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#340371 - 07/03/08 08:27 AM is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
alleon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 70
im a beginner, and i couldnt play anything from memory.

is it kinda weird to bring a rather simple piano score and play it at the store?

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#340372 - 07/03/08 08:33 AM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
I think it would be weird not to. Also it might not hurt to take along a more advanced friend, or maybe even your teacher once you have a short list.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#340373 - 07/03/08 08:33 AM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
cs_carver Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/08
Posts: 52
Loc: Raleigh, NC
Given the choice--bringing music, or making a purchase with a lot of zeros at the end "blind," without a useful test?

Be weird.

If they would rather laugh at you than take your money, you deserve a better dealer, anyway.

Congratulations on buying a piano!

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#340374 - 07/03/08 08:39 AM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
who cares what they think?
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#340375 - 07/03/08 08:58 AM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1227
Loc: London
Although I have been playing for years, I can't play a thing without a score. So if I was trying out pianos, I would definitely take some music with me.

Bear in mind though that your piece(s) might not cover the whole range of the instrument. So in addition to playing the piece(s), why not try some arpeggios or chords, in different keys, in different parts of the keyboard. Also perhaps some scales. The idea being to listen for the tone in the various registers, and also to get a feel of the action. Try playing very quietly. Does it feel as if you are in control? Don't forget that your objective is not to give a good rendition of the piece, but to listen critically to the sound of the piano, and to judge the feel of the action.

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#340376 - 07/03/08 08:59 AM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1227
Loc: London
Sorry, I somehow managed to press the "add reply" button twice.

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#340377 - 07/03/08 09:02 AM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17698
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Good advice from David-G.

I'd also add the suggestion that you don't try to play entire pieces from start to finish... if you do, you'll start worrying too much about playing it "right" and cringing when you make a mistake. You also want to play stuff you're very comfortable with so you can concentrate on listening to the piano and not getting the notes right.

When I was auditioning pianos I would just play little snippets here and there, and whenever I made a mistake or had a memory lapse I'd stop and it would just sound like yet another snippet. \:D \:D

Please don't worry about the people in the store. They have heard it all, and as long as you don't play chopsticks you'll be fine. \:\)
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#340378 - 07/03/08 11:40 AM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
You're not being auditioned, the piano is.

The best auditioning material is the music that you like to play or listen to being played. In addition to David G's and Monica K.'s suggestions, you can also move the melody up an octave and the bass down an octave. Playing your music both softer and louder than usual will help you to explore the character of a piano - does timbre change with volume?

Using the pedals will help you to evaluate dealer prep,

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#340379 - 07/03/08 11:41 AM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
mdsdurango Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 1755
Loc: Durango Colorado
 Quote:
Originally posted by apple*:
who cares what they think? [/b]
What she said! :rolleyes:
_________________________
WHAT???????
Yamaha S6, U5C, P120
http://michaelstith.com

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#340380 - 07/03/08 12:05 PM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
Bear 1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 1348
Loc: Hillsboro Beach South Florida
Greetings alleon,

Most dealers are mainly concerned about helping you choose a piano that will best meet your needs, not how you play it nor whatever music you brought along to help you play it.
Many piano salespeople can't play worth a hoot anyway, music score or not.
Relax, enjoy your piano auditioning journey and don't make it a worrisome trial for yourself.
Have lots of fun and make it a memorable adventure.

Good luck with your hunt for "the one." \:\)

Cordially,

Bear
_________________________
Barry J "Bear" Arnaut ♫
46 Years in the Piano Industry
Retired Kawai/Shigeru Kawai Regional Manager
(My posts and threads are my opinions only)

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#340381 - 07/03/08 12:07 PM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1474
Loc: Danville, California
Alleon

Believe me, as slow as business is right now, I don't think they would mind if you brought in a 3-piece combo to back you up as you play!

They just want you to come in!

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#340382 - 07/03/08 01:22 PM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
Marty in Minnesota Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 02/09/07
Posts: 1178
Loc: Minnesota
Good advice from all.

I tend to hang out at the local dealerships and I always have some trusty, well worn music scores in my hand.

You should do whatever you feel comfortable with. It does not matter at all how you choose to audition a piano at the store. You are the customer. That is the most important thing.

Take your time and get to know any pianos that "strike your ear." Even if it is "chopsticks", do play it in all octaves.

Please let us know how your search is going.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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#340383 - 07/03/08 01:24 PM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
When I was buying my teaching piano I saw lots of candidates over a period of time at different stores.

I took several books of music with me and played for an hour on the few ones I finally considered. The rest of them, I knew within 5 minutes or less, that it was not the piano for me.

You either feel good and sound good and react well to this piano or it's not the one you want. Any even slight negative is to be considered to be a "no go".

I would never buy a piano without having spent time playing it myself. You'll find yourself admiring the things about the piano you are feeling and hearing.

The potential of the piano is brought out by it's pianist, but the piano must have the capacity that you are looking for.

In addition consider price and guarantee offered - it is all part of the analysis if you are budget conscious.

I'd say play until you've falled in love with it and just have to own that piano - not another one from a warehouse or on order - that particular piano is the one you want.

Have fun and good luck shopping!

Betty

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#340384 - 07/03/08 01:29 PM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
Ric Overton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 253
Loc: Burbank, Ca
If the dealer has a problem with you taking an hour or three or five........LEAVE.

I have several customers that have made numerous trips to our store in the past few weeks and they have taken many hours to play. So What?
If I had a problem with that then I should be in a different business.

AGAIN-IF THE DEALERSHIP HAS A PROBLEM LEAVE. Come to San Diego, I would love to hear you play.

Ric Overton
ric@pianosd.com
PianoSD.com-San Diego
_________________________
Ric Overton
Ric@PianoSD.com
http://PianoSD.com

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#340385 - 07/03/08 04:17 PM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1734
Definitely bring music with you. One way to learn about pianos is to play your own music, so you can listen without having to concentrate too hard on getting the notes right. Another thing: it is a good idea to play the same piece on each piano you are trying out. You can get a really good comparison that way.

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#340386 - 07/03/08 05:52 PM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19096
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ric Overton:
If the dealer has a problem with you taking an hour or three or five........LEAVE.

I have several customers that have made numerous trips to our store in the past few weeks and they have taken many hours to play. So What?
If I had a problem with that then I should be in a different business.

Ric Overton
ric@pianosd.com
PianoSD.com-San Diego [/b]
But I don't think it's fair or reasonable to play more than a certain amount of time if other potential buyers show up. They really can't listen to a piano they're considering if you're playing also. Of course, you can wait until they are done and then continue playing.

Similarly, if you've already been to a dealer a few times and a potential customer shows up, I think you should stop playing and continue only when they leave.

If you're at a dealership that has several rooms with doors separating them then you don't need to stop.

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#340387 - 07/03/08 06:03 PM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
alleon,

Years ago, I went to Steinway Hall in NYC to have a look at pianos that were well beyond my means.

They had a significant supply of scores on hand for potential customers who didn't bring their own music!

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#340388 - 07/03/08 09:28 PM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
TX-Dennis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 4126
Loc: Texas
I took music when I was serious about piano shopping. As Monica suggested, I would just play a few lines, or a page of each piece rather than trying to play the entire piece. At first I was not very comfortable playing in stores, but it became easier as I went along. Play loud, play soft. Note the differences. Is the piano easy to play softly? Does it sound pleasant when played loudly, or are the overtones jarring? Try repeating a single note quickly. Use the index fingers of both hands to do this. Can you outplay the action? If you can, don't buy that piano. Other than that, just find the piano that sounds and feels best to you within your budget. Good luck and have fun.
_________________________
Dennis

flickr


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#340389 - 07/03/08 11:55 PM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
HarpsichordMan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 13
Loc: Northern Illinois
My family, wife, 12 year old child, and I have just purchased a new Schimmel after much playing and deliberation. All of us took scores to each dealer we visited. I never once felt odd about it. Spending the kind of money that a good piano demands necessitates a long audition and if you have little or nothing memorized, please take scores along and don't let dealers hurry you. Enjoy the search, take your time, play a lot of instruments and ask lots of questions.
_________________________
Schimmel 230T, Kawai 650 (6'8"), Willard Martin Saxon Harpsichord, Schlick French Double Harpsichord

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#340390 - 07/04/08 01:48 AM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
U S A P T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 1645
Loc: An Indiana University
There's nothing wierd about that. Piano people are used to hearing people play -- even beginners.

I have it on inside information that piano salespeople LOVE Fur Elise. They never ever hear it and love to hear it played on their pianos.
_________________________
Full-Time Music/Entrepreneurship Major: (Why not compose music AND businesses?)
Former Piano Industry Professional
************
Steinway M
Roland Atelier AT90R
************
All Posts are Snarky Unless Otherwise Noted
************

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#340391 - 07/04/08 04:12 AM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
Genaa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 326
Loc: Winchester, UK
hehe i now know I am going to feel very self conscious playing Fur Elise when I go to try new pianos.... it's one of the few pieces I can remember how to play! Likewise the first 2 movements of Moonlight Sonata - another favourite? I can hear the collective teeth grinding and groaning already!

Kinda reminds me of a sign that used to hang in a local guitar shop "if you play Stairway to Heaven or Sweet Child of Mine we WILL throw you out!"

Time for some new repertoire I think!
_________________________
Sauter Masterclass 130
----------------------
Currently working on:
Bach: French Suite no. 4
Beethoven: Op 10 no 1
Schubert: Op 90 no 3
Debussy: La Cathedrale Engloutie, Golliwog's Cakewalk, 'Clear the Room'
Balakirev / Glinka: The Lark

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#340392 - 07/04/08 09:52 AM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
TX-Dennis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 4126
Loc: Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Genaa:
hehe i now know I am going to feel very self conscious playing Fur Elise when I go to try new pianos.... it's one of the few pieces I can remember how to play! Likewise the first 2 movements of Moonlight Sonata - another favourite? I can hear the collective teeth grinding and groaning already!

Kinda reminds me of a sign that used to hang in a local guitar shop "if you play Stairway to Heaven or Sweet Child of Mine we WILL throw you out!"

Time for some new repertoire I think! [/b]
:D
_________________________
Dennis

flickr


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#340393 - 07/04/08 11:16 AM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10338
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
If you are seriously considering a purchase then, by all means, play as long as it takes to add or eliminate a piano from your short list.

However, be considerate of the dealership. Not only consider other shoppers, but keep in mind that in some store layouts it is difficult to conduct business on the phone when someone is playing fff. It can also be difficult to do bookkeeping and other necessary business tasks with someone playing.

The bottom line: Be aware of the effects of your playing.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#340394 - 07/04/08 11:32 AM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19096
Loc: New York City
It surprises me how some shoppers can start playing a piano even though someone else is playing in the same room. To me this is very rude. I certainly can't listen closely to the piano I'm playing, and I don't really know how they could listen to the piano they were trying out very well either.

Either I stop playing or sometimes I start playing the loudest piece I know - The Great Gate at Kiev etc.

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#340395 - 07/04/08 02:44 PM Re: is it weird to bring music score to the the dealership to test out piano?
gabytu Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 1521
Loc: Portland, Or.
By all means bring your music. When I was looking for my piano, I was totally intimidated by the idea of having anyone hear me play. What made it worse is that it seemed that everyone who was trying out a piano, just rippled off their music flawlessly played. My playing was below intermediate level. These people were all playing advanced compositions.

I timidly put my music on the rack, and played so softly that even I could barely hear it. Not a good idea.

I tried a number of pianos, gaining a little more confidence with each try. Then I realized that no one was listening, or cared about what I was doing, so I just played--mistakes and all. What I concentrated on, in addition to the sound, was the action. I played trills, and was really surprised at the different response of the various pianos.
Monica's suggestion of playing snippets is excellent. Play chords, scales. Play softly, and then fff. I was surprised that it was harder to play softly on some pianos than on others. Given the same amount of pressure, some pianos did not respond--just silence--keys sort of stuck. And these were new pianos. Also, be sure to play trills, as that will show how responsive the action is.
Gaby Tu

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