How To Pick A Piano

» Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in Music Reflections | Comments Off on How To Pick A Piano

How To Pick A Piano
by Jay Frost

Alright: you think you have an idea about the kind you want, but what’s next in figuring out how to pick a piano?

My first inclination was to stand at a piano and hammer on its low notes, see how good they sound, and then move to the next one. After doing this for a while and not getting very far, an experienced dealer shared the idea of playing the piano up. That is to say, sit down on a bench and play something softly. Gradually crescendo and stay there for a bit, then crescendo some more until eventually pounding out some notes in the lower and higher registers. Continue playing, making sudden dynamic changes, and work your way back down. This should last at least 3 minutes, in my opinion, and is a great first step in how to pick a piano.

The idea is that any piano is easy to wail on, but exploring the dynamics across the whole keyboard helps reveal the piano’s entire sound, at which point you can decide if it’s something you like.

For pianos that pass the first test, I spend 15-20 minutes playing by heart while listening closely and letting my ears determine the next tune. This helps me get to know the piano character and personality.

Read more about how to choose a piano and best piano brands.

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