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Grand piano #2813652
02/11/19 05:07 PM
02/11/19 05:07 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
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Moo :) Online content OP
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I'm going to play on a grand piano on the weekend (yes I know very exciting!). I cant remember playing on one before so can someone please give tips on how its different from playing on a normal piano. Thanks.

Last edited by Moo :); 02/11/19 05:07 PM.
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Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813654
02/11/19 05:08 PM
02/11/19 05:08 PM
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Posts: 3,145
Florida
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Yes!!! Hold one sec.


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

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"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813658
02/11/19 05:11 PM
02/11/19 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13

.........
I played a Steinway Grand a month ago and was unimpressed. But .....

I went back last weekend and played it again. I think I liked it a lot more. First of all, my clogged ears were unclogged.

I brought my sheet music book (I have a bunch of music that I printed and bound with coil binding - my personal repertoire book that I use for practice). I played through my current repertoire, which includes some Chopin Preludes, two Nocturnes, a Liszt Consolation, a Debussy piece, some Bach, Piazzolla, and a couple of random jazz lead sheet songs.

I initially played the grand like I play my Boston upright, which is fairly loud and bright; that is, I tend to play softly. I also tend to play softly so as to not annoy my family too much, as I play for an hour or two in the evening. After feeling unimpressed, I wondered what I could do to bring out some volume. I then began playing the Steinway with a lot more force, and it began to shine. The bass sounded much deeper and with better sustain, the treble rang more sonorously. Bottom line, I think that there's a learning curve on changing from one piano to another that I lacked the experience to notice at first. I was much happier with it when playing in this fashion, and think I may just need to get used to the fact that different pianos require different techniques.


Quote from a thread on a Steinway I played a week or two ago.


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Debussy Clair De Lune
Bach Inventions
Grieg Sonata - Andante molto

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813665
02/11/19 05:23 PM
02/11/19 05:23 PM
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Moo :) Online content OP
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Thanks. I'm not sure what to expdct. I was wondering if the fact is open on the top means its much louder and the pedal is stronger.

Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813666
02/11/19 05:28 PM
02/11/19 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
I'm going to play on a grand piano on the weekend (yes I know very exciting!). I cant remember playing on one before so can someone please give tips on how its different from playing on a normal piano. Thanks.


If at all possible, play the piano in advance. I play on a digital (currently a VPC1) and tinker on a baby grand I am restoring. Occasionally, I get to play a Steinway D (9'). Its sound is massive. Even though it is in a large (maybe 30 x 45 foot) room, the disparity in power is very distracting, and it takes me a while to adjust to it.

I suspect even playing a wide range of pianos might help by requiring your mind to get used to not being used to the sound of the instrument you are playing. Maybe you can spend the week visiting piano showrooms.


Ralph

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Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813678
02/11/19 05:39 PM
02/11/19 05:39 PM
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I dont think there is time to practice beforehand. You just turn up and play in front of others. I was going to try and play some easier Mendelssohn pieces so its an enjoyable experience. I remember before that I had to play on a grand and all the keys moved when I pressed the pedal - so just wanted to check there was no surprises this time !

Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813679
02/11/19 05:41 PM
02/11/19 05:41 PM
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I agree would be a good idea to play first even if just for 60 seconds it this is a recital. Maybe you can go way before it starts?


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Debussy Clair De Lune
Bach Inventions
Grieg Sonata - Andante molto

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813682
02/11/19 05:46 PM
02/11/19 05:46 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
I dont think there is time to practice beforehand. You just turn up and play in front of others. I was going to try and play some easier Mendelssohn pieces so its an enjoyable experience. I remember before that I had to play on a grand and all the keys moved when I pressed the pedal - so just wanted to check there was no surprises this time !

It will happen again. All the keys will move when you hit the sustain pedal (or if not physically move, at least the weight of the keys will change).


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Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813690
02/11/19 05:56 PM
02/11/19 05:56 PM
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Denmark
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On a grand the music stand is much higher up, so if you are playing from sheet music, your eyes must look in a different direction from the one you are used to. Also, you will be looking either through the piano, or over it, whereas you will be used to looking into the piano (if it's a tall upright you are used to).


Roland FP-30, Roland E-28, Pianoteq 6.5 (Bechstein DG, Grotrian, Steinway D, K2), Garritan CFX Lite
Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813693
02/11/19 06:03 PM
02/11/19 06:03 PM
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Georgia, USA
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The keys should not move when you press the sustain pedal. The touch changes slightly, but the keys do not move.

The keys do move when you press the una corda (left) pedal. The entire keyboard shifts to the right.

Grands can be louder with the lid up, but a lot depends on the room. Having the music desk up and music on it will help. If you play from memory, beware of removing the music desk - you will be able to see the dampers go up and down and that can be very distracting if you are not used to it.

Have fun!

Sam

Re: Grand piano [Re: QuasiUnaFantasia] #2813696
02/11/19 06:04 PM
02/11/19 06:04 PM
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Florida
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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
On a grand the music stand is much higher up, so if you are playing from sheet music, your eyes must look in a different direction from the one you are used to. Also, you will be looking either through the piano, or over it, whereas you will be used to looking into the piano (if it's a tall upright you are used to).


Yes I find that a little annoying also.


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Debussy Clair De Lune
Bach Inventions
Grieg Sonata - Andante molto

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813732
02/11/19 07:07 PM
02/11/19 07:07 PM
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Moo :) Online content OP
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Thank you and thank you Sam. I'll try not to press the left pedal ! Very helpful information.

Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813770
02/11/19 08:10 PM
02/11/19 08:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,098
Kitsap County, WA
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Don't forget to turn it on by opening the fall board ;D


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Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813781
02/11/19 08:38 PM
02/11/19 08:38 PM
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Canada
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Enjoy the moment !

Is this a recital ?



"The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.โ€
โ€“ Maria Cristina

Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813799
02/11/19 09:15 PM
02/11/19 09:15 PM
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LA County, California
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Good luck in your recital smile I played on a Steinway yesterday, although I couldn't tell you the model. The keys surprised me though. They were lighter than I thought they would be, almost as if they were made from plastic ...


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Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813831
02/11/19 10:38 PM
02/11/19 10:38 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 732
Indianapolis
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It all depends on the piano itself -- the brand, model, and how it has been prepared (regulated and voiced). Usually, moving to a grand piano from an upright is a very enjoyable experience, and one can make the adjustment very easily. If fact, often it's the feeling of "oh, that's how it's supposed to feel!" kind of moment. Usually, the key dip is just a little deeper, and something called aftertouch is more apparent. To me the action kind of floats under my fingers. Gravity works more in your favor making repeating notes respond more quickly over the horizontal hammer motion of an upright. As long as the piano is not a cheap stencil brand that has been neglected, you should be fine. If the piano is up on a piano truck (dolly), rather than sitting on the original piano casters, the pedals will set up just a bit higher than normal, which will put your ankle at a sharper angle to the floor.

However, it's just not always that way -- even with the top-tier brands. I spent some time over this past weekend hanging out at a couple of our local piano showrooms. I played maybe 20 different grand pianos, most between 7' and 9' concert grands, and all top-tier pianos from vintage Baldwins and C. Bechsteins to Steinway and Shigeru Kawai. Each one was very different. Some I took too immediately and others were a bit of an adjustment.

One experience was at our local Steinway dealer. They have one of the new Steinway Model D 9' pianos with the Spirio Player / Record system on the floor. It was chosen in NYC by the customer (as are most Steinway Model D's), but they pass thru the local dealer before final delivery. The salesman allowed me to play and record a couple of snippets on it. It was voiced beautifully, but the action felt a little heavy and stiff. I had quite a struggle adjusting my touch to it, and the mistakes I made are very apparent in the recordings I did. I was improvising, so I just tended to lock up and play more timidly b/c the piano was not producing what I wanted out of it. Sitting next to it was a Model B 7' semi-concert grand. That piano is lovely all the way around. The action is balanced very well, and the voicing is powerful and versatile. I could do anything I wanted on that piano.

Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813890
02/12/19 03:52 AM
02/12/19 03:52 AM
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Ireland
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Yes, do try and play on it before. There are huuuuge differences in grand pianos (just like any other pianos). Here's a little story from my faraway youth wink

When I graduated from school, I was asked to play the Rachmaninov Prelude in G minor (op. 23 no. 5). The grand piano in my school's great hall was an ancient... hmmm, I think it was a Bechstein? No idea, but the point is, it was very old and not in great condition. So here I was at my graduation, and the piano felt like its keys were covered in glue, like I couldn't get my fingers out from in between them. Which is particularly fatal with this prelude.

I murdered the piece completely. In front of students, parents, and all my music teachers who'd taught me my entire life. I wished for the ground to open up and swallow me. It was the only time I ever played badly in public.

The worst part was, that I was slated to play the same piece in the evening, in our town theatre, where all three grammar schools of my town were having a piano recital evening. 600 people in the audience, again all my music teachers and everyone I knew. My piano teacher, Eveline, hadn't been there in the morning and thought I was exaggerating and being dramatic when I begged her to take me off the program. I was playing the most advanced piece, so I was at the end of the program - actually, second to last because a classmate of mine played a Toccata by Khachaturian, which sounds very impressive although it's not all that hard (I'd wanted to play that but he had called dibs first, and that's when Eveline suggested the Rachmaninov).

I nearly died of nerves throughout the first half, the intermission and the beginning of the second half. I was shaking when I walked out on the stage.

But, happily, for some reason our crappy town hall theatre had bought a brand new, gorgeous Bรถsendorfer grand about a year earlier (don't ask me which type, it was so long ago... but it was an amazing piano). When I started to play, about two measures into the piece, I suddenly became completely calm. I *knew* I'd play it perfectly. This grand was the exact opposite of the one in my school: It was like it was playing the piece on its own. It was beautiful. I actually enjoyed myself, showing off this piece to the audience and, well, redeeming myself a little in the process. Afterwards, some people asked if this was the same piece I'd played in the morning ha

So, yes, "it's a grand piano" doesn't mean much. Which kind, what condition it is in, is what matters. Find that out before you play, so you know what to expect! Also, good luck and could you ask someone to take pictures? Video?? smile


Sibylle


"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." -Brendan Gill
Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2814152
02/12/19 04:38 PM
02/12/19 04:38 PM
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Moo :) Online content OP
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Yes its a little meetup groups for amateur pianists. One started near me. I thought I'd try as itll help keep motivation to practice a bit.

In the end I was going to try pieces I'm very comfortable with as I think it'll be harder to play in front of others on a grand piano. I decided yesterday on two short pieces and tried to pick different styles even though same composer.





If I enjoy it I may prepare a bit next time but this time I'm not preparing much and picking easier pieces.
Rach G minor prelude, sounds like madness ! I had an idea of playing my Brahms but I stopped practicing it about a week and half ago and now am making slips and not secure in places so decided against trying to play a hard piece that is not performance ready.

Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2814162
02/12/19 04:58 PM
02/12/19 04:58 PM
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Posts: 3,145
Florida
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Sounds like a great idea! Have fun!!


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Debussy Clair De Lune
Bach Inventions
Grieg Sonata - Andante molto

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Grand piano [Re: Moo :)] #2814284
02/12/19 08:37 PM
02/12/19 08:37 PM
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I hope you enjoy it. A similar group started in my town last year. We also play on a (so-so) grand piano. I've had mixed success there but found it very useful for getting used to playing for people. I'm much more used to an upright as well, so playing on a grand piano was a challenge at times. Once I was completely thrown off by the sheet music being higher than usual. And last time I started my Tchaikovsky ("October") by pressing the middle pedal thinking this was the sustain one because, of course, it's to the right from the left one smile I kept wondering for the first couple of measures why the notes weren't connecting and why it didn't sound right, so I got even more nervous... But some other times when I was more concentrated, I played pretty well and it prepared me nicely for my teacher's piano recital (also on a grand piano). I also wonder if such meetings should be seen strictly as performance opportunities or as a gathering to share work in progress as well... When I think of it as a performance, instead of just showing what I've been working on, I tend to get more nervous. Anyway, hope it goes well.

Sibylle, what a story! But it's great that you had a second chance on the same day and could feel good about your playing instead of beating yourself up for days.

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