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#1227467 - 07/05/09 06:18 PM Best sound for rock/pop/jazz...
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
Hi all!

I am hunting for my first piano and have really liked the sound of pianos that I don't think are the first choice of jazz and pop artists (my favorite music, and that which I hope to play most). I am curious what you think about this. I have liked the Boston 126, Charles Walter 1500, a Petrof 125 (?) and have thought Kawai k3 would work ok too. I think these are all considered warmer, which I like, but I am concerned that they might not have the clarity I'll want eventually. I am looking to buy a piano that I don't deserve now as a total newbie, but that I won't want to sell for 5 or 10 years.

I love piano rock and jazz. Should I be looking for a Baldwin dealer? I don't like Yamaha (tooo bright for me, though I know Jazz pianists generally love them) but I am afraid that what sounds right to me now as a novice might NOT sound right after practicing 'Bennie and the Jets' for a year. crazy

I was a ballerina in my high school days, and my dad was a piano tuner, so I suspect that I have been listening to pianos that are suited to classical music for most of my life, which might lead me away from the perfect match for me now that I am a frustrated rocker smile . I am looking seriously at the Walter, so I could also hunt down nice Baldwin upright in this pricepoint, but haven't bothered since I thought my taste was leading me away from that. But I thought I would ask you all before I stop the hunt!

I would love to hear your thoughts! What do you play? Do you play jazz on a 'european' piano? Hope you don't mind me posting this here, the 'jazz on a Walter/Boston etc' question wasn't getting much action on my otherwise very helpful 'help me buy my first piano ' thread.

Thanks in advance!

Liza
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LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1227502 - 07/05/09 08:15 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
You can play jazz and rock on any piano. If you've never
played a note before, there are some things you should be
aware of about acoustic pianos, that might not be apparent
when you're trying them in a showroom and being subjected
to a sales pitch. They weigh a ton. You'll
need movers just to get one into, or out of, your house.
(There's a harsh fact life with the piano: the dropout
rate is high. Try selling an item that the buyers
are going to need to hire movers just to get it home.)
They are loud, capable of being heard a block away.
If you live in an apt., condo, or townhouse, this
all but rules out an acoustic piano. Most new uprights
today have a silencing pedal that shifts a piece of
felt over the strings, but playing in that mode is
unsatisfying--and what's the point anyway of buying an
acoustic piano if you can't play it normally?
They need to be tuned at least twice yr., at ~$90-$150
per tuning. Repairs for sticking keys and buzzing
strings are common.

If you want to only play jazz/rock, that's going to complicate
matters, because almost all piano teachers are classical
teachers. There are a few non-classical teachers, but
they typically expect you to have taken some classical
piano, that is, they aren't going to be too keen on
teaching beginning piano to a student.

I would generally recommend that an adult student get
a digital piano. These offer many advantages
over an acoustic piano: volume control, light weight,
instant record and playback, durability and reliability,
freedom from tuning and maintenance. You'd need to spend
around $3000 to get a decent new upright, but $3000
will get you a digital that will play like a concert
grand and knock your socks off.


Edited by Gyro (07/05/09 08:19 PM)

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#1227507 - 07/05/09 08:36 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Gyro]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
Thank you for your thoughts! I must admit, I have ruled them out, due only to an affinity for things made of wood and things that feel 'real'. I sort of avoid plastic/electronics/metal in my life (with the exception of my laptop!) This by no means means to disparage the digital piano, I am just much more excited by the acoustics. Clearly though, it's the more practical choice! I just don't think it's for us.

We won't mind having a piano. We have a big old house and a musical family, so even if I quit (which is unlikely but possible! I am tenacious more than anything else) pretty much everyone else in our family plays and we often hire pianists for parties at other family members homes- which is a tradition we would like to continue at our house. Also, my husband is returning to playing, so it's not likely to become a dust catcher. I also have a teacher lined up who is fine with my lowbrow taste wink

So anyway, we are excited to get a piano, and my biggest fear is just that we will get one that isn't just right. The huge/ heavy/PITA to move and sell factor is just encouraging me to get something that will serve us well for a long time since I know getting rid of it and buying another would be painful. Any opinion on the acoustics uprights? Or perhaps you are a die hard digital aficionado?

Liza
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1227511 - 07/05/09 08:42 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Gyro]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: Gyro
...there are some things you should be
aware of about acoustic pianos, that might not be apparent
when you're trying them in a showroom and being subjected
to a sales pitch. They weigh a ton. You'll
need movers just to get one into, or out of, your house.


Gyro, I'm sure you're trying to be helpful, but this comment is kind of insulting to the OP's intelligence. Have you ever honestly, truly met someone of average mental ability who thought they could toss an acoustic piano in the trunk of their car and drive home with it?
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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#1227528 - 07/05/09 09:14 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: lvp


...I am afraid that what sounds right to me now as a novice might NOT sound right after practicing 'Bennie and the Jets' for a year. crazy


Well, this past May I enjoyed "Bennie..." played on a Yamaha, in the 80's he normally played it live on a Steinway and I'm not positive but I think the record was origionally recorded playing a Bosendorfer. Whatever you choose should work fine, the song appears to be quite flexible! thumb

Unfortuneately, I don't have enough experience playing pianos besides my own to really have any definate opinions about the different brands.
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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#1227534 - 07/05/09 09:29 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
You can actually get playable uprights for free in
many areas. Thrift stores are also a good place
to shop, because they often get good used uprights
as donations and then sell them for a couple of hundred
dollars.

I have long experience with pianos, and I don't
see much difference between them. You can
learn piano literally on anything with keys.
For example, because the striking bars on a
xylophone are laid out the same as the keys on
a piano, a good xylophonist, who has never played
any instrument but the xylophone, can sit down
at the piano and play it without instruction.

I've had a top-quality acoustic upright piano in
storage for many years--a similar model today would
be in the ~$20,000 price range--but I play a
$600 digital piano, because it's more practical.
And frankly I think it's a better instrument overall.

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#1227545 - 07/05/09 10:01 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Gyro]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
Well, I see I was right about that you are an ardent fan! Gotta admit, it's not what we'll buy, though I agree that yours is the more logical choice. Having grown up with a piano tuner (who is no longer in my life, or I would ask him!) I do have a taste for the acoustic, which I can hear the differences in and which I am sure I will only continue to refine my appreciation of.

Glad to hear not all of us have to go through the trouble of loving these big beasts! Unfortunately, I think I'm stuck just plain loving acoustics.

So, what do you all play your Billy Joel on?
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1227611 - 07/06/09 02:50 AM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Roland FP4 is ideal for jazz. PM me for the secret EQ that makes it really sound like the real thing. It can be had for $1100
_________________________
Roland FP-4 digital piano, Mason & Hamlin acoustic piano.

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#1227620 - 07/06/09 06:28 AM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Jazz+]
dario77 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/09
Posts: 35
Classical wooden piano is irreplacabe. I have one laid (austrian franz oeser cca 1930) at my parents home (the first piano I ever played) and one upstraight (russian tschaikowski, cca 1965) at my appartment. I also have one Roland RP101 digital brand new.

And I play those classical pianos all the time. I bougt RP101 just in case I feel like playing at 2AM in the morning. Than I play with my earphones while everyone is sleeping, that is the only advantage of digital.

But the feel is completely on the classical piano. Irreplacable instrument.

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#1227622 - 07/06/09 06:31 AM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: dario77]
dario77 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/09
Posts: 35
besides, since you asked what is best piano for jazz sound. I dont know. But if you want a real blues feel, go for the oldest you can get. That 1930 Franz Oeser sounds really good when playing blues. Remember blues was invented on crap pianos. Pianos that were in humid and weren't properly maintained


Edited by dario77 (07/06/09 06:32 AM)

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#1227663 - 07/06/09 09:19 AM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: dario77]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 624
Loc: Chicago
My suggestions: Purchase what sounds and feels right to you now. Each of the pianos you have mentioned are good quality instruments. Sit and play them, and if they feel right and sound good to you, go for it. Other than getting a piano that is built well, touch and sound are very personal, and no one can really guide you. Just take your time and try lots of pianos, and then buy the one you feel is right in your gut. You'll probably feel that way years from now.

By the way, do not apologize for wanting an acoustic piano. I have played acoustic pianos all my life and recently had to get an electric for jazz gigs. To me, electric pianos don't have anything like the quality of sound you can get from an acoustic. As an example, I play in a jazz vocal class each week where I accompany vocalists on an electric keyboard. Then, when it comes times for the recitial, I get to play a real piano, and the vocalists always comment how much better I sound. An acoustic piano has a depth to its sound and nuances you simply can't get out of an electric keboard, in my opinion.

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#1227721 - 07/06/09 12:51 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: jjo]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
The touch on the Walter was awesome, and the sound reminded me of something powerful. I feel like the Boston sounded better, but didn't affect me so viscerally, for whatever reason. I think we are honing in on the Walter!
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1227784 - 07/06/09 03:16 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
lvp, I saw your other thread in the Acoustic Piano Forum,
and I find it amazing the thorough way you're conducting
your search, never having played a note on a piano. That
Walter upright is of course a fine piano, but for
the same price you could get the new Roland V Piano.
This is a concert grand that you can carry from
room to room. I suspect you're concerned that at
family gatherings the piano players might look
disapprovingly at a digital. On the contrary,
you'd be the envy of everyone with this.

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#1227834 - 07/06/09 05:42 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Gyro]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
You know Gyro, your likely to convince me to get both! laugh My family would be jealous (they are the 'early adopters') I just wouldn't be done buying pianos and would still want my Walter or Boston.

My dad took me to piano tunings when I was a little girl, and I think I developed a good piano ear and sense, even though I only fiddled around on them and never took lessons. It might also explain why having an acoustic is a easy choice for me! It's totally a visceral thing. Plus I have a research degree in historic preservation, so 'old fangled' things just draw me in. That explains my thoroughness....child of pianos + graduate research degree have made me very, very thorough. Perhaps to a fault! My piano teacher said he is excited that I am so interested in becoming a 'tone nerd'. Me too!
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1227848 - 07/06/09 06:43 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: lvp


My dad took me to piano tunings when I was a little girl, and I think I developed a good piano ear and sense, even though I only fiddled around on them and never took lessons. It might also explain why having an acoustic is a easy choice for me! It's totally a visceral thing. Plus I have a research degree in historic preservation, so 'old fangled' things just draw me in


I like the way I can feel each note and chord vibrate through my fingers on the keys, each key different. I enjoy the little "dips" that are worn in my keys from ever 100 years of being played. These are things no digital can reproduce. I don't think Gyro gets it...
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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#1228078 - 07/07/09 11:54 AM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 352

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#1228104 - 07/07/09 01:05 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: KlinkKlonk]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
YESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!

That's exactly my point smile What a thing of beauty! Where on earth did you find that?
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1228130 - 07/07/09 01:57 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 352
Steinways official site, legendary collection

Here's another hot one:


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#1228137 - 07/07/09 02:09 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: KlinkKlonk]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
Speechless! Too cool. Looks like what they would play in the bar on the starship Enterprise.
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1228171 - 07/07/09 03:18 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
lvp, from your other thread, I would be wary of a piano
that a teacher steers you to, especially if it is at
a dealer. They often get a commission on such sales.

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#1228173 - 07/07/09 03:25 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Gyro]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
Thanks, and noted! The good news is we are separated by a few hundred miles from the dealer, so I am less worried about that than I would usually be. Even more importantly, my teacher is also a very close friend, so there is a different relationship and a certain level of trust there for me. However, he does just love older pianos and the Steinway sound, so he does have bias, which I am trying to keep an awareness about- his taste is expensive! His first choice was that I actually by the CW, which is no where near us, so I am sure that he is not getting a kickback. But thank you for looking out for me!! It's nice to know you are all so on top of these types of things smile
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1228579 - 07/08/09 01:53 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
So, this quickly devolved into something of an acoustic vs. digital debate, but I am still curious what acoustic pianos the rest of you rock/pop/jazz players love best! I sort of thought this might become a baldwin vs. yamaha thread- go figure! Anyhow, would love to hear your thoughts on my original question~!

(and thanks to those of you who shared their favorites with me already)

Thanks!
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1228593 - 07/08/09 02:26 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Jazz players play all kinds of pianos. Often they simply
get the best piano available, that is, a big grand, since
any music will sound great on that. And there's a
kind of image factor in this. A Yamaha looks right
at home in a cocktail lounge, while a Bosendorfer, Pleyel,
Sauter, or Schimmel would raise eyebrows there.
But non-conformity has always been the image in jazz,
and so someone might deliberately go against the grain
and play a Bosendorfer, and his jazz or rock would sound
great on it.

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#1228609 - 07/08/09 03:17 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: lvp
So, this quickly devolved into something of an acoustic vs. digital debate, but I am still curious what acoustic pianos the rest of you rock/pop/jazz players love best! I sort of thought this might become a baldwin vs. yamaha thread- go figure! Anyhow, would love to hear your thoughts on my original question~!

(and thanks to those of you who shared their favorites with me already)

Thanks!


Acoustic pianos all sound and play differently, because they are primarily made of wood, and no two pieces of wood are the same. And, the preparation of the piano is very important.

That is why you can play 10 Steinways, or 10 Yamahas, or 10 any brand you choose, of identical models, and they will all play and sound slightly (or more than slightly) different from each.

So my answer to your question is:

"I prefer a properly tuned grand that, for whatever combination of factors is a joy to play and hear, that "pulls" music out of me as I play, rather then me having to "push" it along to play."

I have seen few pianos like that, and there is no specific brand, although they are all upper-level pianos. (And none were either Baldwin or Yamaha! Go figure.)

ps...The music on my website was all done on a digital, a Roland Rd700SX. I wish I could have some on an acoustic, but I cannot lug around a 700 pound piano to gigs.


Edited by rocket88 (07/08/09 03:23 PM)
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#1228684 - 07/08/09 06:45 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: rocket88]
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 352
No jazz musicians can afford a grand piano or a concert upright so the question is moot. smile

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#1228688 - 07/08/09 06:56 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: KlinkKlonk]
pno Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1042
Loc: ♪oron♪o, on♪ario, canada...
Then play pop. It makes a lot more $$ than classical!
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YAMAHA C2M PE

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#1229636 - 07/10/09 04:11 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: pno]
carpediem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/07
Posts: 65
Loc: Midwest
In your original question you asked if any jazz players play on "European" pianos. I don't claim to be a jazz pianist (yet wink
but I have an interesting story from my own piano search.
I was very fortunate find my piano in a recording studio that was closing down. The owner did sound for concerts, and one of his most memorable shows was with Count Basie, playing a Bluthner. He vowed to buy a Bluthner for his own studio should he ever open one. Well, he opened the studio, bought the Bluthner, and that is the piano now in my house. Cool, huh?
good luck, and enjoy the search!

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#1229647 - 07/10/09 04:23 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: carpediem]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
Carpediem---
Very cool story! Now let me just set aside my jealousy for a second! I would love to have heard that piano rocking out in person. What a neat story to accompany your piano...

I am starting to think that anything that sounds good to me will sound good no matter what I am playing...We'll see. As Larry Fine said to me this morning, 'This doesn't have to be the last piano you buy'. I am thinking I am going with a Charles Walter W1500. If I ever turn into a real jazz pianists and don't prefer it, I'll likely be due for an upgrade anyhow! I am sure I am now well armed for scales and rousing renditions of Good King Wenceslas wink

Thanks for sharing. I am loving sopping up all these stories and knowledge!


Edited by lvp (07/10/09 04:24 PM)
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1229673 - 07/10/09 04:54 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: LVP]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
lvp, you should at least try out some digitals. I realize
there are people who simply will not go near
a digital for fear that it will ruin them forever
for playing the piano, but we are now 20 yrs. into
the Digital Piano Age, and even big-time jazz players
and concert pianists use digitals. For the same
price as the Walter you could get a monster of
a digital piano like the Yamaha CLP-380 or the Roland
V Piano, instruments with mindboggling performance.

This thing about tuning can become a real issue
with pianos. At least twice a yr., you're going
to have to allow a stranger into your home to
pound on your piano for several hrs., sometimes
with less than satisfactory results. This is why you
see so many ads for used pianos that say
"piano for sale, in good condition but hasn't
been tuned in years." The person got tired of
tuning it and let the piano go out of
tune to the point where it was no longer playable.

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#1229720 - 07/10/09 06:44 PM Re: Best sound for rock/pop/jazz... [Re: Gyro]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
Here's another way to look at it: Twice a year, a woman who you really enjoy- and rarely get to see- will come and do something meaningful and important to support your instrument and passion! You will get support the local economy and forge another connection with your local community of musicians and piano professionals. Living in a rural place, these are not dreaded responsibilities, but small social opportunities. And I am not exaggerating, I know and enjoy my future tuner, and am glad to be able to give her more work!

I am afraid that we simply have different priorities and perspectives. I am glad that a practical choice works for you, but it won't satisfy me. Please do enjoy your choice, but realize that about 40,000 of us reading these threads love pianos for an entirely different set of reasons that have to do with gut feeling, association and tactile response. It's not better or worse (though it may be impractical, as you've pointed out), it's just different. For many people, passion about pianos makes all of their inconvenience trivial. I know I feel that way. If I applied your logic to my life, I wouldn't own a home, or dogs, or be married! Much of the things that bring us joy in life cost us money, time, or convenience. But, when you really love something, you just don't notice, or you plain don't care.

Might I find my piano a hassle on day? Sure. But if that happens I'll cross that bridge then. When you spend your life around an instrument that you can't have, that you love, and you FINALLY have the means to attain, a slight variation on that theme just won't do. It won't inspire or satisfy. I wish I felt differently, but I can honestly say that I don't.

Thanks for trying to save me time, money and aggravation, but I think we need to agree to disagree. Some things just defy logic, and that's ok. Everyone has to really find what's right for them, and I think you and I have each found our perfect fit, I just think that they are very different! You are clearly very pragmatic and are clear about your needs and priorities. While I am glad that you feel passionate about your choice, I think you underestimate the importance of feeling and emotion that can be linked to a physical object. Sound cheesy, hokey or sentimental to you? If so, that would explain our main difference. These things are core to how I experience and find pleasure in the world. I am in good company, as are you with your choice. We are both right based on our own priorities. And, it would be near impossible for us to convince the other, since we are coming from fundamentally different places. Perhaps we can agree on that.

Hope you are getting sunshine wherever you all are!
_________________________
LVP
Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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How much repair work can I do myself?
by chadb
07/11/14 10:33 PM
Yamaha p120 key issue
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07/11/14 09:59 PM
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07/11/14 08:01 PM
Help with Fingering!!
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07/11/14 07:00 PM
Group PLUS private lessons?
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