Practice Rooms in New York

Posted by: trigalg693

Practice Rooms in New York - 06/08/10 04:16 PM

Hello everyone,
Can anyone suggest a place in Manhattan with high quality grand pianos for practice? I need it for this Friday night and Saturday afternoon. My teacher said the Kaufman Center had practice rooms, but when I called them they said they were only available from 9 to 5 on Friday and not available at all on weekends.

Money isn't really a concern, although it would be unfortunate if I had to rent out some huge place meant for a band or something for a lot of money just to use the piano for a while.

Thanks.
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/08/10 07:20 PM

Okay how about does anyone have experience with 853 7th Street Rehearsal Studios? Or Nola Rehearsal Studio?
Posted by: stores

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/08/10 07:26 PM

There was another thread about this very topic recently.
Posted by: Richter

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/08/10 08:11 PM

I just booked with 853 Rehearsal Studios for a week session in July, but I wouldn't be able to tell you anything until then! They were very friendly on the phone and very organized from what I know though!

But I too am curious if anybody has any experience with them!
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/08/10 09:32 PM

I tried out that place the other day. I think it would be fine for what you need. But make sure you realize that most of the grands are very small -- like 4'11. At least one of the rooms has a larger one. If this is important to you, make sure to ask what kind of piano is in the room that you reserve.
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/08/10 10:52 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
There was another thread about this very topic recently.

Well I'm sorry, I couldn't find it anywhere.

@ MarkC yea I asked, and they said one room has a 6'3" Charles Walter. Judging from their website, it appears that room is one of the 2 more expensive ones, which is slightly unfortunate. Merkin Hall/Kaufman charges only 15 an hour for rooms frown Although the 853 place does look nicer.

@ Richter it's looking like I'm going to have to book with them, if they still have openings. If that's what happens I'll try to remember to say something about them!
Posted by: Richter

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/08/10 11:14 PM

What 853 explained to me was that they don't book out specific rooms. Instead, they ask you a bit about your background and pick something well-suited that's available. They guaranteed that I would have a nice grand that was well taken care of though!

I checked at Merkin Hall and they apparently only have uprights (somebody correct me if I'm wrong).
It's $15/h at Merkin but it's only $20/h at 853 Rehearsal Studios. $5/h for a grand piano seems worth it to me!

Also, if you do end up using 853 Rehearsal Studios, can you please explain to me how to get to the actual studios?? I'm currently in Canada and it doesn't show up on Google Maps at all :P
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/08/10 11:30 PM

Merkin said they had some grands when I called them.
Unfortunately a lot of the other places that let you rent practice rooms around the area don't have websites. Seriously, it's 2010, who makes phone calls to get info?
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/08/10 11:39 PM

The other thread is this one. It wasn't really exactly about what you're asking, but there's some overlap.

About there being a 6'3: I was told that the biggest piano was a 5'7 Bergmann, but maybe they just didn't like me. ha
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/09/10 12:31 AM

Originally Posted By: Richter
[...]
Also, if you do end up using 853 Rehearsal Studios, can you please explain to me how to get to the actual studios?? I'm currently in Canada and it doesn't show up on Google Maps at all :P


It's at 853 7th Avenue. Why wouldn't that show up on a Google map? It shows up for me.

853 7th Ave., NY, NY

Regards,
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/09/10 01:45 AM

Oh yea MarkC how far in advance did you book a room to practice in? It would be unfortunate if I can't get a room with a good piano. I'm starting to wonder if you didn't hear about the 6'3" since it was booked already.

The size of the piano doesn't really matter since I'll just be warming up and practicing, but it would be nice if I didn't have to deal with some Bergmann POS.

Also does anyone have any info on Nola? Some review on Yelp says they have "Steinways", and that they are "competitively priced". They also say they have bad decor, but that's the least of my concerns. They don't have a website, and no one is going to pick up the phone this late so I'm just hoping someone can get me some info tonight maybe laugh
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/09/10 02:11 AM

I booked it the same day -- I was lucky.
The Bergmann actually was quite good -- I liked it although there was a problem with the dampers.

Unless I misunderstood, I was told it was the biggest piano they had. But they also said that their pianos 'move around,' include for outside rentals, so maybe what they meant was that it was the biggest they had at that moment.

When I play there again, I'll request the same room ("M. Butterfly") since I liked it, as long as the piano in there at the time seems acceptable.
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/09/10 02:33 AM

I'm kinda looking to get the Charles Walter, which seems to be in the second most expensive room (whatever it was called). Bergmann is made by Young Chang, and while I don't hate them the way my teacher does, I do think that they are pretty poorly made. Young Chang, Weber, whatever Korean brand pianos I've tried at piano stores in the past have had by far the worst actions I've seen.

I guess tomorrow I will give a few more places calls, see what they have. 853 does seem a little expensive, especially if you're getting the 2 rooms with the bigger pianos.
Posted by: Richter

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/09/10 07:21 AM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: Richter
[...]
Also, if you do end up using 853 Rehearsal Studios, can you please explain to me how to get to the actual studios?? I'm currently in Canada and it doesn't show up on Google Maps at all :P


It's at 853 7th Avenue. Why wouldn't that show up on a Google map? It shows up for me.

853 7th Ave., NY, NY

Regards,


My mistake, I meant Google Street View. I have been trying to find the entrance to this building but maybe I'm just not that great at navigating this! From what I have tried, I cannot zoom in on this section of 7th avenue to see it.

And I'm not sure that the prices differ for each room at 853 (correct me if I'm wrong)? I was simply told $20/h and that they'd place me somewhere.
Posted by: CC2 and Chopin lover

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/09/10 07:49 AM

Money isn't really a concern, although it would be unfortunate if I had to rent out some huge place meant for a band or something for a lot of money just to use the piano for a while

You opened by stating that money wasn't a concern, but you continue to express concern about the price. You've been told several times that it costs $20.00 per hour.....that's too much for you?
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/09/10 11:51 AM

The prices do differ. I think most of the rooms are 20. Some are more.

The entrance is on 7th Avenue, between 54th & 55th Street, on the 'east' side of the street -- i.e. on the left side if you're going down 7th Avenue.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/09/10 11:53 AM

Originally Posted By: CC2 and Chopin lover
You opened by stating that money wasn't a concern, but you continue to express concern about the price. You've been told several times that it costs $20.00 per hour.....that's too much for you?

Yeah, I thought that was weird too.

Especially since these prices are very low for New York.

Maybe trigalg just didn't imagine what the prices might be and thought it couldn't be more than a few bucks.....
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/09/10 02:09 PM

Sorry what I said might not have made sense. 20 an hour is fine, but it looks like the rooms with the better pianos cost more. Carmen? or whatever is 25 to 30 says their website. In addition, 853's pianos seem mostly lower end, which would make the greater expense unwarranted. So what I mean is that while it's not an issue if it's more expensive, it's still better if I can get a better piano (assuming that the rooms at 853 are mostly with cheaper pianos), or if it's cheaper.

I'm going to make some calls, see what other places have.
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/09/10 11:06 PM

Alright so I booked Friday at 853 (since they stay open late) and Saturday with Nolas (since they have Steinway Bs). I'll get back to everyone next week about what I thought.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/09/10 11:48 PM

What's Nolas?
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/10/10 12:23 AM

http://www.yelp.com/biz/nola-rehearsal-studio-new-york

Another place close by. Shame they don't have a website. They said they had rooms with Steinway Bs in them for only 19 an hour. Their lack of a website is really a problem I think, like I said earlier in the thread this is freaking 2010, people rely on the internet to get all their basic information.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/10/10 02:44 AM

It seems atrocious.
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/10/10 12:01 PM

Well, from the reviews it sounds like they have nice pianos, which is all that really matters. It doesn't matter to me that the acoustics suck, they suck in my house, and they suck in a lot of concert halls even.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/10/10 12:51 PM

Looks like you're not considering the "environment" (aside from acoustics). Maybe for you that really won't matter, but I think it would for anybody.

And BTW the acoustics will matter a lot too even if you think they won't.

I wouldn't go near that place, and I'd bet that if you do, you won't again. Among other things, it can be demoralizing.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/10/10 01:45 PM

Originally Posted By: trigalg693
http://www.yelp.com/biz/nola-rehearsal-studio-new-york

[...]Their lack of a website is really a problem I think, like I said earlier in the thread this is freaking 2010, people rely on the internet to get all their basic information.


Not having a website these days is the equivalent of not advertising in the Yellow Pages a few decades ago.

Regards,
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/10/10 02:27 PM

@BruceD yea and sadly none of the studio renting places around Carnegie Hall have websites except 853. No idea what they're on.

@Mark C Of course I'd rather have a place that had nice acoustics, good decor, good "environment", but the fact is, Nola has much better pianos than 853, and their rooms can't be that bad or else they'd be out of business already. Since concert pianos are basically all Steinway Ds, it'll give me a better "feel" of the keys if I use a Steinway B to practice (besides, it'll be a treat since it's only once in a while that I get to use a really nice piano like that).
Posted by: Serge Marinkovic

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/11/10 09:26 AM

Also Propiano which is a distributor of Hamburg Steinways has practice rooms in lower Manhattan.
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/12/10 02:13 AM

Alright guys I'm in Manhattan, and damn you were right, things are pretty expensive.

I rented out one of the rooms at 853 for 2 hours, and I honestly have to say that although the room was nice, the people were nice, there was much to be desired from the piano. I got a room with a Weber grand and 4 uprights, one of which had a broken sustain pedal which rendered it unusable.

The piano was in good shape, yes, it was in tune, yes. However that doesn't make up for the lack of quality in a piano like that in the first place. The action was sluggish, and the keys were made of a particularly annoyingly slippery plastic. I did sneak into Carmen and try their Charles Walter for 1 minute. That piano was VERY nice in contrast, although sadly they only have one room with it.

I'll get back later about Nola Rehearsal Studio.
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/13/10 06:21 PM

Okay, so second update:
Nola Rehearsal Studios was somewhat of a disappointment. They did have a very nice guy on staff, but the rooms were quite horrid. The acoustics for my room were actually great, but I don't know who designed that place, but the ventilation is...well there is an air conditioning duct, and no duct for air going out! When you close the door, you can feel the air pressure in the room rise, and the air starts gushing out the cracks in the wall and the light switch and other places. Quite scary if you ask me.

The piano was a Steinway B, but...it was a VERY old Steinway B, with redone action/hammers/keytops. It was very dirty, and needed new bass strings, probably some small action adjustments, but other than that it was all I could ask for.

So between 853 and Nola, I don't know which one I'd take, to be honest. If I was here for longer I'd try out Merkin Hall/Kaufman Center, which I heard was quite nice actually. Their rates are lower too.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/13/10 06:42 PM

How can something that had seemed so atrocious be a disappointment?

What we saw about it screamed "stay away."
Posted by: P I A N O piano

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/13/10 08:51 PM

Oh yes, Nola Studios! I practiced on a poor old Steinway in a medium sized room with seemingly eroded sharps, just a sad piano- sort of in-tune, very heavy action...quite the beast. Frankly, I didn't mind as I was just happy to spend time practicing!

Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/13/10 11:21 PM

Hey there, PIANO!
Good to see you!
I guess you've been busy with other things, hopefully in a good way.
So.....will you be coming to hear us in Chicago?? smile
Posted by: hophmi

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/14/10 05:59 PM

There is a place on the Bowery in Chinatown that rents rooms with Chinese uprights for four bucks an hour (as of a year ago). You might try that. It's called the Rome Piano Company, located at 43 Bowery. It's not pretty, but it's clean, cheap, and the lady there is nice. I have not tried the pianos, though. The number is (212) 431-4747.
Posted by: hophmi

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/14/10 06:00 PM

There's also Steinway Hall; I'm pretty sure they rent rooms, though I imagine it's pretty expensive.
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/14/10 06:34 PM

Mine had a pretty light action shocked

I wouldn't say to stay away from it, I mean the piano is better than the Weber POS that I got at 853. Like I said, between the 2 I don't know which one I'd pick. If you can get your hands on Carmen then that's a good idea, but the other pianos at 853 I believe are all Korean, which is sad frown
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/15/10 12:30 PM

If anyone's looking for anything for next Monday, what about this (article in NY Times):

"Pianos as Public Art, and the Public’s Playthings"
(Anyone can play.)
Posted by: LisztAddict

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/15/10 04:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
If anyone's looking for anything for next Monday, what about this (article in NY Times):

"Pianos as Public Art, and the Public’s Playthings"
(Anyone can play.)


Great find, Mark! Now I know where I can go practice for free the next time I am in NY. laugh
Posted by: feebeeliszt

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/15/10 06:56 PM

Oh I will need to find practice rooms for my brother as well. He will be staying near Arlington in Washington and then Riverdale in New York. It's okay as long as they have a proper piano. Can someone please help? smile
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 06/15/10 07:45 PM

Originally Posted By: LisztAddict
Great find, Mark! Now I know where I can go practice for free the next time I am in NY. laugh

No, only if you come that day. smile
Posted by: Rania

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 02/29/12 05:08 PM

It was really nice to find this thread before traveling to the states and deciding where to practice in New York. I did try 853, and it was a disappointment. I wouldn't return there unless I absolutely had to. The exaggerated decoration, the paintings, the lamps, the curtains and the nonfunctional old clocks almost felt like an attempt to overcompensate for the lack of quality, because the instruments themselves were a great let-down (the website's vague mention of "grand pianos" without a brand name or a close-up picture of the instruments should have been enough hint). As others mentioned before, the left pedal wasn't working, the response left much to be desired, and the rooms were not soundproof at all. All of this is apart from the fact that I didn't get the room I wanted and was moved from one studio to another, which I'll pretend to forgive after all their apologies about a certain emergency with a piano that should have been returned that day. I had asked for a grand but played an upright for two thirds of the time I reserved, and I was still made to pay the same amount of money. The way the person in charge spoke to me though, it felt like she assumed I didn't know the difference because of where I came from. I would go for Nola's very old Steinways in plain, otherwise empty studios labeled A, B and C over fancy furniture and fancy names like Boheme and Madame Butterfly anytime. Singers seemed to love the place though.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Practice Rooms in New York - 02/29/12 10:09 PM

We can say this for 853: It's way, way better than nothing. I'd go so far as to say it's 'all right.'

Another place that was mentioned on this thread seems to be neither all right nor better than nothing. grin