hand I can reach a tenth (barely). Not sure if my hands are different sizes or my left hand has just gotten more flexible or what. I am a lady. My fingers are super long, which I think doesn't particularly come in handy. My palms/handspan isn't particularly long if you measure across, though compared to other women I suppose it's on the bigger side.

I was sort of curious about my hand physiology and I looked on some human body charts that said my hand size is apparently in the 90th percentile for women. I have very big feet too (11 US) so maybe it's related.

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#2063781 - 04/12/13 11:26 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: Mark_C]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
BTW, for starters, I don't think it's right that Chopin "could barely manage a 9th." smile

What I've read is that his hands looked small, and perhaps were sort of small, but stretched wide, and so he had a pretty wide reach.

Maybe not like you grin but I'd bet my bippy it was more than a 9th.


Chopin's hands really were small for a guy, but very flexible. I've got a cast of his hand and it's the same size as mine except for the fifth finger. I've got an unusually short one, Chopin's was unusually long. I've got a solid nine and an "ify" ten. Chopin should've had a solid ten. That extra long fifth finger would've made all the difference. This would've been with the fingers spread at a 180 degree angle, his hands open like the "jaws of a snake" as one of his fans described.

Chopin once enviously wrote about another pianist -I think it was Thalberg- "He can take a ten the way I take an eight." Apparently meaning without having to get in touch with his inner anaconda.

One of Chopn's pupils also noted the he frequently rolled chords and did so so skillfully that you'd never know he'd done it.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#2063829 - 04/13/13 02:36 AM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: outo]
outo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 719
Loc: Finland
Originally Posted By: outo
Left hand a comfortable octave, right hand a very uncomfortable octave. Have had some progress with that but not enough. Can play slow octaves but have to forget about any fast ones... frown


I have to correct myself...yesterday I noticed that I can play a 9th with my left without too much trouble! Don't even know when this happened.

Not that it matters much, I never need it, it's the lack of span in the right hand that gives me problems...But it proves that one can still grow when over 40 grin

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#2064194 - 04/13/13 07:31 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
Teenagepiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/12
Posts: 28
I can play a 10th comfortably, but I can't reach an 11th.

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#2064304 - 04/14/13 01:25 AM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
John Pels Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 1263
Loc: Tomball, Texas
Comfortable tenths in both hands personally, great webbing between thumbs and second fingers, but every time this topic resurfaces I note to the forum that Ashkenazy supposedly could only reach an octave, so that narrows down the excuses for the rest of us mortals!

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#2064413 - 04/14/13 10:22 AM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
PattyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 615
Loc: Texas
Michael 99 and Chopinlover49, I can relate to everything you've both said and you crack me up!! grin grin
_________________________
Patty

A tired dog is a good dog.

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#2064469 - 04/14/13 12:28 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: PattyP]
Dwscamel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 478
A ninth in both hands.

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#2064565 - 04/14/13 04:10 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2649
Loc: Netherlands
11th both hands, never needed though, it's more about spreading/stretching than just flat-out big chords, they hardly occur, only by clumsy composers.
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Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#2064600 - 04/14/13 05:33 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: dolce sfogato]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
I practiced Chopin 10/1 by playing quarter note chords up and down the piano CGCE, CACF, and so on.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2064609 - 04/14/13 05:55 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2649
Loc: Netherlands
about op.10/1: who ever thinks that big hands are needed: stop now.
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#2064625 - 04/14/13 06:25 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: dolce sfogato]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
about op.10/1: who ever thinks that big hands are needed: stop now.

Did I say that?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2064970 - 04/15/13 12:39 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 520
Loc: California
You don't need big hands for 10/1. I have seen 12-year-olds play it.
_________________________
Robert Swirsky
Thrill Science, Inc.

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#2065049 - 04/15/13 03:50 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: Thrill Science]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
You don't need big hands for 10/1. I have seen 12-year-olds play it.

Probably not too well, but that's beside the point. The point is, big hands are not required and I never said they were...
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2065141 - 04/15/13 07:29 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6109
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
9 1/2, but my hands "look" like they cannot reach an octave...
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2065149 - 04/15/13 07:48 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: Mark_C]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: carey
....When all else fails, take up the clarinet. grin

But then don't you have to worry about mouth size? grin

Ya know what dey say-Big hands, big feet, big mouth.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oShTJ90fC34

Anyway, it's interesting how the average seems to be around 9ths and 10ths, regardless of age or gender or skill level. I have to wonder whether or not this is due to playing the piano, or if it's just how big our hands naturally are (ie: if we all had some other hobby, such as writing, coding, gaming, gardening, running, etc., our hands would still be the same size).


Edited by SBP (04/15/13 07:52 PM)
_________________________
2012 Kawai K3

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#2065176 - 04/15/13 09:11 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: SBP

Anyway, it's interesting how the average seems to be around 9ths and 10ths, regardless of age or gender or skill level. I have to wonder whether or not this is due to playing the piano, or if it's just how big our hands naturally are (ie: if we all had some other hobby, such as writing, coding, gaming, gardening, running, etc., our hands would still be the same size).


Some years ago the Royal Conservatory did a survey. (I wish I'd bookmarked it or something as it would've been a handy reference to have.) What they found was that the average hand span was a nine when the handspans of male and female adult pianists were averaged together. This was based on handspans of their students, the majority of whom would've begun as young children and benefited from any hand development stemming from that.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#2065338 - 04/16/13 03:14 AM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
wuxia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/11
Posts: 106
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
I've always thought I've small hands. I reach 10 on both hand and I cannot reach 11 in any way.
_________________________
https://soundcloud.com/pizhama

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#2065389 - 04/16/13 07:57 AM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: wuxia]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: wuxia
I've always thought I've small hands. I reach 10 on both hand and I cannot reach 11 in any way.

Some would consider that huge...(I think it's probably average).
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2065428 - 04/16/13 09:56 AM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: -Frycek]
outo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 719
Loc: Finland
In case you are really interesting in hand size/shape, here's a study:
http://music.unt.edu/pianoresearch/reference/Wagner.pdf
Wagner: The Pianist's Hand: anthropometry and Biomechanics

Again there was no control group, only professional pianist's. But some things studied should not change with practice, like finger length for example...

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#2066173 - 04/17/13 06:42 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
PianoHarry Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
Using both hands I can get 88 keys easily

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#2066272 - 04/17/13 11:17 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: PianoHarry]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: PianoHarry
Using both hands I can get 88 keys easily

That's not the topic of the thread...
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2066323 - 04/18/13 01:37 AM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
ScriabinAddict Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 335
13th If I stretch, 12th comfortably.

Scale passages/3rds etc. aren't that bad with larger hands, chromatic scales are a b*tch though.

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#2066326 - 04/18/13 01:40 AM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: ScriabinAddict]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: ScriabinAddict
13th If I stretch, 12th comfortably.

Scale passages/3rds etc. aren't that bad with larger hands, chromatic scales are a b*tch though.

I'm going to compose a Chromatic Scale Etude just for you. grin
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2066905 - 04/19/13 04:14 AM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3553
I can do Eb-Bb (12th)

But if you also have to play inbetween notes it becomes a different story

Now there actually is a Eb-Bb in Debussy La Fille aux cheveux de lin (measure 6) WITH some extra notes in the chord. But most people will argue it's a rolled chord even though it's not written as such.


fille aux cheveux




Edited by wouter79 (04/19/13 04:15 AM)
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#2067068 - 04/19/13 11:23 AM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: wouter79]
AndyJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 219
Loc: Near Dayton, Ohio USA
Originally Posted By: wouter79
Now there actually is a Eb-Bb in Debussy La Fille aux cheveux de lin (measure 6) WITH some extra notes in the chord. But most people will argue it's a rolled chord even though it's not written as such.

It sure would be if I played it!

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#2067291 - 04/19/13 06:21 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
patH Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 579
Loc: Germany
When stretching I manage a 10th.
When I play a chord, 9th is the maximum I feel comfortable with (unless I play arpeggio).
_________________________
Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
XXXI

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#2067568 - 04/20/13 11:01 AM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: Polyphonist]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: wuxia
I've always thought I've small hands. I reach 10 on both hand and I cannot reach 11 in any way.

Some would consider that huge...(I think it's probably average).


I would kill to reach a 10th. So many times I'll absolutely CRINGE when I have to roll a 10th..... auehfoaehfdsfjsdljflesjfilsejfldk
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2067748 - 04/20/13 07:01 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: Pogorelich.]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5943
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
I would kill to reach a 10th. So many times I'll absolutely CRINGE when I have to roll a 10th..... auehfoaehfdsfjsdljflesjfilsejfldk
OK that settles it for me. We've heard Pogo play, and she says here she only has a 9th. If that doesn't prove that you don't really need anything more to play great music in a heart-stoppingly beautiful way then I don't know what does. So anyone who thinks their "small" hands are hampering their playing, go and listen to Pogo's recordings.

- currawong, who has a 9th and a few iffy 10ths on a good day. smile
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#2067753 - 04/20/13 07:08 PM Re: Poll (sorta): What's your reach? [Re: SBP]
riley80 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/08
Posts: 386
Loc: Florida
A 9th, if lento. Even fast successive octaves make me cringe a bit.

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