A: Exactly. Most larger-handed players are still going to struggle with highly mobile 11ths, let alone 12ths. I’ve already demonstrated some interesting new usages like barrelhouse blues that includes 11ths and 12ths in the 10th Avenue Blues Expansion video and I believe better musicians than I will discover other uses. I’m pretty optimistic these giant reaches will prove to be great creative resources.
But going back to the 10th – because it’s still the holy grail hand span. First of all, I would have to ask what is the quality of your 10th now? Can you reach it comfortably from over the top or do you have to squeeze it out by undercutting from the front of the keyboard? Can you hit your 10ths with power and mobility? I mean hard and fast like octaves, because you’re sure going to be able to do that with the Thumbdrop.
I’m a good example of that myself. I can squeeze out my 10ths on a regular keyboard but they’re pretty marginal and crimped. But on the Thumbdrop I’m hitting them as fast and hard as octaves. Even my new 12th is easier than my old 10th. Also, not all 10ths are made the same. For example, the D flat major 10th is way wider than the F minor 10th. Meanwhile, the D flat 10th is right in the sweet spot for the sound of 10ths, the perfect blend of weight and resonance, yet it’s the widest and hardest 10th of all. So, I also ask how is your D flat major 10th? I ran into the D flat 10th while working on some Art Tatum transcriptions when I was much younger. I could squeeze out most of the other 10ths but it really bummed me that I couldn’t reach the D flat 10th. Actually, looking back it was one of those moments that help set me on the path to exploring alternative keyboard design.