Sunday, December 16, 2007

Piano 101: I Need a Piano

Luckily, it's pretty easy for me to get my hands on practice pianos. The School of Music at the University has something like 75 practice cubes with grands. So I can leave my office at lunch, put on my student disguise, walk over to the SoM and sneak into a cube. I'd say the majority are Steinway Ms, with a few Baldwins, Mason&Hamlins, etc. thrown in. Most of them are pretty small, but a few of the cubes have bigger pianos (6'-7'+). Unfortunately, all of the pianos are fairly beat-up, and many of the Steinways have problems with the sostenuto pedal. There's one Baldwin that's probably the best sounding/playing piano there, and I can usually snag it if I go at the right time. I think it must be an SF10, since I'm sure it's bigger than an L1 (the longest Artist Baldwin).

My friends Bruce and Claudia have a C3 that they're happy to let me play. So I've started bringing my music bag whenever I go over there. I'm really impressed with the way that C3 sounds in their spacious living room. It's really sweet and warm.

Of course, what I really want is a piano of my own, so I've started doing a little research. As luck would have it, the Steinway Piano Gallery is just minutes from my house, and I've been spending some time there. I told my wife I'm having an affair, because if she found out I've been going to the piano store, she'd kill me. They have a huge selection: all the Steinways (including a D in their recital hall!), some Baldwins, a few Yamahas, Bostons, Petrofs, etc. They also have various brands of PSO*. It's great to be able to play all of these side-by-side to compare tone, touch, etc. It's also kind of dangerous, because after playing a nicely set up Steinway, it's hard to get excited about some of the others. I've pretty much accepted the fact that I'll never be able to afford one, but it's nice to dream. And there are some nice pianos out there that cost less than a house.
*Piano-Shaped Object

1 comment:

  1. Kenneth,
    I'm so glad you discovered the Piano Gallery. I hope you someday have a piano even if it isn't a Steinway.