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Tough time to be a street musician with a 900 lb piano
#3003246 07/16/20 07:07 AM
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Re: Tough time to be a street musician with a 900 lb piano
pianoloverus #3003508 07/16/20 11:03 PM
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It's not easy to rely on busking for 100% of his income. I'm sure this is what he enjoys doing and made enough money to live in an expensive city. If a man in his situation also teaches piano on the side, at least he has P/T income. And if he stayed employed with a music group before the lockdown, he can claim government assistance after his employer got everybody laid-off indefinitely.

It's not easy to be moving a Steinway grand around for his street performances. The next logical thing is to downsize to a portable 88 keyboard with a portable power supply. Of course having a Steinway gives a concert experience no DP can replicate.

Re: Tough time to be a street musician with a 900 lb piano
thepianoplayer416 #3003524 07/17/20 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
It's not easy to be moving a Steinway grand around for his street performances. The next logical thing is to downsize to a portable 88 keyboard with a portable power supply. Of course having a Steinway gives a concert experience no DP can replicate.
I think part of his attraction is that he is playing a grand and a Steinway to boot, I doubt the piano sounds very good from the endless moving and storage. A very good digital or hybrid would probably sound much better but wouldn't attract so much of an audience.

Re: Tough time to be a street musician with a 900 lb piano
pianoloverus #3003646 07/17/20 12:20 PM
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Does the actual sound quality matter much for an outdoor performance in a city?

I remember being told that a marching band doesn't have to worry much about being in tune; just play as loudly as you can and you're all set.

Wouldn't an outdoor piano performance be much the same?

Last edited by FrankCox; 07/17/20 12:22 PM.

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Re: Tough time to be a street musician with a 900 lb piano
FrankCox #3003671 07/17/20 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankCox
Does the actual sound quality matter much for an outdoor performance in a city?
I don't think he goes to the trouble of moving the Steinway around every day mostly because of its sound, which may not be very good since the piano may be in poor condition and is exposed to the elements a lot. He knows that having a real grand piano, and a Steinway, together with the obvious difficulty of transporting it to the venue will attract a lot of attention.

Re: Tough time to be a street musician with a 900 lb piano
pianoloverus #3003707 07/17/20 03:43 PM
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I THINK it was Jascha Heifetz who was once asked why there were so many great Russian violinists. He responded that - when the Cossacks came, it was easier to grab a violin and run...you get the point...

Re: Tough time to be a street musician with a 900 lb piano
pianoloverus #3003842 07/18/20 02:14 AM
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It's interesting someone moving a piano around regularly don't think about tuning it before a performance. May be he carries a tuning lever around and would spend a few minutes adjusting the strings before playing. Back in 2012 our city had a street piano event. Around 40 upright pianos with the sign "Play me, I'm yours" were scattered in public spaces to encourage anybody who can play to do just that. There were temperature fluctuations between spring & summer of 10°C. Don't think any of the pianos on the street were tuned for a while so they sounded flat.

The other issue that was not discussed in the article was performing in winter. I was playing violin outside with a group of singers doing Christmas carols a few times in early December when the temperature dropped to around -3°C. Wearing gloves wouldn't work so my hands were exposed to the cold a few minutes at a time. And the strings needed to be tuned flatter to take into account of the cold weather from room temperature around 20 to -3°C. The tuning of the strings quickly went up by about a tone higher. And strings getting too tight can break.


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