Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist?

Posted by: Pianolism

Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 04:30 AM

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?
Posted by: Lain

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 04:31 AM

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
Posted by: LadyChen

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 09:07 AM

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.
Posted by: apple*

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 09:58 AM

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.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 01:31 PM

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
Posted by: jdhampton924

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 03:41 PM

I am sometimes rather jealous of my non piano playing friend's hands.
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 04:41 PM

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..
Posted by: apple*

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 05:12 PM

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.
Posted by: Cheeto717

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 05:27 PM

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.
Posted by: wr

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 05:40 PM

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 !!
Posted by: apple*

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 05:49 PM

shocked
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 06:59 PM

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.
Posted by: chasingrainbows

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 07:54 PM

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
Posted by: Little_Blue_Engine

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 08:07 PM

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.
Posted by: Pianolism

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 08:45 PM

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.
Posted by: pianist.ame

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 09:37 PM

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
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/02/12 10:41 PM

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.
Posted by: Ferdinand

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/03/12 12:34 AM

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.
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/03/12 12:36 AM

My hands are sinewy, veiny, well-webbed and have abnormal knuckles...
Posted by: Cheeto717

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/03/12 12:43 AM

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...
Posted by: BDB

Re: Does a pianist's hands look different from a non-pianist? - 02/03/12 12:55 AM

Pianists' hands are more likely to have keyboards under them.