Piano strings
Piano Questions
Different Types of Pianos

Piano Questions

Is the piano the best instrument to start with?

For most musicians, having some piano skills is very helpful. The piano is used as a solo instrument, and an accompanying instrument. It is used in all examinations, except when the exam is solo piano. It is used to back a choir, and to play at weddings, funerals, dances, even for fun at parties.

You donít have to have a piano to start learning, you can use a keyboard.

It is a great advantage for piano students to start with pianos as the hammer action of the keys builds the finger strength of the students and provides much stronger technical development.

Keyboards are a more budget friendly and are suitable for beginners to start practicing with. The main thing is that the keyboard you practice with has full sized keys.

Which is the appropriate style that piano students be taught - Popular, Jazz or Classical?

The piano enjoys a status of being the most popular instrument in the world. It is renown for having composers like Beethoven, Mozart and also at the same time being played by pop stars like Delta Goodrem, Alicia Keys and features in many film classics like Titanic, Aladdin and Harry Potter. So with such a wide selection of piano repertoire available, which is best for students learning piano?

I recommend the music that the student is inspired by. The music that will make them practice the most. So if the student likes Beethoven, practice Beethoven. If the student likes Disney or Delta Goodrem, practice Disney or Delta Goodrem, or both.

For students who want to complete piano exams, there are a wide range of exam bodies to choose from. AMEB, ANZCA, ABRSM, Trinity Guildhall, St Cecilia.

When is a child suitable to start piano lessons?

The young student must be able to:

Different Types of Pianos

The piano comes in many different styles, designs, shapes and sizes. Pianos have two basic categories: the vertical and horizontal pianos.

Vertical Pianos

They are called vertical pianos because of their height and the position of the strings. The height range of the vertical piano is between 36 - 60 inches.

The Upright or Vertical piano is the most common piano due to its affordability, compactness and warm sound. The soundboard is vertical, strings and dampers stretching downward, hammers and dampers horizontal to the board. Since the hammers strike outward or horizontally, they take slightly longer to return to resting position than the hammers of a grand (which strike vertically). The support base of the soundboard, as well as wooden reinforcements, is visible from the backside.

Uprights usually cost less, depending on the model, however some can exceed grand pianos in total value. Although uprights often are depicted as inferior to the grand pianos, a five-foot upright can rival a typical grand in terms of tone quality and loudness.

Grand Pianos

Grand pianos are the largest piano type, and frequently the most majestic (as well as expensive). Grand Pianos (also known as horizontal pianos) are categorized by horizontal soundboards sometimes stretching up to 4 ft. (front to back). The Soundboard is encased in a supportable opening platform that lifts on the left in an upwards direction. Dampers lie on top of the strings, adjacent to the hammers (also horizontal). The internal construction is braced with form-holders, usually made of wood, as well as the small equipped metal reinforcements. Essentially the casing is "bottomless" allowing one to see the soundboard support base, also of reinforced wood, which technically acts as the base. Keys consist of wood coated in ivory, or sometimes pure ivory, depending on the piano's manufacturers and classification. The grand piano has the standard 88 keys. Grand pianos are said to produce finer tones and has the most responsive key action.

Electric Piano

Good for beginners or moving performers, electric pianos are usually the most affordable, and although they do not have the qualities of an acoustic, sound continues to improve for the high-end and mid-range instruments. They vary greatly in quality; some have hollow keys, while others try to replicate the feel and weight of acoustic keyboards. In addition to the features of an acoustic piano, electric pianos have a variety of sounds and settings such as organ, guitar, string, choir, and percussion. The numerous sounds on some keyboards make it virtually a portable band. Other pianos have limited functions, but this is better for someone who is trying to replicate an acoustic and save money. True electric pianos (compared to the plain keyboards) have a professional appearance and good materials (most consist largely of plastic), as well as touch sensitive features and sometimes equipped frames. Most have connectors for pedals and computer interactive abilities. They never need to be tuned, and are rapidly becoming more popular in modern bands. The electric piano also has the advantage of allowing the user to practice silently with headphones at times when doing so would otherwise disturb people.
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