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Its quite impossible to tell anything about the dynamic capabilities of a digital piano with a jazz piece. Especially with the kind of pieces they usually choose to play.
I can get a toy casio piano from 1980s and make it sound good with playing jazz.
Most of the reviewers are not particularly accomplished players, so they just stick to pieces they know and play, probably they gig live, when not sellings pianos, at weddings etc.. They are sales people not pianists.
This isn't piano, but I really just love a good classical v. jazz rant!

One very nice thing about a well-played jazz demo is that you CAN play everything someone would want to hear, since you're just making it up -- quiet passages, loud passages, long-held notes -- while with classical music you're supposed to play what's on the page. I'd recommend that if you don't like the reviews, go to a store and try the instruments out. Play what you are planning to play.
Originally Posted by karoloydi
Who's with me?
Its quite impossible to tell anything about the dynamic capabilities of a digital piano with a jazz piece. Especially with the kind of pieces they usually choose to play.
I can get a toy casio piano from 1980s and make it sound good with playing jazz.
I agree. An instrument with good dynamics is fundamental to learn piano seriously. And not just for classical music.
There are some sellers on youtube that play almost only "strong" jazz pieces, where you don't need great dynamic capabilities from the instrument, but just some decent quality in the velocities from mf to ff. And (casually?) that's the range in which most low/middle-range digital pianos sound better, because that's the range where most of the (very few) velocity layers are placed.

Tony from Bonners Music is one of the few sellers that plays various musical genres and that's what I like more from his videos.
Jazz is not ‘just making it up’ as you go; that’s a misconception. It’s not free-association, but rather structured improvisation. If some dude decides to just pound away mindlessly at the piano and call it ‘jazz’, that’s his problem, but it’s not freaking jazz!

You want to hear dynamic contrasts that go beyond the usual ppp to fff? Listen to Gonzalo Rubalcaba; the ‘sounds’ and shades he is able to create on the piano are way ahead of any aging legato or over-the-top fortissimo (by definition a redundancy, fff, and the reason why Beethoven went deaf).

Also, the notion that there are no ‘wrong notes’ in jazz -because, you know, who cares- is what people who have no idea what they’re talking about say. A note employed incorrectly will stick out like a sore thumb in jazz; the real issue is that ‘classical’ musicians tend to call wrong notes anything that is beyond their comfort zone. For example, an F# and a Bb in a C Major chord will be considered wrong notes for most ‘classical’ musicians because they see these as fixed states that do not correspond with ‘diatonic theory’ associated with C Major. A jazz musician approaches these notes dynamically; in other words, a Bb in a C Major chord is not wrong in and of itself, but rather depends on how and when you use the Bb within the C Major chord.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many classical musicians who understand these concepts; and yes, these are the ones who value what jazz musicians are doing. Also, in this day and age many so-called ‘jazz musicians’ can also play classical, salsa, samba, and most anything else you throw at them.

Keith Jarrett is supposedly a ‘jazz musician’, yet he’s recorded the Goldbergs and many other classical works. No, he doesn’t break into a solo halfway through the Goldbergs!
Originally Posted by Pete14
Keith Jarrett is supposedly a ‘jazz musician’, yet he’s recorded the Goldbergs and many other classical works. No, he doesn’t break into a solo halfway through the Goldbergs!

Although... I mean... I'd listen.
If there are many reviewers demonstrating jazz, it could simply be because they believe they are playing to the majority of their audience. In other words they believe jazz is a very popular genre and many really enjoy listening to the demos (even if it doesn't necessarily run a piano through its full dynamic range). So point taken, but the reviewers generally accomplish their goals: pleasing their YouTube audiences and selling pianos.

I agree with ColoRodney, if you can't hear what you need from a YouTube demo, go to a store and demo everything yourself. (Just by doing this you very possibly may disagree with the conclusions of many reviewers anyway).

Full Disclosure: I love listening to jazz piano!
Originally Posted by Gombessa
This isn't piano, but I really just love a good classical v. jazz rant!


I love it! Thanks for posting.
There is a Polish site that used to do fairly thorough demos with classical literature as well as reviews with modern music (i.e. two demo videos) with the same instrument, their youtube channel is muzykujkropkacom...
I used to love jazz. It’s a brain exercise in a way because there’s logic and there’s music, it can be applied while improvising and is a lot of fun for the player. And if he’s one of the big names, it’s also a lot of fun for listeners. But I grew tired of jazz. It suddenly stopped bringing me any joy at all, neither as a player, nor as a listener. I guess after too much jazz it becomes too plain and obvious. I switched (back) to classical and discovered that there’s so much more to music than just what notes and chords you play. You can create an entire universe by HOW you play these notes. With that I also discovered the importance of piano sound, the way it responds, the way it blends, legato technique and the ultimate control that would allow for every single note to sing!

So, to a certain degree I agree with the OP.
It's been a gripe of mine from way back too. Not that there's anything wrong with demoing with a BIT of jazz, but there seems to be a boring sameness in the way reviewers demo the pianos.

Similar to the auto demos in most keyboards actually! (And we know the general public feel this way about those corny inbuilt demos, because when a new keyboard comes out with some less corny demo tunes, they make a noise about it). smile

I find it's the same deal when demonstrating the sound capabilities. Start with pianos...yes of course, then it's the same old routine of electric piano, organ, bass....when there are often so many other fine patches to choose from. It gives me the impression that the world is mainly into jazz electric piano and organ, and the wider variety of sonic pallet is non existent. I pretty much switch off now, when reviewers go into that same boring routine, including playing just jazz. It also just goes to show how the more that's changed, the more that has stayed the same. New products often boast some great new technology which they go into the same related speel of it being groundbreaking, but in the end, the older tech often sounds better?


There! I said it! As always, just my own view, yes a bit over generalised, but I got it off my chest wink

Yes the Polish music youtube channel muzykujkropkacom is an exception, I do enjoy their style of demo, musically more interesting than many.
Originally Posted by Pete14
Jazz is not ‘just making it up’ as you go; that’s a misconception. It’s not free-association, but rather structured improvisation. If some dude decides to just pound away mindlessly at the piano and call it ‘jazz’, that’s his problem, but it’s not freaking jazz!

You want to hear dynamic contrasts that go beyond the usual ppp to fff? Listen to Gonzalo Rubalcaba; the ‘sounds’ and shades he is able to create on the piano are way ahead of any aging legato or over-the-top fortissimo (by definition a redundancy, fff, and the reason why Beethoven went deaf).

Also, the notion that there are no ‘wrong notes’ in jazz -because, you know, who cares- is what people who have no idea what they’re talking about say. A note employed incorrectly will stick out like a sore thumb in jazz; the real issue is that ‘classical’ musicians tend to call wrong notes anything that is beyond their comfort zone. For example, an F# and a Bb in a C Major chord will be considered wrong notes for most ‘classical’ musicians because they see these as fixed states that do not correspond with ‘diatonic theory’ associated with C Major. A jazz musician approaches these notes dynamically; in other words, a Bb in a C Major chord is not wrong in and of itself, but rather depends on how and when you use the Bb within the C Major chord.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many classical musicians who understand these concepts; and yes, these are the ones who value what jazz musicians are doing. Also, in this day and age many so-called ‘jazz musicians’ can also play classical, salsa, samba, and most anything else you throw at them.

Keith Jarrett is supposedly a ‘jazz musician’, yet he’s recorded the Goldbergs and many other classical works. No, he doesn’t break into a solo halfway through the Goldbergs!

👍 Many consider him the best living pianist in the world today. Listen to The Koln Concert. Played on an out of tune piano.
There's always dangers in generalizations... and the title itself has a very elitistic smell...

I can agree that some reviews of ONE particular character, the typical 'cool' guy with sporty look and the language skills of a 3rd grader, are particularly annoying because he plays always almost on the same empty style... kinda sound jazzy but far away for what I consider myself JAZZ (in capital letters).

But the initial generalization is an insult to Bill Evans, Michel Petrucciani, Keith Jarrett, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and the long list of good jazz pianists that made their music a neutral ground between two worlds, the classical and the jazz music.

It's not black or white... there are millions of grey contrasts in between, don't judge music as politics.

BEST REGARDS
Originally Posted by Deltajockey
I find it's the same deal when demonstrating the sound capabilities. Start with pianos...yes of course, then it's the same old routine of electric piano, organ, bass...
You forgot about such a part of routine as layering piano sound and strings, as well as the ability to split the keyboard (Wow!) into bass in the left hand and piano in the right hand to play... Jazz. )
I have nothing against jazz. Indeed, in an era dominated by pop music trash, jazz has been the last hope for music claiming to be art.
Originally Posted by karoloydi
Who's with me?
Its quite impossible to tell anything about the dynamic capabilities of a digital piano with a jazz piece. Especially with the kind of pieces they usually choose to play.
I can get a toy casio piano from 1980s and make it sound good with playing jazz.
If you believe that jazz does not offer a means to judge the merits of a piano, then don't listen.
I see no reason to tell anyone not to play jazz.
Originally Posted by 9190
Originally Posted by Deltajockey
I find it's the same deal when demonstrating the sound capabilities. Start with pianos...yes of course, then it's the same old routine of electric piano, organ, bass...
You forgot about such a part of routine as layering piano sound and strings, as well as the ability to split the keyboard (Wow!) into bass in the left hand and piano in the right hand to play... Jazz. )


grin

Quite right!
Nothing wrong with jazz. The real problem is demonstrators that just hit random keys and not actually play something musical.
The insipid tosh played by YouTube piano operators isn't jazz.
Originally Posted by Pedro Ruiz
There's always dangers in generalizations... and the title itself has a very elitistic smell...

I can agree that some reviews of ONE particular character, the typical 'cool' guy with sporty look and the language skills of a 3rd grader, are particularly annoying because he plays always almost on the same empty style... kinda sound jazzy but far away for what I consider myself JAZZ (in capital letters).

But the initial generalization is an insult to Bill Evans, Michel Petrucciani, Keith Jarrett, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and the long list of good jazz pianists that made their music a neutral ground between two worlds, the classical and the jazz music.

It's not black or white... there are millions of grey contrasts in between, don't judge music as politics.

BEST REGARDS

Ditto!
Originally Posted by Craig Richards
Originally Posted by Pedro Ruiz
There's always dangers in generalizations... and the title itself has a very elitistic smell...

I can agree that some reviews of ONE particular character, the typical 'cool' guy with sporty look and the language skills of a 3rd grader, are particularly annoying because he plays always almost on the same empty style... kinda sound jazzy but far away for what I consider myself JAZZ (in capital letters).

But the initial generalization is an insult to Bill Evans, Michel Petrucciani, Keith Jarrett, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and the long list of good jazz pianists that made their music a neutral ground between two worlds, the classical and the jazz music.

It's not black or white... there are millions of grey contrasts in between, don't judge music as politics.

BEST REGARDS

Ditto!

I wasn't going to involve myself in such a generalization and a thread like this is really counter production. That being said my issue is YouTube reviews are free. There's no need to judge, just move on to reviews that suit your ears Or make your own reviews.
How about some links to these bad jazz players?
Stu Harrison is an intelligent reviewer and plays jazz piano quite well:

What's wrong with this review? This gentleman sold me Ivory ACD years before I bought it.


Originally Posted by magicpiano

That video triggers my classical OCD very badly
Originally Posted by rintincop
How about some links to these bad jazz players?

This guy is does this quite a lot. Hammering down the keys like he is trying to break the keybed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO8eUinFl3o&t=15s&ab
When you post youtube videos in this forum, to let the users see it directly inside the thread, you have to "strip" the url from all the unnecessary things after the "?v=xxxxxxxxx" part, otherwise it would not work.

For example, this doesn't work
Code
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO8eUinFl3o&t=15s&ab

But this works:

Code
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO8eUinFl3o

Originally Posted by karoloydi
Originally Posted by magicpiano

That video triggers my classical OCD very badly
Sorry but what's a "classical OCD"?
Originally Posted by magicpiano
Originally Posted by karoloydi
Originally Posted by magicpiano

That video triggers my classical OCD very badly
Sorry but what's a "classical OCD"?

It sounds so out of tune. I can't stand it. OCD (obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is when you want everything in the exact perfect place. Anything else drives you crazy.
I've heard that classical piece before and the parts that are not what I was expecting to be drive me crazy. Especially cause they sound out of tune.
I, too, did not like that performance.

Jazz is great, but I see no need to insert wrong notes into a classical standard.

I've heard classics altered in many ways ... with the augmentations adhering to the harmonic structure of the original. This one does not.

The pianist seems quite talented. Why this monstrosity?
Compare these two videos. Huge difference. Second video could be edited, because it is a commercial, but a real review of this type would give you better understanding.



So, our example of "bad jazz" is Stuart from Merriam Music and our example of "good jazz" is Stuart from Merriam Music.

He's a versatile player!
Second one is Jakob Koller
https://www.jacobkoller.com/

I am sure Steven can play classical too. I am mostly complaining about the music being less suitable for reviews rather than the player.

Whats funny is the first comment on the Korg Video:
"Shopping for digital pianos, we need more demos like these! More classical music and less light jazz and elevator music please!"
I think some people here respond as though we discuss if jazz is good or bad. I'm not sure of the OP's intention, but I believe jazz is a high-quality music and there are some very talented improvisers who are able to create great solos, reharmonize tunes in a fresh way and apply mind-blowing progressions, etc. The thing though is a lot of jazz relies on syncopation, fast soloing, punchy chords and that isn't the most suitable music for demonstrating how notes blend, how legato works, how a long crescendo (that's made of smaller decrescendos throughout) adds to the feel, how long sustained notes evolve, how a lyrical rubato where notes are not played exactly at the same time (as written) is translated into poetry wink Sorry for these words but I don't know how to explain it better. And most of jazz doesn't use these devices, so it's harder for one to judge from a demo how the piano will sound with classical repertoire.
Originally Posted by Pedro Ruiz
There's always dangers in generalizations... and the title itself has a very elitistic smell...

I can agree that some reviews of ONE particular character, the typical 'cool' guy with sporty look and the language skills of a 3rd grader, are particularly annoying because he plays always almost on the same empty style... kinda sound jazzy but far away for what I consider myself JAZZ (in capital letters).

Agree. The majority of reviewers don't play actual jazz. They just play clichés.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I have nothing against jazz. Indeed, in an era dominated by pop music trash, jazz has been the last hope for music claiming to be art.

Yes!
Originally Posted by karoloydi
It sounds so out of tune. I can't stand it. OCD (obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is when you want everything in the exact perfect place. Anything else drives you crazy.
I've heard that classical piece before and the parts that are not what I was expecting to be drive me crazy. Especially cause they sound out of tune.
Well, that's a classical piece from Chopin that most of us known, so we are used to hear a certain "flow" of notes that the above "jazz" version disrupts. So you hear those different scales and you are like "What the ....!".

But who can really say those notes are "out of tune"? A scale is an increasing (or decreasing) succession of notes... There are no "out of tune" scales. It's the context in which these scales are played that can make you feel something off (for example a chord very dissonant with the scale).

Personally, I like very much this jazz version of that classic composition and appreciate very much the work the pianist made. She is clearly very talented. It's much more easy to stay in the "rails" the original composer wrote. She decided to break free and, after all, that's what Jazz is.
Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
So, our example of "bad jazz" is Stuart from Merriam Music and our example of "good jazz" is Stuart from Merriam Music.

He's a versatile player!
He is a good jazz pianist, but it's true he has this tendency to BANG on the keys very hard. In the above video you can hear even the noise of its fingers banging on the keys! laugh
I like Merriam Music piano reviews. Stu is a good player and reviews them thoroughly. He seems to answer my questions before I ask them. https://www.youtube.com/user/merriampianos There is so much to test in a piano and there are so many different setups and preferences that you will really only understand what you want after you play one yourself. I agree that most reviewers play some wishy washy elevator stuff on the pianos, but that's what THEY sound the best in, so can't blame them. I prefer a good elevator music to a poorly played classical piece as it distracts you from the instrument and shift the focus to the misery of the player.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
I think some people here respond as though we discuss if jazz is good or bad. I'm not sure of the OP's intention, but I believe jazz is a high-quality music and there are some very talented improvisers who are able to create great solos, reharmonize tunes in a fresh way and apply mind-blowing progressions, etc. The thing though is a lot of jazz relies on syncopation, fast soloing, punchy chords and that isn't the most suitable music for demonstrating how notes blend, how legato works, how a long crescendo (that's made of smaller decrescendos throughout) adds to the feel, how long sustained notes evolve, how a lyrical rubato where notes are not played exactly at the same time (as written) is translated into poetry wink Sorry for these words but I don't know how to explain it better. And most of jazz doesn't use these devices, so it's harder for one to judge from a demo how the piano will sound with classical repertoire.

I agree. Jazz is great music, but as someone who doesn't play jazz myself its hard for me to tell if I prefer the tone of one piano or another through jazz demos. Jazz seems to make any digital piano sound at least half decent.
My own goto test piece for any piano, digital or acoustic, is the chromatic scale. I judge them by the evenness of the tone. It is really frustrating to play a chromatic scale on a digital piano and hear a lot of variation from note to note, because I know I cannot change that, like I can with acoustics.
Originally Posted by BDB
My own goto test piece for any piano, digital or acoustic, is the chromatic scale. I judge them by the evenness of the tone. It is really frustrating to play a chromatic scale on a digital piano and hear a lot of variation from note to note, because I know I cannot change that, like I can with acoustics.
Yes, some timbral variations in consecutive notes could be disturbing. And if the piano engine is sample-based you cannot do anything about it. That's a situation where fully modeled piano engines are superior, because you can change the sound note by note like a technician would do on an acoustic.
Originally Posted by magicpiano
Originally Posted by BDB
My own goto test piece for any piano, digital or acoustic, is the chromatic scale. I judge them by the evenness of the tone. It is really frustrating to play a chromatic scale on a digital piano and hear a lot of variation from note to note, because I know I cannot change that, like I can with acoustics.
Yes, some timbral variations in consecutive notes could be disturbing. And if the piano engine is sample-based you cannot do anything about it. That's a situation where fully modeled piano engines are superior, because you can change the sound note by note like a technician would do on an acoustic.

That may not be variation in the samples themselves, but the velocity sensors per key, playing different layers on different keys at the same velocity struck key. I suppose something you could theoretically fix.
This is the problem I had recently ...
Originally Posted by Deltajockey
That may not be variation in the samples themselves, but the velocity sensors per key, playing different layers on different keys at the same velocity struck key. I suppose something you could theoretically fix.
I was able to fix it temporarily with some scripting in Kontakt. But the proper solution was to clean the key contacts.

I hate having to perform such repairs, but there's little choice.

As for fixing the VST ... Whether it's a sampler or a modeler, it's the maker's responsibility to fix that.
Originally Posted by Deltajockey
That may not be variation in the samples themselves, but the velocity sensors per key, playing different layers on different keys at the same velocity struck key. I suppose something you could theoretically fix.
I'm referring to those situations where the original instrument from which the manufacturer recorded the samples was not in perfect conditions. So, if the original instrument had a bad sounding or "untuned between the 3 strings" / uneven note in some octave, of course you will get a bad sounding note in its digital version too. In this case there isn't much you can do...
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