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#916114 - 09/29/06 11:22 PM what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 15
chrysler imperial Offline
Junior Member
chrysler imperial  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 15
texas
i'm very happy with the piano i have, except for not being able to play right now. my left hand was sprained in a car wreck, so i'm back to my first love--food, and doing lots of computer stuff. rehab is coming along.
the worst one for me was in an elem. school auditorium. my students were being filmed for a local cable tv program and were singing a few songs. "take me out to the ballgame" was my favorite and we were having so much fun. before the sound check, i decided to open the lid of the upright with the little prop stick and when i did, a cockroach crawled out. eek
two minutes later, i had to put my hands on that piano and play like everything was fine. i love baseball, but i will forever assiciate that song with roaches.

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#916115 - 09/29/06 11:44 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 15
chrysler imperial Offline
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chrysler imperial  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 15
texas
sorry for the bad typing. my l.h. 3 and 4 have to be splinted until wednesday except when i do rehab. i was able to play my marimba today with 2 mallets and nothing fancy. being able to grip a stick is awesome. typing with caps can't be far off.

#916116 - 09/29/06 11:59 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 309
pianomad Offline
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pianomad  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 309
USA
Wow, I'm so sorry to hear of your injury. Here's hoping for a rapid recovery.

Through arts outreach programs I play a lot of elementary school pianos, and some instruments in the unfortunate depressed districts are so neglected they're practically unplayable. At one school, they wheeled out an upright that obviously had not seen the light of day in years: there was a coating several millimeters thick of dust on the length of the keyboard.


www.elclandestinomusic.com

"Moralists have no place in an art gallery" ---Han Suyin

"Paint's not really a great thing to bring into a museum" ---Adam Sorenson, The Shape of Things
#916117 - 09/30/06 12:53 AM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 15
chrysler imperial Offline
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chrysler imperial  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 15
texas
some school music teachers simply choose not to play the piano in their defense, i must say it takes talent to play, sing, and "watch little damien" at the same time.
good luck with your album. cuban music is so cool. ernesto leucuona is my fave. -equal to chopin. i can say that because the chopin people don't play creepy pianos.

#916118 - 10/04/06 04:19 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 20
vik Offline
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vik  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 20
Canada
My story is probably tame compared to your accounts.

It's the 90 year-old Gulbransen piano I bought with hopes of restoring it to its former glory. There's some unknown white substance on the fallboard that I can't clean (it needs to be refinished badly) and the first time I played it, the keys were sticky. There was quite a cloud of dust when I took out its action.

And speaking of old pianos, there was this one that had THUMB TACKS stuck on each of the hammers. I'm talking about the metal thumb tacks used for posting announcements on bulletin boards. It was a music faculty piano. No one knew who put the thumb tacks there. A lot of the keys had a dull touch and some had a sticky coating.


University of Western Ontario - Piano Technology
#916119 - 10/05/06 02:07 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,597
sarabande Offline
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sarabande  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,597
Mo.
I scheduled a student recital at an area college and the only time I could get was the day after a week long student music festival that went every day from 8 am to 10 pm. I suppose it was from all the student use the piano got over that time that the Steinway grand was absolutely covered with grimy fingerprints. The action was also terrible - not sure if it was already that way or whether such heavy use could have caused that?

Then once when looking for a piano to buy, I went to an old time used piano shop and there was a long row of old neglected, uprights. The sun was glarring in through the window of the shop revealing the dust in the air and on the pianos. They were the only thing the store had within my price range. I played one and it was unplayable to say the least. After playing a few keys I kindly made my way out of the store - Kind of felt sorry for that row of old uprights as they all looked so alone, unwanted, and forgotten.

#916120 - 10/25/06 10:00 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 159
ryan.greene Offline
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ryan.greene  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 159
Dayton, OH
My ex-girlfriend left her family's piano out on the back porch while remodeling their house. It rained, froze, and snowed on it. When brought back in the spring, the piano was in tip top shape. Aside from already being well over 50 years old, the wood was warped, there were a couple insects living inside, it was HORRIBLY out of tune, none of the dampers worked, all the pedals didn't work, the action turned to crap, keys stuck, and some of the base notes didn't even produce any sound.

Thats not why I broke up with her, but, ah well enough said.


Yamaha C3 yay
#916121 - 10/31/06 03:17 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
glnabx Offline
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glnabx  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
Georgia
My Mother-in-laws old old old old upright. It sat in a room which was not air conditioned. The only heat was a gas space heater and it was only turned on when someone was in the room. The walls were un-insulated.

This piano had more sticky keys than a five year old with a peanut butter sandwich. Some of the keys were broke or chipped and at least two hammers were broke.

Needless to say, I didn't play it much. ABout 10 or 15 seconds I think.


Greg
#916122 - 10/31/06 03:22 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
glnabx Offline
Junior Member
glnabx  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
Georgia
Quote
Originally posted by vik:

And speaking of old pianos, there was this one that had THUMB TACKS stuck on each of the hammers. I'm talking about the metal thumb tacks used for posting announcements on bulletin boards. It was a music faculty piano. No one knew who put the thumb tacks there. A lot of the keys had a dull touch and some had a sticky coating.
Years ago I heard about people who would put thumb tacks in the hammers. It was supposed to give the piano a more honky-tonk sound. Don't think I ever heard one with tacks (that I know of) so not sure what kind of sound it gives off.


Greg
#916123 - 11/25/06 10:03 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,377
Roger Ransom Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Roger Ransom  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,377
SouthWest Michigan
The worst piano I've ever been associated with was one I was called to tune.

It was an old player piano that they said used to be in a funeral home. At some point someone decided the sharps needed to be replaced and literally broke them all off and tried to glue plastic ones on. Most of the plastic ones were missing and you could not play it. Many of the strings were so far out that some of the notes that should have been a tone higher than the ones next to them actually went lower.

I explained that it was not worth tuning but they absolutely insisted and since the place sort of reminded me of something out of 'Deliverance' I did what I could, having to poke the broken sharps with a stick because they did not come above the white keys. Of course it's always a pain to tune a player piano anyway, because the player mechanism is in the way and I was in no way going to attempt to move it.

I addition, a wild barn cat was living in it (the bottom cover was missing) and when I touched the piano, the cat came hurtling out of the piano and tore past my right ear and then leaped out through the window of the open porch where the piano was kept (this is Michigan by the way).

I dropped a mute in it and the stylus for my Pocket PC and I was happy to leave them there.

I didn't want to charge them anything, I just wanted to leave but they paid me $25.00 and I rushed to my car, got out of the yard and went home and cancelled the rest of the day.

I am happy to say I have never heard from them again!!


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#916124 - 11/25/06 10:37 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 230
joemoshi Offline
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joemoshi  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 230
Canada
Once I was invited to a work colleague's house for dinner. And there was a beautiful grand sitting in the living room. After dinner I asked about the grand and who played it. None was the answer. I was asked if I played the piano and I said yes. So they said go ahead and play something.
To my shock the piano was so out of tune that practically all the keys sounded the same. Of course my playing was cut short. Apparently the pins that put tensions on the strings were all loose and the owner did not have the money to pay for the repairs.


Be happy while there is still time.
#916125 - 12/12/06 11:48 AM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 255
asherf Offline
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asherf  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 255
Colorado
I played a recital at a nursing home, a christmas one, and the piano was insanely bad... I guess the residents don't play often :p

#916126 - 12/12/06 12:02 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,478
wolfindmist Offline
1000 Post Club Member
wolfindmist  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,478
In a state full of Volcanoes
The ancient upright that died in the middle of a music therapy group I was leading....
eek
frown bah


I have my own weapon of mass destruction in the form of a "teenage" German Shepherd. Anything she spies and can get ahold of is fair game.
#916127 - 01/08/07 01:44 AM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 559
Arabesque Offline
500 Post Club Member
Arabesque  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 559
Japan
Was in Violet Carson's house an elderly widow. As teenagers we helped this old lady who must have been in her eighties. She had this piano and she had about twenty cats. Well I played the piano for her but I was gagging from the smell of cat wee. I opend the casing and it was full of newspapers... Ok, I'll stop there.

Do I win a prize for this? :p


It don't mean a ting if it don't have dat swing
#916128 - 01/08/07 07:46 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 450
playliszt Offline
Full Member
playliszt  Offline
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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 450
Oh/Fla
Quote
She had this piano and she had about twenty cats. Well I played the piano for her but I was gagging from the smell of cat wee. I opend the casing and it was full of newspapers... Ok, I'll stop there. Do I win a prize for this? [Razz]
I would indeed say your's is the most CATastrophic! whome

#916129 - 01/09/07 02:05 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,478
wolfindmist Offline
1000 Post Club Member
wolfindmist  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,478
In a state full of Volcanoes
Arabesque wrote:

My Reply:
Depends on how long you were able to last on it.... without stopping for any breaks of any sort.

Quote
Originally posted by Arabesque:
Was in Violet Carson's house an elderly widow. As teenagers we helped this old lady who must have been in her eighties. She had this piano and she had about twenty cats. Well I played the piano for her but I was gagging from the smell of cat wee. I opend the casing and it was full of newspapers... Ok, I'll stop there.

Do I win a prize for this? :p


I have my own weapon of mass destruction in the form of a "teenage" German Shepherd. Anything she spies and can get ahold of is fair game.
#916130 - 01/13/07 02:03 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 9
PhantomTango1 Offline
Junior Member
PhantomTango1  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 9
Virginia
Probably the worst I've heard in awhile is an old, abused upright at my college. It was the resident piano in my freshman dorm, and it was God awful. Loose keys, action, many keys not even striking a pitch...terrible.

I also used to play an old Wurlitzer baby grand at the same school, which was placed near the entrance of the dining hall (school is located in central New York!) and moved in and out of the next room frequently. Terrible tone quality, and never held a pitch. It fell out of tune as soon as the tech left the property. I wrote several notes and offered a lot of polite reminders for the tuner to come, but no dice. "It was just tuned last month!" they always said. Well, yes, but perhaps we should look at a little more than tuning and try to find this thing a real home, yes?

Now out of college, the resident "bad boy" in my life is my own Steinert grand, which I may or may not have rebuilt as I just inherited it. It's quite atrocious below C4 (I also found leaves down by the pinblock. Haven't figured that out yet).


~Lindsey
Music is emotion we can hear.
#916131 - 01/30/07 11:27 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,925
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member
John Citron  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,925
Haverhill, Massachusetts
When I was in my junior year in high school, we did a Christmas program at the senior center. The SC had one of those shorty spinets that are missing the whole bottom section, and an octave or two from the top. It's one of those pianos where its hard to figure out where Middle C is because it looks wrong so you have to sneak your hand in quietly to make sure you play the right notes before you begin.

Anyway, I was called upon to play selections from the "Nut Cracker Suite", and accompany the singers for some other Christmas carols. Well the piano was so flat, I couldn't tell if I was playing the right notes! I just plunked away until I got through the music to the Nut Cracker, and hoped I was playing okay. The singers looked at me in horror, and the senior center's director looked at us and smiled like she really enjoyed the music. We did the rest of the gig, and then went home without saying a word about it again!

John


Nothing.
#916132 - 02/01/07 06:06 AM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 438
Mountain Ash Offline
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Mountain Ash  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 438
Canberra, Australia
One of my friends decided to pay $80 for an old upright with ivory keys, which were in reasonable shape. Unfortunately the same couldn't be said for the rest of the piano. The front panel was missing, and the inside of the piano had been ravaged by the elements.

I played some notes going up the keyboard from middle C, ie. C, D, E, F. However there was no guarentee that moving up the scale would produce a higher note. Some went up, some went down and some were identical to the next note. The whole piano was a semitone flat, and from C5 upwards there were no strings, so playing a note resulted in the hammer crashing into the plate.

Needless to say I didn't play anything on it.

#916133 - 06/06/07 04:57 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 8
summer rogers Offline
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summer rogers  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 8
georgia
Ok, my worst experience was a piano recital. My former teacher had decided to do it in a recreational sort of building. Anyways, she had not checked to make sure that the piano was in tune. Furthermore, some of the keys did not work. So I am trying to play I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas on an out-of-tune, half-broken piano.It was for a good cause though so, I guess it was worth it.


kittykat
#916134 - 06/06/07 06:58 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 384
Fraggle Offline
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Fraggle  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 384
Nottingham, U.K.
Re: tack pianos, you sometimes hear them in jazz recordings and according to wikipedia, Glenn Gould had one made for him by Steinway which he played on television. I hope some day to get my mum`s knackered old piano tuned one more time and put tacks in the hammers - to see how some ragtime sounds.


Will
#916135 - 06/06/07 10:29 PM Re: what was the the most disgustingt piano you ever played?  
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 205
PerformingYak Offline
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PerformingYak  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 205
Lightning Ridge, Australia
There are 2.. the first is an upright I had to play for an exam! an exam, and the octaves weren't in tune, there was a woof note in the bass and the only way to get any expression from it was to press as hard as possible!

The second is the school piano, it sounded fine except for the tuning adn one key which hit 2 different notes depending on how hard you pressed it.... then the piano tuner came. He informed us that it would cost $1500 to fix all the problems as mice had moved in and built nests under the keys, the felt and hammers needed replacing as did many of the other parts (mostly due to chewing and corrosion from mouse pee).The damper pedal still doesn't work and the sustain pedal is clunky at best.


"Work hard and strive to reach the power of bland"

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