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#226201 - 02/13/08 08:45 PM How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
wruess Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/07
Posts: 121
Loc: Northern California, USA
Just curious, all you grand piano owners out in Piano World land.... when you practice (or just play) your piano, how far do you routinely open it up? I.e., just fallboard, fold back front section of lid, raise lid?

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#226202 - 02/13/08 08:52 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
Larry Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 992
Loc: Carmel, Indiana
When my grand arrived in september, I opened the lid all the way and I have not closed it since then. Larry
_________________________
1995 Baldwin L grand
2001 Baldwin Hamilton upright
Yamaha S90 synthesizer
www.larrylarsonpiano.com
YouTubeChannel www.youtube.com/LarryLarsonPiano

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#226203 - 02/13/08 08:55 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
Rach.3Freak105 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/06/05
Posts: 446
Loc: Moorestown, NJ
I tend to only open up the front when I practice. However when I have to house to myself, which is only every so often, you can be sure that I will have that thing all the way open!! =)
_________________________
Once during a concert at Carnegie Hall, the violinist Rachmaninoff was playing with lost his place in the music and whispered to Rachmaninoff, "Where are we?" Rachmaninoff replied, in all seriousness, "Carnegie Hall".

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#226204 - 02/13/08 09:02 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
LJC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1549
Loc: New York
Fully open, let it rip!

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#226205 - 02/13/08 09:15 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
All the way unless the room humidity is high or low, which is rare.

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#226206 - 02/13/08 09:20 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
Roger Ransom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 1300
Loc: SouthWest Michigan
I open it up all the way, leave it open and smile.
_________________________
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Yamaha G7 - Roland FP7

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#226207 - 02/13/08 09:25 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
ejsauter Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 564
Loc: Michigan
Generally, I only hinge back the lid to expose the music stand.

On days when I really want to experience the tone (and no one is home), especially Debussy or similar, I open the lid to the middle stick, sometimes even the full stick. I have not used the short stick very often, unless I am doing accompaniment (guitar for example).
_________________________
"The creative mind plays with the object it loves." -- Carl Jung

http://www.sauter-pianos.com

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#226208 - 02/13/08 09:39 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
Actually there are times, especially when playing Ravel, when I want ALL the overtones at full strength.

I not only open the lid fully, but I also remove the string cover - and even more rarely the music desk and even more rarely I turn the lights out and light candles.

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#226209 - 02/13/08 09:55 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17849
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
If I'm just taking a short music break and playing a piece while a pot of water is heating to a boil or something like that, I won't open the lid at all and will play by memory. If I'm sitting down to practice, I'll usually put the piano on short prop out of consideration for the rest of the family. But if I have the house to myself (doesn't happen often with two kids, sorry to say), I'm like RachFreak and put the piano on glorious full stick. The sound is so much better that way it's like falling in love with one's spouse all over again.
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#226210 - 02/13/08 10:31 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
BB Player Online   content


Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 2750
Loc: Not in Texas
Lid all the way up, all the time.
_________________________
Greg

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#226211 - 02/13/08 11:13 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2965
Loc: western Wisconsin
At the office, I simply fold back the lid and leave it down on the B's.

On the upright at home, the only time I prop the lid open is when I'm rehearsing chamber music... stays closed the rest of the time.

Back in my student days, one trick we did to muffle overly bright practice room pianos was to shut the lid entirely but place the music desk on top of it... cuts down on the treble "ping".

On stage it's open all the way, including for most chamber music, with the music desk out (if at all possible).

I'm often perplexed by students who leave the piano full-open in a walk-in freezer-sized practice room. The pianos are already really bright from use, and it can be painful to walk in while someone's playing!
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Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
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#226212 - 02/14/08 08:39 AM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
U S A P T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 1645
Loc: An Indiana University
Over the summer, I practiced a lot (4-8 hours a day) for my school audition. I kept the lid up because hey I had just gotten a Steinway and was proud of it.

I quickly developed an annoying case of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) that has never fully gone away.

I now practice with the lid closed -- sometimes all the way with the music desk removed and set on top of the closed lid fly. I put felt "feet" on the music desk a la Kawai to keep from scratching the lid fly.

When I accompany kids at school, I leave the lid down for vocalists and most woodwinds, and maybe on the first prop for brass. For two pianos, we have both lids up and for ensembles the lid stays up.

But for practicing it stays down.
_________________________
Full-Time Music/Entrepreneurship Major: (Why not compose music AND businesses?)
Former Piano Industry Professional
************
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Roland Atelier AT90R
************
All Posts are Snarky Unless Otherwise Noted
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#226213 - 02/14/08 11:43 AM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3457
Loc: Western Canada
During the day when no one is home, I like to have the lid on the second stick. That little stick scares me a little as I really have a hard time believing that it can actually hold the lid on its own without breaking!

But when people are home, I close the lid completely. Or I'll get, "Get off the piano"! \:D
_________________________
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Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#226214 - 02/14/08 11:51 AM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
We tend to leave ours on the small stick (good compromise between sound and dust mgmt). However, my wife has recently been inclined to leave it on the big stick. To get that full bodied sound? Nope, turns out that when on the small stick, it places the lid exactly about eye level for our daughter, and my wife is afraid that she'll come blitzing through the living room (as she often does) and lose an eye!

Just purchased the minivac with blower feature to start blowing out the inside of the piano, so I think we'll be leaving it on the big stick (better than losing an eye I guess), though I see a HEPA filter for the living room in our very near future. They're great for minimizing dust in a room BTW.

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#226215 - 02/14/08 12:15 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
M&HAAdriver Offline
Silver Expires April 2010

Silver member until April 2010

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 272
Loc: Centennial, Colorado
We usually leave the lid down, front part folded back, and the fallboard open. The main reason is the nice (artificial) flower arrangement that lives on the piano. Now and then, and for pure fun or show when appropriate, the flowers get moved and the lid is up. (I'm a binary kind of guy. The short stick is useless to me.) And like Monica says, those occasions become all the more special, even though I still revel in the sound of my piano whenever I mash the keys, regardless of the cover position.
_________________________
** Bob ** M&H AA 92809 **

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#226216 - 02/14/08 12:47 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
wruess Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/07
Posts: 121
Loc: Northern California, USA
Thanks for the responses everyone. I assumed when the question was posed that everyone left the lid down & completely closed when piano not in use, but obviously this is not the case. For me, piano is completely closed when not being played (keeps dust out and allows Dampp Chaser to do its job - believe this is recommended practice for long term piano health). For practicing when I need music, I often just fold back the front part of the top to expose the music stand (laziness on my part - the lid is heavy). If just messing around for a few minutes, sometimes only the fallboard is open. Was thinking about how ironic this is, since the true sound of the piano is squashed. Well, actually the Sauter Omega still sounds pretty good this way, but of course its true glory is better appreciated with the lid raised.

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#226217 - 02/14/08 01:19 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
I leave mine open full stick all the time.
_________________________
"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
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#226218 - 02/14/08 01:22 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
MissT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/20/07
Posts: 100
Loc: Quebec, Quebec
I rarely open the lid all the way up unless the place is crowded. When the room is empty he's a little too loud. But when I'm in the mood to compose, I like to open the lid and remove the music stand to watch the mechanism working while I play (did I say I was an engineer?)
_________________________
Grotrian-Steinweg 160 #98923

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#226219 - 02/14/08 01:24 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
GoatRider Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/07
Posts: 460
Loc: Maple Grove, MN
My brother leaves his at least at medium stick. If it's closed, the cats will sit on it. With it open, they slide off.
_________________________
- Benton Jackson. Permanent piano novice.
Kawai RX-2 #2555861 in Satin Walnut
Kawai ES6

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#226220 - 02/14/08 01:26 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18623
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by kenny:
All the way unless the room humidity is high or low, which is rare. [/b]
Kenny :

Why would the relative humidity in the room determine whether or not the lid is up or down?

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#226221 - 02/14/08 03:23 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
Mine is mostly always closed up with music scattered flat on the lid. I developed this habit because I discovered the DC system really works better with the piano all closed up, especially in the winter when it's so dry; also keeps the inside of the piano clean and dust free. I've grown to quite like the sound as well with everything closed up - kind of woody and mellow.
_________________________
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#226222 - 02/14/08 05:12 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 6025
Loc: Down Under
My music room is fairly small (and my yamaha fairly loud), so I don't often play with the lid on full stick. I'd love to have a beautiful big room where I could do that! For chamber music I might use short stick, but for practising and for accompanying singers I generally fold back the front part of the lid only. If it's late at night I don't even do this, but just open the fallboard and rig up a stand on top. I keep the cover on the piano most of the time, and close it all up overnight.
I've just got myself a Zoom H2 (that's another thread \:\) ) and am experimenting with recording positions - short stick seems to be best so far.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#226223 - 02/14/08 07:01 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
GoatRider Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/07
Posts: 460
Loc: Maple Grove, MN
 Quote:
Originally posted by BruceD:
 Quote:
Originally posted by kenny:
All the way unless the room humidity is high or low, which is rare. [/b]
Kenny :

Why would the relative humidity in the room determine whether or not the lid is up or down?

Regards, [/b]
Probably because his dammp-chaser would be more effective, would be my guess.

Relative humility would also matter. \:D
_________________________
- Benton Jackson. Permanent piano novice.
Kawai RX-2 #2555861 in Satin Walnut
Kawai ES6

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#226224 - 02/15/08 06:18 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
Matthew Collett Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 536
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
 Quote:
Originally posted by wruess:
Just curious, all you grand piano owners out in Piano World land.... when you practice (or just play) your piano, how far do you routinely open it up? I.e., just fallboard, fold back front section of lid, raise lid? [/b]
For scales and exercises first thing, I just lift the fallboard. For most other practice, it's open on the half stick. For recording, or occasional indulgence, I put it up to the full stick.

Best wishes,
Matthew
_________________________
"Passions, violent or not, may never be expressed to the point of revulsion; even in the most frightening situation music must never offend the ear but must even then offer enjoyment, i.e. must always remain music." -- W.A.Mozart

212cm Fazioli: some photos and recordings .
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#226225 - 02/15/08 11:40 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
Aviator1010110 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 134
Loc: United States
Just the fallboard, nothing open on the top, not even the hinge that uncovers the music desk (use a foldable stand on top). I find that opening my piano makes it too loud.
_________________________
Technical skills should never come before artistry. I think of technical ability as a necessary tool for extracting a truly moving performance from a sensitive interpretation. -Aviator1010110

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#226226 - 02/16/08 12:06 AM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
 Quote:
Originally posted by BruceD:
 Quote:
Originally posted by kenny:
All the way unless the room humidity is high or low, which is rare. [/b]
Kenny :

Why would the relative humidity in the room determine whether or not the lid is up or down?

Regards, [/b]
I'm just being extra kind to the piano.
Nothing is absolute.
I think if humidity was extreme that even with the dammpchaser it would be extra protection for the piano to leave the lid down.

Just more of Overkill-Kenny in action.

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#226227 - 02/16/08 12:09 AM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3770
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
Closed all the time.. I prefer a more intimate sound level.
_________________________
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

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#226228 - 02/16/08 11:13 AM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I've noticed with customers that leave them open 24/7 on the long prop, that the lid tends to warp towards the back end of the piano from the amount of weight on the lid. When they do go to eventually close it say to move the piano, it doesn't always want to close well after a long time of leaving it open. The little prop doesn't seem to affect this nearly as much as the longer prop does.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#226229 - 02/16/08 02:02 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
Roger Ransom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 1300
Loc: SouthWest Michigan
This is intersting hmmm. With some quotes from another similar thread. So who knows, I guess it varies with the piano.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Groot RPT:
I've noticed with customers that leave them open 24/7 on the long prop, that the lid tends to warp towards the back end of the piano from the amount of weight on the lid. When they do go to eventually close it say to move the piano, it doesn't always want to close well after a long time of leaving it open. The little prop doesn't seem to affect this nearly as much as the longer prop does. [/b]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Roger Ransom:
My piano is always open...It's 45 years old, the lid is not warped, and it looks fine.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally poste by Sy Shuster
Just FYI, lids are more likely to warp when left open on the short stick.
_________________________
Laugh More
Yamaha G7 - Roland FP7

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#226230 - 02/16/08 02:33 PM Re: How far do you open (grand) piano to practice?
hotkeys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 788
Loc: Massapequa, NY
I practiced on pianos that had the lids closed. One of the pianos (at an estate) was in a room that was stoned lined and the sound carried when the room is empty to other parts of the house (piano was a Knabe baby grand). It is not only the piano, but also the acoustical makeup of the room the piano is in...

- Mark
_________________________
...The ultimate joy in music is the joy of playing the piano...

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