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Hi all,

I have a problem: My old man vision. When I was young, I could see the notes easily. Now I can't see the music when it's on the music rack and I am on the piano bench.

Can't see it with regular glasses because it's too close for them to work. Can't see it with readers unless I get so close it entirely messes up my posture and puts my arms and wrists at extreme angles. Can't see it without glasses.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm bummed out and fresh out of solutions.

Thanx,

Stormbringer


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Do you have a grand? I had this issue with my upright, but the grand has an adjustable music desk. Now it’s perfect without my wearing reading glasses.

There are different magnifications of readers. Maybe try some stronger ones? Not sure...🙁


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I'm sure the right eye-glasses/readers will help. Maybe you just haven't found the right pair yet. Talk to your optometrist maybe?

In the Piano Buddies group I'm a member of, several of the members, like myself, are older/retired and when it is their turn to play, they always have to change eye-glasses in order to see the sheet music. But the reading glasses seem to help them a lot.

As for me, I play mostly by ear, and don't need my regular eye-glasses to play the piano; sometimes when I play, I wear my eye-glasses and sometimes not, depending on my mood. If I'm making a music video of one of my original blues songs, I'll wear my dark sunglass just for "cool" factor. smile

Sam Smith, the guy that heads up the Piano Buddies group, and also a PW member, uses an I-Pad with the music on the I-Pad. He uses a blue-tooth foot pedal to turn the pages. Pretty neat!

My (glass-half-full) mantra? To every problem, there is a solution, as a general rule. smile

All the best!

Rick


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Stormbringer, what you need is what they call “computer glasses”. This pair is the pair you use in between your reading glasses and your distance glasses. It’s for mid-vision. I’ve just been written a prescription for such a pair because I work at my computer all day.

Reading a book or tablet is about 10 -14 inches away. Working at a computer and reading piano music is a bit farther away, enough that your reading glasses won’t work all that well.

You need to see an optometrist to get a specialized prescription based on how far your piano music is.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 03/30/21 10:30 PM.

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Yep, second the “computer glasses” recommendation! That’s what I have, and they work just right for computer and piano. It’s a pain sometimes having to deal with two different pairs of glasses, but I like being able to see so I put up with it! smile


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Yep, second the “computer glasses” recommendation! That’s what I have, and they work just right for computer and piano. It’s a pain sometimes having to deal with two different pairs of glasses, but I like being able to see so I put up with it! smile

I don't have a problem dealing with different pairs of glasses. In fact, I have a pair for almost every day of the week, depending on my mood. But I do have a favorite pair (or two:-)! smile


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I play many engagements on upright bass with a symphony and a chamber orchestra. Sometimes the sheet music is not ideal, just poor copies.

I went to my optometrist and got a fresh eye examine. Then took it to the Costco eye department and got them to set up my glasses for the usual distance I need for a music stand. These are my ‘music reading glasses’.

Worked out great.

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I second/third/fourth - whatever we're up to - with Computer glasses.

I got them for Pipe Organ which has the music stand about Grand Piano distance - BUT - I have large frames, and as Bi-Focals, with the reading section higher than normal - about the middle - so I can still see the congregation and Minister in the outer section of the lens. In fact, I like them so much, I tend to wear them everywhere.


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A nice set of progressive lenses will solve your problem, as long as the sheet music is somewhat lower than your straight-ahead vision.
Will set you back $400-500, but worth it. It's like having regular glasses and reading glasses all in one.

If that is too expensive, a set of trifocals will also work.

Last edited by trooplewis; 03/31/21 12:02 AM.

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The best solution, at least for me, was to have my optometrist make a special pair of "piano glasses" for me. I measured the distance from eye to sheet music and had a single-view prescription made to optimize my vision from 24" to 30" distance.

I have progressives for general use, but they certainly don't work for reading music scores for me, although trooplewis' seem to work for him. In my case, progressives have too much range from close reading to distance, so to get the focus right I have to move my head up or down to keep the optimum viewing distance, the "sweet point," focused on the line of music. With single-vision glasses (this is a case where drug-store "readers" were not an optimal solution for me; you might get lucky), you can quickly glance up-down, side to side without having to bob your head to accommodate that point in the progressive lenses where the vision focuses on the music.

Do yourself that favour; you will appreciate it - in my opinion, of course. I can only speak what works well for me.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by BruceD
The best solution, at least for me, was to have my optometrist make a special pair of "piano glasses" for me. I measured the distance from eye to sheet music and had a single-view prescription made to optimize my vision from 24" to 30" distance.
Very good idea. And even better take a score with you to optometrist's office and use it for choosing glasses specifically for piano practice, because reading notes comfortably may require a little bit different glasses than reading text comfortably, at least it was true for me. Good luck to you!

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Originally Posted by BruceD
The best solution, at least for me, was to have my optometrist make a special pair of "piano glasses" for me. I measured the distance from eye to sheet music and had a single-view prescription made to optimize my vision from 24" to 30" distance.
Ditto here. I've had these for years and they work fine.


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Me three(?)

I have progressive bifocals for my regular glasses, but I have single-vision glasses made specifically for the distance from where I sit to the music desk on my piano. Couldn't be without them! My bifocals have too narrow of a field of vision to read music with.


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Agree with those who said about the 'Computer Glasses'
I have Progressive Lenses for seeing far away top part and bottom progresses for Computer & Piano Reading.
Book/Magazine/Close Up reading i take my glasses off completely.


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I use what it is called "occupational glasses" by Zeiss, which are progressive lenses but with a maximum focusing distance of about 4m. There are other for shorter maximum distances, but I find these suitable for playing piano (an upright), working on electronics (which involves close views and also a computer monitor) and even doing my life at home and garden. I only use my other more generic progressive lenses, also by Zeiss, when I go out of home.


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[quote=BruceD]The best solution, at least for me, was to have my optometrist make a special pair of "piano glasses" for me. I measured the distance from eye to sheet music and had a single-view prescription made to optimize my vision from 24" to 30" distance.


Yes. My thoughts exactly. You get my vote.

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Originally Posted by BruceD
The best solution, at least for me, was to have my optometrist make a special pair of "piano glasses" for me. I measured the distance from eye to sheet music and had a single-view prescription made to optimize my vision from 24" to 30" distance.
Bruce, this is brilliant! 👍👍👍👍👍


Lisa

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by BruceD
The best solution, at least for me, was to have my optometrist make a special pair of "piano glasses" for me. I measured the distance from eye to sheet music and had a single-view prescription made to optimize my vision from 24" to 30" distance.
Very good idea. And even better take a score with you to optometrist's office and use it for choosing glasses specifically for piano practice, because reading notes comfortably may require a little bit different glasses than reading text comfortably, at least it was true for me. Good luck to you!


Exactly this!
I have progressives for many things, but I find them completely unsatisfactory for piano.
I have complicated contact lenses that are my preferred solution for most activities.


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Old folks get presbyopia because their eye's lens and focus system becomes inflexible so they can't focus on close objects. Another solution is to buy a 65" to 86" Television and hang that on the wall ~5-8 feet away for Sheet music. You hook up an android tablet to it, and it'll blow up the music to the equivalent of a 35-40" screen from 2 feet. But because it's 5-8 feet away, people with presbyopia can still see it with normal glasses. It's more comfortable than using the special glasses.

This of course only works for grand pianos and small console uprights. If you've got a tall upright, you're going to need to go for the lenses. But old people can usually afford stuff, so they can just buy a grand piano and the big TV.

Last edited by EinLudov; 03/31/21 09:16 AM.
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I want to add another caution about progressive lenses. Standard progressive lenses are designed for a person to have the same glasses when being up and moving around, driving, and also reading, as in reading a book that maybe you're holding in your hands, so your eyes are looking out through the lower part of the lens.

When I try to play the piano with my progressive lenses (as opposed to my computer/piano glasses), unless I move my head all over the place (the others have described) it makes it look like the keyboard is curved and I almost get nauseous because I think then I start to move my head around trying to find the right to look down at the keys and back up at the music. Part of the problem is that progressive lenses, unlike traditional bifocals, gradually change prescription at different points in the lens. Bifocals have two prescriptions, top and bottom, and so in theory, if the bottom prescription went up high enough, those kind of glasses might work ok for piano (and probably desktop computer), but then they might not be good for being up and about, driving etc.

Computer glasses are generally *single* vision lenses, so the lens has a single correction that covers the entire surface of the lens. This way, if you're looking down (without really moving your head), looking at your hands, glancing to the left or right, and then back up to the score, you're still looking through the same lenses (the same degree of correction).

If you consult with an optometrist, you might start by telling them you want single vision lenses, and then get into the details.

So I would only recommend someone try progressives as piano glasses if the store allowed a full return (i.e. full money back), usually they don't.


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