My Favorite Gadget

One of the things that I know will get a good workout while I’m off is my piano.   With a pretty wide-open schedule, there’s really an opportunity to spend some time really getting better (and I mean relatively, I’m not sure I’ll ever be “good”…) at this thing.

The piano is a funny thing.  In this digital world, it is a bit of a throwback: wood, wires, cloth, metal, interlocking mechanisms.  It is, however, I think one of the world’s original and best gadgets.  This thing has thousands of individual parts all operating together.

I read a great book a couple of years ago that describes how Steinway’s big grands are produced.

If you’re at all interested in this gadget, I really recommend it.

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15 thoughts on “My Favorite Gadget

  1. We've got an antique upright that can't stay in tune to save it's life and I love it. Certain people in my house want to get an electric keyboard because that's what they use during lessons but no way, no how. I love listening to Nathan practice his piano, out of tune or not. It's one of my favorite times of the day.

  2. I've played for many years. Had a '49 Steinway console for about ten years; finally gave it up. I move too much and usually live in apartments. Now I've got a Yamaha 'clavinova', which plays sampled notes from a Yamaha grand – weighs about 120 pounds, you can use headphones, and doesn't go out of tune. But I'll have a real one again one day (the same 'one day' in which I buy another house).

  3. When I was in high school I wanted to do a science project and construct just one of the hammer mechanisms with the key, string, joints, and the dampening foam. Never happened, but I still think it's a good idea.

  4. I truly miss having a piano. I used to rent an old house that had a grand in it. My son learned to play on it. Once I got one free from some people who were moving to Europe. I gave it to a friend/neighbour. I am so happy for you that you are having fun!

  5. QoFB — I really recommend it — I'd never taken (or learned) any music until I bought a digi-piano a couple of years ago and started taking classes. It's really nice to unwind to something that is mentally stimulating, but not reading, TV or the computer

  6. How fun. And yes, of course you're going to be good, silly!! Just take breaks when you get discouraged. Have you ever tried the Russian technique? They play with their fingers flat instead of bent. It's weird but interesting to mix up your routine.

  7. Coooool :)I'm signing up the kids for piano lessons, although I've put it off a long time because we don't have a "real" piano yet and both my husband and I believe that's what they should be learning on. But by the time we get one they'll have grandchildren, so I think the time has come to just let them do what needs to be done.Pianos are so awesome :) Percussive and yet melodic!

  8. Thanks Ellie — it's funny, sometimes I worry about my finger technique (because I'm not as "curved" as it looks like it should in some manuals), but my teacher says that for my hands — which are sort of big and bulky — that my slightly curved technique is good. :)

  9. Thanks Manon — I've loved learning how to play (I only started a couple of years ago…actually about the time I started on vox). I started on a nice digital piano (88-keys and nice weighting) and last fall we decided to upgrade to acoustic instrument. It's so awesome — but I'll always think fondly of that digital one, since it's where I started.

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