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#502390 - 11/27/07 03:00 PM Piano in a Chicago Apartment
Sockso Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/08/07
Posts: 88
I want to move to Chicago, particularly Lincoln Park. Real estate is uber-expensive there, so I'd have to rent.

I just don't know how I'll be able to play my piano 2-3 hours a day in an apartment. I'd really prefer not to go digital.

Any input?

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#502391 - 11/27/07 03:24 PM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12044
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Make sure your apartment has really good soundproofing. You can also put up things on the wall like carpets/tapestries to cut down on sound carrying through the walls (don't forget to floor and ceiling). If you practice during that day, most likely that won't be a problem as most people will be awake or at work. Check with the manager of the apartments to make sure you know the sound regulations for the place. However, you might want to get a digital for those times that you need to practice and know it's late or whatever, so you don't have to worry about disturbing anyone.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#502392 - 11/27/07 03:50 PM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18131
Loc: Victoria, BC
As in any big city, the quality of apartment buildings is going to run the gamut from tenements to luxury multi-million dollar aeries. The more expensive apartments are going to have better and more desirable features and that most likely includes better sound-proofing.

As Morodiene indicates, you are going to have to shop carefully and wisely for the right apartment in your price bracket if you hope to find one where you can play your piano when it is convenient for you to do so.

Above all, do your research carefully and do it before[/b] you sign a lease. Complaints from neighbors and management will not be silenced by "Oh, but I thought[/b] that ...."

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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Estonia 190

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#502393 - 11/27/07 03:58 PM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Seems like digital is your only viable choice.

The studio where I take my lessons are soundproof. I don't think it means what people associate the word with. It does cut down on the noise quite a bit, but if my bed were on the other side of that wall, I'd be a pretty unhappy camper.

I think its just a matter of courtesy to others.

By the way, I'd prefer an acoustic too, but I'm in a condo and would be fearful of assassination if I didn't have headphones.

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#502394 - 11/27/07 07:21 PM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3915
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Well, I live in Lincoln Park (or Old Town, which is right next to it), and I've settled for a digital for late hour playing. During the day I'm willing to play my acoustic instrument.

If you do bring an acoustic, you should think hard about humidification (although the problem should be similar in degree to the situation in Michigan, where you're coming from.)
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#502395 - 11/28/07 11:20 AM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I live in an apt. building where acoustic
pianos are allowed, but when I first moved
in, one tenant had an acoustic upright and
I watched in dismay as he was literally
run out of the building by the piano-hating
tenants. This is why I got my first digital,
and now I feel no need to return to
acoustic pianos. I like digitals better:
less expensive to purchase; no tuning
or maintenance, ever; durable and reliable;
volume control so you can play anything
any time of the day and not disturb
anyone--I sometimes hop on the piano
at 3:00 AM with no problem, and I don't
even use headphones; moveable by one person--
no need to call a moving van; and so forth.
Digitals have enabled me to make progress
that would have been impossible on an
acoustic. I've been able to work up
big Romantic Era concertos from scratch
by going at them note by note initially
and then beating them into the ground
by sheer dogged repetition--if I had
tried to do that on an acoustic, every
one of my numerous wrong notes would
have been heard as far as a block away
and I would have been the laughingstock
of the neighborhood.

We are living in the digital piano
age, so there's no need to hesitate about
them. Today you can get a digital for
less than $4000 that will blow the doors
off your modest Kimball upright.
This stuff that you still hear today
about not being able to learn properly
on a digital is so out of step with
the times that it's pathetic to hear it.
On the digital forum it has been pointed
out that top concert pianists like
Andre Watts and Valentina Lisitsa use
digitals. So get with the digital
revolution, and get the best and most
modern equipment available to a pianist today.

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#502396 - 11/28/07 02:28 PM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
Sockso Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/08/07
Posts: 88
Thanks for the input everybody.

Also, Gryo, thanks for the tip on digitals. While my Kimball is indeed quite the modest one, I haven't found a digital I really liked. I guess I haven't been looking expensive enough.

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#502397 - 12/01/07 04:13 PM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
pepper Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 171
Loc: SF CA
Find an apartment with very noisy neighbors. Then they can't complain about you. :-)

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#502398 - 12/01/07 04:23 PM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
U S A P T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 1645
Loc: An Indiana University
Sockso:

Thanks in large part to the Chicago Fire, Mrs. O'Leary's cow, and Chicago's subsequent passing of an ordinance prohibiting wood-framed structures, there are few wood-framed buildings in Lincoln Park.

You will find that many buildings have lots of soundproofing by simply by virtue of the materials used in construction.
_________________________
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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#502399 - 12/01/07 11:04 PM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
You might think about finding an apartment building full of older people. In my experience--based on my mother's apartment experience, they are more likely to welcome the ambiant sound of classical piano practice, but hate the sound of rock and roll.

Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#502400 - 12/04/07 06:28 AM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
Arabesque Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 553
Loc: Japan
 Quote:
Make sure your apartment has really good soundproofing.
[/b]

A piano in a Chicago[/b] apartment? ... maybe you'll need it to be more than sound - proof. ;\)
_________________________
It don't mean a ting if it don't have dat swing

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#502401 - 12/04/07 09:19 AM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
You should also find out what the city law/ordinance is regarding practicing musical instruments in apartment buildings. In NYC you have to stop at 10:00pm, for example.

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#502402 - 12/04/07 09:20 AM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Arabesque:
 Quote:
Make sure your apartment has really good soundproofing.
[/b]

A piano in a Chicago[/b] apartment? ... maybe you'll need it to be more than sound - proof. ;\) [/b]
I don't get it.

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#502403 - 12/04/07 10:15 AM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
Piano_hack Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Maryland, USA
I disagree with Bruce D. Apartment price is not a good indicator of soundproofing. In fact, in my experience, newer (more expensive) apartments are often the least well-insulated for sound.

Look for an older building (1920s to 1960s vintage) where the building materials included actual plaster walls, not wall-board as is used today. You are more likely to find good sound insulation through walls and floors in this kind of building.

I live in an 1960s era apartment, which fortunately has excellent sound-proofing despite the fact that there is zero insulation in the walls. (We are in the middle of a renovation, so I know this for a fact.) Our heating bills are not pretty, but I never get complaints on the noise from my Yamaha U1. Of course, I never play past 9 pm, which helps.
Harvey

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#502404 - 12/04/07 10:28 AM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1171
Loc: Cornwall, England
 Quote:
Originally posted by Phlebas:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Arabesque:
 Quote:
Make sure your apartment has really good soundproofing.
[/b]

A piano in a Chicago[/b] apartment? ... maybe you'll need it to be more than sound - proof. ;\) [/b]
I don't get it. [/b]
Phlebas, I'd hazard a guess that Arabesque is referring to bullet[/b]-proofing, probably because of Chicago's association with Al Capone and the gangster era of the 1920's. If Sockso upsets the 'wrong' people with his/her piano playing, he may have a point! ;\)

BTW Sockso, I think you'll find that a high-end digital with realistic keyboard touch would be more than up to the job as a part-time substitute for your Kimball... the one mentioned in my signature, for example. I suggest you check out the many related threads in the DP forum.

cruiser \:\)

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#502405 - 12/04/07 12:27 PM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
Oh, the Al Capone thing. Well, the St. Valentines Day Massacre days are pretty much over for Lincoln Park, but whatever.

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#502406 - 12/05/07 05:49 AM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
Arabesque Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 553
Loc: Japan
Sorry it was a bit pathetic anyway. \:o

I have played a digital in a Japanese apartment for years and had no problem with neighbours whatsoever. This despite very thin walls and a lot of wood framing.

Regarding acoustic models the Yamaha piano dealers here offer made to measure kind of enclosed practice booths you can put in your room apartment. The piano is then completely sound proofed. You can go in there and knock hell's bells out of your piano from dawn to dusk. The only problem is wether you want that kind of thing and wether you have the space. If you have an upright it would be fine. You can easily dismantle the practice booths when visitors come. Anything like that available over there?
_________________________
It don't mean a ting if it don't have dat swing

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#502407 - 12/05/07 12:08 PM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
hv Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 1230
Loc: Cape Cod
Hi, Arabesque. Yes, they're commonly used in recording studios to isolate singers and drummers. I've never heard of a piano being placed in one, or using them in an apartment. But if it would fit, why not? Here's some links:

http://www.vocalbooth.com/

ClearSonic

http://www.whisperroom.com/

http://www.perdueacoustics.com/drum_booth_kit.html

Well, maybe you wouldn't want one of these in your studio apartment. They really do that in Japan?


Howard

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#502408 - 12/05/07 09:15 PM Re: Piano in a Chicago Apartment
rhumball Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/14/07
Posts: 10
Loc: vancouver
I just bought my digital piano not long ago, Yamaha Clavinova CLP240 ($2700).I wish I could buy the higher model, but this is all I can afford. Like you, I prefer accoustic. But I live in a townhome complex, I don't have big space, and I love playing in odd hours. Plus, I can't get good accoustic piano in my budget range. This digital piano exceeds my expectation. Yamaha also has digital piano which keys made out of real wood. I totally love it (forgot the model number). But, it's $5K \:\(

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