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#2181407 - 11/13/13 06:07 AM Am I being too impatient?
angelsong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 81
Loc: NW England
I've been learning and practising Auld Lang Syne for about a week now. Have taken it easy, step by step, so I can play it 'relatively' smoothly. Have been careful about the fingering, which is quite complicated. So, I can now play it relatively well - until I attempt to record it (on my digital piano). I'm wearing earphones, so no-one can hear me, yet I go to pieces. I realise it doesn't matter - no-one's judging me etc - and yet I'm unable to replicate what I do when not being recorded. I guess this is a normal part of the process - as well as playing for others - and no doubt it's just an indication of my lack of experience/confidence/practice. I'm not sure if I should forget about trying to play for others - or even just recording the tune as I was doing today? Yet I'm inclined to feel that perhaps I need to persevere with this, even if just occasionally, rather than delude myself into thinking I'm doing well because no-one can hear. Any suggestions?

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#2181414 - 11/13/13 06:28 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
Rusty Fortysome Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/11
Posts: 194
Loc: USA
Anecdotal, I'm not a teacher--I was similar during my first couple years of playing piano.

I played Solfegietto and Für Elise, and a few others, every day. Memorized and fluid on my digital, the moment a neighbor, family, or recording device was in the room I couldn't play them without stumbling and halting. It takes a while to get comfortable enough to play well in front of people, if you are nervous.

Now I know those pieces so well that I am bored when playing them. To play them in front of people today is like walking or breathing. Give it time and keep playing the piece and know it inside/out (which chords and chord changes it contains, what specific notes you play, etc.) so it becomes less of a spectacle and more of a ritual… then dress it up with some expressiveness so it isn't boring to the listeners.
_________________________
Currently working on/memorizing...
"It's You" from Robotech
"He's A Pirate"
"Crazy Bone Rag"
"Claire DeLune (finally)"

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#2181416 - 11/13/13 06:34 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
The Wind Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/13
Posts: 468
they call this "Red dot syndrome!" because of the blinking red dot of the recording device when it's on.

Everyone gets it, even pros who have been playing for years. I have to deal with it myself. It's having to perform perfectly under pressure.

The best way is to play as if it doesn't matter. Paradoxically when you want to do well often times you don't, and when you don't care then you play your best.

How are you recording yourself on the digital, just with their recording device or hooked up to a computer?

I'd say just press record and run through the song a few times. Try recording every day to get used to it.

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#2181418 - 11/13/13 06:40 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
The Wind Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/13
Posts: 468
Funny enough about playing in front of people I do some solo piano gigs, jazz and pop stuff. If I do shows with "regular" folks, like a hotel or seniors home I play fine. If it's with fellow musicians I tend to try too hard because I know they can tell what sounds good or not.

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#2181420 - 11/13/13 06:48 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
angelsong, I have read yout post, here:

AM I being too impatient?

I've been learning and practising Auld Lang Syne for about a week now. Have taken it easy, step by step, so I can play it 'relatively' smoothly. Have been careful about the fingering, which is quite complicated. So, I can now play it relatively well - until I attempt to record it (on my digital piano). I'm wearing earphones, so no-one can hear me, yet I go to pieces. I realise it doesn't matter - no-one's judging me etc - and yet I'm unable to replicate what I do when not being recorded. I guess this is a normal part of the process - as well as playing for others - and no doubt it's just an indication of my lack of experience/confidence/practice. I'm not sure if I should forget about trying to play for others - or even just recording the tune as I was doing today? Yet I'm inclined to feel that perhaps I need to persevere with this, even if just occasionally, rather than delude myself into thinking I'm doing well because no-one can hear. Any suggestions?

_____

The mystery of your post, will forever be a mystery unless you reveal what you have learned and how well you have learned it.

I have been playing the piano 2 years and I am not good enough yet to play Auld Lang Syne. If you go to a music store and find a beginner book of piano - the first book of learning piano - that is the level I am at.

When I learn a piece, it takes me about a day to play it very, very, very, very, slowly without mistakes - specifically I play the piece at 15 MM (on a metronome). It then takes me 3 to 4 months to play it smooth and musical or at performance level - if I was good enough to play it publically. I wouldn't think of recording anything I played because there would be no reason to do that. I know the value of the notes so I know when I play the piece how the piece will or does sound.

To be able to record or play the piece publically
for others without mistakes - you have to be able to play it at 20 MM (metronome) speed above the speed indicated. So if it says the speed to play Auld Lang Syne at 100 MM then, for you to play it well, you would have to be able to play it 120 MM so that you are relaxed and in control. But that is just the first part. The second part is that you have to know the piece so well that you have to be able to play the piece while standing on your head bouncing balls while playing the piano without mistakes. Of course, I am being funny, but I am serious when I say you have to know the piece well. I mean you really have to know the piece well.

Famous, rich piano players that have been playing since they were 7 years old - before they go on the road around the world, they spend 6 or 7 months playing the pieces - and then they play the pieces after and before every concert. And I should add that only after going on the road for 5 or 10 years they then will make a recording taking many months to do it right before releasing it for sale - So that might help you answer your question. If you don't believe me, go to the first street musician who is playing for coins on the street and ask them how long they have been play for coins. They will likely tell you 10 years. And they play their instrument every day.

Playing the piano is awesome, but it is tough to do it easy and well for free or for coins.

cheers,

3N13EZ


Edited by Michael_99 (11/13/13 07:00 AM)

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#2181423 - 11/13/13 06:52 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 604
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: angelsong
I've been learning and practising Auld Lang Syne for about a week now. Have taken it easy, step by step, so I can play it 'relatively' smoothly. Have been careful about the fingering, which is quite complicated. So, I can now play it relatively well - until I attempt to record it (on my digital piano). I'm wearing earphones, so no-one can hear me, yet I go to pieces. I realise it doesn't matter - no-one's judging me etc - and yet I'm unable to replicate what I do when not being recorded. I guess this is a normal part of the process - as well as playing for others - and no doubt it's just an indication of my lack of experience/confidence/practice. I'm not sure if I should forget about trying to play for others - or even just recording the tune as I was doing today? Yet I'm inclined to feel that perhaps I need to persevere with this, even if just occasionally, rather than delude myself into thinking I'm doing well because no-one can hear. Any suggestions?



Yep, I remember trying to record an upbeat version of that same tune a few years ago when that little voice in the back of my head says "just imagine you're on stage in front of a 1/2 million people who've been playing piano since they were five and now they are quietly sitting in their seats waiting for you to screw it up". It's not unlike going through boot camp ... that little voice is trying to toughen you up. The good news is you will start working through it. Just chuckle when it chimes in and press on. You can do it.
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2181429 - 11/13/13 07:16 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2370
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Two suggestions. Firstly, stop practising without recording. If we're going to perform what we practise then we must practise performing, not playing. We need to accustom ourselves to the thinking, concentrating and attitude state in which we perform or record instead of settling in to our usual practise mode. If the ABF recitals have done nothing else for me, they've done this and this is incredibly powerful.

Playing 'relatively well' goes out the window when it comes to recording it so practise beyond 'relatively well' and get it to 'record ready', each phrase at a time, each chord change at a time, if necessary.

Are you wearing earphones just when you record or when you practise as well? I'm guessing that you're using a digital. Minimise your time on earphones as much as possible. Especially when you record. When you work with headphones the sound source is so close to the ear that sufficient volume for tonal control will be damaging to the eardrum. Few digital pianos have sufficient volume on their built in speakers and need to be supplemented. For your playing technique you need to be playing at a similar volume level to a normal acoustic piano. You should be struggling to play quietly until you can play quietly and not by turning down the volume.

I play a Kawai CA95. At 135w power output it's one of the loudest. I never play it at less than full volume (except when I use headphones) and if the house is empty I even use the dual voice function to boost the volume a little more.
_________________________
Richard

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#2181432 - 11/13/13 07:28 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
sydnal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/20/13
Posts: 126
@Angelsong, I don't have any suggestions but I want to share my experience which is similar. I have been self learning using Alfred Books and recording videos of a piece before I move on (to keep a progress log)

Recording has been very hard for me as well. I can play a song to an acceptable level a few times over, but as soon as I press on the record button it's like a switch is thrown off in my brain. I start sweating cold and it's not unusual that I have complete memory blanks, sitting there staring at the keys.. (Which never happens when I am not recording.) So the performance anxiety is definitely there, even when recording by yourself. I think this is something that needs to be overcome so I still record my pieces however difficult it is.

As for your expectations/impatience, I think 1 week is not a long period for a new piece when following a method book. Because in method books the pieces get harder gradually and the next piece is usually at or a little above your current technique. I remember spending almost 1 month each for the last pieces in Alfred 1. I was playing the same thing over and over back then though, which I realized is a mistake. So now I try to keep things varied by peeking at the next pieces. At a given time I am working on 3-4 pieces. A 4 week period spent with struggling on each piece 1 week versus 4 week spent on playing each of the pieces a little each day makes a huge difference. Maybe you can try it, take it slow and start working on the next piece while polishing this one. Eventually you will become comfortable enough to record this one easily.

Best of luck.
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-350
Alfred's Adult All-in-One Book 1 Graduate

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#2181433 - 11/13/13 07:32 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
The Wind Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/13
Posts: 468
ok guys just for kicks I just went to the keyboard and recorded Auld Lang Syne. This is the New Years Day songs that they play right after the countdown? I heard a version on youtube to make sure.

So this is take 1, I just played the melody a few times and jazzed it up a bit. Mistakes and all =)

https://app.box.com/s/cewp52a38xfdf34dt3e1

Are you guys learning this from a book or sheet music? The fingering shouldn't be too hard, it's a simple melody.



Edited by The Wind (11/13/13 09:18 AM)
Edit Reason: new link

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#2181444 - 11/13/13 07:59 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
Moonraker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/12
Posts: 43
Loc: Wales, UK
angelsong,
I'm the same as you - and I've been at it longer! I feel, as you do, that it's something to be faced ... but, er, not today. Why not start with a really easy piece that you know well? Or perhaps start by finding a "friend" who would listen, or just be in the room, while you're playing to get you used to performance conditions. Alternatively, you could record your whole practice session & then send it through a program such as Audacity to clip out the unwanted bits and leave your best performance for posterity. Others who've experienced "red dot fever" and got over it will certainly have more ideas.

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#2181446 - 11/13/13 08:02 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: The Wind]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 604
Loc: Louisiana
Hey TW, it says it's been deleted or not available.
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2181477 - 11/13/13 09:16 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
The Wind Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/13
Posts: 468
https://app.box.com/s/cewp52a38xfdf34dt3e1

Try this link, does it work? It was my first go at it so call it a rough take.

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#2181480 - 11/13/13 09:22 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 604
Loc: Louisiana
Got it that time ... Nice work TW!
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2181483 - 11/13/13 09:30 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
The Wind Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/13
Posts: 468
thanks Rerun, just played it by ear and for fun! maybe the OP can try that approach and see what happens.

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#2181499 - 11/13/13 09:55 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: Rusty Fortysome]
angelsong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 81
Loc: NW England
Thanks for your response - very reassuring to know that others have had the same experiences and overcome them. Thanks again.

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#2181501 - 11/13/13 09:59 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: The Wind]
angelsong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 81
Loc: NW England
Thanks, The Wind, for that. I'm just recording on my digigal piano - haven't even quite mastered that yet - as soon as I record something else, it will record over it. However, I feel that it may help if I can at least attempt to overcome the nerves that appear as soon as I start. It's also good to hear that others have similar experiences. Thanks again.

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#2181505 - 11/13/13 10:05 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: Michael_99]
angelsong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 81
Loc: NW England
Thanks for yr comments Michael 99. I only started learning to play in March of this year and have been using the Alfred-all-in-One book One. The purpose of recording on my digital piano is purely so I can play it back and 'hear' how I'm doing - but as I say in my entry, this is proving more challenging than I thought. Thanks again for yr comments, but I have no ambitions at the moment to attempt to 'entertain' people!

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#2181506 - 11/13/13 10:06 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: Rerun]
angelsong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 81
Loc: NW England
Thanks Rerun - I'm going to try that!!

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#2181508 - 11/13/13 10:13 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: zrtf90]
angelsong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 81
Loc: NW England
Thanks for your comments zrtf90 - need to think about some of what you've suggested.

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#2181513 - 11/13/13 10:15 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: sydnal]
angelsong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 81
Loc: NW England
Thanks so much sydnal, for your suggestions - this has been very helpful. You have described perfectly my experience when I 'press record'!!

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#2181516 - 11/13/13 10:23 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: Moonraker]
angelsong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 81
Loc: NW England
Thanks Moonraker - and I agree this has to be confronted at some time. I do get my husband to listen to me - but I'm being careful not to start to depend on his 'approval' - because I then start to try to gauge 'just how much he liked it'!! The recording is more so I can play it back for myself - no pressure, yet I'm putting the pressure on myself!!

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#2181519 - 11/13/13 10:29 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
angelsong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 81
Loc: NW England
Just to say thanks for all the responses - I've responded individually - and now realise it may have been better to put it all into one entry!! However, being able to come on here and share a problem - and get responses so quickly - is simply amazing! Thank you.

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#2181534 - 11/13/13 10:45 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
RonDrotos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 66
Loc: New York City
I can totally relate! The same thing used to happen to me, when I was just getting serious about music as a teenager.

I'd practice for hours, and then try to record a song or short classical piece on my portable cassette recorder. As soon as I pressed the 'record' button, I'd start sweating and would have to do 3-4 'takes' until I played the piece well.

In retrospect, I think one of the reasons this happens is because we love music so much and want to be really good at it. We want so much to play our best, that we start to magnify the normal slight nervousness that occurs when we play for others or record our music.

I'd suggest that you keep going, and tap into your love of music each time. It definitely gets easier! You can even just push 'record' and just sit there, doing nothing, to used to the feeling that you're recording. I've recorded several CDs and have played many live performances since those first attempts, and have been amazed at how much fun performing and recording can be. There's a built-in energy in those situations that can be channelled, but it takes a little time to find what works for you, in terms of becoming comfortable doing it.

I once asked an experienced jazz saxophonist what he thought about when he played a ballad in concert. He replied that he figured that in every audience there was at least one person who was completely loving the music and paying attention. He simply played for that person, whoever it might me.

Try everything and see what helps. But remember that it isn't the whole picture. If you play well while practicing, and enjoy it, then that can be a reward in itself.

Good luck and have fun!
_________________________
Ron Drotos
rondrotos@keyboardimprov.com

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#2181562 - 11/13/13 11:40 AM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
Jayden Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/13
Posts: 102
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
If you ever decide to take up something like learning a second language, you're going to experience multiple moments in which you feel like you're getting nowhere. You feel like you're forgetting things you shouldn't be forgetting, or that you're progressing too slowly.

But eventually everything comes together. It's all about the amount of time you spend with the language, or in your case, the amount of time you spend with the instrument and the piece in question. I imagine piano would be similar in this regard. Your brain will sort it out with enough time.

The quicker you forget about the problems and just start enjoying the music with confidence that eventually it will come together, the quicker it will click. Our brain is it's own worst critic.
_________________________
XXXV
XXXIII

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#2181594 - 11/13/13 12:22 PM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
UKIkarus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/13
Posts: 296
Loc: England, South East
I have this exact same issue, it can be VERY irritating and I still have not actually shared anything with anyone yet.... however I can say that by doing as I did and recording myself every time I play/mess around or experiment for personal use and "looking back" (yes even scales/experimenting and messing about) I can then go back to these and pick/choose any pieces I like (usually audio only) to give people an idea of what I like to play and also spot and resolve any mistakes I find smile.

I have noticed that despite not actually sharing the recordings my confidence is definitely coming along in terms of playing in front of others or recording myself or practising in general, perhaps you can give it a shot too?
_________________________
Yamaha MOX8 Synthesizer


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#2181615 - 11/13/13 01:17 PM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
I originally posted the following. on the "call for submissions" thread but it's relevant here. Whatever you do, don't give up. My piece is no great shakes but at least it's posted which is a true milestone for me.

"Seriously, I recorded my piece well over 300 times to get half a dozen more or less acceptable recordings. I played my piece straight through at least 10 times every day for the last month or more before I submitted it. Every time I played it through I had the Zoom on. For the majority of the time the goal wasn't so much a clean recording as to gradually overcome a severe red dot phobia/ allergy. (My hands have been know to morph into crab claws. ). I regarded the recording as a sort of aversion therapy like getting a war horse used to noise and smoke."
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#2181677 - 11/13/13 03:03 PM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
angelsong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 81
Loc: NW England
Thanks again to everyone who responded - it has all been so very helpful and reassuring - I will continue to record pieces and will also do it more regularly to help me overcome that nervousness about 'performing' - even if it's not much of a performance and no-one's actually listening!!

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#2181772 - 11/13/13 04:33 PM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
Farmerjones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 196
Loc: USA
You've peaked my interest too. By jiminy im gonna give it a try too. Fine tune for a particular night.

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#2181823 - 11/13/13 05:33 PM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: Farmerjones]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1862
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Farmerjones
You've peaked my interest too. By jiminy im gonna give it a try too. Fine tune for a particular night.



Peaked vs. Piqued

http://www.mtdesk.com/Piqued%2C+peeked%2C+peaked
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2181916 - 11/13/13 08:13 PM Re: Am I being too impatient? [Re: angelsong]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1586
Loc: Australia
I found it very difficult to record and still don't like it. I don't even like going to my piano lessons to show off a new piece as I will always just stuff up badly.

However it has gotten a little better the more I do it. I like to record new pieces as they progress so as to get a historical record of how bad I am (will be selling these in future when I am a mega star "Earlofmar - The Early Years").

A trick I learned for recording a more finished piece was being able to realize when in fact it was finished and it was time to record. I won't try to record now if I am not playing a piece smoothly with little or no hesitation. This does not include the PW recitals where I can't always get the piece to my standard before submitting.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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