I want to play this piece, ant it has two voices. I have to play G3 and B4 with the same right hand.

Is it possible to play this bar, playing the same notes the arranger wrote? Need to sacrifice note B4 of the first voice to be possible to play note G3 of the second voice?

How would you finger it?

distant notes

  • What piece is this? This looks incredibly awkward to play. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 19:14
  • It's Toxicity. Arrenged by Vika Yermolyeva -> youtube.com/watch?v=Be-loLSUWT0
    – Pablo
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 18:24
  • 1
    Arranged* Vika managed to include the accompaniment with two hands, and also de leading voice of the singer, playing it all together. The lower notes in the G-clef are the leading voice of the singer.
    – Pablo
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 19:18
  • Here's an example with a stretch so large nobody can play it as written (just under two full octaves), though the edition displayed in the video explicitly notates the roll: youtu.be/tZcjDG9iPOo?t=4m8s As you can hear, it sounds just fine at that speed. Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 21:30

2 Answers 2


There are some contortions you can try before throwing in the towel. Granted, in this case they might not buy you a lot.

You can try taking the note with the left hand, but the reach is at least as large so the problem is the same: this will help only if your hand spans differ. When the thumb skirting the A3 is the problem, you might switch hands in order to have the left (or right) pinky in place of the G3 as either Eb2 or Bb4 stick out in a manner where the thumb should not have a problem. But you'd have to work out a good point of switching over (and this is a fast piece) and it's not clear that the pinky will fare better.

I remember some Mozart menuet(?) I played on chromatic button accordion with free bass where I asked the teacher how one note was supposed to be played at all on the piano, given that it was sort of a stretch on CBA. After some mutual deliberation we decided that this rather isolated note definitely called for using the nose, nothing else possibly being in reach. If you were going for that version, you'd likely also take the G4 written on the sixth note in the second hand, but the Bb3 and Ab3 in the same voice would not work that way.

So all in all, the rolling suggestion is most likely the best, short of leaving one note out altogether. You'll have to figure out how to do it best so that the top line's grouping of three remains recognizable while the hemiola character of the central line is done justice. When rolling upwards, quaver 5 on G4 will necessarily be short and a bit early and you'll want to do this similarly for quaver 6 on G4 in order to make for consistent voicing.


At worst, you could roll the two notes (very rapidly). With practice though, you hands will develop a longer reach. On this particular interval, I'd use the thumb and little finger (1,5).

  • 1
    I have already develop the maximun reach of my hand. My thumb and the little finger are on the same line. This inteval I try to play G3-B4, I reach the notes. But I cannot play it without touching A3 with my thumb. I would try that of rolling the two notes. I didnt thing of it. The piece is very fast, maybe it wont sound that bad.
    – Pablo
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 1:16
  • A 10th is pretty big. It's common for pianists' hands to be this large, but is absolutely not uncommon to have smaller hands than this. Recommending that someone try to stretch to reach an interval for which their hands are simply too small can cause injury. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 19:14
  • ttw starts by suggesting a hand "roll" which is the traditional way of small hand pianists achivieng large intervals and that a longer reach can be developed, not that a 10th or any other specific interval is garanteed to be achieved. I have average hands (can do a 10th with difficulty) and was taught the "roll" approach when trying to achieve larger stretches or a 10th with a simulatenous intermediate note (e.g. a 1-5-10 chord). Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 17:59
  • As an additional side note, I seem to remember some pieces, e.g. by Liszt, (notoriously big handed) where the arpeggio was notated in certain editions but not in others, perhaps because the editor of the former adapted the score to more average hand sized performers. Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 18:00

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