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Fear of listening
#2843951 05/01/19 12:06 AM
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As a piano salesman,I often see a look of mortal fear on the face of the non-playing piano buyer when you suggest they listen to the instrument.I find that the sound does not lie.It would seem that customers get rather caught up in model numbers,sizes,serial numbers....and the general panic about anything that is new in the market.
Oh well,such is life.
Just thinking out loud.


Piano sales consultant
Australian Piano Warehouse-Melbourne Australia
30 years and still going
Steinway upright,Yamaha upright,Roland RD800,Korg Kronos
Re: Fear of listening
Lushey1 #2843954 05/01/19 12:25 AM
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I can understand fear of playing when choosing an instrument, but not sure why would anyone be afraid to listen?

Re: Fear of listening
outo #2843967 05/01/19 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by outo
I can understand fear of playing when choosing an instrument, but not sure why would anyone be afraid to listen?


Ditto.

Re: Fear of listening
Lushey1 #2843970 05/01/19 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Lushey1

As a piano salesman,I often see a look of mortal fear on the face of the non-playing piano buyer when you suggest they listen to the instrument.I find that the sound does not lie.It would seem that customers get rather caught up in model numbers,sizes,serial numbers....and the general panic about anything that is new in the market.
Oh well,such is life.
Just thinking out loud.

I think a lot just don't know the difference. I remember Mum, played at about L.Mus.A level. We had an old over-damper piano which felt ... slow, and sounded, a bit honky-tonk, but in tune. When we went to try a new piano (mid-'60s), she offered the comment that she couldn't really notice it much different.

She never played other pianos, whereas I played a couple of pianos at school which were much better than our home piano. Mum's only other piano she played was the Church piano - and the less said about it the better.

But, she bought the mid-size upright KAWAI, which I very much appreciated.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Fear of listening
Lushey1 #2844083 05/01/19 08:44 AM
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I've never had a fear of listening to myself play the piano. But I have had a fear of others listening to me play. (Fear of rejection? Ridicule? Criticism? Stage-fright?) smile

However, it does seem odd that my pianos seem to sound better when I hear someone else playing them. smile

Rick

Last edited by Rickster; 05/01/19 08:45 AM.

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Fear of listening
Lushey1 #2844114 05/01/19 09:35 AM
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My non-musician father used to say, "A piano's, a piano's, a piano!"

They do all sound rather piano-ie. 😆


WhoDwaldi
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Re: Fear of listening
Lushey1 #2844157 05/01/19 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Lushey1

As a piano salesman,I often see a look of mortal fear on the face of the non-playing piano buyer when you suggest they listen to the instrument.I find that the sound does not lie.It would seem that customers get rather caught up in model numbers,sizes,serial numbers....and the general panic about anything that is new in the market.
Oh well,such is life.
Just thinking out loud.


I think they are afraid they're afraid of looking foolish by not hearing the difference.

Typically, a non-player can wrap their heads around model numbers, features, sizes, manufacturers, ratings, reviews, and opinions on forums like this. However, put them in front of an instrument and ask them to tell the difference between one and the other based on sound and they have neither the listening skills nor the vocabulary to understand what is different in sound between any two pianos.

As a salesperson, you have to be able to put the customer at ease and teach them the vocabulary to be able to articulate the differences in sound. If you can do that, then even a non-player can confidently make a decision based on personal preference rather than just the marketing from the manufacturer.


Justin Johnson
Portland Piano Company
www.portlandpianocompany.com
Re: Fear of listening
Lushey1 #2844229 05/01/19 03:08 PM
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I would advise bringing someone with them who plays (may be a
start).Perhaps they need to know the basics of what tone to listen
for - bright (which many enjoy),mellow, dark, pure, singing etc.

Re: Fear of listening
Rickster #2844320 05/01/19 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
I've never had a fear of listening to myself play the piano. But I have had a fear of others listening to me play. (Fear of rejection? Ridicule? Criticism? Stage-fright?) smile

However, it does seem odd that my pianos seem to sound better when I hear someone else playing them. smile

Rick

Yes, I've always asked the sales-person to play for me - then walked around listening from different parts of the showroom.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Fear of listening
Lushey1 #2844334 05/02/19 12:30 AM
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The rare occasions when someone else plays my piano I am surprised it sounds so good... Either I suck really bad or the sound becomes even better at some distance smile

When I was choosing between two grands I recorded both, but still my major concern when buying was always how it sounded to me when I played. After all that position is how I will use the piano 99,9% of the time.

Re: Fear of listening
Lushey1 #2844441 05/02/19 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by outo
The rare occasions when someone else plays my piano I am surprised it sounds so good... Either I suck really bad or the sound becomes even better at some distance smile

When I was choosing between two grands I recorded both, but still my major concern when buying was always how it sounded to me when I played. After all that position is how I will use the piano 99,9% of the time.

+1 thumb smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Fear of listening
Rickster #2844449 05/02/19 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
I've never had a fear of listening to myself play the piano. But I have had a fear of others listening to me play. (Fear of rejection? Ridicule? Criticism? Stage-fright?) smile

However, it does seem odd that my pianos seem to sound better when I hear someone else playing them. smile

Rick

+1
I love trying out pianos. I like seeing and feeling the difference. When I’m trying out a piano, as I’m intently listening and feeling, I’m also reading music, discovering the dynamic range, keeping the beat etcetera etcetera and can’t completely concentrate on how the piano sounds. That’s why it’s great if the salesperson can also play while I listen. I also want to hear the piano from all angles.
Maybe to a buyer that doesn’t play, they’re more comfortable choosing a piano on size, specifications, price because their ears aren’t piano trained and they really don’t hear much difference.
I’ve heard a number of piano players who really don’t care what the piano sounds from any other perspective other than sitting at the bench. We’re all very different so for the piano staff, it’s like “Pawn Stars”. You never know what’s coming in the door next.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
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Re: Fear of listening
j&j #2844452 05/02/19 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by j&j
I’ve heard a number of piano players who really don’t care what the piano sounds from any other perspective other than sitting at the bench.
Unless a person give many recitals in their home this makes perfect sense.

Re: Fear of listening
pianoloverus #2844455 05/02/19 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by j&j
I’ve heard a number of piano players who really don’t care what the piano sounds from any other perspective other than sitting at the bench.
Unless a person give many recitals in their home this makes perfect sense.

Very true. The one thing I forgot to say is that if piano salesperson can play well it gives me the chance to imagine how this piano would sound someday when I can play better. I can tell whether or not I’ll outgrow it. ( At my age there’s not much proficiency growth to be truthful). Strange, but I like hearing my piano played. Should’ve gone the Diskclavier route.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
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Re: Fear of listening
j&j #2844470 05/02/19 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Should’ve gone the Diskclavier route.



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Re: Fear of listening
Lushey1 #2844520 05/02/19 02:39 PM
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I think both playing the pianos in the store and having someone
else play is good.Pianos are often surrounded by other instruments
Listening to someone else play perhaps gives one a bit more objectivity .Especially in trying to decide if one really enjoys
the tone of a particular piano.This would be the case with both upright pianos and grands.,Perhaps more so with uprights?
When a friend of mine bought a grand (a few years ago) she felt it
it important that she listen while I played.

Re: Fear of listening
Lushey1 #2844634 05/02/19 09:42 PM
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Pianos that sound their best from the players position are not the best pianos. If they disappoint at a distance and are acceptable at the keyboard, they will tire your ears over time. In my experience.

A piano that sounds great under your fingers and sounds wonderful across the room is a much better instrument because it is more friendly to your housemates and gives the pianist more confidence.


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Re: Fear of listening
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2844635 05/02/19 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT

A piano that sounds great under your fingers and sounds wonderful across the room is a much better instrument because it is more friendly to your housemates and gives the pianist more confidence.


For my housemates the only thing that seems to matter is the loudness. If the piano playing gets too loud for their ears they will move to another room to sleep. Otherwise there's no reaction to the piano. Except when they feel bored and start bothering me by jumping around or on the keyboard...

So better to choose easy housemates and get the piano YOU like to play wink

Re: Fear of listening
outo #2844644 05/02/19 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT

A piano that sounds great under your fingers and sounds wonderful across the room is a much better instrument because it is more friendly to your housemates and gives the pianist more confidence.


For my housemates the only thing that seems to matter is the loudness. If the piano playing gets too loud for their ears they will move to another room to sleep. Otherwise there's no reaction to the piano. Except when they feel bored and start bothering me by jumping around or on the keyboard...

So better to choose easy housemates and get the piano YOU like to play wink

My housemate often drags his bed and sleeps under the piano while I'm playing.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Fear of listening
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2844701 05/03/19 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Pianos that sound their best from the players position are not the best pianos. If they disappoint at a distance and are acceptable at the keyboard, they will tire your ears over time.
But no one's recommending a piano that disappoints at a distance and is only acceptable at the keyboard. I recommend a piano that sounds absolutely great at the keyboard and, if and only if one has fussy housemates, at least acceptable at a distance. If one can find a piano that sounds great at the bench and at a distance that's obviously best, but how it sounds at the keyboard should be the most critical factor.

Even when professional pianists are choosing a piano for a performance in a selection room or at a competition, I think they almost always make that judgement themselves by sitting down and playing the piano. And that is a situation where one could reasonably argue that they should have someone listen at a distance to help them decide.


Last edited by pianoloverus; 05/03/19 06:20 AM.
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