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#1566663 - 11/29/10 09:51 PM Re: My New Steinbuhler small keyboard [Re: David Steinbuhler]
MrLiszthoven Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/10
Posts: 63
Loc: Scotland
Hi David. Have you any idea how somebody in Britain could get one of these custom built pianos?
www.steinbuhler.com - Keyboards with narrower keys.


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#1689005 - 06/02/11 04:13 AM Re: My New Steinbuhler small keyboard [Re: Barbara G]
Rhonda B Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 10
Loc: Melbourne. Australia
I have just joined Piano World Forums. I also acquired a 7/8 keyboard for my grand piano from David Steinbuhler two years ago. David Steinbuhler came out here (Melbourne, Australia) late in 2008 to measure my piano and train a couple of technicians to do future measurements and installations. (He came with his wife, Linda, and made the trip into a holiday!) There is a bit about this on his website under 'first international sale' (www.steinbuhler.com/html/our_story.html).

I am amazed at how much easier everything is - not just large chords and octaves, but arpeggio-type figures and broken chords, broken octaves, etc...There is also much less uncomfortable stretching (on the conventional keyboard, I'm hanging off the edge of the white keys to play octaves), much greater power and feeling of security. It also makes me realise how much tme I spent trying to conquer technically difficult passages in the past. A fundamental issue here is whether something is 'under the hand' or not.

As others have said, the adjusting process is very quick. To get around the problem of performing elsewhere, I bought an electronic piano with standard keyboard for practice - this is more convenient than swapping keyboards in the grand, as I'm often practising different repertoire on the two keyboards. I have also watched even large handed males try it, and the most talented adjust almost immediately.

I did a survey of American pianists using 7/8 or 15/16 keyboards in early 2009 - results are written up in a conference paper I presented in Sydney that year. (www.appca.com.au/2009proceedings.php)

This year, I've just completed a website as a repository for relevant information - research, teachers, univeristies ec....For those interested, the address is: www.smallpianokeyboards.org
Rhonda B


#1689271 - 06/02/11 01:44 PM Re: My New Steinbuhler small keyboard [Re: Rhonda B]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2350
Loc: USA
Thanks for resurrecting this thread, Rhonda, and thanks for the research you compiled. I had thought "modifying" my grand was the only option but perhaps a new Walters upright (or whatever else Steinbuhler & Company offers these days) could work, too. I have contacted them to see if there's any keyboard close in my area that I could try.

My son has a toy 1-octave plastic piano (lots of cool features like a drum sensor, folds out to a guitar, etc.) from Target. It's definitely a more manageable keyboard wink

#1689449 - 06/02/11 06:59 PM Re: My New Steinbuhler small keyboard [Re: gnuboi]
Rhonda B Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 10
Loc: Melbourne. Australia
The only other 7/8 in Australia is a Walter upright owned by Sydney teacher, Erica Booker. It's fine (I've tried it), but it cost her as much to import as a 7/8 action/keyboard (her freight costs were higher than for me).

If you look under 'resources' on my website you'll see where the various universities and private teachers are located, so hopefully there is someone near you. Of course there will be others who have bought them but are not teaching, and David S is the ony one who will know where they are.

By the way, what is your hand span? If you can't play a 10th then a smaller keyboard is definitely an advantage. But if your fingers are a bit chunky then you may prefer the 15/16 rather than the 7/8.
Rhonda B


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#1689933 - 06/03/11 01:58 PM Re: My New Steinbuhler small keyboard [Re: Rhonda B]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2350
Loc: USA
Hand span at about 7.5 inches / 19 cm. I can reach 8th. Can only reach 9th on left hand. No can do with 10th. A stretch of an 8th with some notes mixed in the middle starts to get uncomfortable. Do that in rapid succession in forte or fortissimo and the hand/wrist gets tired from being so tense from the stretching. Something fun like Scott Joplin is only fun the first pass through and then it gets painful cry.

Talked to the wife about buying the Walter 1500 and selling my (1-year owned) grand... I think she's a bit pissed off that I didn't buy the right piano to begin with!

My plan now is to wait and just deal with the conventional keyboard until one day I am allowed to purchase (or I can stop pretending to be the victim and just take matters into my own, er, small, hands, argh).

Throw into the mix my children's eventual piano education. I have a feeling the teacher would not approve of a non-conventional keyboard. Their hands might grow to be bigger than mine but I doubt more than a span of 8.5 inches (their mom's).

In the meantime I will look for the Steinbuhler keyboard locally, or find some time to get to Titusville. There is a potential family trip to the Dallas area so maybe I should go visit SMU or UNT there smile

A possible parallel course of action would be to get myself a teacher, someone preferably a professional player who knows proper mechanics and technique. It's possible I can mitigate some or even most of my problems with proper technique in spite of hand size.

Thank you so much for your help!

#1691751 - 06/07/11 02:23 AM Re: My New Steinbuhler small keyboard [Re: Barbara G]
Rhonda B Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 10
Loc: Melbourne. Australia
I'm not sure what level you're at, but having a decent teacher who can teach good technique is very important - even more so if you have small hands. My own technique has changed dramatically in the last decade since I went to a decent teacher - this was mostly before I got the 7/8. I generally don't suffer from pain or any injuries, though I notice a lot less discomfort from stretching on the 7/8.

However 7.5 inches is quite small, and you'd undoubtedly enjoy a smaller keyboard far more and play at a higher level, especially if you're attempting advanced Romantic or later repertoire. It's a pity to give up a grand though for a Walter upright. If your kids are young then they would enjoy a smaller keyboard initially...but you'd have to decide later on having an alternative if their hands get too big. A this stage however, most of us need to have some sort of conventional keyboard in the house...in my case it's just an electronic piano.

By all means get to Dallas or wherever convenient to try it out!
Rhonda B


#1941614 - 08/12/12 07:54 PM Re: My New Steinbuhler small keyboard [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
stevenr004 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/24/09
Posts: 2
That looks like a nice shop.

Best Regards,

Steven R.

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