2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.9 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

Who's Online Now
37 registered members (CyberGene, Craig Hair, Doug M., BachToTheFuture, AYS, albydooby, Fer15, 8 invisible), 324 guests, and 415 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Worst piano you've played on #2745069 06/17/18 09:26 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,679
pianoloverus Offline OP
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,679

Although inspired by the "best piano" thread, this is not meant to ridicule that thread in any way. I thought this thread might be fun since my guess is many members have played on outrageously bad pianos. I'll mention two:

1. For many years I gave a little recital at my Grandmother's birthday party in an assisted living facility. The piano was a Mason & Hamlin that sounded like it hadn't been tuned for around 10 years despite the claim of the manager that it had "just been tuned". Besides being out of tune, it sounded like a prepared piano with many extra metallic noises as if there were various objects inside.

2. I volunteered to play an Xmas recital in a big hospital and ended up playing in the psych ward.
The music desk was broken and had to be propped up with books. Of course, the piano sounded like it hadn't been tuned for at least 10 years(despite those in charge saying the piano would be tuned in advance of my playing). But the worst part was the keys. The fronts of some were so jagged I had to be careful not to slice my fingers, and some of the plastic key tops actually came off while I was playing!

I have sometimes thought it would be fun to have printed program for a recital that instead of saying the usually seen "Mr. Famous Pianist plays the Steinway exclusively" at the bottom would say "Mr. Pianoloverus plays whatever is available....exclusively".


Last edited by pianoloverus; 06/17/18 09:28 AM.
Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items, digital piano dolly, music theme party goods
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2745075 06/17/18 09:46 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,190
johnstaf Online Crying
3000 Post Club Member
Online Crying
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,190
98% of pianists choose to play whatever is available. 😎

Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2745078 06/17/18 09:57 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,402
Tyrone Slothrop Online Content
9000 Post Club Member
Online Content
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,402
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Although inspired by the "best piano" thread...

...and what about those of us who can post about both their "best" piano also being their "worst" piano! Or do samples of 1 not count? laugh


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2745090 06/17/18 10:55 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,856
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,856
When it comes to pianos, I "don't need much", to echo the words of Anderl Heckmair (who led the first successful ascent of the Eigerwand (= Nordwand = 'Mordwand' wink )). Though he was talking about hand- and footholds.....

As I never owned my own piano until 2010, for several decades after university (which had practice rooms with uprights), I made do with whatever piano I could find to play on. More accurately, anything that resembled a piano. I played on everything from fully-prepped concert grands to spinets with half their strings broken and the others out of tune. As well as ancient restored grands in stately homes and museums - which were often real pleasures of discovery, once owned by the great and the good. And pipe organs in churches, whenever I came across them.

Probably the worst piano I'd ever played on for any length of time was in a Scottish hostel in the Highlands, where I spent a night during a backpacking trip (when I hiked coast-to-coast across the Scottish Highlands in two weeks) some years ago. My first night in a concrete building in a week gave me the chance to eat decent hot food, dry out my tent and wash my smelly wet clothes (it rains a lot in Scotland cry), and after stuffing myself with delicious haggis and deep-fried Mars bars, I discovered that there was a small upright of dubious lineage in the common room, masquerading as 'vintage furniture'. The warden told me she couldn't remember when anyone last played it, and didn't think it was playable any more.

Of course, I had to prove her wrong, and proceeded to tickle the ivories (yes, they were ivories). Something resembling an out-of-tune, wrong-note K545 (like Schnittke's take on it gone mad) with added strange-sounding buzzing and twanging noises appeared from the ex-piano. I revelled in it, especially after I discovered a volume of Scottish folk tunes arranged for piano in the stool, and proceeded to give everyone my own piano version of a jolly Highland fling. Missing notes (due to missing strings or keys) were amply compensated for by strong rhythmic drive and jagged accents (not all of them intentional), and everyone had a jolly good time.

Those who didn't plug their ears with their fingers, that is........ grin


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2745103 06/17/18 11:44 AM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 463
F
Fareham Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
F
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 463
I believe any piano worth its while is worth getting in to ...

[Linked Image]


The English may not like music much, but they love the sound it makes ... Beecham
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2745347 06/18/18 01:02 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,746
Vid Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,746
Pretty much any piano that has been made available in the 'public piano' thing that occurs every summer in my city. The pianos are battered, the keys are often missing their tops and a lot of them simply don't work. They aren't in tune and even if they were tuned what would be the point since they're exposed to the elements.

Still using these poor battered beasts is probably better than subjecting very fine instruments to such conditions.


  • Schimmel Upright
  • Kawai VPC-1 with Pianoteq

Any issues or concerns are piped to /dev/null
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2745506 06/18/18 10:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 247
K
Kenny Cheng Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
K
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 247
Something like that:


Last edited by Kenny Cheng; 06/18/18 10:07 PM.
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2745610 06/19/18 10:45 AM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 338
X
XenondiFluoride Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
X
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 338
I once ran across and old acrosonic on the street that had been rained on for two days... the keys that did work still produced some strange noises...


I now have a signature.
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2745702 06/19/18 04:47 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6,177
JoelW Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6,177
My first piano.

Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: Kenny Cheng] #2745741 06/19/18 08:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 159
jshelton Offline
Silver Subscriber
Full Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
Full Member
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 159
It just shows that a great pianist can make any POS sound great. I was surprised that overall the piano sounded ok but the trebles were simply awful.


John Shelton
Shelton-Farretta Guitars
www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2746316 06/22/18 10:22 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 472
Pianist685 Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 472
The worst piano I ever played on? A public Yamaha upright on the draughty departure platform of the railway station in Monaco. It hardly gave a sound. Not the fault of the poor Yamaha. Any piano would have been ruined in those surroundings. I can only endorse Vid; the public piano initiative is a nice idea but it is a crime to expose musical instruments to the elements.

Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: Pianist685] #2746347 06/22/18 11:54 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,679
pianoloverus Offline OP
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,679
Originally Posted by Pianist685
The worst piano I ever played on? A public Yamaha upright on the draughty departure platform of the railway station in Monaco. It hardly gave a sound. Not the fault of the poor Yamaha. Any piano would have been ruined in those surroundings. I can only endorse Vid; the public piano initiative is a nice idea but it is a crime to expose musical instruments to the elements.
I think they only use pianos that are ready or very close to ready for the junk heap.

Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2746354 06/22/18 12:16 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,475
BruceD Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,475
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Pianist685
The worst piano I ever played on? A public Yamaha upright on the draughty departure platform of the railway station in Monaco. It hardly gave a sound. Not the fault of the poor Yamaha. Any piano would have been ruined in those surroundings. I can only endorse Vid; the public piano initiative is a nice idea but it is a crime to expose musical instruments to the elements.
I think they only use pianos that are ready or very close to ready for the junk heap.


What an ignominious departure! I hope I go out in better style than that! smile

Cheers!


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2746355 06/22/18 12:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,856
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 12,856
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Pianist685
The worst piano I ever played on? A public Yamaha upright on the draughty departure platform of the railway station in Monaco. It hardly gave a sound. Not the fault of the poor Yamaha. Any piano would have been ruined in those surroundings. I can only endorse Vid; the public piano initiative is a nice idea but it is a crime to expose musical instruments to the elements.
I think they only use pianos that are ready or very close to ready for the junk heap.

Some of my best performances (or at least, the ones that gathered the most appreciative audiences and applause grin) have been on the worst public pianos. After all, all I needed to do was to play very fast and very loud and keep the pedal down (assuming it has a working pedal) - you don't bother with trifling details like nuances, phrasing, dynamic gradation, variety of articulation, voicing etc as the (ex-)piano can't take them.

And the general public likes things fast & loud........


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: bennevis] #2746370 06/22/18 01:38 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,746
Vid Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,746
Originally Posted by bennevis
And the general public likes things fast & loud........


*facepalm


  • Schimmel Upright
  • Kawai VPC-1 with Pianoteq

Any issues or concerns are piped to /dev/null
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2746774 06/24/18 05:54 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,562
Nikolas Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,562
In January, my dear friend Miriam Kornberg, would visit London, from Israel, and as I've composed 10 trios (6 hands, one piano), I wanted to do a recording session with her and my other friend Alison Mathews.

Eventually, we found a church with a piano, and booked it, but I didn't actually check the piano beforehand.

I was very fortunate to want to do the recording on a time that no one would be there, so I had to drive there and get the keys. THEN I tried the piano and it was awful. In a way that no tuner would be able to salvage it. And I didn't think of saying anything to the people there and then.

Fortunately, I explained the situation to the person responsible and got a refund.

Next place to book was wonderful and I got the videos and recordings and all...

BTW, and without wanting to spam anything (as the score is not out yet), here's one of the trios, from the place we ended up to.


Last edited by Nikolas; 06/24/18 05:54 PM.
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: Nikolas] #2746888 06/25/18 06:43 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 3,485
NobleHouse Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 3,485
Originally Posted by Nikolas
In January, my dear friend Miriam Kornberg, would visit London, from Israel, and as I've composed 10 trios (6 hands, one piano), I wanted to do a recording session with her and my other friend Alison Mathews.

Eventually, we found a church with a piano, and booked it, but I didn't actually check the piano beforehand.

I was very fortunate to want to do the recording on a time that no one would be there, so I had to drive there and get the keys. THEN I tried the piano and it was awful. In a way that no tuner would be able to salvage it. And I didn't think of saying anything to the people there and then.

Fortunately, I explained the situation to the person responsible and got a refund.

Next place to book was wonderful and I got the videos and recordings and all...

BTW, and without wanting to spam anything (as the score is not out yet), here's one of the trios, from the place we ended up to.


A FUN little piece. Thanks for posting!



[Linked Image]
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2746958 06/25/18 12:51 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,041
WhoDwaldi Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,041
I played a wedding on a Kimball La Petite with a broken bass bridge (often low notes were just thuds). There was an Acrosonic that I enjoyed playing, interestingly enough, that sounded like a gourd harpsichord. laugh


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2747002 06/25/18 03:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 657
Music Me Offline
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 657
I enjoyed your piece very much. Thank you for posting it.


Barbara
...without music, no life...
Re: Worst piano you've played on [Re: pianoloverus] #2747413 06/27/18 08:44 AM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 104
Muhwu Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 104
Ohhhh boy. Winner is this fella I played Chopin on when on a road trip in France



"My dear hands. Farewell, my poor hands."
-Sergei Rachmaninoff

Estonia 190, Roland F-130R

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Our January 2020 Newsletter Available Online Now...
Free Piano Newsletter
----------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Shop our Store for Music Lovers!
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Bechstein
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Rebuilt Steinways (was)? PFKAS?
by Maestro Lennie - 02/19/20 07:19 AM
Yamaha YDP s52 or Casio CDP 220R
by Love4Music - 02/18/20 09:11 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics197,056
Posts2,927,366
Members96,039
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2019 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3