Friday, October 11, 2013

Piano Playing - Acoustic or Digital - It's how it makes you feel that counts! Just ask William Joseph, well known pianist & entertainer

UPDATE - October 11, 2013 - Acoustic & Digital Piano Playing...It's how it makes you feel! - I have received a number of comments & questions from people around the world who are looking to purchase a good piano. People want to know if they are making the right decision in buying a certain brand or type of piano and they ask for my opinion.

Generally, most people play the piano because they want to and not because they have to (unless their parents make them:). Yes there are some musicians who do it for a living and therefore they have to and usually want to. But playing piano has always been a very personal experience in which one's deep personal feelings are satisfied by the experience they receive when playing their piano. So ultimately, owning a piano is a very personal choice based on a person's musical tastes and goals.

Mozart
If you know how to play piano and want to sound as much like Beethoven or Mozart as possible in concert, then you might want to buy a top of the line acoustic grand piano like a Bosendorfer, Steinway, Sauter, Grotrian, Fazioli, Estonia, or other fine piano. But just so you know, in the days of those classical musicians long ago, pianos were made differently because manufacturers didn't have the same designs, materials, and manufacturing processes as we have today, so unless you play one of the original pianos (which is doubtful) you won't hear the same music that composers like Beethoven or Mozart heard from their piano instrument.  Also, Beethoven didn't hear a lot of the music he wrote because he eventually went deaf while still writing his famous scores!

I am not here to talk about the history of the acoustic piano because I don't know enough to do that. However I can say that music is a personal expression of feelings within a person. It is an art and the canvas is the piano and the result is in the eye or "ear" or the beholder so to speak. In days gone by, owning a beautiful acoustic piano, especially a grand piano, was considered to be a sign of success, a sign of prestige, and an entrance into a higher level of society. The piano was also one of the few ways a person could have indoor entertainment that was good for the whole family, friends, and neighbors. The piano has influenced so many lives through the music of famous pianists like Billy Joel, Elton John, Liberace, Van Cliburn, Ray Charles, Duke Elligton, Roger Williams, Alicia Keys, Arthur Rubinstein, Sergei Rachmaninov, George Gershwin, david Foster, Jim Brickman, Keith Emerson, Bruce Hornsby, Scott Joplin, Barry Manilow, Yanni, Jerry Lee Lewis, Frederic Chopin, Vladimir Horowitz, and the list goes on and on. Beautiful, enjoyable, moving music from the piano players through the pianos they played on. Having a beautiful piano in the home was certainly a sign of status and success. But at the end of the day, it was all about the music and even if the
piano looked like a beat up piece of junk (as they did in many homes where wealth was not there but the desire to play piano was there, as long as music came out that moved you when you played it, that's all that really counted. I know many people who have or had old upright pianos that were not perfectly in tune, some of the keys were worn, and the piano cabinet had damage or was deteriorating, but the music was still beautiful to those people because they could not afford to pay for a new piano and/or the piano had sentimental value because it belonged to their Mother, Father, or close relative. Playing music comes from "within the soul" and not just from the page of sheet music, and when you play piano in that way, the need for the physical beauty of a $100,000 grand piano can disappear too.

Roland LX15 digital piano
Roland LX15 digital piano
These days in our fast paced electronic world, most of the standard reasons for owning a higher priced top quality traditional acoustic piano are going away because of economic concerns and changes in lifestyle. The need for that large, heavy, ornate grand or upright piano are quickly making way for the smaller, more modern digital pianos because they can now make beautiful music like never before. No matter what kind of piano a person buys, it's all about how it makes you feel when playing or listening to it, and if that means owning a $100,000 hand-built grand piano because of the way it makes you feel when you hear it and see it (and you can afford it), then buy it. If it means that you feel wonderful playing a lower priced digital piano like a Casio PX850 Privia or Yamaha Clavinova because of what those instruments offer, then buy one. In the end it's all about personal choice.

I know from my experience as a player, composer, arranger, and teacher, you don't have to spend a lot of money on a high priced instrument to be musically satisfied. Just like many things that one can own, there is a certain "snob factor" (as I call it) that permeates society which says "unless you play piano in a certain way or on a certain type of instrument, the music cannot be ultimately satisfying." I disagree with that because of the availability of technologically advanced keyboard instruments and a change in teaching materials and progressive attitudes of many piano teachers. Today more students, players, and teachers like me, are having a personally satisfying musical experience playing digital pianos because there are so many great digital piano options out there.

William Joseph
But...when it comes to musicians, they all have an opinion about which digital piano they think is "best" and many are "over-opinionated" (in my opinion:). However, I believe everyone should have the opportunity to play a piano or keyboard instrument no matter what they get, as long as it works well (key action, pedals, and sound) and the player can experience a good feeling when playing it. My "hat is off" to those who have taken traditional piano lessons for years, have studied hard and gone on to higher music education in some way. But that is not necessarily a sign of success. It's what you do with your music and how it makes YOU feel that counts. If you're doing it because you might make money one day from it or you're trying to please someone else, good luck. Do it because you want to...but PLEASE keep your day job to pay the bills:).

William Joseph
Did you know that many of the great pianists & musicians out there are or have been music/piano teachers? I have a good friend by the name of William Joseph (we have known each other for years and worked together) who was discovered by the famous record producer, song writer, and music artist manager David Foster (manager of Celine, Josh Groban, and Michael Buble, to name a few).  david also has produced music for many movies (like Saint Elmos Fire, Karate Kid, etc) and other artists including Peter Cetera and the band Chicago. So William is in very good company! William Joseph is now one of the most talented and sought after young new contemporary concert pianists out there today (he even writes most of his music and has song books available through the huge music publisher Hal Leonard) and is currently touring all over the U.S. and the world. He has performed in Las Vegas, on the Oprah show, many famous TV shows, and in large performing theaters internationally & nationally. William owns both digital & acoustic pianos and enjoys playing on both types.

William Joseph on grand piano
Before William got "famous" in the world of entertainment, he took years of piano lessons here in the Phoenix area and studied hard with an accomplished piano instructor, which is very important to have.  When that was done, William became a local piano teacher and played solo piano gigs on the side here in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area to help make money to support his family, which is typical for many accomplished music students & musicians, and that's usually the end of the musical road (so to speak). Then William was "discovered" in a most unlikely way by David Foster (it's a long story but very interesting)...and the rest is history. William is somewhat of an "anomaly" when it comes to actually making it as paid star performer with a bright future ahead because few people that want to do that ever get it. But William really plays piano because of the way it makes him feel, and now also because of the way it makes others feel. You can learn more about William (if you have not heard of him before) through his web site at the following link William Joseph Web Site. Also, see this amazing video below of William Joseph in Concert! When William isn't touring in concert or in the "studio," he is still teaching piano lessons in his hometown of Phoenix to his loyal students because he loves it. But for most hard working piano students and local gigging musicians, as I said before, PLEASE keep your day job to pay your bills...that's what I do:)

For more piano info or to find out how to purchase one for Lower Prices than Internet & Store Discounts, please call me at 602-571-1864 or contact me at tim@azpianowholesale.com 

Listen below to William Joseph in an amazing performance with a full orchestra behind him.
  

* I recommend eMedia educational software. If you decide to make a purchase after clicking on link below, I have arranged a big discount for you direct with eMedia for their educational software and that discount price is displayed through this link only! I want to see everyone learn to play and enjoy piano!

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