In La prière d'une vierge, at the beginning and throughout, there are many octaves to be played in quick succession. The problem is, my hands are still growing, so therefore cannot reach to a certain extent. Is there a way around this? If no, does that mean I have to remove the Note 1 or 8 on the octave chord [1 , 8 ]

  • Technique often involves quickly alternating between 1-5 and 1-4 fingering. Given that, you might try alternating between 1-5 (rolling, if necessary) and a single 4 fingering—i.e., dropping the thumb on every other octave. Obviously, this will change the sound of it, but it might be the best alternative for speed.
    – Brian Tung
    Apr 26, 2017 at 22:32

2 Answers 2


Just roll the octaves until you hands either grow or stretch enough to play them directly. Twelfths are more problematical; these may still need rolling.

  • 1
    Twelfths are a lot larger than octaves. Most adults can reach an octave; most cannot reach a twelfth. Not that you have to be a Liszt or anything, but it's beyond most reaches. (I can reach a tenth.)
    – Brian Tung
    Apr 26, 2017 at 22:30
  • That's what I was getting at.
    – ttw
    Apr 26, 2017 at 23:18
  • I figure. It was just a little strange seeing those be the two signposts. Most common practice period music doesn't have anything wider than a tenth.
    – Brian Tung
    Apr 26, 2017 at 23:24

Many beginners (especially those of a young age) face this problem.Unfortunately I don't think there is any way around it.

My suggestion is to practice octaves separately. Try practicing octaves in a scale up and down in order to stretch your fingers. There many exercises of this kind and they will help you play songs that require finger stretching.

Also, take note that some songs might not be that easy to play by young people, when their fingers haven't fully developed yet.

Removing the octaves from the chord's isn't something I would strongly recommend, because the song wouldn't be the same per se. You can try to see what it sounds like without them, but my suggestion would be to practice some exercises for finger stretching.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.