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#2177590 - 11/05/13 02:42 PM My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours!
Randy Klein Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 59
Loc: New York, NY
We all know that playing on an acoustic piano is quite different from playing on an electric keyboard. We also know that the sound that comes from an acoustic instrument is a result of the wood,metal, fibers all resounding together in the space that it lives that helps us make music. Electric pianos, just by their name alone, electric, are defined by the samples and speakers that the instrument(s) comes with. Both acoustic and electric instruments evoke very different visceral responses. So when a student comes to a lesson and plays on my 1904 Steinway and then complains that it sounds so different then when they practice at home, my response is, ‘Listen for the music, experience the feeling that the music gives regardless of the sound of the instrument.’
There is always a bit of a resistance that is always present, but for the most part, the student gets the idea and the result is they play musically. This goes for pianos that have seen better days. Putting my money where my mouth is, here is an improvisation that is on a less than perfect instrument.
I am experiencing the music and the feeling. I’m ignoring, for the most part, how bad this piano actually sounds. Food for thought! Please join in!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHl2TZcuozY&feature=share&list=PLC2C12BE445ED560B




Edited by casinitaly (11/06/13 02:06 AM)
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#2177676 - 11/05/13 05:42 PM Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours! [Re: Randy Klein]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3451
Loc: Northern England.
I enjoyed that! The piano is by no means as bad as some I`ve heard/had to play. If it was Wurlitzer or Rhodes, you could ha played the same. Music has it`s own expression.
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2177823 - 11/06/13 03:04 AM Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours! [Re: Randy Klein]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Randy Klein, I have read your post, here:

Subject: Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours!

We all know that playing on an acoustic piano is quite different from playing on an electric keyboard. We also know that the sound that comes from an acoustic instrument is a result of the wood,metal, fibers all resounding together in the space that it lives that helps us make music. Electric pianos, just by their name alone, electric, are defined by the samples and speakers that the instrument(s) comes with. Both acoustic and electric instruments evoke very different visceral responses. So when a student comes to a lesson and plays on my 1904 Steinway and then complains that it sounds so different then when they practice at home, my response is, ‘Listen for the music, experience the feeling that the music gives regardless of the sound of the instrument.’ There is always a bit of a resistance that is always present, but for the most part, the student gets the idea and the result is they play musically. This goes for pianos that have seen better days. Putting my money where my mouth is, here is an improvisation that is on a less than perfect instrument. I am experiencing the music and the feeling. I’m ignoring, for the most part, how bad this piano actually sounds. Food for thought! Please join in!


__________

When you go to the digial piano forum, nobody but nobody ever talks about how long they have been playing or what they are playing. They only talk about looking for a digial piano that is cheap and mostly light weight and sounds like an acoustic piano and has the feel of an acoutic piano.

I have an acoustic piano and I have 2 digital pianos with weighted keys. One is a 25 year old Yamaha and other is a couple of years old and digitals are great, both different and I love them both - for what they are. I play them both.

I do prefer the acoustic for what it is and I love it very, very much, too.

I have an electric violin and a student model acoustic violin. When I was in the hospial, I took and played the electric violin because it was so quiet when I played it that other patients and nurses/doctors weren't bother by my playing - as a beginner violin player! The electric violin didn't sound or feel the same as an acoustic violin but when playing gypsy music - it is absolutely true - as you say - to Listen for the music, experience the feeling that the music gives regardless of the sound of the instrument.

And in the digital forum nobody but nobody ever talks about listening to the music they have made by a digial piano with or without weighted keys and the experience they have of feeling the music gives regardless of the sound of the instrument.

Because I lived in a trailer as a child growing up, I couldn't have a piano because there was no room and digitals weren't invented.

It is the same situation when I was looking for a house as a young man. People would only accept a large house that relative new and to get that in any city and this city in particular they had have to drive 2 or 3 hours to find such a house. Growing up in a trailer, like I said, I looked for the cheapest shack in the city because in case of a depression - I could walk to where the rich lived and could clean windows or sidewalks to feed myself. Today those same people can't afford anything in the city because they cost more than a million dollars while their huge houses are far, far away and cost a fortune in gas to drive to and from the city.

I guess it is they way people (listen) hear and see the world in a way - that I don't.

cheers,

3N05PN

And on pianos - you can have a billion dollar condo - and you can't likely play an acoustic piano because other people will complain but if you live in a tiny shack like I do with holes in the walls - I can play by digitals or acoustic pianos anytime of the day or night no matter how the sound!


Edited by Michael_99 (11/06/13 03:07 AM)

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#2177842 - 11/06/13 05:17 AM Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours! [Re: Randy Klein]
angelsong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 81
Loc: NW England
I really appreciate this advice and in many ways it sort of reflects many things in life that we almost sabotage ourselves from experiencing and enjoying by focusing on some negative aspect. I've been practising 'Little Brown Jug' for ... ever, it seems and it feels like I was beginning to play it reasonably smoothly - and then instead of feeling pleased and congratulating myself, I found myself being critical of the sound of the piano - of the fact that it's not quite as 'polished' as it could be - and being generally negative. And then I read your post and it was clear that I could just make a different choice by focusing on the music and enjoying it!! Thanks.

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#2178156 - 11/06/13 07:22 PM Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours! [Re: angelsong]
Randy Klein Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 59
Loc: New York, NY
I have played on so many bad pianos in my lifetime. When I play on a great instrument, it is joyous. That said, making music shouldn't depend on the quality of the instrument. Thank you all. Randy

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#2178259 - 11/07/13 12:15 AM Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours! [Re: Randy Klein]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1172
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote:
. . . So when a student comes to a lesson and plays on my 1904 Steinway and then complains that it sounds so different then when they practice at home, my response is, ‘Listen for the music, experience the feeling that the music gives regardless of the sound of the instrument.’ . . .


Good teaching!

. Charles

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#2178279 - 11/07/13 02:09 AM Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours! [Re: Randy Klein]
bluebilly Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: England
I always find that an acoustic piano, despite how old or out of tune it is , has an individual personality, however, it would be interesting to find out how many piano players have been encouraged to take up playing piano, or like myself reintroduced to piano after a long hiatus, thanks to the advantages of the digital piano, and there are many. In my own case, in the room where I have my digital piano it would have been impossible to install even a small upright acoustic piano without demolishing part of my house, but I suspect most people consider price, using headphones, and portability to be amongst the main attractions. I forecast that, as with everything in the digital world, digital pianos are set to improve immensely.

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#2178297 - 11/07/13 03:47 AM Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours! [Re: bluebilly]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3451
Loc: Northern England.
"I forecast that, as with everything in the digital world, digital pianos are set to improve immensely."

I hope not! That can only mean they`ll go out of tune, have graded hammer actions (!) and wooden keys . . . .

First time I played a digital, was a CLP 155. It was mind-blowing. Loved it. Look at the price they (and other oldies) go for now, and you`ll see people will pay for this stuff. It`s not always top end pianos that sell, either. Strange isn`t it?
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2178414 - 11/07/13 10:42 AM Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours! [Re: Randy Klein]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5448
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
I regret to say that I don't use my acoustic any more because it doesn't hold a tune. There are real pianos in a couple of places I play that I no longer use for reasons of dampers, stuck keys, pedals that are set too high off the ground, etc. I'd love to have even adequately working real pianos available.

But I take my, inexpensive, 6 or 8 year old Casio anywhere I need to play. Band jam in a church that no longer has a real piano in the rec room and the digital is non-weighted. The lunch room in an assisted living facility for lunch hour background music. I haven't played a real piano in a dance hall in several years.

Price - absolutely this is a factor. For years I played on an old Wurlitzer electric piano (the insides looked like one of those African thumb pianos, but electrified). Did it sound good? Well. No. It wasn't 88 keys, either. But I played and practiced diligently, and played for dances the whole time, which I wouldn't have been able to do without it. I paid $50 for it to a friend who need grocery money. My acoustic came from a thrift store, which cut its price in half, to $300, so I could use the other $300 I had to get the keys working and have it pitch-raised and tuned. My Casio was was about $600, but my brother bought all the accesories - case, stand, etc.

So - I use what I have and love the music. Because it's about the music, and the interaction between the dancers and the music and the assisted living folks and the music, and me and the music. And I've played some pretty funky pianos smile I suspect many of us have.

Cathy



Edited by jotur (11/07/13 10:44 AM)
_________________________

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#2178938 - 11/08/13 09:13 AM Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours! [Re: peterws]
bluebilly Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: England
Originally Posted By: peterws
"I forecast that, as with everything in the digital world, digital pianos are set to improve immensely."

I hope not! That can only mean they`ll go out of tune, have graded hammer actions (!) and wooden keys . . . .

First time I played a digital, was a CLP 155. It was mind-blowing. Loved it. Look at the price they (and other oldies) go for now, and you`ll see people will pay for this stuff. It`s not always top end pianos that sell, either. Strange isn`t it?

There's also that smell you get with an acoustic piano, although I guess that could be replicated. laugh

I forgot, with a real old piano there's also the history, who's played it, what did they play?

Forget the woodworm....enjoy. laugh

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#2179716 - 11/09/13 06:04 PM Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours! [Re: Randy Klein]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
Quote:
There's also that smell you get with an acoustic piano, although I guess that could be replicated. laugh

I forgot, with a real old piano there's also the history, who's played it, what did they play?

Forget the woodworm....enjoy. laugh


Billy I am so with you! My old Cecil Piano (circa 1910) has a real wood smell which I love and has a history- I know the name of one his owners- a lady in the 1920s ( written in pencil on the underside of one of the keys). I wonder what she played on Cecil.
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

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#2180791 - 11/11/13 10:06 PM Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours! [Re: peterws]
John_In_Montreal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 400
Loc: Montreal Canada
Originally Posted By: peterws
"I forecast that, as with everything in the digital world, digital pianos are set to improve immensely."

I hope not! That can only mean they`ll go out of tune, have graded hammer actions (!) and wooden keys . . . .


Priceless grin

John
_________________________
"My piano is therapy for me" - Rick Wright.
Instrument: Rebuilt Kurzweil K2500XS and a bunch of great vintage virtual keyboards. New Kurzweil PC3X.

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#2181191 - 11/12/13 05:16 PM Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours! [Re: Randy Klein]
Randy Klein Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 59
Loc: New York, NY
So to conclude, do we all agree that the older a piano smells the better it sounds? Or, is it the other way around? smile

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#2181256 - 11/12/13 08:00 PM Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours! [Re: Randy Klein]
Sly Cat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 103
Loc: England - via Scotland
I really hate that term "real" piano - in comparison to what? A "fake" piano? Have you seen the prices of some of those digital not-quite-so-real pianos? Pretty impressive for something "fake". We're not talking about knock-off copies of art here!

Acoustic and digital - two types of piano both filling a niche, both equally "real". Is a digital or battery operated watch not a "real" watch because you can't wind it up? Is a digital TV not real because it doesn't have big, old-fashioned valves and a large wooden case? A piano is not any less real because it's mechanism is different. Whether you prefer the sound of an acoustic is one thing - preferences are personal and all equally valid - but it does not follow that a non-acoustic piano is in any way not "real"! (Rant over - on with the post. Ahem.)

My first piano was an old acoustic and I loved it to bits! Okay, one of the keys stuck and the tone wasn't all that great but it had been a lifelong dream come true for me, to own a piano and learn to play it. That was a fair few years ago when I had my own house but life goes on, I moved around the world a bit and my circumstances have changed somewhat.

Nowadays I live in a first floor flat with a rather touchy downstairs neighbour. For that and other reasons (I doubt I could get one up here anyway!), an acoustic is out of the question. Also, I keep anti-social hours sometimes so I want to practice at any time of the day or night. So now I have a digital piano. Not the cheapest I could find, not something light and portable - in fact it's heavy as all get out with a furniture stand, it has weighted keys and pedals, in fact everything I could do to make it feel and play and sound like my old upright acoustic. No, it's not silly-expensive, I don't have the income to support that but it's the best my budget could go to - and I love it.

Now I can play whenever I want due to the marvel of headphones and, while it may not have the lovely wooden aesthetics of my old upright, it plays, feels and sounds an awful lot better!

So I'm chuffed. I have a piano again, I'm not restricted by noise considerations, I can practice privately (I don't like being overheard when I'm working on something) so, at the end of the day, I'm happy and that's what matters. smile Without the option of a piano I can silence, I couldn't have one at all so a round of applause for digitals, is what I say!


Edited by Sly Cat (11/13/13 01:27 PM)

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#2181317 - 11/12/13 10:39 PM Re: My Piano Doesn’t Sound Like Yours! [Re: EdwardianPiano]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 500
Originally Posted By: jotur
And I've played some pretty funky pianos smile I suspect many of us have.

I am the king of funky pianos... one of these years I have to remember to record the piano at our island cottage to share with you all. Amazingly, it's somewhat in tune, but awful beyond belief in every which way otherwise.

Originally Posted By: EdwardianPiano
My old Cecil Piano (circa 1910) has a real wood smell which I love and has a history- I know the name of one his owners- a lady in the 1920s ( written in pencil on the underside of one of the keys). I wonder what she played on Cecil.

I haven't really gotten my nose going near Mabel (1914). I think the more recent vintage paint probably covers any hint of original smell that might be there to enjoy.

She's been tuned though, after 10, 20, 30, or who-knows-how-many years (10+ is absolutely definite, I'd be shocked if it was less than 20, and the sky's the limit from there) of neglect. Sounds awesome (admittedly, I'm biased -- she still needs a lot of work), debuting in the recital Thursday night.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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