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#1983614 - 11/07/12 01:49 AM The difference of practicing on a quality piano  
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 254
TrueMusic Offline
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TrueMusic  Offline
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San Diego, California
This week I've spent most of my time practicing at my house, where all I've got is a mediocre upright in need of some loving. I have NEVER noticed such a big difference in my playing before. I got to my lesson on Monday and felt like I could barely bring out any of the lines I knew I needed to and couldn't quite "hear" right. It was ridiculous! Normally, I probably spend a couple hours practicing at home a week, but 90% of my time is either spent at school in a practice room [which admittedly only a few have really good pianos] or at my church which has one of the most beautiful grands I've ever played. When I spent my time practicing on those, I feel great about my lesson. But man this week I felt like my lesson was just mediocre, and I think after practicing for a couple hours at my church this evening I can honestly blame [mostly] the piano I was using for that. I spent plenty of time practicing that week and was pretty well warmed up on Monday [I had played at my house for about 2 and a half hours before heading out to school].

I seriously wish someone would just give me $60,000 to buy myself a nice grand for my house....that would make my practicing SO much simpler. cool

Last edited by TrueMusic; 11/07/12 01:54 AM.

Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20
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#1983617 - 11/07/12 02:03 AM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: TrueMusic]  
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JoelW Offline
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Originally Posted by TrueMusic


I seriously wish someone would just give me $60,000 to buy myself a nice grand for my house....that would make my practicing SO much simpler. cool


You don't need to buy a new piano. I got my Yamaha G2 grand used from a good home for $8000. It completely changed my life.


#1983618 - 11/07/12 02:09 AM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: JoelW]  
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Posts: 254
TrueMusic Offline
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TrueMusic  Offline
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San Diego, California
Originally Posted by mazurkajoe
Originally Posted by TrueMusic


I seriously wish someone would just give me $60,000 to buy myself a nice grand for my house....that would make my practicing SO much simpler. cool


You don't need to buy a new piano. I got my Yamaha G2 grand used from a good home for $8000. It completely changed my life.



Well then I should re-phrase...

I wish someone would give me $8,000 to buy myself a nice used grand for my house....that would make my practicing SO much simpler! cool


Although saving up $8,000 over the next year or two is much more feasible than getting a used steinway for $60,000! :P.


Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20
#1983623 - 11/07/12 02:53 AM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: TrueMusic]  
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BDB Offline
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Start by giving the upright you have the loving it deserves. A good regulation job may make a world of difference.


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#1983729 - 11/07/12 12:05 PM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: TrueMusic]  
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Jeff Clef Offline
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BDB is right--- and after that, start saving up (and window-shopping, and doing research) for a new piano. It seems that you are a serious enough player and student to justify it. Most of us move up the piano food-chain one step at a time, rather than jumping to top-predator status in a single leap.

You have come into the market at a good time, for there are many quite respectable pianos which do not cost a large fortune. But, in the end, whatever you have, you'll find yourself coming back to the wisdom of BDB's advice. Doing the best by your piano is an investment which pays a very good return.

I hope you'll write back and let us know how it goes.


Clef

#1983761 - 11/07/12 02:12 PM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: TrueMusic]  
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rada Offline
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pagosa springs,co
I don't like the way this sounds but to me a piano is a TOOL and like any tool, the better the quality of the tool the better the result. Do golfers and tennis players like using poor quality equipment? Doubt it. Pianos that are unregulated, missing parts of keys, out of tune or have some keys that don't function are probably going to impede your potential .
I say keep practicing at the church.

rada

#1983769 - 11/07/12 02:25 PM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: TrueMusic]  
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RonaldSteinway Offline
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There are so many good pianos. The question when are we going to stop.
Will Yamaha U1/ Kawai K5 be sufficient? I think it is.

#1983774 - 11/07/12 02:36 PM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: TrueMusic]  
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RealPlayer Offline
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Truemusic,

Just one idea, but you might contact one of our PW members who lives and works in your town, San Diego, and does some rebuilding, so he may have a decent piano for you. His user name here is OperaTenor...just look him up in the User List. His piano restoration business is called "No Piano Left Behind."

#1983793 - 11/07/12 03:13 PM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: RealPlayer]  
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Posts: 254
TrueMusic Offline
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TrueMusic  Offline
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San Diego, California
Originally Posted by RealPlayer
Truemusic,

Just one idea, but you might contact one of our PW members who lives and works in your town, San Diego, and does some rebuilding, so he may have a decent piano for you. His user name here is OperaTenor...just look him up in the User List. His piano restoration business is called "No Piano Left Behind."


Funny you should mention him - I sent him a PM a couple weeks ago about getting my piano tuned and voiced! I just had forgotten to call him and set an official time. Thanks for the reminder. I'll talk to him about any rebuilds he may have done. We'll see. I have basically unlimited access to my church's piano so I'm not desperate, I just need to actually go and practice there!


Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20
#1983937 - 11/07/12 11:48 PM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,872
Plowboy Offline
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SoCal
Everyone has made good points, but I wonder is it the pianist or the piano that makes the diference.

Sometimes at lesson, we use a Kawai K-15, not exactly a fine piano. Kind of harsh, actually, at least with me at the controls. But when my teacher plays it, it has a wonderful tone.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
#1983980 - 11/08/12 03:23 AM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: Plowboy]  
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Posts: 254
TrueMusic Offline
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TrueMusic  Offline
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San Diego, California
Originally Posted by Plowboy
Everyone has made good points, but I wonder is it the pianist or the piano that makes the diference.

Sometimes at lesson, we use a Kawai K-15, not exactly a fine piano. Kind of harsh, actually, at least with me at the controls. But when my teacher plays it, it has a wonderful tone.


The Pianist makes a world of difference. But a Kawai K-15 is miles above my piano at home, assuming it's well regulated, voiced, and tuned. I can make my piano at home sing, but what it is MUCH harder and what I need to do to make it do that puts me in bad habits when playing on a fine piano. People are right, I do just need to get my piano at home the loving it needs. It'll make a world of difference.


Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20
#1984071 - 11/08/12 10:11 AM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: TrueMusic]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Boynton Beach, FL
The question is do you want to fight with your main instrument every time you play to get out of it what you desire, or do you want something that responds to your intentions?

Personally, I prefer to have the best instrument at home to practice on, and then deal with lesser instruments elsewhere. In no way does that mean I cannot make a poor piano sound good. In fact, because I know what I can do on a nice instrument, I know how to try and get those sounds out of a lesser piano.

Last edited by Morodiene; 11/08/12 10:12 AM.

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#1984125 - 11/08/12 12:33 PM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: TrueMusic]  
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Plowboy Offline
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Originally Posted by TrueMusic

I can make my piano at home sing, but what it is MUCH harder and what I need to do to make it do that puts me in bad habits when playing on a fine piano. People are right, I do just need to get my piano at home the loving it needs. It'll make a world of difference.


I'm with you and Morodiene, a really nice piano at home is ideal.

My teacher, maybe because she's a starving student, thinks differently. She has a used Sojin grand. She says playing it helps her when she gets on a quality instrument for recitals and juries.

But if it gives you bad habits, that can't be good.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
#1984151 - 11/08/12 01:19 PM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: TrueMusic]  
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pianoloverus Online content
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pianoloverus  Online Content
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Originally Posted by TrueMusic
Originally Posted by Plowboy
Everyone has made good points, but I wonder is it the pianist or the piano that makes the diference.

Sometimes at lesson, we use a Kawai K-15, not exactly a fine piano. Kind of harsh, actually, at least with me at the controls. But when my teacher plays it, it has a wonderful tone.


The Pianist makes a world of difference. But a Kawai K-15 is miles above my piano at home, assuming it's well regulated, voiced, and tuned. I can make my piano at home sing, but what it is MUCH harder and what I need to do to make it do that puts me in bad habits when playing on a fine piano. People are right, I do just need to get my piano at home the loving it needs. It'll make a world of difference.
It might make enough difference or it might not depending on the condition and quality of your present piano.

Both the pianist and the piano are important. Even a great pianist cannot sound sensational on a horrendous piano. They will just sound much better than most would on that piano. And a poor player is not going to sound sensational on a great piano either. They will just sound better than on a lesser piano.

#1984194 - 11/08/12 03:11 PM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: Morodiene]  
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TrueMusic Offline
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TrueMusic  Offline
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San Diego, California
Originally Posted by Morodiene
The question is do you want to fight with your main instrument every time you play to get out of it what you desire, or do you want something that responds to your intentions?

Personally, I prefer to have the best instrument at home to practice on, and then deal with lesser instruments elsewhere. In no way does that mean I cannot make a poor piano sound good. In fact, because I know what I can do on a nice instrument, I know how to try and get those sounds out of a lesser piano.


Yes, that's been my thought exactly! When I first started learning the Beethoven 10/3 1st movement, I COULD NOT get the A's in bars 5&6 to really jump out....until I practiced on a really nice grand and really made them pop. From then on, it didn't seem to matter what piano I was on I could always make them pop out. Practicing on a great instrument made my playing on a lesser one much better. But practicing on the lesser instrument made playing on a much better one significantly more challenging - it felt like I could not get the sounds I wanted out of the piano. And my teacher certainly noticed.


Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20
#1984596 - 11/09/12 12:16 PM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: TrueMusic]  
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As I am not a great player myself, my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt, I suppose, but I find I cannot get much out of a poor piano, but when I play a very nice one, my playing improves dramatically. I know my daughter, who is almost a virtuoso, can make any old piano sound great, but I can't pull it off. I need the help that a good piano gives.

#1984862 - 11/10/12 02:48 AM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: TrueMusic]  
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JessicaB Offline
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If you are teaching and/or using the piano in your primary trade or business, you may be able to get a small business loan and of course take the proper tax deductions for depreciation, etc. It might make it easier to purchase a better instrument.

#1984971 - 11/10/12 10:24 AM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: TrueMusic]  
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If the question is about being able to afford a quality instrument, I know my daughter obtained a 10 year piano loan from a credit union and was also able to claim depreciation on the piano on her C Schedule at tax time. Using an instrument in your business (like a studio, for instance) makes the price much more affordable.

#1985105 - 11/10/12 06:28 PM Re: The difference of practicing on a quality piano [Re: Chopinlover49]  
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TrueMusic Offline
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TrueMusic  Offline
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San Diego, California
Originally Posted by Chopinlover49
If the question is about being able to afford a quality instrument, I know my daughter obtained a 10 year piano loan from a credit union and was also able to claim depreciation on the piano on her C Schedule at tax time. Using an instrument in your business (like a studio, for instance) makes the price much more affordable.


Sadly, I don't teach out of my home at all. I still live with my family where there are three dogs and a number of people around all the time, so it just isn't set up enough to run as a "professional" home studio. So that option is out. I could look into a piano loan but I don't really want to go into to much more debt than my school loans are already causing...
I could sell my car next year and bike everywhere I need to be just to buy a piano...haha.


Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

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