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Topic: Reach of Fingers?  (Read 2167 times)

Offline contrapunctus

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Reach of Fingers?
on: June 09, 2005, 02:40:06 AM
I can reach a ninth comfortably and a tenth if i try hard enough. What is the usual length for you all and for the great pianists?

Also I read somewhere that most of the great pianists can reach an octave with their thumb and fore finger. Is this normal? because I certainly cannot do it. Please comment.
Medtner, man.

Offline musicsdarkangel

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #1 on: June 09, 2005, 02:44:57 AM
10th comfortably and 11th if I try hard enough.


I think most players are 9th-10th.


Even with a 10th though, I am straining/stretching a little bit.

Offline Derek

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #2 on: June 09, 2005, 03:20:56 AM
I can reach some tenths, but it is a strain. reaching from a white to a black on a tenth, I cannot reach.  allninths are comfortable for me, and strangely I can reach an octave with my thumb and forefinger.  I don't think you should be too concerned about the physical size of your hand

Offline Rach3

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #3 on: June 09, 2005, 03:38:22 AM
Tenths are comfortable for me - I can hit them without preparation. I can do elevenths with an appoggiatura, but I can't strike them simultaneously. My LH is a fraction bigger than RH.

My RF and LF are both limited to fifths.
"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."
--Richard Wagner

Offline contrapunctus

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #4 on: June 09, 2005, 03:48:40 AM
Are there any practising techniques that are designed to make your reach span more keys? Is it even possible to make your reach span more keys after you have stopped growing?
Medtner, man.

Offline chev_bigblock

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #5 on: June 09, 2005, 04:05:17 AM
10th comfortably and 11th if I try hard enough.

I think most players are 9th-10th.

Even with a 10th though, I am straining/stretching a little bit.


That's the exact same as me, so out of laziness I'll just quote you.

Offline Rach3

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #6 on: June 09, 2005, 05:10:23 AM
Quote
Are there any practising techniques that are designed to make your reach span more keys? Is it even possible to make your reach span more keys after you have stopped growing?

Did you see the movie Gattaca?

JK! Seriously, there's nothing reasonable that works.
If you can reach an octave, the standard repertoire is within your reach (pun intended). Almost nothing big, outside of Rachmaninoff and some concerti, requires more than a ninth.
"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."
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Offline Barbosa-piano

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #7 on: June 09, 2005, 07:56:50 AM
 I can reach an 11 th, streching well.
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Offline jkristiand

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #8 on: June 09, 2005, 09:19:22 AM
I read about this composer, Adolf von Henselt, who did these painful exercises with his hands in order to get a larger reach.
https://www.classical-composers.org/cgi-bin/ccd.cgi?comp=henselt <-- read

Rach could reach a major 13th  ;D

Offline possom46

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #9 on: June 09, 2005, 09:33:57 AM
I ninth ok, anything more than that no chance  :( I have very small hands which is really annoying because i'm big everywhere else  ;D Over the years I have managed to improve my span between the 3 middle fingers, it doesn't pose too much of a problem for me now although I try and stay away from Lizst.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #10 on: June 09, 2005, 08:07:35 PM
Rachmaninov could play a left hand chord of

C E flat G C G

Go on try it.

Adolph Henselt apparantly had small hands, but managed after years of excercises to play a comfortable 11th. This must have helped him play his own concerto.

At the other end of the spectrum, Hoffman had small hands and actually had pianos made with slighty narrower keys.

Sophie Menter could just stretch an octave but was a superb pianist.

The tallest man that ever lived (Robert Wadlow) had a hand that measured 11.5" from the base of his palm to the tip of his 3rd finger. I would have thought that he could have stretched a 15th but was not a pianist.
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Offline angelina

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #11 on: June 09, 2005, 08:39:29 PM
i can only reach a 9th but i often play octaves with 1-4. i think my hand has grown somehow but my left doesn´t reach as much as the right... the right almost gets a 10th (working on it) ((=

Offline 6ft 4

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #12 on: June 09, 2005, 09:30:17 PM
11th just. being tall has its uses
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Offline paris

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #13 on: June 09, 2005, 09:36:04 PM
i can reach C-F  8) 
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Offline Glyptodont

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #14 on: June 09, 2005, 09:57:43 PM
I have a notion that some of the "arranged" books of piano classics are intended to tailor the material better for small hands.  Or even, young hands (middle-schoolers, etc).

In some instances, the versions in the "arrangements" are not particularly easy.  But they never have stretches beyond octaves, if even those. 

I don't know how youngsters could play some of the pieces with the 10th stretches, especially where they are very common.  But there are some amazing kids out there.

Try Alexander Tcherepnin's "Bagatelles" sometime.  Tenths are as common for him as are octaves in other composer's pieces.  There are -- not seldom -- stretches beyond 10ths where I have to cheat one way or the other.  (Roll, change the chord, whatever.)

I sympathize with the one poster, above, who can just make a 10th, but not when it involves a lower white to an upper black.  I can just barely do that.  But never an 11th.





Offline jamie0168

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #15 on: June 10, 2005, 12:57:19 AM
I can hit a 9th, but not a 10th. My professor's son is 5 and he can reach an octave and a half already  :o I'm totally jealous

Offline jlh

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #16 on: June 10, 2005, 07:46:57 AM
My professor's son is 5 and he can reach an octave and a half already  :o I'm totally jealous
What?  That doesn't sound possible...  Are you sure he's 5? 
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Offline tocca

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #17 on: June 10, 2005, 10:27:47 AM
I can hit a 9th, but not a 10th. My professor's son is 5 and he can reach an octave and a half already  :o I'm totally jealous

Agree, this sounds impossible. An octave and a half at the age of five? That's almost three times as big hands as a normal five year old! I wouldn't be jelous, i would feel very very sorry for the kid!

Offline llamaman

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #18 on: June 21, 2005, 08:41:23 PM
Im 11 years old, and can reach a ninth comfortably, and a tenth with difficulty. I can reach a sixth with my thumbs and index fingers comfortably, and a seventh if I have to
Ahh llamas......is there anything they can't do?

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Offline prestoconfuoco

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #19 on: June 21, 2005, 09:14:23 PM
Im 14 years old, and can reach a ninth comfortably, and a tenth with difficulty. I can reach a fifth with my thumbs and index fingers comfortably, and a sixth if I have to

HUH?

u mean, a 5th/6th wit 1 and 2 frm da same hand?  :o

I can do an octave wit 1 and 2

wit 1 and 5: a tenth

both handz ekzactly equal

Offline nanabush

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #20 on: June 21, 2005, 09:19:30 PM
Me it's an octave with thumb and index if I strain, buthave no problems reaching tenth..
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Offline thalberg

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #21 on: June 22, 2005, 06:25:17 AM
I can just barely reach a twelfth.  And, I can comfortably, without preparation reach an octave between my second and fourth fingers.  I'm tall and flexible.  First to third finger, I can do a tenth.

Offline 6ft 4

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #22 on: June 22, 2005, 05:42:12 PM
a 12th???

 :o :o

Holy Crap!!!
I wish i was what i was when i wanted to be who i am now.

Offline thalberg

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #23 on: June 22, 2005, 06:30:35 PM
Yeah....but it's really more flexibility than size.  My hands aren't that huge.  They just stretch really far.  I could never play a 12th in the context of a piece because I have to be on the edges of the keys. An eleventh, like at the end of Liszt B minor (right hand, bottom to top, G,E,C), is manageable. 

Offline llamaman

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #24 on: June 22, 2005, 07:50:57 PM
I cant do as much Debussy as I would like to, as his pieces involve a lot of stretching  >:(
Ahh llamas......is there anything they can't do?

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Offline 6ft 4

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #25 on: June 22, 2005, 08:05:16 PM
so do Rachs, Beethovens, Ravels.....:P
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Offline llamaman

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #26 on: June 22, 2005, 08:07:22 PM
Rachmaninov's especially. I don't find it so hard in Beethoven or Ravel though. Schumann has a lot of stretching.
Ahh llamas......is there anything they can't do?

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Offline hodi

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #27 on: June 22, 2005, 10:22:41 PM
Rachmaninov's especially. I don't find it so hard in Beethoven or Ravel though. Schumann has a lot of stretching.

schumann wrote the most unpianistic pieces ever (but his music is so emotional!!) :D

Offline justpiano

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #28 on: June 22, 2005, 11:36:38 PM
I'm ok with the 10ths. But remember, not all tenths are created equal.
You all would agree that C-->E or F#-->A# is easier than B-->D# or Db-->F.
My Fav: the ending chords of Rach prelude XIII. Db fun.

Offline brsmpianist

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #29 on: June 23, 2005, 12:58:51 AM
You guys are so lucky!!!  I can just reach an octave and ninths only if my hands are hanging down from the keyboard... i have extremely small hands obviously... but this doesnt really hinder me from playing pieces like, say, the Chopin 4rth ballade and the Grieg sonata?

Offline sevencircles

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #30 on: June 27, 2005, 12:48:59 PM
I heard that Georges Cziffra could stretch even more then Rach himself. Have you heard  that too?

His hands looked bigger so it may be possible.

Offline guru_of_time

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Re: Reach of Fingers?
Reply #31 on: June 27, 2005, 10:11:00 PM
I can reach an 11th comfortably and a 12th with streching 8)
 

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