big hands playing unwanted notes,, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California

When big hands and fingers play unwanted notes


After 6’4″ Big Mike sits snugly in front of my Baldwin grand–his knees crushing in on him, he’s thoroughly prepared to avoid a set of land mines that trigger a wrong note implosion.

Normally when his mega-sized third finger depresses a G, wedged between framing black notes, he’s at HUGE risk to strike TWO notes instead of ONE. In this testy keyboard terrain, an unwanted Gb joins the pity party, channeling a dissonant minor second that poses a threat to all surrounding notes. (especially if they belong to a five-finger Eb MAJOR position)

But MIKE has it all figured out. He can maneuver around G, by pulling his hand out of danger, making the bumpy ride over the keys virtually non-existent. With an artful rotation in full swing, he’s armed to confront and eradicate any traps in the making.

If you don’t believe me, here’s the Big Guy in action!


Mike hands


The Big Hand/Little Hand Controversy

Wise thoughts about fingering, big hands, small hands and the rest (Author: Rami Bar-Niv)

3 thoughts on “When big hands and fingers play unwanted notes”

  1. Big hands might be a disadvantage initially, as you put it, but they are infinitely useful when it comes to power and reach while playing intervals of an octave or larger. My hands are small, so I have that problem, and I sometimes I just wish they were bigger !! 🙂


    1. Yes, you are so right. I was just focusing on a small aspect of the playing universe that is not often shared.
      Two or so years ago I posted a big hands/little hands discussion that emphasized the importance of flexibility in playing, not hand size. Big Mike who was largely self taught before he started lessons, shows that kind of flexibility. He is making great progress and particularly adores the music of Bach.


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