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Cursed with small hands?


BluMunk

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One of my absolute favorite pieces is Pictures at an Exhibition. My 'classical music' goal in life is to play that piece. It's definitely within my ability (with a lot of dedicated practice), but I find that every time I sit down with it I struggle with a lot of the chording. Octaves with thirds at both the top and bottom (ACFA, for example, or DFBbD) feel awkward and leave my hands super tense, as I have to stretch my pinky and ring fingers apart pretty dramatically.

 

What do some of you do to work/practice through large stretches in the right hand? Am I just doing it wrong, or are there other small-handed pianists out there who struggle with the same thing?

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I don't know. But I have humungous hands but I have seen pianist with itty bitty hands that can play circles around me.

 

Not sure if this is just a Jedi mind trick or not but something I was taught that helps me is to concentrate on keeping the center of my palms relaxed.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Big hands have obviously an advantage when playing that kind of piece. But small hands can gain a lot of elasticity thru exercise.

Extension exercises, when carefully done, can enlarge your hand's span slightly. Look at Alicia De Larrocha, or Katia Labeque.... they have very small hands, but they can play all the heavy stuff nonetheless.

Only thing, be sure to do exstensions under the supervision of an expert teacher - preferably, one with small hands so he/she knows what you're talking about! :D

The basic concept is that you keep the extended position for VERY short periods of time, like a few milliseconds at a time. Be sure to keep mobility in your whole arm to support the hand's movements.

A classic exercise is, start with your thumb on a D note, then you alternate that D (always played with the thumb) with D sharp, then E, F, etc. played with index, always one semitone higher until you can possibly play the two notes legato, then back down again.

The secret is, *don't try to keep the two fingers on their respective notes*, but practice a "rolling" hand-wrist-hand movement to support the fingers. This way, you will stretch only for a very short time, which is what you want.

Repeat with all combinations of two fingers: 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, etc.

 

Another good concept is this: If a large chord requires finger tension, try to release it as soon as you've played it. Usuall, holding down notes requires less energy than playing them in the first place, but often pianists keep hand tension even when it's not necessary anymore. It requires a lot of practice, but it can be learned.

 

 

 

 

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I don't know. But I have humungous hands but I have seen pianist with itty bitty hands that can play circles around me.

 

Ditto...well, not "humungous", but on the larger side. Sometimes it just feels like my fingers are tripping over each other and I wonder if smaller hands would have the same problem.

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I've got small hands, I've never been able to comfortably reach a 10th in any key. I play bass also, and I play a 6-string bass with a pretty wide neck. I just came to accept that there are certain kinds of things I can't play, and developed the things I can. I had to really work on my bass technique a few years ago, I was developing some serious tendonitis issues in my left hand. I had been focussing on the 1 finger per fret approach that my first bass teacher insisted on, it turns out that only works if your hand can comfortably reach that span. Learn to be aware of any discomfort pretty quickly, and modify your technique when you become aware.

 

My brother has huge hands and plays ragtime and stride all day. I hate him because of that :-). But I have a lot more gigs on my calendar than he does.

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I have smaller hands and it blows. That said, I've kind of developed an ability to play most 10ths, though I can't walk them without rolling them. I often used to wonder if I'd have more power or if everything would just be EASIER if I had bigger hands.

 

But then I brought it up to a great teacher I studied briefly with a couple years ago, and he basically said 'pshaww'. He looked at my hands and said there were plenty big. Then I thought about all those little asian chicks that absolutely murder Rachmaninoff, and I concluded that I should shut up.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

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We had a thread a few years ago on Steinbuhler & Company's reduced size keyboards and in fact David Steinbuhler signed on and answered a few questions.

 

His retrofit grand piano keyboards are obviously unlikely to help gigging keyboard players, but I've always thought that this was a natural licensing opportunity for a company like Fatar or Yamaha, who puts a lot of keyboards in a lot of instruments and could relatively easily offer 7/8 or 15/16 size versions as retrofit options.

 

Larry.

 

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I have small hands, but they can do "the splits" from stretching exercises over the years, and I can comfortably play tenths. On guitar however, I do have a lot of trouble playing chords spanning 5 frets, which many players can manage easily. The arpegigated chords of "Message in a Bottle" is a real challenge for me.
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I have small hands as well. Never noticed a problem playing things. The span of my left hand is slightly wider than my right, perhaps from banging out octaves over the years.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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[video:youtube]

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Small hands here. Actually normal sized hands with stubby fingers. I have never seen an adult male with shorter fingers than mine.

 

I don't play classical stuff, so I really don't even notice much. Can play tenths but not going from white to black keys.

 

And no, there's no correlation. You can ask my wife (or my girlfriend... just kidding honey.)

 

Can shoe size predict penile length?

Shah J, Christopher N.

Department of Urology, St. Mary's Hospital, London, UK.

 

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

 

To establish if the 'myth' about whether the size of a man's penis can be estimated from his shoe size has any basis, in fact.

 

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

 

Two urologists measured the stretched penile length of 104 men in a prospective study and related this to their shoe size.

 

RESULTS:

 

The median stretched penile length for the sampled population was 13 cm and the median UK shoe size was 9 (European 43). There was no statistically significant correlation between shoe size and stretched penile length.

 

CONCLUSION:

 

The supposed association of penile length and shoe size has no scientific basis.

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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OK, let me see if I've got this right. Shah J and Christopher N at the Department of Urology, St. Mary's Hospital, London, UK are saying that if I complete the David Burge "Increase Your Shoe Size" course I'll be able to reach an eleventh?

 

Sweet. Where do I send my check?

 

Larry.

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OK, let me see if I've got this right. Shah J and Christopher N at the Department of Urology, St. Mary's Hospital, London, UK are saying that if I complete the David Burge "Increase Your Shoe Size" course I'll be able to reach an eleventh?

 

Sweet. Where do I send my check?

 

Larry.

 

No. They're saying it's a scam. :laugh:

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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OT, but this Dave Burge isn't also the writer of one of the funniest political blogs anywhere, Iowahawk.

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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Can shoe size predict penile length?

Shah J, Christopher N.

Department of Urology, St. Mary's Hospital, London, UK.

 

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

 

To establish if the 'myth' about whether the size of a man's penis can be estimated from his shoe size has any basis, in fact.

 

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

 

Two urologists measured the stretched penile length of 104 men in a prospective study and related this to their shoe size.

 

RESULTS:

 

The median stretched penile length for the sampled population was 13 cm and the median UK shoe size was 9 (European 43). There was no statistically significant correlation between shoe size and stretched penile length.

 

CONCLUSION:

 

The supposed association of penile length and shoe size has no scientific basis.

Okay, I'm going to poke (no pun intended) a few holes in this research. First of all, since they are reporting the median (as opposed to the mean) as a measure of central tendency, that suggests the variables are not normally distributed. Interesting. I would have thought that shoe size and penis length were normally distributed. Anyhow, this would lead to the use of nonparametric statistical tests, which are less powerful (i.e., more difficult to obtain statistical significance) than their parametric counterparts.

 

Its been a while, but I once read an article that utilized a multiple regression analysis where an exhaustive number of body-part lengths (and combinations thereof) were randomly entered into the regression equation. IIRC, the only combination that was significantly predictive of penis length was the distance from the elbow to the end of the middle finger.

 

So be mindful of the distance from your piano bench to the keys! :D

 

 

 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Shit I have tiny forearms!

 

That's ok as long as you make up the distance with your hand and middle finger.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Shit I have tiny forearms!

 

Take heart. It's not the size of your wand, it's tricks it can do.

 

And to hearken back to to a previous post, sex is way more between the ears than anywhere else.

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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If I may I'd like to tell you a story of a baby boy who fell onto a floor furnace and burned his hands. The Drs. said he would never be able to use them. At age 3 he started to play tunes on the piano and at age 5 was the youngest person admitted to the Chatta conservatory of music in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

At age 15 he became the pianist for one of the top gospel groups in the country. After winning the gospel music instrumentalist of the year 10 years in a row they named the award after him.

He did many recording sessions and was the premier pianist for the Gaither Homecoming TV series. He became so well known for his solo concerts that Steinway gave him their endorsement which had only been giving to 7 other artists, including Van Cliburn, ever in Steinway's history. His name was Anthony Burger. I worked a couple of concerts with Anthony and was amazed at how unbelievably small his hands were for such a magnificent performer. Anthony died at age 44 while performing on a cruise ship of a massive heart attack. The Gaithers were devastated to say the least and had to replace him with only the best in Gordon Mote, Nashville's most recorded piano player. With hard work and dedication small hands won't keep you from achieving your goals. With all the tools available now the sky is the limit. You can google Anthony Burger and see what I mean by great. He was incredible. The best I have ever seen and I've seen a lot. He was an incredible person to go along with his immense talent. Hope this is helpful to you.

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sex is way more between the ears than anywhere else.

 

This made me worry that I'm doing it wrong.

 

Don't worry. That way is legal in most states, and it works great, too.

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If I may I'd like to tell you a story of a baby boy who fell onto a floor furnace and burned his hands. The Drs. said he would never be able to use them. At age 3 he started to play tunes on the piano and at age 5 was the youngest person admitted to the Chatta conservatory of music in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

At age 15 he became the pianist for one of the top gospel groups in the country. After winning the gospel music instrumentalist of the year 10 years in a row they named the award after him.

He did many recording sessions and was the premier pianist for the Gaither Homecoming TV series. He became so well known for his solo concerts that Steinway gave him their endorsement which had only been giving to 7 other artists, including Van Cliburn, ever in Steinway's history. His name was Anthony Burger. I worked a couple of concerts with Anthony and was amazed at how unbelievably small his hands were for such a magnificent performer. Anthony died at age 44 while performing on a cruise ship of a massive heart attack. The Gaithers were devastated to say the least and had to replace him with only the best in Gordon Mote, Nashville's most recorded piano player. With hard work and dedication small hands won't keep you from achieving your goals. With all the tools available now the sky is the limit. You can google Anthony Burger and see what I mean by great. He was incredible. The best I have ever seen and I've seen a lot. He was an incredible person to go along with his immense talent. Hope this is helpful to you.

Dead at 44...

Well that settles it. Extrapolating from that data point conclusively proves that if you have small hands you're basically f**cked no matter how large you penis is...

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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I have small hands. I read somewhere that it does not matter because you really don't play piano with the hands; you play with your brain. Unfortunately, I have a small brain, too. :idk

 

LOL, I like your approach, Daviel.

 

Seriously, I'm a 4'11" woman ... I have long fingers proportionately speaking, but I can bet my hands are smaller than just about everyone's here. I'm not a classical master so maybe my input doesn't mean much for your ambitions, OP, but I have to say, hand size has never felt like a limitation for me ... but what do I know. I can reach most 10ths tho. So I don't think it's all about hand size, but that joint flexibility probably also comes into play as well as other factors.

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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