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Pianos, Keyboards & Synths in general

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      29.09.2005 18:37
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      Fun Instrument to Play

      This review is all about the wonderful instrument the piano. As I do not have a keyboard or synth then I cannot really say much about them. I love my piano and I hope this review helps you understand a bit more about why pianos are so great. ----- What is a piano? A piano is a large musical instrument that is played by using your hands to tap notes and your feet to press pedals. ----- How does a piano work? The mechanism of a piano is very simple. When a key is pressed it will activate a hammer which will in turn strike a string which creates the tune. The strings vibrate freely because a mechanism called the damper is released from the string when the hammer strikes. If you look inside a piano you will see this happening. You can also see that the strings are very taut and stretched across wooden bridges. The bridges are in turn attached to what is called a soundboard which you will see as it is basically just a large piece of wood. The soundboard is what allows us to hear the sound as it acts like a speaker. When the piano key is released, the damper is placed back on to the string and the sound stops. So as you can see the mechanism for making the piano sounds is very simple and if you lift the top off of the piano and play it while watching the strings it looks really interesting although all it is are hammers and strings. ----- What sort of pianos can you get? Well the most common piano is the upright piano which costs anywhere in the region of £300 - £3000 and can be of varied sizes. These pianos are just your basic pianos that can stand against a wall with ease and will not come out very far. You can also get baby grand pianos which are lovely to look at. These are the ones you see in movies and restaurants where the entire roof of the piano is lifted up and suspended. Baby grand pianos can cost anything from £1000 to £40000, perhaps even more. ----- How can I get a piano? Some musical shops will sell pianos so it is just a matter of looking around. On the internet though type in buy pianos into google and it will come up with hundreds of sites to look at. Also a good way to do it if you don’t mind spending a bit of money on it is to go to eBay. You can sometimes pick up pianos for as little as £100 and also if you are lucky can get them for free but you need to collect it. Pianos are extremely heavy so if you are going to collect a piano from a shop or elsewhere then it is a good idea to have two people. Pianos can weigh as much as 500 kilos and more so be careful. ----- Are they hard to maintain? Pianos do need to be tuned ever so often. I do mine once a year as I play on it quite a bit. You can tell when it needs to be tuned as the sound becomes ever so slightly off. Tuning costs around £20 - £50 so not that bad if you get the use out of your piano and love it. Also the leathers in pianos need to be tuned sometimes which can cost a few hundred but they do last a long time so you will not have to do it very often at all. ----- How do you play the piano? Well the piano is played using your hands by reading sheet music. Sheet music can look confusing to people who are beginners but trust me after a few lessons it all makes sense. There are white keys and black keys which you will learn when to press them. The notes you play are shown on the sheet music and as you probably know from piano music you have heard, the sounds it makes is impressive. Pedals are used to soften or prolong the sounds so by pressing one pedal you will soften the sounds of the notes you are playing and by pressing the other one you can keep notes going and overlap them all. Both sound effects are extremely effective. ----- How do I get good at the piano? Well as you can guess you have to take lessons. When you have found a tutor they will have their own method of teaching you and this usually involves buying lots of beginner books. Starting from the start you will think well this is easier than I thought, then when you get to the grades it starts to get hard. I would recommend having an hour lesson each week and lots of practise inbetween. When you take lessons you must be committed to trying your hardest in between lessons otherwise you will just be wasting your money and you will get nowhere fast. Lessons usually cost around £10 for an hour. The time it takes to do each grade depends on how quickly you pick it up and also how much effort you put in. ----- What are the musical grades? Well with musical instruments you can achieve each grade. The grades for musical instruments are grade 1 – 8. The grades basically mean that you take an exam. You usually have solo pieces to play, scales and also you get given a piece of music you have to sight read which basically means try your best. When the grades get higher the exams get harder and with one of my exams I had the examiner playing notes on the piano and I had to sing them back to him. The musical exams are quite scary and I used to cry after every one of mine but plenty of practice will mean that you do ok. As well as doing grades in your instrument you can also do musical theory grades. Although these are not essential to do, they help your understanding of music if you do them alongside your musical learning. The exams you do basically test your ability on what musical words mean such as Staccato and what you understand about music. You may be asked to look at a piece of music and continue it which means you must be able to sing it in your head. The exams are quite hard but as they are theory and not practical I used to prefer doing the theory exams as they are less scary. Again you can go up in grades with each grade exam getting progressively harder. ----- Is playing the piano all about serious music? To be honest if you are concentrating on doing the grades then yes the music is often very classical and you do not get to play very fun pieces, well some may disagree. However playing the piano is about having fun as well and there is a huge range of sheet music available ranging from movie music to your favourite bands. I have got a whole range of music from the theme tune to the Simpson’s to music from Disney films. All I am trying to say is that have a bit of fun as if you just play the music for the grades then you go a bit mad and I got very bored of it. ----- Me and my piano. I woke up on Christmas morning in 1993 and there sitting in the corner with red wrapping paper across it was a very large square looking object. What could it be I thought as I made my way across to it, I never had presents this big. I walked closer and sure enough there was a message ‘to Katy love mom and dad x’. I took off the wrapping paper and there it stood my brand new piano. Seriously I know it sounds stupid that I didn’t know what it was but I had been told for years that I could not have one as there wasn’t any room so was surprised when they had bought me one. It was gorgeous, a dark brown with immaculate keys and pedals and it just looked lovely. I had never even played the piano before so I immediately told my parents I wanted lessons starting the next week. They found my tutor Karen and me and Karen had a wonderful hour together each week as I was so eager to learn that I was a joy to teach she used to say to me. I took piano lessons until I began my GCSEs and then had to stop so that I could concentrate on my exams. In that time I managed to do three grades of piano and five in theory, (it may not seem a lot but I also took flute and did five grades but ill leave that to another review). When I stopped doing grades I have just had fun with my piano. I have bought lots of silly music like songs from the little mermaid and steps but I have fun playing it. The piano is all about having a bit of fun and at Christmas my family love it when we all get around the piano on Christmas day and I play carols for them all. In fact the piano has become a family thing now. When I first started playing I couldn’t bear anybody but my tutor to hear me play but now I play for anybody who wants to hear. My mom always buys me songs from musicals like Phantom of the Opera to learn so she can have a good sing song so everybody has fun. Also playing is very relaxing and I love just having a little play when I am feeling stressed. Now I am looking for tutors again as I want to get better at the piano and go up grades as I think I love playing it so much that I should strive to be the best that I can. Pianos are a great instrument that sound beautiful and are hard to play but with the right amount of commitment everybody can learn. If you want to know anything else then leave me a comment and I will add it to my review. Thanks for reading. xxx

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        21.08.2002 06:53
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        For my 16th birthday I received a Yamaha PSR 420 which the price was little under £200. I am now 22 and I?ve still got it and it is still used for gigging and sound effects. When I was 16 I was beginner at keyboards playing through my "merrily we roll along" and this provided a not to cheesy accompaniment to any of these song, also with the metronome click beat keeping me in time. When I got older and started gigging at the age of 18 I thought about trading this in for the latest model but although the piano sound does sound a bit electronic, if you add some effects on a portastudio or pa system, you can hardly hear the difference. Another great feature I have used many times in gigs is the dual voice and the digital effect, which can change the whole sound of the instrument at just one push of the button. Also you can store sounds in the registration memory, which you can later replay. This keyboard also makes a great drum machine provided beats to just about any rhythm from waltz and classical to punk and pop. The keyboard is also unbreakable, it has been on buses, trains, fell in mud, rain. You name it its been in it! The downsides are the build in stand is hopeless, the music does not keep on it and falls over your buttons or keys while your playing and there is no output for connection to porta-studios or P.A.s so you need to use the headphone socket, which makes it look un-professional.

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          04.03.2002 14:25
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          Music is not created by the vibrations of the strings or the instrument, but by the deep, unconscious heart. SOUND Of all the instruments in the whole world, not a single one can be compared to the piano when it comes to sound making. Although when you think about it, the piano is merely a hammering of strings. But the truth is that the piano can produce not only a wide range of keys but many, many different TYPES of sound. Compared to the wind instruments the piano is the mother. It possesses the sound of all the instruments combined. PIECES Many instruments have limited pieces for the musician to choose from. For example: the trumpet, the cello, and the double bass. They are all big popular instruments, but their solo pieces are limited. Who wants to listen to the monotonous deep sound of the cello or the double bass? However, they are most suitable for bands and orchestras. If you wish to find an instrument to play in a group, then the piano is not for you. There are trillions of pieces available for you for the piano, if you want an instrument to show off in front of your friends, then this is the one. ENCOURAGEMENT ALthough the piano is a hard instrument to master, it is very encouraging in the beginning stages of learning it. Unlike the trumpet or clarinet, you can actually make a few random noises in you first lesson PRICE The price, however may seem a bit too high you some of you, as prices range from 1000-20000000 pounds. Hmm, looks like you never thought of that did you? But don't be despaired as there are numerous places where you can reant pianos for practically nothing. WARNINGS However, I have to warn you: The piano, although may seem like a very easy instrument, because it's just a hammer hitting a string by pressing a few keys, it's not easy. So don't be prepared to play a Chopin Concerto on your first day! MUSIC RECOMMENDATION If you wan t to be a serious musician (and you may be one, perhaps even the next Mozart), then you have to start by listen to lots of music. Not music from J.Lo or Westlife, but classical music from Mozart or some Romantic Pieces. They can help you build up your muscial skills. HELP If you want any help, jsut email me at WoW_2332@yahoo.com I have an LTCL degree in piano. And I'm proud to say I'm quite good at it :-).

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            03.02.2002 02:47
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            Just as with any other instrument, if you learn and practise the piano it is an extremely rewarding experience. The piano is a fantastic instrument, I think one of the best things about it is that you can play more than one note at a time, unlike many instruments. This allows you to bang out tunes to their full potential without needing an accompaniment. I have been playing the piano for six years and I have enjoyed it from my very first lesson. Obviously the more you learn and the higher the standard you reach, the more interesting the pieces become and the more flexibility you have to play what you want to. For example, recently I have been buying lots of sheet music as I discovered about six months ago that I can actually play a lot of it and if I can't, I just improvise. I would strongly recommend finding a teacher if you are intending to take up the piano, I don't know whether there are teach yourself books, I'm sure there are but I have found having a teacher really useful as you pick up techniques and also there is someone to advise you and find suitable material for you to play. Piano lessons in my experience, cost around six or seven pounds for a half hour lesson but all teachers vary their rates. Also, some teachers increase their charges as you progress, a friend of mine is grade 8 and I think her lessons are now about ten pounds for a half hour lesson. If you decide to go through the grades, the most acknowledged exam board (particularly if you are considering becoming professional) is the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). They require you to play three pieces from their books (one for each grade), an "A" piece, a "B" piece and a "C" piece. The A pieces are the oldest, usually by composers living from the 17th to the 19th century. The B pieces are slightly more modern, usually by composers living from the 19th to the 20th century and the C pieces are the most m odern, and often quite quirky by 20th century composers, most of whom are still alive. There are three pieces for each section printed in the books but there are also other options specified in the front of the book which you have to hunt down for yourself. As well as performing three pieces, you will be required to do scales, arpeggios and broken chords for the examiner. On top of this you will need to do sight reading and also aural tests where the examiner will play pieces and ask you questions about them such as how many beats in a bar etc and also ask you to echo what they are playing by laa-ing (oh the dreaded "la" - when I was first asked to sing back to my teacher I was soon corrected - going "de de de" is not accepted!). The exams have recently been categorised by ABRSM into three levels: Foundation (grades 1-3), Intermediate (grades 4-5) and Higher (grades 6-8). The length of each exam increases as obviously the better you become, the longer the pieces are. Foundation exams last about 12 minutes on average, Intermediate last between 15 and 20 minutes and Higher exams are 20+ minutes, grade 8 is about 30 minutes. Taking ABRSM exams is highly regarded by many people as this is the most academic and reputable board, there are also other boards which focus more upon the pieces than the boring bits (scales etc.) which could be more suitable for some people. When you start playing the piano, you will begin by learning how to control your fingers. You will start by keeping your hands in a fixed position and play pieces involving only the notes you can reach without changing your position. As you improve, your hands will move further up and down the piano. At about grade 3, well for me at least, I was taught how to use the pedal which I found extremely hard at first as I think it's difficult enough to coordinate eight fingers and two thumbs. Soon though it just becomes natural to add in a foot at the same time! The pieces become a lot more interesting around grades 4 and 5. By this standard, your skills will have improved substantially and this is when I started experimenting with sheet music. Once you can start playing music you can enjoy as well as the exam pieces and pieces composed for the piano life becomes much more interesting! This is when I really started enjoying playing the piano and I now play much more for leisure. When you have perfected a piece you recognise, there is so much satisfaction. It is always really rewarding when you complete a piece but if it's something you know there is that extra burst of satisfaction! Playing the piano is great fun and can be enjoyed at any standard. The more you practise, the more you will improve and the range of pieces you can play will broaden. The real satisfaction comes when you finish a piece and can play it almost perfectly and then when you remember when you started it and how challenging you found it. Even if you find it a challenge, with the required practice you will always get it sorted. I would recommend playing the piano to anyone, if you have the enthusiasm and put in the practice, it could be one of the most rewarding things you ever do.

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              30.11.2001 19:58

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              well,i think its a cool product and i always trust it!!! - Advantages: sound, recording facility - Disadvantages: expensive

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              06.07.2001 03:11
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              I'm a pianist. But not in public. Only to those whom I can trust not to laugh, or at least not obviously, when I play. I've got to Grade 7 ABRSM, which is pretty good. I also play the violin to Grade 7 ABRSM so I have something to compare against. I began playing the piano whe I was about 10, which makes it 8 years I've been playing. The first 4 or 5 were long, slow, boring and annoying. You look at the music, play the notes one at a time and think 'I'm never gonna get to the end'. But you do. All it takes is practise. Mmmm. A nice cliché. But it is true. Many people give up before they've really got going. One of the best and worst things about the piano is that every one of your fingers can be playing a different note, and coordinating 10 things at a time isn't easy. It does take a long time to learn, but you get there. Don't be scared, most pieces are only a few notes at a time, but all of them need both hands. Learning the piano goes through stages, like the violin. On both instruments you begin with your hand(s) in a fixed position, and everything comes from this position. On the violin this lasts longer, as you can do almost all the notes like this. On a piano, though, all you can manage is 10 notes. So once you've gained control of most of your fingers, you'll learn to move position. This changing of the position begins in the right hand, and progresses to both hands, and more frequently. Eventually, when you're really good, you can discard positions altogether. That's where it becomes difficult. When the hands are in a fixed position, all you have to do is work out what finger(s) you're pressing down next. When you have no positions, you have to know which fingers are being used next, their volume, the style and what note you have to play. All that sounds very academic, and its called technique. When you learn, your knowledge of music grows with your prowess. Some people find it easier than others to play from music, and it takes a while to understand what's going on, but the extra bits are explained as you work out how to play them. People tend to fall into two groups for music, and this applies to violin as well. Most people are either good at composing and ad libbing and not good at sight reading (playing music on first sight of it, no practise), or they are good at sight reading and not at the more creative stuff. More often than not the professionals are those who can sight read better, as that's what counts in a performance. The piano will take a long time to learn. But if you get a good teacher, it can be great fun. All the time the music will seem too hard, and difficult to grasp or play. But that's because you always play something just too difficult initially, and as you manage it you feel more satisfaction and joy as you progress. A note on grades/certificates. The accepted board of examiners is ABRSM - Associated Board of the Royal School of Music. They are the most established, and usually the choice for anyone who might be thinking of doing something official with the instrument, like becoming a professional player or teacher or something. The main scale is grades 1-8, with Grade 8 meaning you're about good enough to play almost anything (with practise, of course :) ). There are other boards that are often the better choice if you're not going professional, as they concentrate less on annoying things like scales and arpeggios, etc, and more on the pieces. I did ABRSM, but as it turned out I could have done something else, like Trinity instead without losing out. I would heartily recommend learning to play the piano, if only for your own personal development. If you don't play an instrument, you'll find yourself a better person. Sounds odd, but playing music allows you to express yourself. I personally play several times a day, just chords and melodies as I feel them. I t doesn't feel like it at first, but it'll come. As you get better, so will your compositions, as you learn about music itself. Be enlightened... or something. Go on, enjoy yourself. Plus people (including potential partners) love it. Enjoy.

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                20.05.2001 02:01
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                The piano is a tremendous piece of equipment. It has the greatest range of an instrument. People will say that a violinist has a hard job keeping in tune but the synchronisation on a piano cannot be matched by any other instrument. Most composers built their foundations on the piano. The likes of Liszt, Mozart and Chopin were all acclaimed concert pianists of their times and have written some of the most difficult pieces of music for the piano. When played correctly, the piano can produce sounds which are unmatched by the greatest orchestras. If you are considering taking up the piano, be sure to take it up for over 5 years. Anything below this will probably only keep you frustrated but after 5 years, it starts to become very enjoyable. A piano is an expensive piece of furniture so I would recommend bringing a trained expert along with you when buying a piano as shop keepers are usually just trying to sell the most expensive piano which is never really the best. You could pay twice as much for a Steinway when a Yamaha might suit your touch much more. As well a piano is bought for life so a new piano might be best if you are very serious about taking it up. Then again if you buy a cheap piano at first and after improving you might be able to decide on a piano yourself. When trying pianos make sure they play very soft just as much as loud. NEVER EVER BUY A PIANO WITHOUT PEDALS. Pedals are a very, very, very important part of the piano. Very important so never buy a piano without them. If you have proceeded on a good bit, I would recommend a book called "World Renowned Classics" as it contains a fantastic selection of all types of pieces from Bach to Beethoven, etc.

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                  25.03.2001 04:54
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                  I've bought loads of Yamaha products (keyboards mainly) and I don't think I'd have chosen any other make. Plus working in a music shop means HUUUUGE discounts on what I want! And I know what pianos/digital pianos I'd love to get my hands on when my student debts are paid off. So before you read this I think I'd better warn you that I work in a music shop during the holidays - selling Yamaha Keyboards/Pianos etc. BUT PLEEEAAASE DONT ACCUSE ME OF PLUGGING THEIR PRODUCTS - cus they aren't paying me for writing this! (I have a couple of comments about plugging the shop I work in on my opinion of Chappell of Bond Street although I wasn't intending to do that!) Although I may be extremely happy with the Yamaha products that I buy YOU MIGHT NOT BE! There are other keyboard/digital piano manufacturers such as; Technics, Roland and Casio so look around and see what make is best for you. I'm writing this opinion to explain to you what Yamaha products offer and what they are like OUT OF EXPERIENCE! The fact that I sell them means that I know a lot about them, the problems some models have, what special features some offer, and the questions that people frequently ask, - thus saving you from having to spend hours asking questions in shops (but go in the shop and ask SOME questions) or having to read every last page of the catalogue (it is best to read through it though!) I like Yamaha products for their ease of use, sound quality and their GORGEOUS Grand Pianos, amongst other factors. Yamaha sell a variety of different keyboards etc, suiting AMOST everyone's needs. They sell Acoustic Pianos (Yamaha/Kemble), Digital Pianos (Clavinovas) Synths, and Electronic Keyboards (PSRs) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Electronic Keyboards ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Since I was six years old I have always had a Yamaha keyboard in the corner of my bedroom, and today while I'm at uni I still do! (I own a PSR 620 - I shan't write about it cus its not in manufacture anymore!) Prices do indeed vary as sound quality and facilities get better as you go up the range. Apart from the PSR 73/76 and the PSS range all current keyboards are MIDI compatible (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) so you can plug them into your computer or any other MIDI compatible device. And as the years go by and technology develops Yamaha update and change their keyboards around every other year or so. At the moment the mainstream PSR range starts at the PSR 160 (£99.99 rrp) and then goes up to the PSR 9000 (£2999 rrp) Every keyboard has a variety of sounds and auto-accompaniments and there's always a Yamaha keyboard to suit anyone's needs. The PSR 160/260/280 and GX76 are all ideal for those who are leaning to play. They have installed a Yamaha Educational Suite, which means there are various functions to help you learn to say; keep in time, play the right notes or chords etc. As you play there are notes that flash up on the stave on the LCD screen, which is quite cool as well. All keyboards in this range have 61 keys apart form the PSR 160, which has only 49, and the GX76, which has 76 keys. All Keyboards are touch sensitive, meaning the harder you touch the notes the louder it is played, apart from the PSR 160. The PSR 280/GX76/PSR340/540/640/ and 740 all have recording functions, only thing is the PSR280 and GX76 have no floppy disk drive which means things that have been saved to memory can at any time be lost. So if you're composing its best to get a keyboard with a disk drive which means that you can save information to a disk with the guarantee that you wont lose it (unless the disk gets lost in your mess of a bedroom - like mine!) With a disk drive you can also put information in and get the keyboard to play MIDI FILES and songs like S Club 7 and things (if you really wanted to!) You can get these from shops or off your computer . So as you go on up the range you get more functions, disk drives, more voices, more accompaniments, better sound quality etc. This is just a brief overview of what is available - cus there is so much about each keyboard I could go on for ages? and I don't want to subject you to that! OH AND BE WARNED! If you go into a keyboard shop like Chappell's they tend to purposely forget to tell you about the extra £10 you'd need to pay for a power adaptor - I usually just throw one in for free but they usually don't. Also look out for Curry's and Argos cus they usually include an adaptor but the one with the least voltage, which can ruin the more powerful keyboards such as the PSR 340 upwards. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yamaha Clavinovas - Digital Pianos ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "What's the difference between an Acoustic Piano and a Digital Piano?"? Nope there's no funny punch line to this question! Believe me we've tried and tested so many answers on the shop floor when people ask us this question. Basically an Acoustic piano is your traditional piano, with strings, with pedals and that's it! A Digital Piano has everything an Acoustic piano has - only thing is you plug it in the wall! So therefore the music you play on a digital piano is electronically created through a speaker rather than the natural sound of an Acoustic. Yamaha have a wide range of Digital Pianos called "Clavinovas" and these range from a basic piano sound to like hundreds of different features such as auto accompaniments, recording facilities and thousands of different sounds (or "voices" as Yamaha calls them!) The great things about Clavinova are that - they dont need tuning (so yu dont have to fork out any money to pay for a Piano Tuner - fork ... getit? doh!) - they have headphone sockets! (so you can play at 2 o clock in the mor ning without waking the neighbours) - they have a volume switch (so you can annoy the neighbours) - You can choose from different voices to play with - They are just lke a Piano BUT they have everything that electronics benefit from. - They are MIDI compatible (so you can plug other MIDI compatible things into it and plud it into the Computer) There are two different types of Clavinova - the CLP and the CVP. The CLP stands for "Classical Piano" and these are the more basic Clavinova with just instruments/voices and recording facilities. But, the voices on the CLP 950+ are sampled - meaning a better sound quality making it sound even more like the real thing. You can record on these and can control what the sound is going to be like. You can control effects such as Reverb and brightness etc so if its in a small room the Reverb can be turned up to make the sound echoe a bit more. The CVP offers what an electronic keyboard offers BUT with the feel of a piano, piano pedals etc. The sound quality differs from the CVP 103 up to the CVP 109, the CVP 109 being the top of the range model. With tese you can just play on one voice ie - Piano or you can use the auto accompaniment and play as if an orchestra is backing you. You can also plug a microphone into the CVP 109, sing into it and the piano will harmonise with your voice so there is no need for any backing singers! Only prob is its VERY not portable, so you will find it hard if you want to go gigging aroud the copuntry with it, also you cant choose what finishes they come in, the CVP 103 can come in Mahoganny or Rosewood but the CVP 105 can only come in Rosewood and the CVP 107 and 109 can only come in Black Gloss. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yamaha-Kemble Acoustic Pianos ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Um, well there's not much to say about a piano is there? Well, there is but I' m not going to bore you! Really it's a personal preference with what piano you are comfortable with and what you like. I do like Yamaha pianos but they AINT perfect! I mean the feel of the keys are different to most pianos, if you press down quite softly NO sound will come out of them - there's a sort of delayed sound, but when you get used to this its ok (we have Yamaha's in our university practise rooms!) Depending on what you're looking for, prices with Yamahas start at £1,999 (for an "Eterna") and go way over £10,000 for Grands etc. You wonder why there is such a difference in cost? Well, its because each piano is made differently, with different material, different designs and functions, the best ones being the most expensive. You'd need to keep them dust free (or else it can get into the Piano and damage the insides!) and you need to keep them in tune regularly - either by getting a tuning fork and doing a DIY job or hiring a pro to do it instead (advised to get a pro!). A piano can get out of tune when its moved around a lot, and in fact a Yamaha are strung in such a way that they stay in tune for a longer period of time than other pianos. And Kemble have an offer when, and if, you buy a Kemble piano you get a free "limited edition" teddy (like - wow? oh don't you just love sarcasm!)) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With Yamaha, and like most other products, "You pay for what you get!" If it was my choice I would seriously get a Clavinova (in the CVP range) because they have everything a Keyboard player ever wanted! (Well? almost - as I said, nothings perfect" And dont buy a piano/keyboard without seeing it/trying it/having it demonstrated first! It really is a personal preference whether you like the idea of Digital pianos but they do have many benefits. And with new inverntions such as the Diskclavier you can have the best of both worlds - a fully strung piano but can be used with a disk drive, sound module - so you can play using different voices, headphone sockets etc. I could go on forever talking about keyboards - especially Yamahas but I'd think I'd better shut up now and stop boring you!!! :-) xxx

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                    14.10.2000 06:04

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                    I purchased a PSR8000 about 2 years ago as I was very impressed with the sounds that it produced and also the song recording facility is excellent on the instrument.In fact I just received delivery of the instrument in time to be able to write one of the Spice Girls Songs on it and then record it on disk for a show at the Bacon Theatre in Cheltenham. The instrument following on from the PSR8000 is the PSR9000.I had the opportunity of trying out this new keyboard at the Organ Festival recently held at St Audries Bay Holiday Club in Somerset and I can strongly recommend anyone seriously interested in a good quality instrument to give this one a try. To compliment my own setup,I also have a Technics KN6000 which I Midi up to my PSR8000 and control the KN6000 from the PSR8000.This means that I can use the orchestra from either instrument and mix the sounds from both. Every Saturday evening sees me playing in a local club recreating the sounds of the Glen Miller Orchestra and others for dancing. Happy playing everyone. a . try.

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                    03.10.2000 05:15

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                    I think I speak for most people when I say that the piano is one of the most common and popular instruments to play. Maybe the guitar beast it in terms of popularity, but not by much. I think that when the piano is played well, there are very few other instruments that can match it in terms of versitility. A piano can play anything from classical music to a dance tune (well, maybe this would need a keyboard), pop music, folk songs, rock songs. Bascally if you can play the piano then you can play any kind of music. The problem ith the piano is that it is very difficult to wrap your head around. When you start you have to start from the very basics, but all you want to do is go out there and play a difficult piece - it ain`t gonna happen. There is so much to learn - you need to read music, be able to keep different rhythems with each hand, maybe sing along and all without going mad. If you can do this then I doubt you`ll ever find a more rewarding experience. If you can`t manage this then at least give it a try - if you manage to master a few popular songs then you can always wheel them out when a piano is around. I have had the chance to play a piano in a huge concert hall (The Liverpool Phil) with no audience, just me sitting there playing. It was amazing, and well worth the effort I put into learning how to play. Basically what i`m saying is - give it a try!

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                    03.10.2000 04:08
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                    The Piano [Background: Played well, the piano is one of the greatest musical instruments known to man, and is capable of sending shivers down your spine if it happens to be under the control of a skilled pianist] I am not particularly musically minded. I have never played a musical instrument and I do not read music at all well. I used to sing in the school choir many years ago, and I have even been known to flex my vocal tones once in a while at the Karaoke, after a few drinks that is. However, I believe that I know good music when I hear it, and nothing is more capable of capturing my attention than the powerful music that emanates from a well-played piano. I am extremely envious of anyone who is able to play the piano, including one of my close friends who once attained grade eight, and is more than capable of playing tunes 'by ear' on request. Many people will have their own personal favourite instruments, but for me nothing can come close to the powerful aura of the piano in the correct hands. I was recently flicking channels late one night, ready for another night's sleep prior to yet another day in work. I chanced upon a 'Musician of the Year' programme on BBC2, and found myself totally encapsulated by the rapport that the pianist had with his instrument. I sat intently for the best part of ten minutes until the pianist had completed his piece, and marvelled (with just a hint of jealousy) at his amazing talent and the fantastic sound that he was able to create with his piano. Traditional music tends to be under-rated compared to the type of music that populates our music charts these days, but once in a while a song that includes a moving piano part will shine through. Usually, although not exclusively, confined to ballads, the piano has the power to provide an additional quality to a song that would never have been possible otherwise. My favourite modern song featurin g the piano has to be the haunting 'Song For Guy', a mostly instrumental track performed by Elton John, one of the finest popular pianists of the modern era (I am listening to it now whilst writing this opinion). I would strongly recommend this track to anyone who doubts the appeal of the piano, and urge you to hear it for yourself if you are unfamiliar with it. It can be found on the Double CD 'The Very Best Of Elton John' (1990 Rocket Records 846947-2), or perhaps via www.napster.com in mp3 format. {An original Dooyoo opinion © Blackjane 2000, updated 2001}

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