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Re: How good does a "starter" have to be? #908715
06/12/03 04:31 PM
06/12/03 04:31 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 123
cyberspace
JDWooWoo Offline
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JDWooWoo  Offline
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Joined: May 2003
Posts: 123
cyberspace
Good point about starting out properly. One big key is how well the piano is maintained. A well-prepped Pearl River is probably more suitable for learning than a beat-up Steinway D. Even if you're beginner level, playing on a piano with bad tone and regulation can force you to pick up bad technique to compensate. Not a good way to learn.


Disclosure: adult self-teacher ~RCM 8. ~~ Must - Get - Off - Everquest ~~
Re: How good does a "starter" have to be? #908716
06/12/03 04:51 PM
06/12/03 04:51 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,433
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Posts: 15,433
Surrey, B.C.
We've got a "complete trade up" policy for many years and unfortunately so.

Because instead to harping on people to spend their very last nickel on a VERY good piano, we take their last penny laugh on an only humble but decent one.

To be "traded up to a VERY good one" [for full value!] later.

And the hordes of customers aspiring to the more lofty prices and better intruments over the years are WHERE???

You tell me.

I guess the 'starter' was somehow good enough for most.

[or even TOO good.... mad ]

Damn!!

norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: How good does a "starter" have to be? #908717
06/12/03 06:11 PM
06/12/03 06:11 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 14,237
Louisiana
Jolly Offline OP
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Jolly  Offline OP
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Louisiana
Thanks, Norbert, for bringing us back to the real world.

I believe SteveC said one time that something like 97% of all buyers never took advantage of their trade-in policy.

I wonder if even 3% is too high a number.


www.coffee-room.com

Over 1.4M (and counting) posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.
Re: How good does a "starter" have to be? #908718
06/12/03 06:25 PM
06/12/03 06:25 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,253
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Rich Galassini  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,253
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Historically, I would say those numbers are about accurate, but over the past year or so, we have had a LOT of trade ups.

I have no idea why.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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Re: How good does a "starter" have to be? #908719
06/12/03 06:32 PM
06/12/03 06:32 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,433
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Surrey, B.C.
...because everybody one day wants to own an ......
....you guessed right:

ESTONIA!! laugh

[I'm talking about those hard to find pianos you're hiding in the backroom,Rich wink ]

norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: How good does a "starter" have to be? #908720
06/12/03 10:11 PM
06/12/03 10:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,416
Washington D.C. Metro
Cindysphinx Offline
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Cindysphinx  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,416
Washington D.C. Metro
posted June 10, 2003 07:51 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Manitou:

"You want to learn tennis, you go get a nice racket, not a 60 year old wooden peice of junk sitting in your attic.
You want to be a runner, you go buy good, expensive running shoes (not moth-eaten dried-up workboots sitting in your basement)
Think of all the great composers, how many would have been unjustly slighted if their parents only gave them a 60 note keyboard, or one without a sustain pedal..."

I dunno. If I took up tennis, I would buy a middling racquet. I would not feel I needed to use whatever Serena Williams uses. I would work up to it as my skills improved and as I learned my preferences. That is exactly what I did when I took up running -- I bought an adequate pair and kept moving up as my habits became known to me.

With pianos, I think learning on an old upright is fine. As my husband tells me when he wants to make the case for keeping the old clunker we have, "Mozart could make that piano sound great!" ;-)

Interesting thread, folks.

Cindy

Re: How good does a "starter" have to be? #908721
06/12/03 11:33 PM
06/12/03 11:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 354
Metro Atlanta
H
HammerHead Offline
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HammerHead  Offline
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H

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 354
Metro Atlanta
Another (fat) 2 cents here. First, few kids, and relatively few adults for that matter, have a musical ear developed and sensitive to tone and tuning at the level avid musicians do, professionals or otherwise. This is easy to forget (or deny), but it is true. I remember in college comparing a couple of prized Jr. High School All-State orchestra recordings with some other music guys; one (who would later play in the N.Y. Philharmonic) shook his head and commented, "how could ANYBODY ever have been able to listen to THAT!?". But we all remembered proudly thinking how great the sour mess we were now listening to sounded at the time (like our parents still did)! And this was with no lack of exposure to quality live playing and, of course, daily doses of world-class recordings. The "blessing" of the fine-tuned, hyper-critical ear usually comes later--it is not a prerequisite for enthusiasm, which is THE most important element. So...

I just do not believe that many budding careers in music have been aborted by sub-standard, if playable pianos--ridiculous, junk instruments are another matter (yes, some idiot parents do buy total crap to either deliberately discourage progress or present a "test" of the kid's desire--I don't know what you can do about that). But on the whole, I think a better quality piano is really more likely to encourage an adult beginner than it is to enrapture the kidly novice. Bad technique for life is not the result of starting on a clunky upright!

If the wallet IS hopelessly clenched, then rent a good piano for 6 months or a year and find out what kind of committment you really want to make. The only bad option is the one where the music never starts.

Also, there ARE some good 88-key digital keyboards out there at 2-3K, and that is certainly much better than a junk acoustic, though the technique developed on digitals isn't quite "right" when transferred to a decent acoustic; if you have regular access/lessons on a real piano it can be an excellent alternative, in fact ideal for what some people want to do with the keyboard.

If it's for you, find something you can afford, and that you or a tech thinks is OK and buy it, start playing; if you're buying for a kid, be responsible, do your job!


HH
Completely and forever out of the music business (but still full of opinions)
Re: How good does a "starter" have to be? #908722
06/13/03 12:22 AM
06/13/03 12:22 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,110
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
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B

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,110
Oakland
I admit to having a different standard for adult beginners than for children. I think children should have a decent piano, although it doesn't need to be great. Adults who don't have great aspirations can make do with pianos that I wouldn't recommend for children.

I always remember what a friend who makes violins tells me, that if you buy a poor instrument, you are wasting your money on lessons, and when you consider that a decent instrument only costs what you pay for it minus what you can get for it used, the cost of lessons can be more than the instrument.

Using the same accounting, a digital piano can be more expensive than an acoustic piano. I don't recommend them for children unless that is the instrument that they want, or unless space or portability are considerations.


Semipro Tech
Re: How good does a "starter" have to be? #908723
06/14/03 01:36 AM
06/14/03 01:36 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 10
Alaska
E
erica w Offline
Junior Member
erica w  Offline
Junior Member
E

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 10
Alaska
Because I read this forum I avoided "clunker" experience. Thank you! Jolly recommended a digital for my situation & it's worked out very well for me. I'd recommend a digital to any beginner.

Re: How good does a "starter" have to be? #908724
06/14/03 02:52 AM
06/14/03 02:52 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 9,217
Deep in Cherokee Country
Larry Offline
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Larry  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 9,217
Deep in Cherokee Country
Quote
Originally posted by Jolly:
I thought all good techs were telepathic. wink
Posted February 12, 2002

I knew you were going to say that.........

:p


Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless
Re: How good does a "starter" have to be? #908725
06/14/03 11:35 PM
06/14/03 11:35 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 25
Waynesville, MO
Kevin101 Offline
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Kevin101  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 25
Waynesville, MO
I dont post often but i do my share of lurking. I would consider my self to be a defender of "landfill" pianos. In addition to my Baldwin 6000 i also have an old 1915 Singer upright. It holds tune better than the baldwin frown and the tone is equal and far Superior than most small grands that i have played and the action is smooth and plays like butter. I agree that it is possible to get a great piano for under $1,000 that would not be at all for a beginer or a pro. but it can be very difficult. I got mine for free laugh from a local university.

kevin cool

Re: How good does a "starter" have to be? #908726
06/15/03 02:20 PM
06/15/03 02:20 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 3,291
Yorba Linda, CA
Steve Miller Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Steve Miller  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 3,291
Yorba Linda, CA
How good does it have to be?

It has to be good enough to hold a tune reliably and play at least reasonably evenly. Everything has to work - pedals and all. It also has to look good enough/sound good enough that it entices kids to want to play it.

Mostly though, it has to fit the family budget or no one will ever learn to play the piano at all. It is all well and good to start a kid out playing a $5000+ piano if the family has the $ (and the determination to "gamble" this sort of cash), but if the only pianos worth starting on are $5000+, then most families are not going to give their kids a shot at the piano at all.

This is my defense of the Landfill Piano, and I have expanded my defense to include such pianos as Baldwin Acrosonics and Kimball spinets. None of these pianos will pass muster with pianists of even middling ability, but without them there will be darned few that ever reach even that level of proficiency. Keyboards can help, but there is something about an acoustic piano that will hook a kid like no electronic piano ever will.

Hook 'em on the cheap stuff while they're young, and when they develop a taste for the good stuff they'll find a way to get it.

It's a marketing plan that has withstood the test of time.


Defender of the Landfill Piano
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