Is she right?

Posted by: MaggieGirl

Is she right? - 02/05/13 12:21 AM

My daughter plays on a piano in a store a couple times a month to practice playing for strangers. The store doesn't mind and it's fun for her to play a quirky instrument. The D key when hit goes down and up it makes a dull sound. Since we don't have a real piano at home, she is trying to guess what the problem with the key would be by just thinking about it (vs looking inside). She thinks that the string needs to be tightened. She said it kind of sounds like an really loose guitar string.

Could she be right? She said I am wrong with my guess (the string is broken) because she said then the key would no longer move up and down.
Posted by: kpembrook

Re: Is she right? - 02/05/13 12:34 AM

Originally Posted By: MaggieGirl
My daughter plays on a piano in a store a couple times a month to practice playing for strangers. The store doesn't mind and it's fun for her to play a quirky instrument. The D key when hit goes down and up it makes a dull sound. Since we don't have a real piano at home, she is trying to guess what the problem with the key would be by just thinking about it (vs looking inside). She thinks that the string needs to be tightened. She said it kind of sounds like an really loose guitar string.

Could she be right? She said I am wrong with my guess (the string is broken) because she said then the key would no longer move up and down.



I encourage pianists (of any age) to actually become familiar with their instruments. Pianists are probably more unfamiliar with the inner workings of their instrument than almost any other one out there.

Perhaps if you or your daughter would read some reference works and see some of the videos out there, along with having a technician show you what is going on inside a piano, she would be better equipped to accurately guess what might be the problem.

At this point, there is not adequate information for anyone on the internet to provide an accurate diagnosis.
Posted by: rysowers

Re: Is she right? - 02/05/13 01:01 AM

She's wrong - a broken string shouldn't interfere with the key going up and down, unless the string got tangled in the action - then most likely it would affect more than one note.

Sometimes bass strings go dead, but they will usually make some sort of tone. If the tuning pin is really loose the string can go pretty slack.

Another possibility is that the damper is not lifting with the key - does the note still thud with the sustain pedal on?
Posted by: MaggieGirl

Re: Is she right? - 02/05/13 01:12 AM

I don't know, I will have her check later this month. I'm looking for youtube videos for her to see how a piano works instead of her guessing. She can peek at the piano at her lesson tommorrow. She just has a digital at home.
Posted by: rxd

Re: Is she right? - 02/05/13 02:02 AM

Originally Posted By: rysowers


She's wrong - .....



Hardly the wisdom of Solomon.

As you so wisely realise, That simplistic pronouncement doesn't necessarily make you right.

There's a lot of information on the Internet. As Keith said, pianists would benefit from knowing more about their instrument.
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: Is she right? - 02/05/13 03:20 AM

Originally Posted By: kpembrook
Pianists are probably more unfamiliar with the inner workings of their instrument than almost any other one out there.


In my experience, second only to organists.
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Is she right? - 02/05/13 08:24 AM

It's OT but 'she' is always right!
Posted by: Supply

Re: Is she right? - 02/05/13 11:36 AM

It might be a good idea to gently point out the problem to the sales staff/store owner. Presumably they would like the pianos on the floor to be working properly in order to be able to sell them. Perhaps your daughter could watch the instrument being opened up to see the complex inner workings.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Is she right? - 02/05/13 11:37 AM

Nobody can guess right or wrong without seeing it what the noise is.

First, the description given to us is the only description that person giving it can think of because they know nothing about pianos therefore they do not know how to accurately describe it. What she is describing could be very far from accurate which obviously, leaves all of us with nothing but pure and in most cases, inaccurate guesses. So, why bother? Ask the store owner or the store tech. That would be a better decision.

With 12,000 some odd parts, as Steinway advertises, imagine how many different things it can be? Now, get into your car, listen for all of the funny noises it is making and try to guess what it is? That's impossible too. smile
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Is she right? - 02/05/13 12:52 PM

Originally Posted By: rxd
Originally Posted By: rysowers
She's wrong - .....
Hardly the wisdom of Solomon.

True - in your edited quote. However, the whole paragraph makes perfect sense.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Is she right? - 02/05/13 04:48 PM

>With 12,000 some odd parts, as Steinway advertises, imagine how many different things it can be? Now, get into your car, listen for all of the funny noises it is making and try to guess what it is? That's impossible too. smile

Actually I think you can determine, by proper analysis of the sound. It's not likely that all 12000 parts are involved here, probably even less than 10? But you need real detail information like which parts exactly are inside, what's their resonance frequencies, etc.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Is she right? - 02/05/13 06:15 PM

How do you know Wouter79?? I don't know...

The point is that nobody from the internet can properly determine the cause of the noise and should we care in this case? The piano is owned by the store. They should care, they should be told, they can fix it and they should fix it. We can't.
Posted by: MaggieGirl

Re: Is she right? - 02/05/13 06:19 PM

It was an excellent answer and has her looking for videos, drawings and, I'm sure, soon peeking into pianos.

She is studying simple machines at school so thanks for an answer that has her discovering on her own how a piano works and making it less mysterious.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Is she right? - 02/05/13 06:22 PM

Maybe she will be joining us someday. You may have to pick up a few junker pianos to practice on.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Is she right? - 02/06/13 03:07 AM

I agree, in this case it's pretty impossible. I was talking in principle smile