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Upright vs Grand

Posted By: Bela

Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 04:56 AM

My 15 year old Daughter has been playing the piano for 4 years now. We purchased her a new Yamaha T-116 upright 4 years ago. She has done very well on it. She is playing pieces like Chopin Polonaise op.40/1, Beethoven Rondo in C op.51/1, Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag, Bach's French suites and Liszt's Consolations. The big question is for anyone out there, am I hurting my Daughters piano skills by having her practice on an upright versus a Grand piano? Everyone says I should buy her a Grand because it has a quicker action and better sound. Can this piano last her 3 more years at home until she goes off to college? There she could use their pianos. I do not want to hinder her in any way so if I must buy one I will. I just need some sound advice from an expert in this field. Thank you ahead of time, Bela laugh
Posted By: SPC001

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 05:55 AM

Bela, it won't hurt your daughter with a lower end piano, it will only restrict certain techniques that she can demonstrate better on a better upright or grand piano. Generally shorter piano does not have the tone and touch compared to taller upright and grand. It's a matter of compromise. While the current piano can deliver what is played, taller model can do better. Some uprights have very good action that is faster enough for very high grade. Eg. Sauter, Steingraeber. Of course the choice of a grand will help on action, though may not necessarily sound better than a very good upright. It depends on brand and model. To answer your question, a taller upright will benefit your daughter more and the right grand will be great, a more luxurious choice.
Posted By: cht

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 01:49 PM


I would suggest that the answer to your question would depend upon what the goal is and if you have the pocketbook. If your daughter is demonstrating an exceptional talent for the piano and is maybe taking the path of music as a major field of study, and you could afford it, I would be shopping for a grand. The right instrument will go a long way toward stimulating your daughters abilities and increase her desire to put in the hours of work that will be necessary.
Something to consider. If, on the other hand, she is just playing for fun, save the money. She will be wanting her own car soon.
Posted By: kluurs

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 01:59 PM

Put me with the grand group. You've got a decent upright -- and yes there are some remarkable uprights.

Still, the grand action is different -- and if you get her a decent grand piano, she'll have the opportunity to have a larger repertoire of playing skills -- just not possible on an upright.

It is largely a function of how the hammer interacts with the strings, combined with longer strings - and finally combined with a superior mechanism for producing sound.

All-in-all, a medium quality grand will generally be superior for someone to learn the piano playing craft to a first quality upright.

I guess if it were me, I'd make sure I had the funds for that medium quality grand -- and then search -- rather than buy a better quality upright and then a couple of years from now be buying a grand -- and yes, I know the buy now -- and trade up theory later -- but realistically, it's better to get the right piano today than the next wrong one.

Posted By: winniefoster

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 02:08 PM

When I was 15, my parents bought me a new piano to replace the one I was learning on. They did it because I myself began to feel the limitations of our old piano, I was becoming frustrated, and practicing became more of a chore than a joy.

Does your daughter have any strong feelings one way or the other?

Also, don't forget that your daughter may love practicing on her little Yamaha upright and may not like a medium-level grand as well...
Posted By: Matt G.

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 02:58 PM

As sort of a corollary to cht's comments, you should also check with your daughter's teacher to see if her progress is being hindered by your current piano. If not, then you have some time to consider a few other options. Chief among them is if your daughter is planning on going away to college to study, will you really need a grand in your house when she's away? Will she need a grand before she goes to college? Would a grand make a really wonderful college graduation present? laugh
Posted By: kenny

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 03:01 PM

l'll add my name to the list pushing for a decent grand.
If the low-end upright is not capable of a wide range of expression, how can its player develop these skills?

If you do spring for a grand that is only to be used for 3 years, you may be interested in resale value.
If so, consider a quality well-known used grand such as Kawai, Yamaha, Baldwin, Steinway, maybe Mason and Hamlin.
Of course with a lesser-known brand you should also be paying less up front so maybe it's a wash.
Buying and selling through private party is more trouble, more time consuming and may be riskier than doing business with a dealer but it may save you money since there is one less party involved.
Posted By: shantinik

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 03:36 PM

With my kids, I have felt that buying a quality USED piano is like renting. If purchased in proper condition and at a reasonable price, you can sell it (if you want) when they are out of the house for almost as much as you paid for it (actually, in the case of an upright we bought, we sold it for 60% more!)

So the real cost is the cost of having the money tied up, minus any further depreciation. In other words, if you shop well, it's CHEAP, and your daughter gets the benefit of a good grand.

But you do have to do the research and have the piano carefully checked out. (We were REALLY picky, and so it took us almost 6 months -- and it was worth it.)
Posted By: deborah_dup1

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 03:44 PM

My parents bought me a decent grand when I was about 13 or 14. Having the grand action made me a better pianist. Also having a nicer piano motivated me to practice more.

My parents were remodeling the living room, and my mom sacrificed the new bay window she'd always wanted because she recognized that a grand would help me out immensely. (She ended up getting her bay window when they remodeled the kitchen a year later. smile )

Now that I'm looking for a piano of my own, I quickly ruled out buying an upright because they just don't feel right to me. I don't know if I would have put as much into studying the piano if I hadn't had that decent grand.

Posted By: Jolly

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 05:56 PM

Some questions:

1. Is your daughter planning on becoming a performance major in college?

2. Pardon this one for being personal, but would purchasing another piano affect her college fund adversely? On another tack, should you decide to replace this piano, how much can you budget?

3. In the teacher's honest opinion, is the lack of a grand impeding her progress?

4. Are there any alternatives, such as practicing at your church, or local community college, that will allow her ample practice time on a grand for little, or no money?

I think with a few answers, the board can give you some ideas on which way to jump.
Posted By: ryan

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 06:35 PM

I had a friend in high school who was a fantastic pianist. He won every competition he entered (well, almost), played many recitals, and even performed Beethoven's 1st piano concerto with the community orchestra when he was in 10th grade. He was accepted into the music program of a major university and I believe he eventually earned his doctorate.

Guess what he had at home to practice on? An old Wurlitzer upright. I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I saw it, but sure enough that's what he practiced on.

Posted By: deborah_dup1

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 06:40 PM

Originally posted by Jolly:
Some questions:

1. Is your daughter planning on becoming a performance major in college?
I don't think this one is particularly relevant. I studied computer science in college and have done a whole lot more singing than piano playing for the past 7 years or so, but having the grand really helped my musical development. I don't know if I'd be looking for a piano now and wanting to get back into playing if my parents hadn't bought the grand.

I feel that the piano helped to keep my musical interest and motivation high, and it allowed me to branch out into fields of musical study not directly related to the piano (such as lots of music theory, some really fun courses in college, and early music performance practice). If my parents based the piano decision on whether or not I was going to be a performance major in college, then things might have been very different.

Posted By: Jolly

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 07:03 PM

And here's why I think it has huge importance, depending on finances:

I have a son in college. My daughter is a high school senior this year, so college is looming closely on the horizon for her.

College costs money. A lot of money.

Now, most folks can go one of three ways: 1)Scholarships that cover the entire cost of college. These are not common, especially at the more expensive, or more elite, universities. 2)A combination of scholarships, savings, and student loans. I'd think the most common, but Daddy and Momma still get a large chunk eaten out of their backpockets. 3)Strictly college savings, and student loans.

Some folks may think differently, but massive amounts of debt, are not the way I'd like to start my adult life. I did not have them when I graduated, and I'm going to make sure my children don't have them either.

I see the question as dividing the prospect of acquiring a new (or a used) piano into either a "want to", or "have to" column. If the young lady is progressing, but has no aspirations of being a music major, by not acquiring a new piano, has any harm been done in the long view?

If she does plan on being a performance major, does not acquiring a new piano, harm her in the long view?

My contention would be that if she is seriously considering the performance option, or a music related career field, the expense may be warranted. If not, I would assess the situation carefully in light of my personal finances.
Posted By: deborah_dup1

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 07:19 PM

I respectfully disagree. At 15, did you know what you were going to study in college? I made the decision mid-way through my freshman year. I couldn't have made that decision in my early teens when we were making the piano decision.

Also, there's a lot more to college financing than what you said, especially if one is going to an elite institution. They give need-based financial aid, and if you spent the money on the piano, they'd actually give you more financial aid than if you had a ton of money set aside in a college fund. smile It's a pretty complex thing. My parents ended up having to pay a reasonable sum each year; I had to work during the summers and the school year to contribute a lot. I also had to take out some loans, but the educational value was worth the trade-off. I could have gone to a state school where it would have been free, but to me, the student loans were worth it. As was the piano, even though my degree does not say anything about music.

Posted By: apple*

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 07:32 PM

I played a super old upright forever it seems. The good thing about that - was that my brain had to really focus my fingers on coaxing any type of tonality out of the keys. Playing dynamically on an upright is difficult and actually great practice for the 'real' thing. I adjusted to my grand in minutes when I got it.
Posted By: Bela

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 07:42 PM

Thank you all for some really good advice. Just to shed some more info on my daughter. She is planning to be a piano major in 3 years. I am kind of pushing her towards her Masters. She's still young, why not get all your studies over with while your still young. I agree with some of you about the motivation factor once the new Grand would come in the home. She would definately practice more. She practices 2 hours a day now. She has worked very hard on her repertoire in the last 4 years and I don't think she would be dumb and throw all that away. She is serious about her music. We have been blessed with a great teacher, she's motivating, strict, and sweet all at the same time. My other question is would about 20K be enough for a Grand piano? I do not want to spend more then that. I heard that Schimmels Grands are good pianos, are they comparable to Steinways. Or should I look for a good used Steinway on E-Bay here locally in my State. I would check it out with my tuner before purchasing it of course. Thanks ahead of time for your responses. You all need to be commended for being so helpful.
Posted By: apple*

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 08:14 PM

Originally posted by deborah:

Also, there's a lot more to college financing than what you said, especially if one is going to an elite institution. They give need-based financial aid, and if you spent the money on the piano, they'd actually give you more financial aid than if you had a ton of money set aside in a college fund. smile Deborah
That is an excellent point.
Posted By: shantinik

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 08:52 PM

Well, the implications of my post are that Jolly's consideration is irrelevant. You can have the use of a decent USED grand piano virtually for free (or close to it), if you choose wisely, and pay for its upkeep. So it would not have to affect college finances at all (other than in the cost of money tied up while it was in use.)

(and, given the prior point, you might actually stand to make money on the deal.) cool
Posted By: Jolly

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/27/03 09:49 PM

Deborah wrote:
Also, there's a lot more to college financing than what you said, especially if one is going to an elite institution. They give need-based financial aid, and if you spent the money on the piano, they'd actually give you more financial aid than if you had a ton of money set aside in a college fund.
Depends on how you do it. It may, or may not count.

As to need-based financial aid, tuition and board at Tulane right now is 36K/year, not counting books or hamburger money. I believe Rice is a tad more, and I would think the Southern schools are a bit less than elsewhere in the country, say Stanford, or Ivy League.

To each his own, when it comes to debt. I think it silly to spend major money on a piano, and then borrow money to finance an education, unless the piano will have a direct impact upon that education, as in scholarships won, school attended, etc.

As cited earlier in this thread, a grand is nice to further one's skills, but it will not replace God-given talent. I've often said that the best pianist I know has a Baldwin vertical. (And yes, he can outplay, by most yardsticks, the classically trained Russian who heads the nearest performance school).

However, in light of the original poster's reply, in which I think most of the questions were answered, much of this becomes moot.

I think we are now talking 20K budget, and I think we are now talking grand.

Shant has already pitched the proposition of a used piano, which is sound advice as long as one can be found. I would add some new pianos to the list, most notably Estonia, Petrof, and Kawai.
Posted By: Palindrome

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/28/03 12:05 AM

And what does your daughter think about this? She plays your upright, she's almost certainly played a few grands by now, and she should have a relevant opinion.
Posted By: byebye

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/28/03 12:08 AM

I grew up with an Acrosonic spinet. Every other kid I faced in competition had a nice Steinway, Yamaha, etc. grand at home. Playing in public is hard enough without trying to adjust to a completely different type of instrument. It wasn't easy.

Yeah, I know, I made it through. But it would have been a lot easier if I had been practicing on a piano which had an action remotely like the instruments on which I performed.

It is just about impossible to decide to become a piano major in the middle of the freshman year of college. One ought to be an accomplished pianist walking in the door. I began study with the chair of the piano department at the local university as a junior in high school and from my first lesson he was already planning for me to be a college professor someday. He knew I'd never make it as a performer!

No one expects a college freshman to be an successful doctor or lawyer or biologist or just about anything else. But music is different, and at good music schools only the best will even be admitted.
Posted By: Matt G.

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/28/03 03:06 AM

Bela, if you have $20K as a budget for a new grand, the Schimmels will probably be a little beyond your reach. But, there are many very good grands in that general price area. If you wish to go into the used piano marketplace, and I would suggest you not dismiss the idea off-hand, there are many wonderful grands to be had in that price range. Steinways? Well, let's just say there are most likely better price/performance values out there. You will not be able to purchase a new Steinway grand for $20K, and many of the better used ones will still be priced beyond your budget.

If a new grand is truly the goal, let us know. You'll get lots of suggestions on makes and models to try out.
Posted By: BDB

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/28/03 06:34 AM

Before investing any money in a new piano, invest some in the piano you have. After 4 years of use, it would be wise to have your tech run through the regulation of the action, and make sure it is working as well as it can. If your daughter can tell the difference, she will be at least beginning to understand what the differences in piano actions can make, and you both will be in a better position to decide whether a grand will be enough of an advantage to consider buying one now. The difference between a grand action and an upright action is less likely to affect one's playing than the difference between a well-regulated action and a poorly-regulated one.
Posted By: katie_dup1

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/28/03 07:27 AM


This is a hard choice. Do you aniticipate your daughter going away to college or living at home while she attends college? If she's moving away, would she take the grand piano with her? These are quesitons I would ask myself.

I really thought BDB provided an excellent comment concerning a tune-up on your existing piano. It is only 4 years old. This is the way I might lean in the short term anyway while you're making this decision.
Posted By: bcarey

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/28/03 03:48 PM


If indeed your daughter is serious about her music and will be studying music in college, a grand might be the way to go. Playing and practicing on a grand is definitely advantageous. Only you can decide if it's in the budget.

Were I in your shoes, I would think about the advantages of her playing a grand before entering college. I would think about whether you will keep it at home, or move it to where she is living during college. I would think about whether the piano will remain in your home or remain forever with your daughter, wherever she goes.

MOST important, is to involve your daughter in the process with you. Granted that you will pay for the piano, but she will play it. Her preferences for tone, action, touch should be considered.

If I don't miss my guess, you are in the same boat I was when I began shopping. You know little about pianos, how to shop for them, or even what to shop for. If, this is not the case you are definitely ahead of the game. You have probably heard everyone hear recommend buying The Piano Book as a first step. That's very good advice!

$20,000 can buy a very good piano, either new, or used. It will not buy a new Steinway, Bosendorfer, Mason & Hamlin, and some other top tier pianos, but it will buy a very good one. Were I looking in this range, Estonia, Petrof, Kawai, Young Chang, would be on my list. Others can add to it. Buying used, can sometimes take longer and having a qualified technician evaluate the piano is an absolute must.

You mentioned e-bay. Personally, unless I were very knowledgeable, and used the services, of not just just a tech who tunes, but someone highly experienced in the voicing, perhaps, rebuilding and such of pianos, I would not go this route. It could be risky.

If you decide, to shop for a grand, buy the book, then plan on shopping at as many piano dealers in your area as you can so your daughter can play the pianos, and develop an ear for the differences in action, tone and such. I think after doing this, her preferences and yours will emerge. During the shopping, use this forum to ask for advice. It can be invaluable!

Happy piano shopping if you decide to shop for grands. It can be a great experience for you and your daughter. smile
Posted By: Nina

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/28/03 04:07 PM

A bit OT, but Bela, I agree with your statement that you are pushing her to think Masters degree right away. I was one of those kids who went "straight through," from Bachelor's to PhD (not in piano, though), and I am very glad I did.

Once you get out into the real world and start making money, it's really hard to return to school. I have plenty of colleagues who did, or are, returning for advanced degrees.

There is the obvious expense, plus there's the fact that, instead of doing fun things like your friends are doing on weekends and at night you are going to school to complete your degree. If you choose to work for awhile then return to school, it's really hard to get used to the cut in cost of living.

OTOH, if you simply remain in school, you are still hanging around with poor students, you are all in the same boat, everyone is working hard. I thought it was WAY easier!

Hardest of all, IMHO, are working parents who are returning to school. I honestly don't know how they do it. It's a major, commendable effort.

Posted By: KlavierBauer

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/28/03 08:17 PM

Everyone knows that I think high quality uprights like the Sauter, and Steingraeber can out perform many of the smaller and/or lower end grands.

I would however like to agree with Kluurs.
I agree with the theory regarding "medium" quality grands. I would propose however, that the grands in the "medium" category, are the ones in the $20-$30k price range. I think the statement holds truth, that the medium range grands will out perform most of the uprights. But I would suggest that this doesn't include any less expensive grands. If the highest quality is running 50k-100k, then I would say the medium quality are roughly half of that lower figure.
In general though, I agree that a grand will offer superior performance to an upright in most situations.

Posted By: Ariel

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/28/03 11:52 PM


I'm so glad you brought all this up, as you are in very much the same situation as we are - my son and I. My son is just one year younger than your daughter, and has been studying for eight years always practicing on the (new then) Baldwin upright I was ignorant enough to pay list for.

His teacher, a university piano prof, has been pushing hard for the move up to a grand, especially because of the action. I am concerned about what will be most motivating for him as there are so many other things competing for his attention in High School. It has also not escaped my notice that almost all the other talented young pianists in the State are fortunate enough to have nice - in fact in our town, really nice - big Steinway grands for their use, and that my son is at a major disadvantage when it comes to preparing for serious competitions as he wants to do.

Although I have been repeatedly told that competitions are not "that important" (or even that they detract from true musicianship), winning them DOES help with college admissions. And also - again speaking of inspiration - my son is a competitive kid and this too is a powerful motivator for him, at least at this point.

I too want to do what's right by him and financially sound (sometimes, it almost seems they are mutually exclusive, certainly at the extreme end of financial caution)...and it's very hard to decide, especially because of the limited shopping where we are. With an eye to findng a nice used grand, for example.. Don't know how it is for you, but we can't just spend all our time on the road.

I would like to second Deborah's remarks about financial aid at the college level having been through that once already. Bluntly, the less tangible assets the better, in a sense. They ask about investments, cars, houses, but - so far anyhow - they don't ask about pianos!

And - don't know what your daughter's college ambitions/aptitude are, but the elite schools to varying degrees, really DO honor the "needs-blind" admissions standard, and generally have enough of an endowment to offer much more assistance than lower-ranking schools (while not costing more).

Deborah, your input has been extremely valuable to me - as the grown-up kid looking back, has a perspective which cannot be matched! I hope any others out there in that posittion will speak up too. It has always been one of my guiding principles as a parent, that there is no way to duplicate in later life learning opportunities missed as a child/young person.

However, Jolly's points are well taken too. Ah, I know - perhaps my son, who is multi-talented, can help me out if Social Security and Medicare go bust! That's the old-fashioned way, right?

Bela, I will follow your decision-making process with great interest - I hope you will keep us posted.


P.S. Winniefoster, I read your personal story eagerly awaiting the outcome and then - nothing! What DID your parents decide to do, and how did it affect you?
Posted By: shantinik

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/29/03 12:08 AM

My grand (1926 M&H AA) cost $9,000. If you read the depreciation tables in Larry Fine's book, that is lower than I should have paid for this piano in average condition, but not extremely much lower. It plays absolutely wonderfully. It has some minor cosmetic issues (don't we all! wink ). I purchased it exactly for the same reason that you are looking. Tech says it "needs" nothing done to it.

When she moves away, she takes it with her, or we sell it for the same amount we paid for it, probably a bit more. The only cost to us is the cost of money, and upkeep.

There are PLENTY of excellent used pianos out there in the 9K - 15K range, that will more than hold their value, provided you aren't too picky about the cosmetics. Of course, this will vary from one part of the country to another (though we bought ours from 1,000 miles away.)
Posted By: Ariel

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/29/03 01:00 AM


Well, now that you mention it, I have been wanting to ask you how you pulled this one off.

Quite some time ago (well before registering)I went through months of old posts - close to a year's worth, in fact, and I vaguely recall your adventures. I know you REALLY went all out looking. I don't remember how it all ended happily, however.

How DID you find your Charles Dawes Commemorative, where was it, and how did you know this tech who vetted it for you, was so highly qualified? I wrote to the PTG about this precise issue, and a higher up was kind enough to write back that mere membership in the Guild was - he was sorry to say - not that telling.

Whenever you have a chance...


P.S. At this point we too are preferring a M&H tho' probably an "A" if only because the AA probably wouldn't fit in the house. Not without getting rid of the couch! House not that big frown

There is, by the way - if you haven't seen me complaining elsewhere - absolutely no shopping within a radius of minimum 150 miles where we are.
Posted By: shantinik

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/29/03 01:34 AM

Well, the first contact was through Piano-Mart. And then lots of phonecalls and e-mails. And then my tech did his own investigating for techs, and contacted the President of the San Diego chapter, and asked him if he could use anyone for the job, regardless of price, who would he use? And he named the piano tech for the San Diego Symphony.

And then more negotiating with him. Seemed like he knew his stuff (I had my tech call him.) The piano owner was a professional who was going to Czech Republic to make a recording, and while there, she was buying a new 9' Petrof. Then I checked HER out, and the tale turned out to be true.

What else is there? Oh, we DIDN'T negotiate on price -- her price was a very, very fair one.

On size -- we thought we were going under 6' as well. But we had heard AAs in New York, and the size did seem to make a difference, so we spent time with the measuring tape. Threw out a couch, and moved a bunch of furniture. :p
Posted By: winniefoster

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/29/03 02:28 AM

Ariel, so sorry! My parents bought me a new Yamaha U3 to replace the ancient Sohmer upright I had started learning on. I was in heaven! That piano got me well into my 20s, when I moved out, and my younger brother started taking lessons on it; my parents still have it and it is loved and enjoyed by the grandchildren. The point of my post was to suggest that Bela take his daughter's feelings into consideration. She may be becoming frustrated with the limitations of her upright, or she may actually adore it as much as I adored my Sohmer until it finally really gave out.
Posted By: Jim Volk

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/29/03 04:28 AM

Bela, let me play devil's advocate here. You said,
She is planning to be a piano major in 3 years. I am kind of pushing her towards her Masters.
Let's back up then, and ask the question: Have you also kind of pushed her towards a major in piano, or is this something she's independently committed to, heart and soul?

I agree with the wisdom of advancing expeditiously to an MA, but my reasoning is to look at the big picture: pursuing a career in piano will be a difficult road to travel. Look in the Sunday job classifieds, under "Professional." Not many firms are seeking professional pianists these days.

If you have 20K available to buy your daughter a grand, then do this: take her to 4 or 5 piano showrooms and let her try out as many grands in that price range as she can find.

Then let her choose, whether to buy or not, and which piano to buy. But make it perfectly clear that if you buy her the piano, she is in no way obligated to enter college as a piano major, and she'll have your support regardless of her decision. As Deborah asks, "At 15, did you know what you were going to study in college? "

Posted By: shantinik

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/30/03 05:35 PM

Check out the forum on "Used Baldwins". Scotte found a 5'9" Baldwin R, in fine playing condition (checked out by his tech) for $4,500 asking (might go for less.) (And if Scotte ever needs to sell it, he's almost sure to get his $4,500 back - or more!) There are plenty of such pianos out there -- just have to look.
Posted By: Vid

Re: Upright vs Grand - 06/30/03 05:51 PM

I had a friend in high school who was a fantastic pianist. He won every competition he entered (well, almost), played many recitals, and even performed Beethoven's 1st piano concerto with the community orchestra when he was in 10th grade. He was accepted into the music program of a major university and I believe he eventually earned his doctorate.

Guess what he had at home to practice on? An old Wurlitzer upright. I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I saw it, but sure enough that's what he practiced on.

Thanks for that post Ryan. I find that reassuring. It seems daunting when I hear it said that you can never really develop until you play a really expensive piano. Regardless of what resources you have if the passion is there then you WILL develop. I don't doubt that it is easier to develop piano skills if you have an excellent piano to work with, but it always seemed to me to hint of snobbery to say one will not develop if they have an inferior instrument.
Posted By: Nina

Re: Upright vs Grand - 07/01/03 12:47 AM

Do music majors really take their grand pianos to school with them nowadays? I don't think so!

Will you get ~$5K worth of enjoyment and learning experience in the 4 years your daughter will be home before college? I wonder...

Posted By: Matt G.

Re: Upright vs Grand - 07/01/03 01:10 AM

Originally posted by Vid:
...some stuff...
Vid!!!! How the heck have you been? Haven't seen you 'round these parts in eons! So glad to see you back! Tough luck that the "musical flat" didn't quite pan out. mad What have you been up to in the meanwhile?
Posted By: Vid

Re: Upright vs Grand - 07/01/03 05:50 PM

Hey Matt, its good to be back. I've been immersed in the study of computer science for the past 8 months and its only recently that I've had time to indulge in other pursuits such as reading these forums.

The musical house I was living in turned out to be a disaster so I'm on my own now and have bought a digital piano. It has been worth it because I can play it whenever I want and nobody can complain about it. I don't think it is hurting my technique that much because I can still play regular pianos fine.
Posted By: ryan

Re: Upright vs Grand - 07/01/03 06:04 PM

Hi Vid! Good to hear from you. You caught my point exactly - desire and love for music outweigh the grand vs. upright issue. My friend wasn't the only person I knew who had less than stellar pianos to practice on. I didn't have great pianos (Baldwin spinet follows by an early 90's Wurlitzer baby grand followed by crappy college practice room pianos). I am back in music school and I practice on a vertical at home (albeit a high quality vertical smile ). This semester (my first) I was convinced that I had to upgrade to a grand immediately, but after spending a semester getting my fingers back under me and learning new techniques I finally decided that there wasn't any rush. My vertical is just fine, has a great touch and a pleasing tone. The piano that replaces it is going to have to be stellar. Anyway, I have found that technique and musicianship are technique and musicianship, regardless of the specific instrument you play. And a brand new grand piano cannot replace desire and love of music.

Posted By: KlavierBauer

Re: Upright vs Grand - 07/03/03 12:02 AM

Ryan, haven't seen you in awhile... how's it going?

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Upright vs Grand - 07/03/03 12:42 AM

"Bela" I would say that if you can at all afford to buy her a grand piano.. preferably a higher end one, then it can make all the difference in the world. Most people don't realize how an inferior instrument restricts a developing musician. Now I am not saying run right out and buy her a Bechstein...but what I am saying is that perhaps you should... if it is within your budget of course.. start shopping for a good grand piano for her to come home to.

To answer your question directly... provided that the Yamaha you have now is in descent shape and is cared for properly is should last for 3 more years easily.
Posted By: ryan

Re: Upright vs Grand - 07/03/03 01:42 AM

Hi KB,

I have been BUSY. A lot more busy than I expected to be.

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