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#1610047 - 02/01/11 03:57 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1308
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Even an isolated fragment can apparently have time to sink in by holding a note down and that's where the space counts.

Yes yes, this is all good!

You're really lucky to have access to such a performer as your teacher.
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#1610122 - 02/01/11 09:10 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Scott Coletta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

So I was using the downbeat as a way to line up to the offbeat. But the alternate way is to feel the offbeat at all times. Maybe I'm back to Erskine's "Uh" because that really is more of a feeling.

The answer I got was that the offbeat is a "feeling". I extract from this that he means that the subdivision is so ingrained that he knows when he's off. But the other point though is that there's trial and error going on in finding the offbeat, and the difference between him and I is that he can adjust pretty fast while I have to think about it.


Wouldn't the feeling of the offbeat be learned the same way as the feeling of the downbeat? If we can learn to keep a steady beat on the downbeat, just do the same thing with the upbeat.


Originally Posted By: jazzwee
So I assume from this that at a world class level, they just correct so fast that you can't notice it. When I listened to the ATTYA recordings, I don't sense fixed lengths of notes. It's more varied than that. Was he adjusting lengths of notes leading to a phrase? It sounds like it was happening based on feel.


Yeah, I think this is the point of polyrhythms here. The upbeat is the point of reference and notes are adjusted by feeling other subdivisions besides the triplet, like straight eighths or sixteenths.

Originally Posted By: jazzwee

How do we train ourselves though to have that feel at all times? What's a good practice routine?


I'm going to try practicing with the metronome designating the upbeat. It's really tough to do! I used to practice with a triplet click track that emphasized the upbeat, but now I want to learn to do it with just the upbeat. It seems to me that this will work the same way it teaches to keep an even downbeat. I figure the worst thing it could do is give me a stronger sense of the upbeat. smile

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#1610182 - 02/01/11 10:59 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
I wonder what would happen if the drummer's swung eighth was louder on the ride cymbal. That's what we're really matching and in a typical rhythm section, it's not that easy to hear. I think the Erskine "Uh" is a good way to at least initially get centered on that offbeat position.

If you listened to the slowed down phrase snippet, you can hear the drum in the background and you can see that nothing really coincides with the piano except the offbeat swung eighth. So that whole environment almost sounds polyrhythmic since nothing one plays lands on any 4/4 downbeat or exact offbeat. It makes jazz pretty amazing when you think of this. Everything is off center.
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#1610185 - 02/01/11 11:03 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: chrisbell]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Even an isolated fragment can apparently have time to sink in by holding a note down and that's where the space counts.

Yes yes, this is all good!

You're really lucky to have access to such a performer as your teacher.


I have to keep listening to that ATTYA recording though to make this clear. He's identifying another layer for me to recognize and I'm noticing now that the importance of this statement is quite profound.

So to test my skills in feeling this point, I will comment on everyone's music to see if this is communicated in a solo.
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#1610206 - 02/01/11 11:34 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
_riverrun_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 38
Hey all,

I haven't disappeared. I'm reading through this forum closely so I know exactly what is being discussed.

Fascinating discussions about time feel. I can say for certain that Erskine, as a former student of his, had time issues that he overcame through conscious practice. You can hear him rush the time on early Weather Report, for example. But he worked on his weakness and thoroughly overcame it.

In discussing this "uh" concept, I would add Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's approach in his book "Flow". We move from 'conscious incompetence' to 'unconscious competence'. Be it playing piano or driving.

Intending what you do for a while, as in being consciously 'intentional' about it, will inevitably lead to an activity becoming automatic.

My two cents. smile

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#1610347 - 02/01/11 02:23 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: chrisbell]
Scott Coletta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
Until then, here's 'Stella' from last friday. This time I tried to create space by not playing . . . but I found that its hard to "think different" when the drummer sticks to his guns. smile


Sounds good. cool Seems like your doing good finding space even though the drummer isn't really following as much as he could. Sometimes it seems like you are thinking about reharmonization in your lines but to me it just doesn't seem to fit. Some of it's good but there are places where the lines seem to be gravitating towards notes that aren't in context with the harmony. confused I wonder though if sometimes this has to do with what the bass is playing? I can definitely always hear the changes, it's just that some things sound too outside for my taste. Oh, and I like the chord stuff that you do starting at 6:30.

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#1610635 - 02/01/11 07:04 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: _riverrun_]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: _riverrun_
Hey all,

I haven't disappeared. I'm reading through this forum closely so I know exactly what is being discussed.

Fascinating discussions about time feel. I can say for certain that Erskine, as a former student of his, had time issues that he overcame through conscious practice. You can hear him rush the time on early Weather Report, for example. But he worked on his weakness and thoroughly overcame it.

In discussing this "uh" concept, I would add Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's approach in his book "Flow". We move from 'conscious incompetence' to 'unconscious competence'. Be it playing piano or driving.

Intending what you do for a while, as in being consciously 'intentional' about it, will inevitably lead to an activity becoming automatic.

My two cents. smile


Great information here river, and it's comforting to know that the approach Eskine is advocating is what he may have used to overcome similar issues.

I also agree with your last sentence, which is what I was driving at from my original post about timing.
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Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



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#1611614 - 02/03/11 01:20 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Do you guys ever work on some classical? I started working on Chopin Etudes 10/1 and it's amazing how much of this applies to jazz. First, just the effect on my fingers 4 & 5 just in a couple of days is tremenduous. It changed the tone of my lines and evenness.

Clearly my technique issues are tied to fingers 4 & 5 but there's the stretch aspect too.

The only problem with this Etude is that you've got to find some separate practice for the LH which doesn't get much of a workout.

I'm so used to doing arpeggios fast and with a stretch that this wasn't nearly as difficult as I expected (at least not for a moderate tempo). I don't have to perform this ever but as a technique builder, it's more intense than any other exercise I've done.
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#1611725 - 02/03/11 09:18 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
>> I started working on Chopin Etudes 10/1

Out of curiosity, how did you choose this piece?

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#1611762 - 02/03/11 10:10 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
I've been eyeing this for awhile and Chris Bell gave me a little encouragement.

Like I said, the arpeggio moves are so similar to what I already do a lot. You can really look at it as playing broken chords. This is apparently considered like some "impossible" piece for many but after trying it, I can see it is reachable for me. I can already play some bars at 3/4 of the required speed.

At first I only tried it for its arpeggio moves but then I realized it gets a lot of support from the weak fingers. Some stretches are hard on the hand but after playing through page 1, I think the only difficulty like anything else is playing sixteenths at the required 176bpm. That would take years.

Let me just say this. After practicing this, I did some improvisation and the whole feel changed. As a regular exercise it's fairly easy to memorize.
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#1611838 - 02/03/11 11:54 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
But how did you choose this particular piece? More or less randomly?

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#1611968 - 02/03/11 02:37 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1308
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Well it is the first in the book. smile
It's also RH dominant, and as the RH pattern starts on an off-beat it's easy to get a "jazz vibe" from it.
The ├Ętude is also about getting a wide - broad -sound and as Jazzwee writes: it's great for the 4-5 fingers.
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#1611975 - 02/03/11 02:52 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Good to know, thanks--

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#1612145 - 02/03/11 05:52 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2261
Loc: Sydney
Apparently Chopin had some interesting chops. In some of his pieces you use your thumb to play two notes at once.

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#1612310 - 02/03/11 10:22 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Random choice? No. I don't want to play a lot of classical. No time. So for jazz, you have to figure on technique builders. Chopin Etude 10/1 is apparently the most difficult Etude and I've seen it discussed over and over on Pianist corner and saw it was about arpeggios.

Another staple is Chopin Prelude in Em. This is good for jazz chord balance. For soft playing.

So I'm picking only classical for technique building, not for performance. And easy to memorize.

Perhaps Bach might be an option too but harder for me to memorize.
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#1612325 - 02/03/11 10:46 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
>> Perhaps Bach might be an option too but harder for me to memorize.

That's what I was gonna say. Playing these pieces can be daunting if you're not a great reader. It just takes too much time.

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#1612401 - 02/04/11 12:52 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
LOL. That's one of the reasons I liked 10/1. Ever look at it? Also the Em Prelude. Both very easy to read...

I have to say though, that my reading is getting better. My teacher actually put music in front of me and for the first time, I didn't freeze.

I think it's because of the jam sessions. At the last jam monday, every tune I played was sight reading. The keys were either changed for a Sax player or vocalist or brand new tune. Man, it's hard to think about a nice solo when I'm barely able to look away from the sheet music.

I think several times there I just played by ear because I didn't know where we were in the changes. I'm so curious about how bad I sounded in the recordings.
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#1613188 - 02/05/11 12:36 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
So what happened? I mention a little Classical etude and everyone goes away?

What do you guys use for technique building?
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#1613228 - 02/05/11 01:48 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1308
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Oh, I'm still here . . . just knackered getting this production to the printers in time.
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#1613229 - 02/05/11 01:50 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
>> What do you guys use for technique building?
I've been using the omnibook for a good while. Gonna do some Bud Powell now. Doesn't it qualify as classical? Yeah, I think so.

++

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#1613273 - 02/05/11 02:50 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: knotty]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: knotty
>> What do you guys use for technique building?
I've been using the omnibook for a good while. Gonna do some Bud Powell now. Doesn't it qualify as classical? Yeah, I think so.

++


Great stuff. I look at it as a vocabulary builder though, not technique in itself.

I've got to do more of that myself.

Are you a pretty good reader Knotty? Fortunately, these are mostly single line. My reading has improved so now I'm no so afraid to tackle this stuff.

A friend from the Jam went to a classical teacher and he's being pounded with Bach.
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#1613297 - 02/05/11 03:29 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
>> Great stuff. I look at it as a vocabulary builder though, not technique in itself.
You can use the omnibook for many purposes.
* ear training. Meaning you sing all the lines. It's tough
* Technique. As you approach Bird's tempo, it's really violent. Lots of wide intervals followed by small ones. Plenty of slides, weird fingerings. Makes your hand work.
* Phrasing, theory, swing. As you sing along, you pick up the articulation, swing and phrasing. You get better sense for what constitutes a good solo. Also, you get to see how he uses common tones and extensions, in very clever ways, and you can't help but steal a few ideas and try to apply them to various progressions.

>> Are you a pretty good reader Knotty?
No. Even single line is hard to read. The omnibook doesn't have key signatures, and that kinda makes sense, but it's also tough reading the odd rhythms and abundant accidentals. That said, I'd imagine sight reading Bach is tough.

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#1613298 - 02/05/11 03:34 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
But classical offers the different side which is important to my playing. Dynamics, evenness, relaxation, stretch, control, etc.

Those cannot be found in older jazz players except maybe for Bill Evans.
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#1613303 - 02/05/11 03:39 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: knotty]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: knotty
>> Are you a pretty good reader Knotty?
No. Even single line is hard to read. The omnibook doesn't have key signatures, and that kinda makes sense, but it's also tough reading the odd rhythms and abundant accidentals. That said, I'd imagine sight reading Bach is tough.



I can't sight read, but at least I can read an memorize now even with accidentals. I used to be at 2 seconds a note. Now I can handle 2 or 3 per second. smile Hell of an improvement but hardly qualifies for sight reading. LOL.

I've been practicing with this Ipad app. And it tracks your progress with time response.

This is the most difficult thing for most us learning jazz smile The other hard part is that I can't look at sheet music while improvising. And once your eyes get off the page, it's hard to find where you are.

At my last jam session, everything I played was sight read chords. I didn't know the tunes. It's miraculous that I could even improvise over those. I just kept it simple. I'm really curious to listen to the recordings and see if I really messed up. Didn't lose myself on the chord sight reading I don't think.
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#1613351 - 02/05/11 04:43 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
Scott Coletta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
I'm still here too. Just been busy. smile

I learned alot of classical as a kid, but my teachers never really taught me about dynamics, evenness, phrasing, control etc. I got alot of this my first 2 years in college though, when all I did was classical. I've also worked through all of the Hanon exercises... but I don't think they really helped much. For me, the most useful technique exercises seem to have been scales and arpeggios, and transcriptions.

Working on classical could help with technique, as long as it's done correctly. But, truth be said, I just don't have the interest in learning classical anymore. I can read alright but I just don't like it. I figure, the best thing I can do for myself is just keep learning new stuff and record and listen to my playing to find and correct control and evenness issues. I'm happy with not being a "refined" player. It gives me my own sound. cool

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#1613454 - 02/05/11 07:33 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
But classical offers the different side which is important to my playing. Dynamics, evenness, relaxation, stretch, control, etc.

Those cannot be found in older jazz players except maybe for Bill Evans.


You're kidding, right? How about every great pianist that preceded Evans? Surely they knew something about everything that you suggested above. All of the great stride pianists (Fats Waller, JP Johnson etc), not to mention Art Tatum do all of this and more. Ahmad Jamal, Phineas Newborn, George Shearing, Hank Jones, as contemporaries of Evans also shouldn't be forgotten.
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#1613457 - 02/05/11 07:38 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: Scott Coletta]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: Scott Coletta
...But, truth be said, I just don't have the interest in learning classical anymore. I can read alright but I just don't like it. I figure, the best thing I can do for myself is just keep learning new stuff and record and listen to my playing to find and correct control and evenness issues....


Scott, if you're a good reader, you really owe it to yourself to check out Scriabin. Amazing tunes, and will really teach you about inversions, substitutions, and modern voice leading techniques. And, to boot, he's written some very, very beautiful tunes.
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#1613540 - 02/05/11 09:37 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: scepticalforumguy]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
Tunes? Scriabin? They'd kill you for that in the Pianist corner. Lol.

Tatum et al are obviously the best speed demons.

But you could say that Evans brought in things like touch and tone into jazz playing. Nowadays its something we expect of KJ, Mehldau, etc.

I like this style a lot.
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#1613613 - 02/05/11 11:42 PM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Tunes? Scriabin? They'd kill you for that in the Pianist corner. Lol.

Man, sounds like a dangerous place there. But really, Scriabin wrote some cute little ditties.
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

Tatum et al are obviously the best speed demons.

Well there's quite a lot more to their playing than just speed. I'd think that trying to do any of their transcriptions would give you an equally challenging workout as Chopin might.
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

But you could say that Evans brought in things like touch and tone into jazz playing. Nowadays its something we expect of KJ, Mehldau, etc.

I like this style a lot.

I like this style too, but I'm not sure that the other pianists lack touch or tone necessarily. I think they are different styles more than anything.
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Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



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#1613679 - 02/06/11 02:25 AM Re: Jazz Study Group 2: Intermediate/Advanced Players [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 6990
Loc: So. California
I call this style "pianistic" jazz where some elements of classical piano are brought in. Most the top players of modern times play like this, starting with KJ of course.

A bit of contrast to Monk, Wynton Kelly, Garland, Garner who had a more raw sound that jazz was well known for.

Of course, I don't discount what Tatum, et al. have done in the past. I mentioned speed since the question was of technique not content.

Although I have never really been a fan of pre-bebop. When I started appreciating jazz, it was more because of Herbie and Miles. And that eventually led to everything else.

I remember telling one of my early teachers I wanted to learn Maiden Voyage and I was pretty much laughed at -- like what guts do I have to ask that before I even knew the basics smile It all seemed so easy at the time. Modal music sounded so cool to me.


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