How many keys across can you stretch?

Posted by: Jeffrey Preston

How many keys across can you stretch? - 02/25/10 10:19 PM



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?
Posted by: Jeffrey Preston

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 02/25/10 10:20 PM

* I forgot to add that i'm starting from middle C -
Posted by: Brandon_W_T

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 02/25/10 11:07 PM

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.
Posted by: Nikorasu

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 02/26/10 07:30 AM

10th more or less comfortably, 11th at the very edge. I'm 19 though so I still hope for some growth =P
Posted by: Little_Blue_Engine

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 02/26/10 01:00 PM

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.
Posted by: Brandon_W_T

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 02/26/10 09:45 PM

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!?!
Posted by: appleman

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 02/27/10 02:39 PM

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.
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 02/28/10 01:26 AM

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
Posted by: Ludwig van Bilge

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 03/01/10 05:08 AM

An octive at maximum stretch.
Posted by: Jeffrey Preston

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 03/05/10 08:43 PM

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!
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 03/05/10 08:46 PM

Only around or a bit larger than average.
Posted by: Chopin is up there

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 03/26/10 03:01 PM

Hmm... 10th easily, 11th with some strain.
Posted by: MamaHenn

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 04/07/10 04:11 PM

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.
Posted by: TADutchman

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 04/14/10 10:05 AM

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
Posted by: Lunatic

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 04/18/10 01:42 AM

An octave plus a second... a third, but I'd play some notes in between
Posted by: wouter79

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 04/28/10 04:35 PM

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.
Posted by: Brandon_W_T

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 04/28/10 10:06 PM

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.
Posted by: Pianosaurus Rex

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 05/02/10 06:53 AM

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
Posted by: HomeInMyShoes

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 05/04/10 08:04 AM

10. I can maybe get 11, but it's not useable.
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 08/15/10 05:08 PM

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.
Posted by: TheHappyMoron

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 08/15/10 05:16 PM

i can just reach ten...damn my small hands, it makes everything so difficult frown
Posted by: RaindropPrelude

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 08/15/10 08:50 PM

An octave and a key!
Posted by: Jared Hoeft

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 10/20/10 03:34 AM

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
Posted by: DadAgain

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 10/20/10 04:37 AM

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.
Posted by: Lunatic

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 10/28/10 09:11 PM

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.
Posted by: Infinity

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 10/28/10 10:56 PM

I can comfortably play a ninth. This is where men have the adavantage: bigger hands.
Posted by: Fawkx

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 11/02/10 06:36 PM

Nine ten-ish, it's kinda cool when you think about it.
Posted by: TADutchman

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 11/03/10 05:05 AM

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
Posted by: fledgehog

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 03/15/11 09:12 PM

10th white-white on the edge of the keys

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

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 03/26/11 05:21 PM

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.
Posted by: Michael Steen

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 04/05/11 06:03 PM

An ocatave comfortably, a ninth to play, a tenth with extreme stretch and no hope of actually playing it.
Posted by: emmov

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 06/02/11 07:58 PM

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.
Posted by: prowannabe

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 06/12/11 06:16 PM

Barely 9, I feel disadvantaged. If only I could reach 10, it would make rolling those commonly 10 key spread chords so much easier.
Posted by: BadOrange

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 06/20/11 09:06 PM

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.
Posted by: AaronL619

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 06/22/11 12:54 PM

a rather uncomfortable 9th
Posted by: klauseman1988

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 07/05/11 05:42 PM

4
Posted by: cindycindy

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 07/17/11 05:11 AM

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.
Posted by: PaulaPiano34

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 07/19/11 01:39 PM

A slightly painful octave and a very painful ninth (if I want to push it)
Posted by: Saul

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 07/21/11 07:52 PM

From C to the second F ..
Posted by: TonalHarmony

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 07/23/11 03:35 PM

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.
Posted by: JKiff

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 01/26/12 02:40 PM

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.
Posted by: Parishrut

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 01/27/12 04:51 PM

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.
Posted by: RandomPianist

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 04/04/12 09:32 AM

At the moment I can reach from C to D with both hands. A month ago I could only do C to B. smile
Posted by: Richard Parizer

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 05/12/12 04:27 PM

I like going for the 1st, 8th and 10th all together with one hand smile
Posted by: Mozart'sGal

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 05/18/12 01:28 AM

An octave is great, but a 9th is quite a stretch.
Posted by: 9symphony9

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 08/11/12 08:12 PM

An octave and one white key. Middle C to two D's.
Posted by: Stefan_Banach

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 08/18/12 08:50 AM

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.
Posted by: Digite1

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 08/24/12 09:57 AM

my hands are big, i can play from c3 to e4 (11 keys) and if i strech it i can go up to f4.
Posted by: MusicaMusique

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 09/29/12 03:16 PM

8th, I envy everyone with long fingers, I find that I cannot hold the octave chords firmly. I am not happy with that.
Posted by: MarieJ

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 07/08/14 01:50 AM

Relevant to this discussion, if you haven't already seen it on YouTube, google 'Rachmaninov had big hands' ...
Posted by: beebop

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 11/22/14 09:36 PM


Starting at middle C I can get the F in the next octave above.

Guess that 's eleven white keys....
Posted by: mc9320

Re: How many keys across can you stretch? - 12/06/14 12:04 PM

I can stretch to a 10th, but only for certain intervals i.e can't reach Db to F