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#2125814 - 07/31/13 11:31 AM The pleasure of visiting a piano store
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3441
Loc: Maine
I recently visited a piano store. I was invited to try out any and all pianos. I gravitated to the Steinway 5'7" (or maybe it was 6' -- sorry I don't know the letters for these). It was a delight. A lovely light action, unlike the heavy and highly graded action of another grand piano brand that I've tried a few examples of. But the most delightful thing about it was how easy it was to play softly. No matter how delicately I played the keys, I got a correspondingly ever softer sound. This is in contrast to my upright, which seems to have a lower limit on softness, where if you play the keys too gently the hammer bobbles instead of playing. I'm not sure if there's some way to get even softer on my upright if I find a way to retain more of a sense of playing all the way to the bottom of the key even as I play very softly. The point is though, I didn't have to struggle with the Steinway grand.

This was lovely in one way, because it tells me I have more pianistic skills than I can tell on my upright. But frustrating in another way, because it tells me my upright is holding back my playing. (In particular, I'm struggling with learning to voice chords. Come to think of it, I should have tested my chord voicing ability on the grand, and tested whether that also was easier than on my upright.) The problem is that I don't have the room or the money for a grand piano.

There were some other pianos, both grands and uprights, in the store, but nothing sounded as nice as the Steinway grand (they didn't have larger grands on display). I didn't think to test listening to the sustain. It did have lovely clear bass notes, unlike my upright. And a more mellow and musical sound than my fairly bright brash upright.

I played through my small memorized repertoire of simple pieces, and noodled a bit. And the other lovely thing about the visit is that when I left, I was just floating on air, filled with a lovely calm trance-like feeling.

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#2125824 - 07/31/13 11:50 AM Re: The pleasure of visiting a piano store [Re: PianoStudent88]
Dwscamel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 622
I know the feeling. After playing a few grands, I'm really sold on the idea of saving up for one instead of an upright.
Beethoven - Op.49 No.1 (sonata 19)
Czerny - Op.299 Nos. 5,7 (School of Velocity)
Liszt - S.172 No.2 (Consolation No.2)

Dream piece:
Rachmaninoff - Sonata 2, movement 2 in E minor

#2125864 - 07/31/13 12:50 PM Re: The pleasure of visiting a piano store [Re: PianoStudent88]
jdw Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1305
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Sounds educational as well as pleasurable!

The money is one thing, but space limitations are sometimes in the eye of the beholder. At first my husband thought I was crazy when I said we had room for a grand. (It fits very nicely, really.)
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Schubert, Impromptu Op. 142 no. 2
Scarlatti, Sonata K. 146
Beethoven, Bagatelle Op. 126 no. 5
Gershwin, Sweet & Down Low

#2126449 - 08/01/13 02:16 PM Re: The pleasure of visiting a piano store [Re: PianoStudent88]
tend to rush Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 70
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
But the most delightful thing about it was how easy it was to play softly.

This is probably a criterion that doesn't get commented on enough. I remember hearing a teacher, though, many years ago, saying his new Baldwin grand made the soft pedal seem superfluous.

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#2126503 - 08/01/13 04:03 PM Re: The pleasure of visiting a piano store [Re: PianoStudent88]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14776
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Thanks for sharing!

"Bliss" is what it's all about....

Norbert thumb
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller

#2126868 - 08/02/13 10:28 AM Re: The pleasure of visiting a piano store [Re: PianoStudent88]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3536
Loc: US
This is why the internet can never really replace the experience of going to a piano store!

#2126926 - 08/02/13 12:32 PM Re: The pleasure of visiting a piano store [Re: PianoStudent88]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1510
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
I tell everybody I know that shopping for pianos is more fun than a sack full of monkeys, but non-musicians never believe me...
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)


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