Men play from the shoulders, women from the elbows

Responding to a commenter who has gotten some grief for seeming to imply that women are biologically inferior to men as pianists, another commenter contributes the comment of the day:


I remember hearing people say that Grand Ole Opry favorite Del Wood (real name: Polly Adelaide Hendricks Hazelwood) “played like a man.” In fact, Wood deliberately chose a gender neutral pseudonym when she first started playing honky-tonks in the 1940s so people wouldn’t automatically assume she was a woman and discredit her before she had a chance to prove herself.

Some might take offense to you saying a lot of women “can’t” play Southern Gospel. Of course, there are many that can. In general, though, if you observe pianist as much as I have, you’ll note that most men play from their shoulders, while most woman play from their elbows. When a brute force approach is called for, men, in general, can deliver that style easier than women…and some SG calls for a forceful approach in order to be heard.

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  1. Scott wrote:

    Oh my! I fear that it’s not lack of ability but closed minds that keep women from excelling in SG piano.

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