How Big Is yours?

Posted by: Rostosky

How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 12:56 AM

Just measured my paw, and the left one has a span of 9 1/4 inches, the right paw 9 1/2 inches, I can reach a 10th with both of them quite easy.
Some folks think having very short fingers causes problems, but there are also problems with very long fingers too.
How big is your span?
Posted by: BenPiano

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 01:55 AM

I have octave paws. Octaves fit comfortably for me fortunately.

But, to get a 9th, I have to hang my fingers off the edge of the keys and relax them immediately to not cause problems (i.e. relax them and let them rest against the non-depressed keys).

10ths are outta the equation! (unless I roll them sort of)

And sorry, no pics. I reserve those for my US congressional staffers and attractive women on Tweeter. grin
Posted by: jazztpt

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 03:58 AM

I come it at 8 3/4 inches. I can manage 10ths on the white keys C to E but can't quiet manage White to Black
i.e D to F#.
Posted by: AnnaS

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 04:37 AM

I can only manage an octave, i have tiny fingers, they're thin, but not very tall and i started playing piano at 13yrs old. so i can't imagine that i can stretch any further, but recently i can play one of Mozart's variations (that includes octaves using 3,4,5 fingers more easily), so i think i may be stretching a little or getting used to the octaves again!! Oh by the way, i'm preparing for the 1st diploma.... scary.... but thrilled!! I'll let you know in due course when it will be as i've just started my first piece, so the date is not fixed yet.
Posted by: Recaredo

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 04:46 AM

Just to get a ninth.
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 06:15 AM

At the moment I can do an octave and almost a ninth- though I expect in time to be able to a ninth comfortably and perhaps even a tenth. My hands are certainly big enough that it should be possible.

However, at the moment I'm avoiding stretches because of the tendonitis issues.
Posted by: Sam S

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 07:34 AM

Originally Posted By: Rostosky
Just measured my paw, and the left one has a span of 9 1/4 inches, the right paw 9 1/2 inches, I can reach a 10th with both of them quite easy.
Some folks think having very short fingers causes problems, but there are also problems with very long fingers too.
How big is your span?


A wrist tattoo? Ouch! I have a permanent mark on my wrist too, but it's the white pasty skin beneath my ever-present Timex plastic watch band.

Sam
Posted by: Teodor

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 07:53 AM

Quite small. 8.5 inches span. Just an 8th.


Quote:
However, at the moment I'm avoiding stretches because of the tendonitis issues.


Me too, it seems to be the biggest problem, causing most of my pain. If I read unfamiliar music and try to play it fast without having figured out proper fingering, I get very tired in an hour or so and my hands hurt for the rest of the day.
Posted by: scotpgot

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 08:10 AM

Sorry off-topic and kind of preachy BUT (LOL)

have you two with the hand pain stopped in to the teacher's forum. There really shouldn't be any pain. Soreness, perhaps, or fatigue, but not pain. Perhaps that is something that can be alleviated?

ETA: Short, fat, stubby fingers. Really AWFUL for a piano-player. But I can reach a ninth. And trust me when I say, I make due. wink
Posted by: wayne33yrs

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 08:45 AM

I'm a tiny 7" and can just manage an octave! (lucky Mrs Rostosky, although looks to me to be an exageration of 1/4" lol)
Posted by: Rostosky

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 08:59 AM

no Wayne, on this occasion there is no exageration, my hand is on an angle so mrs Rossy could focus on the marks on the ruler with her camera, if you look closely you will see my pinky is nearer the floor or lower than my thumb.. Thats my left hand as well the smallest one...

Thats also why there is a tattoo on it, let me explain.
When learning to tattoo, there are a few things you can practice on, pig skin etc, but nothing behaves like living skin, sooo, First I practiced on my right foot, a very painfull place I might add, then I did the celtic knotwork bracelet on my wrist when I had improved enough to be able to do it. Thats why its on my left wrist as I am right handed, and was holding the gun in my right hand.
I did that about fifteen years ago.

I had a friend who was a tatooist, who inspired me with his artworks, he was lucky , his old man was 60 when My mate got into tattooing, his old man said "You can practice on me, because it doesnt matter anymore"

So he did, he started off low down on his old mans legs, by the time he was tattooing his old mans arms, he had got really really good! I cannot imagine my old man doing that for me or anyone, not even for cash!
Posted by: Lain

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 09:02 AM

Octave, barely ninths
Posted by: daviel

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 09:15 AM

nice ink! LH:9&1/8 -- RH 9& 1/16 about the same
Posted by: wayne33yrs

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 09:25 AM

oooops, this post didn't work! crazy
Posted by: Rostosky

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 09:47 AM

Is who him? what? dont follow..
No thats my hand, I did the tattoo on the wrist (that why its on my left wrist) My mates dad is long since passed away.
Just saying how lucky my mate was.
Posted by: wayne33yrs

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 09:48 AM

I posted a pic of worlds most tattood man, but it didn't work!
Posted by: Stanza

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 09:57 AM

Only 8.5" here. Octaves are comfortable, ninths are OK, but tenths, no can do. In some ways it is fun coming up with solutions for difficults chords. But really there is not much literature out there that gives me trouble.
Posted by: Rostosky

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 09:58 AM

Ah, I understand now!
Tattooing is an ancient artform, there are even mummies with tatoos, and certainly other ancient peoples, some from ancient Siberia frozen in the permafrost... (Pazyryk Ice mummies)do a google, these are heavily tattooed from over two thousand years ago, women as well as men.
Posted by: wayne33yrs

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 10:12 AM

eeewwww, did google it! and eeeeewww again, just noticed your avatar!
Posted by: Sly Cat

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 10:29 AM

Not even 7" here!!! frown

I can only just make an octave and only then on the bare edges of the keys. I'm hoping my span will improve with practice...

I'm female, just under 5'4" in height so I think, proportionally, my hands are about right - but gawd, what I wouldn't give for even one more bloody inch!

Comparing sizes...oh my. And I thought that was the sole province of you manthings!

crazy
Posted by: Rostosky

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 10:42 AM

"what would you give for one more inch?" ( no comment mam, no comment)

Hmmm, I was thinking maybe I could invent a special hand-stretching device for those with small hands, like say how Charles Hawtrey was in carry on henry, but just for the hands.
Posted by: TX-Dennis

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 10:53 AM

8.5 left, 8.625 right. I can manage a tenth in some situations, but it's not easy.
Posted by: TX-Dennis

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 10:55 AM

Originally Posted By: Rostosky
"what would you give for one more inch?" ( no comment mam, no comment)

Hmmm, I was thinking maybe I could invent a special hand-stretching device for those with small hands, like say how Charles Hawtrey was in carry on henry, but just for the hands.


They seem to sell stretching devices all over the internet for a certian body part. I haven't seen any adverts for hand stretchers, though. You might make a fortune off gullible pianists. grin
Posted by: Michael Steen

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 10:56 AM

Don't have a ruler handy, but an octave is easy. A ninth is possible off the edge of the keys. I can touch a tenth, but there'd be no way to play one.
Posted by: Sly Cat

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 11:07 AM

Originally Posted By: Rostosky
"what would you give for one more inch?" ( no comment mam, no comment)


Uhhhmmm, would a packet of Jammy Dodgers suffice? Oh, alright, I can "stretch" to two.

(See, my stretchy pun means I'm still on topic.) wink
Posted by: wayne33yrs

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 11:20 AM

Originally Posted By: TX-Dennis

They seem to sell stretching devices all over the internet for a certian body part. I haven't seen any adverts for hand stretchers, though. You might make a fortune off gullible pianists. grin


Posted by: Gary001

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 11:21 AM

8 1/4.

Octaves are easy and I can manage a ninth without trouble. As for a 10th, barely if I touch just the edge of the white keys, but I doubt I could play a 10th as part of a piece smile
Posted by: Madlock

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 02:13 PM

With years of practice I have managed to stretch a full octave chord with little difficulty, but I doubt I will get much further than that. Although, who knows, might be that my technique is still lacking.



wink
Posted by: Jim Ost

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 05:40 PM

9 1/2" here (probably my best stat.....well, except for my feet grin)

Jim
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 06:23 PM

Originally Posted By: scotpgot
Sorry off-topic and kind of preachy BUT (LOL)

have you two with the hand pain stopped in to the teacher's forum. There really shouldn't be any pain. Soreness, perhaps, or fatigue, but not pain. Perhaps that is something that can be alleviated?



You are quite right Scotpgot, and actually I've been to the dr smile (so has Teodor).

My problem comes from a pre-piano condition that I didn't realize was the start of trigger finger - I thought there was something wrong with the bone/joint, and it never really bothered me, just "clicked" sometimes. When I started playing piano it got worse- and then I started to have pain in my forearms too.

The problem (on the piano side) was that while I understood the concept of what my teacher was telling me, I wasn't able to actually relax properly.
When I realized that I was making things worse instead of improving we backed off dramatically - I basically stopped playing anything new (which made me tense!) and I have focused on technique /playing less, playing slowly and really getting a handle on what my teacher has been talking about since the start!

I'm doing MUCH MUCH better - have been doing massages and physio exercises, and parafin treatments for while now. Improvlements are significant, but I still have to be very careful not to over do things.

I didn't take your comment as "preachy" - just concerned kindness.
Thanks.
Posted by: jazzwee

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 06:27 PM

I used to be able to play a straight tenth on white keys. But months of playing Chopin Etude 10/1 stretched it further. I can now reach an eleventh (though barely). I don't have big hands. This is all stretch. My pinky and thumb stretch to a straight line.

Exact measurement? No tape measure.
Posted by: CMohr

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 09:39 PM

Just because I was curious, I measured my hand span. My left hand from tip of thumb to tip of little finger is 9 1/4 " (close to Jazzwee, it almost goes to a straight line). My right hand span is 8 3/4" due to a dislocated thumb in college, it's just not going any further. I do do finger stretches - I think it helps. That and practicing playing 10ths with both hands. I have long fingers though.
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/24/11 11:47 PM

I can reach 10ths with no problem at all.
With my hand splayed out I can get to 10 1/4".
I've got big mitts but maybe they're more limber than most because I can stretch my thumb and little finger so that they are in a straight line.
I don't know if this is normal or not.

Posted by: Danielsan

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 12:52 AM

My hands are about 7", but I can stretch to about 8 and 1/4. I feel like I'm going to be able to stretch more eventually because when I started I could barely reach an octave, now I can reach a flat ninth comfortably. Maybe someday I'll be able to reach a ninth. I don't mind if I don't, though. My hands have gotten pretty mobile around the keys.
Posted by: Rostosky

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 12:54 AM

OOOH Sparky, how do we know that metal tape measure isn't folded and being held down by your palm?? LOL. Could this be Canadian "slight of hand" to gain an "extra inch"?

Sly Cat I accept your jammy dodgers, have you tried the new "toffee" dodgers yet? mmmm.

Wayne, very very funny. But would nan approve?
Posted by: TX-Dennis

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 02:04 AM

Originally Posted By: wayne32yrs
Originally Posted By: TX-Dennis

They seem to sell stretching devices all over the internet for a certian body part. I haven't seen any adverts for hand stretchers, though. You might make a fortune off gullible pianists. grin




That is as funny as anything I've seen . . . and more than slightly disturbing. grin
Posted by: -Frycek

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 07:27 AM

8 and a 1/4" with my fingers spread at a 180 degree angle. I can play an easy nine and an "ify" 10. (Just FYI I'm a girl contrary to popular belief.)
Posted by: -Frycek

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 07:36 AM

Originally Posted By: TX-Dennis
They seem to sell stretching devices all over the internet for a certian body part. I haven't seen any adverts for hand stretchers, though. You might make a fortune off gullible pianists. grin


We could get Schumann to endorse it.
Posted by: Peyton

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 09:16 AM

Sparky, you have a fantastic reach! Mine is 9 1/4.
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 09:21 AM

8 3/4 can reach the ninth- the tenth only on the edges, not really practical for playing.
The span of my fourth is actually greater @ 9.

Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 09:22 AM

Originally Posted By: -Frycek
Originally Posted By: TX-Dennis
They seem to sell stretching devices all over the internet for a certian body part. I haven't seen any adverts for hand stretchers, though. You might make a fortune off gullible pianists. grin


We could get Schumann to endorse it.


Ouch!
Posted by: Peyton

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 09:22 AM

Originally Posted By: wayne32yrs
Originally Posted By: TX-Dennis

They seem to sell stretching devices all over the internet for a certian body part. I haven't seen any adverts for hand stretchers, though. You might make a fortune off gullible pianists. grin




Just when you thought TV could not get any dumber.....
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 09:26 AM

Originally Posted By: CMohr
Just because I was curious, I measured my hand span. My left hand from tip of thumb to tip of little finger is 9 1/4 " (close to Jazzwee, it almost goes to a straight line). My right hand span is 8 3/4" due to a dislocated thumb in college, it's just not going any further. I do do finger stretches - I think it helps. That and practicing playing 10ths with both hands. I have long fingers though.


Those are long fingers, CMohr.
Posted by: StepmaniaFreak

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 12:27 PM

Heh, I too pulled out a ruler out of curiosity. 8.5" seems fairly common. I can pull off a 10th as long as it's on a slow song. smile
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 01:35 PM

I can play a tenth on white keys with my left hand
but not my right..I believe my playing jazz guitar
45+ yrs caused the left hand to stretch more than the right..
Posted by: wouter79

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 01:55 PM

I have no ruler here but I can play 11ths... If I stretch really really far with right hand a 12th... you do the math?
Posted by: wouter79

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 02:01 PM

Sparkey, yes that's normal I guess. I can also stretch my ring finger in that same line and that makes even a longer stretch than with the pinky smile
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 02:40 PM

Originally Posted By: wouter79
Sparkey, yes that's normal I guess. I can also stretch my ring finger in that same line and that makes even a longer stretch than with the pinky smile


Holy carp, I just looked and you're correct, my fourth finger can reach farther than my pinky of course.
Why haven't I even noticed that before? crazy
I can reach an 11th with that without much of a problem but with my pinky an 11th is harder to make.
Thanks for clueing me in.
Posted by: wayne33yrs

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 03:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Rostosky
Wayne, very very funny. But would nan approve?


Probabily not, and playing a chord may prove difficult!

Originally Posted By: TX-Dennis
Originally Posted By: wayne32yrs
Originally Posted By: TX-Dennis

They seem to sell stretching devices all over the internet for a certian body part. I haven't seen any adverts for hand stretchers, though. You might make a fortune off gullible pianists. grin




That is as funny as anything I've seen . . . and more than slightly disturbing. grin


Did you try it though? lol
Posted by: Mr Super-Hunky

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 05:14 PM

I always thought my hands were so large because I can barely fit into size XL work gloves. Even those are tight some times.

My thumb muscle area is very large however. Like a chicken leg/ drumstick. Maybe beefy hands and fingers take up more volume somehow. Probably. Obviously actually!

Anyway, my hands are 8 1/2 across at the widest point. I can play a tenth but only at the edge of the keys. In most cases I would probably convert the 10th or higher into a fast skip between the two keys. It can sound very nice that way, especially if played with a lot of feeling. It's a nice way to end a piece too.
Posted by: Sam S

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 05:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Sparky McBiff
Originally Posted By: wouter79
Sparkey, yes that's normal I guess. I can also stretch my ring finger in that same line and that makes even a longer stretch than with the pinky smile


Holy carp, I just looked and you're correct, my fourth finger can reach farther than my pinky of course.
Why haven't I even noticed that before? crazy
I can reach an 11th with that without much of a problem but with my pinky an 11th is harder to make.
Thanks for clueing me in.


One technique for playing octave runs is to alternate between 1-4 and 1-5, so you use thumb and ring finger for the first octave, then thumb and pinky finger for the next and so on. My teacher just showed me how to do that on the first Gershwin prelude.

Sam
Posted by: jazzwee

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 08:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Sparky McBiff
Originally Posted By: wouter79
Sparkey, yes that's normal I guess. I can also stretch my ring finger in that same line and that makes even a longer stretch than with the pinky smile


Holy carp, I just looked and you're correct, my fourth finger can reach farther than my pinky of course.
Why haven't I even noticed that before? crazy
I can reach an 11th with that without much of a problem but with my pinky an 11th is harder to make.
Thanks for clueing me in.


OMG I didn't even think of this. My thumb and fourth finger (which is used a lot for stretches in Chopin 10/1 stretches to like 9 3/4" vs. my pinky which is only like 9 1/8".

I can do a straight line also with thumb and 4th. That took a lot of work to accomplish smile
Posted by: KurtZ

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 08:56 PM

Right around 8". I can do an ocatave pretty easily but not much more.
Posted by: Jeff Clef

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/25/11 09:15 PM

Why have I never wondered about this before. On my (free) hardware store yardstick, I measure 8 7/8", but that is with a very flat hand. More meaningfully, with some arch, it comes out to playing a tenth comfortably on the naturals, and closer to 8-and-a-quarter inches.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: How Big Is yours? - 06/26/11 04:30 PM

Quote:

One technique for playing octave runs is to alternate between 1-4 and 1-5, so you use thumb and ring finger for the first octave, then thumb and pinky finger for the next and so on. My teacher just showed me how to do that on the first Gershwin prelude.


I'm using that to play "legato" bass lines. The thumb (higher octave) jumps while the lower octave is played legato using 4/5.

Also I had the habit of using both 4 and 5 to press the lower octave note... but that gave some unwanted accents smile I'm playing the bass notes too loud anyway so more work to be done in that region grin