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Need piano advice!

Postby smithjr » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:57 pm

Hey there, guys! Is anybody here, who know anything about piano?
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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby Dave B » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:05 pm

One or two people hereabouts might just know the odd thing or two ... ;)
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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby smithjr » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:10 pm

Now you'll understand why I am asking this way...I'm learning to play piano and I have Sohmer Baby Grand 1960 Piano. My teacher has Steinway piano...And the difference is amazing! Steinway plays so smoothly, and the key stroke is short and smooth (unlike my piano). It sounds much more better!! I can afford a Steinway or something like this.., but I wonder if, as a beginner, I really need such a nice piano, how do you think? One more question - what's the difference between horizontal and vertical piano? What about the sound? Is there any difference or no?
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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:03 pm

I've removed your subsequent duplicate post as well as the embedded link because, as a newcomer, it looked a lot like an attempt at spamming and didn't actually add anything useful to your question. Please also note that newcomers' posts are held in a moderation queue, and the time taken to process them can vary from nearly instantaneous to a few hours depending on the time of day and availability of moderators on the site. Please be patient. Only the first three posts pass through the moderation system.

Now, your question: Horizontal (grand) pianos and vertical (upright) pianos are obviously constructed differently, have differently shaped frames and sound-boards, and may also have different numbers of strings per note in different note regions -- amongst many other less obvious variations. So naturally, they sound quite different.

As to the type of piano you need as a beginner, I would say that either format is fine, and the tuning and action are far more important than the format or brand. When (or if) you reach a reasonable performing standard you'll have the experience and knowledge to be in a position to appreciate the differences and to be critically selective of the type of instrument you'd like to own -- bearing in mind that there is no 'perfect' type and different people have different preferences. But the instrument you currently have should be pretty good if it's maintained properly.

H
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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:07 pm

Many years ago I used to sell pianos. I have no personal experience of Sohmer pianos but, according to Wiki they were made in New York by the Sohmer family until 1986 so they would have built your piano. My guess (and it is only a guess) would be that your piano was a decent instrument when new, likely not Steinway quality though.

Built in the '60s I would expect your piano to have an iron frame and be 'overstrung' meaning the bass strings cross with the trebles at an angle allowing them to be longer within a more compact, and thus stronger, frame (I have never seen a grand that wasn't though I assume they do exist).

A few things to consider, a grand piano should have a better action than a similar quality upright. Longer strings usually result in a better sound (it's pretty hard to make a 10' 6" upright piano). And, most important, piano actions are mechanical meaning they wear and need maintaining. Do you have your piano tuned regularly? A good piano tech/tuner will look at the action on his/her 6 monthly tuning visits and repair or advise when work needs doing. He/she will be the best person to advise if your piano needs work and whether it might respond to such work to bring it closer to your teacher's Steinway. You could also ask your teacher to come and play your piano as he will likely be well qualified to say if your piano has a reasonable action considering it's age and condition.

As Hugh says, a top quality piano is not essential for a beginner but (and I'm a guitar player not a pianist BTW) a good instrument is inspiring and a poor one discouraging and good instruments are likely to hold their value so the potential loss should you eventually need to sell can be less (or even a small profit if you're lucky). My gut feeling is that if your piano tech or teacher gives your piano the thumbs up I'd stick with it for a year or so until you are making progress then you will be in a position to decide for yourself if the considerable cost of a really good piano is worth it.
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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby IAA » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:43 pm

a good instrument is inspiring and a poor one discouragin

Indeed this is true! I started piano on an upright with at least an octave that refused to play unless I used my fist. Seriously, I think a good instrument can be had for a not unreasonable price now, you certainly don’t need a grand to learn. As Hugh says the key requirements are action - some of this is preference for sure, but it must be even to velocity across its length and quick enough to play without creating physical pain. If your tutor can look at it that would be helpful I’m sure.

The key is practice and consistent practice at that. Your dexterity will rapidly improve if you can find the time to play every day. Your teacher may do this, but mine asked me what I wanted to play - so as well as giving me the usual fayre, this helped motivate me. Mind you she was a little taken aback when I turned up with Rick Wakeman's six wives album and said this is what I want to learn! She was a great sport though and transcribed much of it and sat with her husband to listen to me wrestle it to submission!

Good luck!

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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby smithjr » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:28 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I've removed your subsequent duplicate post as well as the embedded link because, as a newcomer, it looked a lot like an attempt at spamming and didn't actually add anything useful to your question. Please also note that newcomers' posts are held in a moderation queue, and the time taken to process them can vary from nearly instantaneous to a few hours depending on the time of day and availability of moderators on the site. Please be patient. Only the first three posts pass through the moderation system.

Now, your question: Horizontal (grand) pianos and vertical (upright) pianos are obviously constructed differently, have differently shaped frames and sound-boards, and may also have different numbers of strings per note in different note regions -- amongst many other less obvious variations. So naturally, they sound quite different.

As to the type of piano you need as a beginner, I would say that either format is fine, and the tuning and action are far more important than the format or brand. When (or if) you reach a reasonable performing standard you'll have the experience and knowledge to be in a position to appreciate the differences and to be critically selective of the type of instrument you'd like to own -- bearing in mind that there is no 'perfect' type and different people have different preferences. But the instrument you currently have should be pretty good if it's maintained properly.

H

Sorry for my impatience.
I think that link could be useful for other people. it wasn't a spam..
Thank you for your answer.
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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby smithjr » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:31 am

I think it's like driving Ferrari and Honda :D ..Am I right?
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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:41 pm

That depends on how good your own piano actually is. As I said above it may be that it was a first class instrument when new (after all, ATW (according to wiki ;) ) Irving Berlin owned a Sohmer piano). If so then the question is 'is it worn out or could it be brought back to a good standard with some work?'

Ferrari vs knackered Lamboghini maybe?

edited for better analogy
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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:14 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:That depends on how good your own piano actually is

Never been a fan of Steinway, the comparably priced Bosendorfers were always a better sounding/playing instruments to my ears.

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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:24 pm

When I was selling MI all those years ago we had, in our hire stock, a Bosendorfer Concert Grand (I always believed it was a 10' 6" but but the current equivalent seems to be 9' 6"). It was out on hire to the BBC or The Halle Orchestra most weeks. The keyboard cheek had a flap which covered the lowest eight notes leaving the customary 88 visible to prevent disorienting players not used to a full 8 octaves (97 notes). Just looked at Bosendorfer's website and he current model gets around the issue but having those notes reverse coloured, a more elegant solution IMHO......

Oh and it currently has a UK price of around £145k.... :D
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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby IAA » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:13 pm

Oh and it currently has a UK price of around £145k...

What a beautiful instrument though, I wonder if I sold the house,,,,,,,,,,,,,although I'd have to get a bigger house to put in......damm! :D
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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby Wonks » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:22 pm

IAA wrote:Mind you she was a little taken aback when I turned up with Rick Wakeman's six wives album and said this is what I want to learn! She was a great sport though and transcribed much of it and sat with her husband to listen to me wrestle it to submission!

It was when you then turned up with the Myths and Legends of King Arthur and a pair of ice skates that she suggested you get another piano teacher... :D
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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby IAA » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:26 pm

...and the carry out crate of double diamond. :D
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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby melciados » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:52 pm

smithjr wrote:Hey there, guys! Is anybody here, who know anything about piano?

My advice is to start with midi keyboard. It is cheap. And if it will turn out that you dont like this type of instruments, you will not suffer money loss.

Also you can learn how to play and do not disturb people around you.

I might be wrong, but that was my start when i was writing EDM tracks. ( my keyboard was m-audio)
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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby IAA » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:34 am

My advice is to start with midi keyboard

Given the poster seems to have a piano it may make more sense to start on that assuming the action is not poor. Unless the midi keyboard has a good hammer action I think it will be problematic if his end goal is to play piano.

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Re: Need piano advice!

Postby MarkOne » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:41 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:That depends on how good your own piano actually is. As I said above it may be that it was a first class instrument when new (after all, ATW (according to wiki ;) ) Irving Berlin owned a Sohmer piano). If so then the question is 'is it worn out or could it be brought back to a good standard with some work?'

Ferrari vs knackered Lamboghini maybe?

edited for better analogy

Indeed...

A friend of mine was in the right place at the right time to save a Bechstein Model C from being tossed into a dumpster from a hotel ballroom being refurbished.

When he finally got it installed in his (luckily very large) living room, it was an awful instrument to play, but after the TLC of a good piano tech it was a dream. Shame he moved away because I loved our songwriting sessions, because he used to fire ideas from the sofa and I got to do all the playing :)
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