Grand pianos are a big investment. These instruments can measure up to nine feet in length so you will need a lot of free space available. You can get slightly smaller grand piano designs that are around five feet in length and these are known as ‘baby grands’.
Why Invest in Grand Pianos?
If you are a professional musician, then there is nothing like the experience of playing on a good quality grand piano. The superior feel and sound can encourage you to attain new levels of skill and technique and is essential if you are recording your own music. Grand pianos have a horizontal action, which is more powerful and responsive than the vertical action of an upright piano. The richness and fullness of sound you can achieve from a grand piano is significantly better than any other type of piano, and this is why professional musicians prefer them. However, there are some very good quality upright pianos that can provide equal or even better tone quality to smaller grand pianos so you do need to choose your instrument well.
When you are learning to play the piano, an electronic keyboard can be a useful and convenient instrument. This allows you to practice anywhere you like and also provides a number of different ‘effects’ for you to experiment with. However, even the best keyboard cannot truly replicate the power and richness of a grand piano. Many professional musicians still use keyboards as well, though, as they are convenient and portable. If you are playing in a band and the venue does not have a piano, then a keyboard may be your only choice. Top jazz bands such as the Harry Lynn Quartet play a wide number of venues and a keyboard can be easily transported and can be set up in just a few minutes.
Buying Grand Pianos
If you have decided to buy a grand piano for your home, then you will be making a big investment so it is important to do your research. Here are just a few tips to help make sure you choose the right grand piano for your needs:
• Visit a few showrooms and ask if you can ‘try out’ the grand pianos available. This will allow you to get a feel for the various different models and manufacturers available. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make notes regarding each instrument. You may need to visit the showroom a few times to make sure you get a good feel for each piano. Ask for brochures so that you have all the technical details and prices to refer to when you are back at home.
• When you play the grand pianos, try out a piece of music you know well, and also go through some scales. This will help you to identify the tone of the instrument, which could be mellow, powerful, soft, or loud. Each individual grand piano has its own character, and you will need to find the one that best matches your own preferences.
• Don’t forget to measure the space you have available. This will help you to choose a piano that is an appropriate size. A very large piano in a small room can create some strange acoustics so you do need to fit the size of the piano to the size of the room. Remember to add enough space for the Piano Stool.
Guide to Good Brands
There are many brands of Grand Pianos available these days .
Traditionally, the best grand pianos were hand-made in Germany and Austria by such famous names as Steinway, Bechstein, Bosendorfer and Schimmel to name a few. They are exquisite instruments to play, and most concert halls and recording studios world wide use these brands.
Almost a century ago the Japanese company Yamaha built a strong relationship with Bechstein and utilised their technology. This was a turning point for Yamaha and their pianos have become recognised as instruments of excellent quality while being more reasonably priced due to Mass Production methods. The other significant Japanese piano of similar quality is the Kawaii. Both are excellent instruments with my preference being Yamaha. I own a Yamaha C3 Grand Piano of 6 feet length, LOVE IT and recommend it highly ! Following are links to some of the most famous Grand Piano manufacturers.
Bosendorfer is probably the oldest [ 1828 ] and most respected of all the piano manufacturers and is now wholly owned by Yamaha.
Bechstein was founded in 1853 in Berlin Germany.
Schimmel was founded in 1885 in Leipzig, Germany
Steinway has had factories in Hamburg, Germany and New York, USA since the 1850’s and are famous for their dedication to quality.
Bluthner was founded in Leipzig, Germany in 1853
They had very strong competition from the USA company Baldwin until 2008 when sadly, piano production ceased.
Buying a grand piano is a big investment, but these superior instruments can provide you with many years of enjoyment. For a more in depth look at the acoustics of Grand Pianos, please visit Wikipedia