Browsing AuthorDom Scohy

Music shops in Derbyshire

Hi all

There is a list of music shops in Derbyshire.

Of course, there are probably a few shops that I will not mention here and the reason for that is that I speak about the one I know.

 

Foulds Piano shop

Foulds music shop logo

I’m going to introduce Foulds music shop to you, even if I don’t know if it will be really necessary!

Charles Foulds opened the first shop in Nottingham in 1893!

They rapidly had massive success and moved to Derby. Yes, Derby used to be a place to be for music scene!

Today the shop specializes in retailing all sorts of instruments, repairing, maintaining, a very large choice of sheets music and orchestral instruments.

Each member of the staff is a specialist in their area and all very good musicians.

They are really reliable and very good at their jobs.

Recently, the shop changed and a lot of new very exciting things started to happen.

First of all the shop will now be divided into 2. The piano shop is managed by the very nice Danny Jackson.

The shop will now specialize in piano, digital piano, sheet music, and orchestral instruments.

They are also looking for a new building to carry on with their activities.

Foulds music shop will be even more a central place for music as they will host events, masterclasses, concerts, workshops,…

Anything that can promote music life in Derby!

I couldn’t recommend them more!

There is a link to their website.

 

Foulds guitar shop

I don’t have many things to say about them as they are not fully installed yet.

But just know that the guitar department of the actual Foulds music shop will be in a different building and that it will have a new manager.

I can’t say more for the moment, but all I can say is that it will be also a very nice and very active place for music!

As soon as the shop will open I will add information about it in this article.

 

Edward Knowles  piano tuner

Located in Belper, they specialize in piano tuning and piano maintenance.

They have a variety of seconds hand pianos that they restored themselves. It is a very good place to find a piano with a lot of “personality”.

They are really friendly and reliable as well.

Have a visit on their website, but it is better to have a look by yourself and pay them a little visit.

 

It is a small article about music shops in Derbyshire.

 

Before I conclude this article, I would like to give my point of view about buying online and in a music shop.

First of all, in a music shop, you can actually see and try the instrument you want to buy! This is a really important point!

Also, when a music shop is as specialize as Foulds is for example, then you know that their advice will be good and adapted to your profile.

Finally, if you buy a piano online and there is a default with it, good luck to contact the company and send back your instrument!

Trying your instrument before purchase is as important as trying clothes before you buy them, or a car!

That’s all folks!

Next article will be more related to piano playing, practice and my lessons.

Have fun!

 

 

 

Recording studios in Derby

Hi all

Today I would like to talk about a few recording studios in Derby.

The studios and people I will talk about are people I had/have the chance to work with and are extremely professional and reliable.

I will also talk about the studios that have been recommended to me but I didn’t have the chance to work with yet.

OK let’s go…

74 Sounds

LOgo of 74 sounds studio

74sounds is based in Derby Mickleover. it is managed by Jason Marshall.

Jason has BA (hons) degree in music technology and he is a very good guitarist.

Jason is also very active in the world of music as a producer, musician and of course engineer.

He is also the manager of the funk/jazz band Oobleck based in Derby.

74sounds is very good for mastering and mixing.

On top of the cake, Jason is a very nice and positive person to work with!

It is definitely a very good place to go for producing your EP or album.

 

Dubrek studios

 

Logo and pictures of Dubrek studios

Dubrek studios are own and manage by Jay Dean.

There is a lot to say about the man but I will try to synthesize the best I can!

Jay started really early to have ants in his fingers and tickling electronic and music from the age of 8 by taking apart noisy toys and try to figure out how they work.

He quickly started to build his own electronic instrument and effect pedals guitar set, recording his friend’s bands on tapes.

Later on, he passes an electronic degree and started to work as a promoter and DJ in Derby, and this is where the list of experiences starts to go on and on… I invite you to visit the website of Dubrek Studios for more information.

Just to know that it is not only a place for recording, there is a cafe (really nice and welcoming), a rehearsal place, a venue for gigs as well!

Behind the counter, you can also find the really nice and cool Danielle Ross and probably other people that I never met yet.

They organize all sorts of events. It is a very active and alive music place in Derby!

They are really friendly and down to earth, but also very reliable and professional!

I can’t recommend them more!

 

Abbey Lane studios

abbey lane studio

I don’t know Abbey Lane Studios as I never had the chance to work with them yet, but they have been recommended to me a lot from my fellow musicians!

The few things I can say about them is that they are huge, obviously really competent and professional. I had the chance to listen to some of the recordings, mixing works they did and it was really impressive!

What I can do is provide you with some numbers:

  • They have 6 rehearsals rooms available
  • 2 large studios and vocal and acoustic room.
  • They are also very active and organize children party, aged 8+. It looks like a really fun day, it includes recording, photos shoots and all the thing you need to do for recording your own EP and album. even if the objective is not to create the next summer hit, this sounds really fun and a very good way to create fun memories!

Again, I never worked with those guys, but I never heard anything bad about them, just the contrary!

 

This is the list of recording studios there is in Derby that I wanted to talk about.

Now I chose those 3 because like I said, I have worked with two of them and they are extremely good and professional.

And the three studios are fundamentally different!

Each of them has their own personality and it depends on what you are looking for, but it is important to choose the studio that fit your music and your personality the best!

I will finish this post with a small list (very small) of other studios that I never work with for the moment.

I hope this will help you to find a good recording studio in Derby that fit your personality and your music the best!

 

 

 

 

 

Cheap or expensive piano teacher? How to choose

Hi everyone

 

In this article we will talk about 3 important points about choosing your piano teacher:

 

  • What is a good teacher? Is qualification a guarantee of a good teacher?
  • Is the price a guarantee of a good teacher?
  • How do I know I found the right teacher for me or my children?

 

Let’s have a myth breaker before we start…

First of all, being a musician is a real job!

It is not because somebody is passionate about his/her career that they don’t work hard for it!

When a hotel, a student, a restaurant, a venue,… pay for a musician, it is good money in one go, so it sounds impressive!

But, being a musician requires a lot of preparation, when I said a lot; I’m talking about years of preparation!

 

To quote a very good pianist called ARTHUR RUBINSTEIN:

Arthur Rubinstein

who after a concert was told by a very rich housewife lady “I would give my life to play piano like you!”

Rubinstein replied: “That’s exactly what I did!”

 

Preparation for a professional music career can be achieved in a big international school or as an autodidact! (I will come back to the term autodidact in a minute)

 

Let’s now have a look at our 3 points:

 

1. What is a good teacher? Are qualifications a guarantee of a good teacher/musician?

 

 

A good teacher is also a good musician!

 

I know there is a legend out there saying that a good musician is not necessarily a good teacher and vice-versa.

Well, it is true for half of it. A good musician is not necessarily a good teacher, but a good teacher can’t be a bad musician!

What is a good musician then? It is not the speed or their level of virtuosity; it is their level of musicality.

How they understand the language of music. If they have a good understanding of the language then they can teach it better!

 

Let’s use an example: A French teacher who have a small English accent when they talk but a really good knowledge of the language are better to communicate that knowledge than a native speaker who doesn’t know any rules or grammar and makes a lot mistakes when they speak (yes there is native speaker in all the languages in the world that make a lot of mistakes when they talk!!!!).

Now, a French teacher with a small English accent who is passionate about French and the literature, the culture, all the subtility of the language have a lot more chance to be a good teacher!

 

So, are qualifications a guarantee of a good teacher/musician?

Diploma on the wall

Well……………….. absolutely not!

 

Now, all my colleague that has been studying in a very high-level music school, being in debt for half of their life, probably start to hate me right now!

Well, sorry for us guys but it is not a guarantee of being a good musician!

 

History of music is full, full, full, full of incredible musicians that never passed by any big schools and a lot of them by any schools at all!

A lot of them have been refused in most big schools because they weren’t “good enough”!

Debussy is a very good example…

 

So we can say that they were autodidact then?

 

Yes in a way, but thinking about an autodidact as somebody who stays in his/her lounge practicing on his/her own for years before going out and meets other musician is absolutely wrong!

Being in contact with more experienced musician, such as a band, a private teacher,… is the way to learn as an “autodidact”.

Now, let’s be clear here… I’m not saying that all students finishing a very good and high standard school of music are really bad musicians, but it is not THE way to be a good musician and some of them are actually not that good!

I know myself really good musicians that never been into a music school and not very interesting musicians that finished a very good school with a distinction.

The important thing when you have to choose your teacher is the human contact first. IS it a person that doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable? You always have a bit of discomfort on the first few lessons, that’s normal, but you can feel if the person in front of you is a good human person or not.

 

Secondly, his/her level of passion when they speak about music. The energy they put into their teaching because energy is a key!

 

Then arrive the personal request. What do you want from your teacher?

A very serious guy who goes straight to the point (some people like that)?

Or somebody that will take his/her time to develop things without being too harsh with a bit of humor?

A person that speaks loud or really quiet?

Would you need somebody that maxi boost your confidence?

 

All that criteria are known by you instinctively, just follow your instinct.

Luke skywalker

 

2. Is the price a guarantee of a good teacher?

MOney counting

 

 

For example, you have teachers charging £20/60 minutes, then £32, then £42…

 

You can find all range of prices for piano lessons in Derby.

 

So, let’s have a look at a few of them. But first, let’s talk about the minimum you should expect from music lessons.

  1. Concerts! A music school or music lessons without students concert is nothing else than a factory of teaching and money. The only way to know where you are with your apprenticeship is to perform, passing exams,… Whatever the packaging, it is more important to have concerts and events for the students than a nice room and a shiny piano for the lessons but where nothing is happening. You can be sure that the teacher that doesn’t want to organize events for his/her students is a teacher who doesn’t care and want to make his/her money on your back! One student concert a year should be the strict minimum! A music school without student life or student concerts is a dead school! Same as a city without a music scene is just a dead city!
  2. Somebody who actually cares about your piano practice and the way you are progressing. Giving you feedback and talking to you.
  3. Personally, I always look for a teacher that is not glued to his/her watch and in the middle of something just say “30 minutes, that’s it see you next week!”. As a teacher, I plan to teach something to my student. I want them to leave the lesson with the goal reach. So if I have to take 2 or 3 extra minutes I will do it. That’s for me a teacher that cares about his/her students.

Let’s have a look to the person charging £20/ 60 minutes or 10/ 30 minutes of lessons.

When you decide to be a private teacher, so a self-employed teacher, there is a cost of living to assume and fees for your activity.

 

A lot of fees.

 

More than you can imagine!

 

£10/30 minutes means that the teacher needs to reach at least 50 students a week to be able to live a minimum!

50 students a week!!!

 

How?  When?  the teacher will have time to develop his own skills, being a musician?

Unless those teachers still live with their parents, unless they have the money easiness (heritage, win the lottery,…), there no way that a teacher can have such a high level of students and be able to afford to be a musician again!

If you are lucky you can find a very good teacher at that price range, but it is a reality like anything else, if you go for cheap you will have cheap service!

Gardener funny

 

Let’s compare this with a driving instructor. A really cheap one.

That instructor hasn’t sat on the driver seat for years! But he will teach you how to drive correctly and how to feel the car you are driving!

A good instructor has to be a driver himself, otherwise, it will not work!

Now with that type of teachers, you have also the ones that teach piano for fun after their jobs on Sunday.

Well, if it is true that there are very good amateur musicians, being an experienced teacher and musician is a life skill and I will even say a career path!

Would you trust and being happy to pay the driver instructor if he/she has basic knowledge on how to change gears and press the pedal and nothing else?

 

So why choosing a music teacher with poor knowledge?

Thinking that you should go for a cheap teacher that can teach beginner until you reach a certain level and switch to a more professional one is a very bad calculation!

The experienced teacher will prepare you from the start to play the correct way because the experienced teacher knows what you need to play advanced pieces because that teacher plays advance pieces really well!

Because starting to play an instrument with bad habits is really hard to correct after a while. Let say that you have a nice but not really skilled teacher for 2 years, it will take you at least a year after that to correct your playing with a better teacher!

When I started to teach music privately, I looked at a few things:

  • What is the price range? What type of students do I want to reach with my pricing?
  • A good music teacher needs to find the balance between teaching and still being a musician!!!!! too many students and the teacher is not a musician, not enough and the musician has to find other jobs and not having time to be a musician anyway.

The second point is really, really, important!

At the moment of the redaction of this article, the normal price range is about £32/60 minutes of lessons. You can check that on the self-employed government website.

Every year they update the minimum that a private tutor should charge, and from there, it is the choice of the teacher to fit with that fee or ask for less or more!

Personally, I’m able to teach very advanced students and beginner.

I prepare some of my students to be professional and go for auditions in conservatoire and music Uni.

I know my area of expertise and I want to charge the right price for what I’m doing. Because I’m working, hard and love what I’m doing!

I can also carry on being a musician and play pieces!

I repeat that a very good point to be a good teacher is to be a good musician!

 

Now if you choose the teacher charging £42/60 minutes, well it is your choice.

Generally, a teacher asking for those types of prices wants to have students with a very good level. A beginner doesn’t usually go for those types of teachers.

Be careful that the teacher charging that much is as good as he pretends to be!

It doesn’t mean that those teachers are really better than other, but they choose to concentrate on one type of teaching which they probably very good at!

Also, in a way or another, it means that they can afford to have very fewer students. Again, it can be for various reasons that are not linked with music, but it can also be for reasons that are linked to music.

You need to know that more a student is advanced and more the teacher has to works to prepare the lessons, sometimes it can be a lot of more work.

Also, to be able to teach a 20 pages sonata, the teacher needs to have years of years of years of dedication and skills!

A person that plays piano on Sunday after his/her work in an office 5 days a week can’t develop that type of skills.

Normally, what a lot of teacher does is adapting their fees to the level of students, so advance students preparing a concert diploma will be charged more than a beginner preparing grade 1. Not every teacher does that but some do and I understand that perfectly well, even if I don’t do it myself.

So the teacher charging £42/60 minutes knows that this price will attract very dedicated and advance students and decide to have fewer students!

3. How do I know I found the right teacher for me or my children?

 

Well, the best way of finding a good teacher is to shop around and try.

Generally, you don’t have to try for weeks before finding the good one.

Use your instinct and how you feel with that teacher. What are you looking for?

Prepare a list in advance before contacting the teacher.

Talk with the teacher, ask questions, as many as you want. If a teacher seems to be reluctant to answers your questions then run away!

Now I want to insist on one or two things:

  • If your teacher asks for regularity and regular payment, just remember that if you want a professional then you have to pay for that! That’s the way our society works. If a musician can’t earn enough money to carry on with his/her activity then that musician will have to do that on a Sunday afternoon after his/her other job and trust me, you don’t want this if you want to have a good level of teaching! You can’t have the cake, the money for the cake, the business, the girl selling the cake, and a very expansive car! Learning piano (music) requires regularity, commitment otherwise you will learn nothing! The satisfaction is the progress you achieve by investing in what you do! If you think the other way then you need to take your head out of the sand!
  • Always respect your piano or instrument teacher! Don’t ask for a discount, you will never do that with your plumber or the chef that cooked your meal a restaurant! You know the price, you agree to it or not, but don’t ask for a discount please, this is so disrespectful! Also, don’t say things like “You know when you have a real job you are tired at the end of the week!”!!! Music is a real job, it is a lot of sacrifices, a looooot of devotion and being able to cope with being marginalized and judged by a lot of people who don’t know anything about your area of work!

 

 

And finally, one last point, don’t even consider the package that you can see on the internet saying that after 6 months or a year you will be able to play like a professional!

 

You can’t play like a “professional” after a year or play a Chopin study really well after a year. Music is a skill, there is no shortcut. This is called fake advertising! A bit like those adverts:

Fake advert

Fake advert

If you don’t fall for that type of advert then don’t sign up for the piano package that process you to be a Mozart.2 after 6 months!

Also, investing in a very expansive app that should help you to learn the piano perfectly is a myth!

Some apps are really good on the side of piano lessons, but learning the piano requires patience and time, there is no other secret!

 

I hope you will have a lot of fun with your piano playing and please if you think that this article is helpful, then SHARE IT SHARE IT and SHARE IT AGAIN!

 

Music is good for your brain! Well not necessarily…

I just read two articles on the Guardian about music.
One is about concentrating while listening to music, why and how is it possible that music can help us to concentrate. Doing two things at the same time should logically be counterproductive. But it appears that studying and listening to music, for example, is actually helping us to focus better.
The second article is called “Want to ‘train your brain’? Forget apps, learn a musical instrument”.
I want to talk to you a bit about this one, and the reasons why I mention that two articles are because I hope that you will feel the need to read them because they are really interesting.
So music is definitely better for your brain than apps… Wow, What a surprise really!?!?
I realized that students waiting for their lessons with a phone or a tablet (especially children) are generally more hyper and less concentrate during the lesson.
But let’s go back to the main subject.
Quote from the Guardian: “Musical training can have a dramatic impact on your brain’s structure, enhancing your memory, spatial reasoning and language skills”.
After reading this, you start thinking that taking music lessons for you or your children might be a good idea?
Well, you are perfectly right…
 
Except that there are music lessons and music lessons… Both sounds the same but are slightly different. Let me explain…
What is the standard in the UK to define a qualification in music?
If you answered “the grades” you are mostly right. Well done. So you are naturally thinking that more grades your children will pass more the impact on enhancing their memory, spatial reasoning and language skills will be important.
Well, let me explain a few things before you start to pay a lot of money for the piano lessons of your children or for yourself.
My students can testify that I’m not a grades factory teacher. When a student or a parent say to me “I want to pass (my children to pass) all the grades and I don’t want (them) to play anything else” I generally ask them to go to another teacher.
There are many and many teachers that are really good at teaching only grades and how to pass the exams. So What are grades?
Grades are an evaluation of what you know, of how you can play on the day of your exam. Nothing more, nothing less.
 
Am I totally a grades hater? No, but I maintain that working a few scales, three pieces of music and a bit of sight reading for a year will not train you to play music.
Music is a language and you need to learn to speak it, read it and most important understand it!
Playing only the grades pieces is absolutely ridiculous, three pieces on the entire repertoire existing and pretending that you are a musician is absolutely disgraceful and a barefaced lie!
Playing grades one after another without understanding what you play is like typing a letter on your computer without understanding a word of it. Or learning a poem in Japanese because it sounds nice but not understanding a word of it. So it is nice, it helps probably to train your memory a bit, but otherwise, I can’t see how it would develop anything else.
To understand what you play, understand the language, you need to learn it and most important feel it.
 
My teacher uses to tell me, you are a musician from your first second in the front of the instrument, you don’t need to wait until you pass grade 8 to be a musician.
Now You are going to say “But I don’t want to be a professional musician so… I don’t care about what you are saying Dom!” or “My kid doesn’t want to be a professional pianist just playing for fun!”.
 
So just one question then: is it really fun (For your kid, for you or me) to play a piece of music so bad that you can’t recognize the difference between an ambulance passing on the street and the piano playing of your kid or yours or mine?
Don’t you want your child or yourself to learn something from the piano lesson?
Also, why being an amateur means that you have to play so badly that people would want to throw a chair on you? Or a table? Or a piano (ouch)?
 
An amateur musician is a musician who decides that he doesn’t want to pay his bills with music… That’s it. It doesn’t have to stop you from being a good one.
Playing an easy Menuet of Mozart, “Fur Elise”, or “Les barricades mysterieuses”, or all the Chopin studies, is the same pleasure, the same challenge, the same investment.
I prefer a student who plays an easy piece with devotion than a person who plays a Chopin scherzo with his feet and no passion!
 
Practicing 8 hours a day is not bad, but practicing well 30 minutes a day is even better. A good teacher will help you to develop that good method of work. The problems with grades as the only goal is that you have a lot of time to prepare yourself to it. Generally, a year or 10 months when you only do that.
A lot of people doesn’t really practice at home and they really start to do it 2 months before the exams.
They pass their exams and forget everything about it.
I’m not an elitist teacher and I don’t look for a standard with my students, but if you think “I’m an amateur, I don’t want to play like a professional so I don’t have to practice really, because I just do that for fun” then you are not on the right path.
When you start, even 5 minutes of practice is enough ( I mean good practice). That’s my experience as a piano teacher in Derby and everywhere else I used to teach.
If you do it badly then how can music be beneficial for your brain or the brain of your children?
 
Do what you can and try to fit your instrument the best way as possible in your life!
 
Now your main question is “How do you prepare yourself to pass grades correctly then?”. Well, my answer is… patience and… patience.
Learn the basics, straight away, learn music, expression. Your first piece of music is not a beginner piece of music, it is your first piece of music! So play it.
Finding a good teacher is really important.
That person needs to be a good musician who believes that teaching is something else than grades or a bank account filler.
Their qualifications are important, but the same as the grades, a teacher coming from a prestigious school is not necessarily a good teacher or a good musician.
I know so many excellent musicians and a good teacher that didn’t go to any prestigious school and some other that come from the school with a name that would blow your mind and are just resting on their degrees!
When you meet your teacher for the first time you will know the one who has the passion for it and the one who doesn’t.
You also need to have the “contact” with the teacher, even if your teacher is a very good one, without the “contact” it will be tricky to build a bond with your teacher.
Just follow your judgment!
 
 
Oh yeah and all the adverts that you can see on the net about: “Become a pianist in 10 lessons”, or “With my method, you will play a Chopin study after 6 months!”. So all that adverts, all of them, every single one of them, are lies as big as Trump saying that he wants to give America its past worldwide glory, or Nigel Farage when he says that he is not racist.
If I say to you “With my method you will learn how to be a professional chef in 6 months” or “With my method, you will become a surgeon in 6 months.” Would you believe it?
 
If your answer is yes, then I’m sorry I can’t do anything for you…
 
If you want music to be a plus in your life, whatever if you want to be a professional or not, you need to be an amateur first, love it, learn to live with it and then it will be beneficial for your brain development.
Before you learn your first Japanese poem, learn a bit of vocabulary and not just a bit of “how it sounds like”.
Otherwise, all you do is learning how to be a good “Monkey see, monkey do”.
Common guys, there is nothing more wonderful than entering in the world of music, developing your ears, listening to its magic, its emotional message. Music is probably one of the most universal human activities that we can share all around the globe! Imagine that you arrived for your grade one, with your Japanese poem, knowing exactly what you are saying, how to say it, and most importantly why you say it!
 
I worked on different academies and some of them are “grades factories” and when I was replacing a teacher there, I asked the students who were “ready” to pass their exams to play only their right hand to me and they were totally lost! Seriously?!? How that can develop anything in your brain?!?
 
Except for typing texts on your smartphone faster…
 
Conclusion, next time you go to a meeting parents evening thing or a Sunday boring cakes afternoon with other parents, and you have that guy showing off and holding all the grades that their children passed in the last two years then just think about this… “Monkey sees, monkey do”.
Please don’t ever believe that the grades only, will make your children or yourself a musician because this is the entire contrary!
 
Grades are not an obligation to be a good musician, but can be necessary.
So if you are interested about that two articles, there are the links for them:
Have fun and don’t forget, “playing wrongs note is insignificant, playing without passion is unforgivable!”.

How to choose the best piano, keyboard for beginners?

How to choose the best piano, keyboard for beginners?

This is it, you had your first piano lesson and you enjoyed it!
Now is the time to think about buying your first piano.
Whatever you want to buy, it is a real jungle and you can quickly be lost on the multiple choice that you can find on the market.
So What is the best piano, keyboard for beginners?
Let’s have a look at what is what and what you need.

Keyboard

little sa-47 casio keyboardkeyboard yamaha grey 61 keys

 
 
 
 
Keyboards can be cheap, easy to buy but are not pianos.
If you having piano lessons then don’t buy a keyboard because it is not what you need in the long term.
Don’t get me wrong here, there are amazing keyboards out there, but they have other purposes than traditional pianos and a very good keyboard is the same range of prices than a good digital piano.
 Nord electro 5
 
The first difference between keyboards and pianos, the number of keys.
A piano is normally composed of 88 weighted keys.
You can find the same number of keys on a keyboard but they generally have fewer keys than a traditional piano.
The word I used in the previous sentence, “weighted keys” is important because the piano has weighted keys and you have to get used playing on that type of mechanic.
 
 mechanic schema upright piano
Finally, depending on the price/type of keyboard you buy, your range of dynamics can be a bit lower than a piano.
 
From my point of view, investing on a keyboard can look cheaper but you will have to invest in another instrument a bit more expansive really quickly after your purchase.
My advice is, buy a keyboard because you know exactly what you want to do with it, but learning the piano on a keyboard is the same thing as learning piano on a church organ.

Digital piano

                                                      
 black digital piano with one pedal                             clavinova digital upright
They look like keyboards but are not keyboards.
First of all, the purpose of a digital piano, generally, is to try to simulate the feeling of playing on an acoustic piano.
They have 88 weighted keys.
Now the “go for it” and the “Not so sure about it”.
This is my personal taste but I really like Yamaha Clavinova for a digital piano. I think they are the best in term of emulation of piano touch and sound, even if it will never replace an acoustic instrument.
Go for it:
– No need of tuning (you can’t tune your piano yourself, you need a professional to do it for you)
– You can plug headphones and practice in silence
– You can adjust the volume
– It generally takes less space in your room
– It is more affordable than an acoustic piano
 
 
Not so sure about it:
– Whatever the price you put in, it will never replace the sound of an acoustic piano.
– The mechanic is good and close to reality, but it is not the same mechanic.
– After a moment, when your progression brings you to a wonderful and good level, you will feel the need of an acoustic piano.
 

Acoustic piano:

 
                                     
                                            open schimmel upright
Well, I think if you want to learn the piano, these instruments are the best of the best, but…
First of all, you can find extremely awful instruments out there!
It is better to invest in a good digital piano than a very bad acoustic upright piano.
Oh, by the way, what is an upright piano and what is grand?
 

Upright piano:

 black upright yamaha u3
 

Grand:

 
 yamaha baby grand piano
 
For the grand, you have different size available. You don’t need to buy the massive concert one.
The same thing for the upright, different size is available.
Now, we need to be clear, the price for an acoustic piano is a bit more expansive than a good digital, but, it is the best choice for your piano playing.
There again check that your piano has 88 keys.
Now let’s go for the “go for it” and the “I’m not so sure about it”
Go for it:
– Well, you choose to have piano lessons and we are talking about buying a piano so…
– It is always the best choice for dynamics range and key response
– Yamaha does a thing called the “silence system”, it allows you to use your piano like a digital piano with headphone and being able to use it as an acoustic piano.
– It is the best choice, but only if you choose the good one
Not so sure about it:
– It takes a bit more space in your room than a digital
– You have to tune it sometimes
– It is a bit more expansive than a digital
– If you choose a very bad one, then it would actually be worse than buying a good digital piano
Now, how to buy your instrument?
Internet:
Just be careful if you buy a new instrument on the net. A digital piano, even if it is less heavy than an acoustic, is still heavy. If there is something wrong with it, good luck for sending it back…
Plus it would be tricky to ask advises to the seller by email sometimes and the most important, you need to be able to try it before purchase. Remember my last post about “Music is good for your brain. Well, not necessarily” (click the link to the article to be able to read it if you didn’t do it yet!?!)?
 
If you didn’t read it yet, then it is definitely your fault!
I said, “Your very first piece of music is not a beginner piece, it is the first one!” So you need to be able to play on your new piano and enjoy it!
That’s why playing on it before purchase is important!
 
On the internet, you can have a good deal but hope that everything is ok with your purchase or it will cost you more… A lot more!
Second hand:
Be careful, just go and see the instrument. Check that all the keys works, the speakers, the pedals,…
Don’t let pass anything, if the speakers don’t work for example, then it could be the start of a bigger problem who can cost you a lot, so even with a massive discount, don’t buy it!
If the instrument is not on warranty (it is generally the case) if you have any problem with the instrument then… good luck!
 
You can buy a nice instrument for a good price second hand, but the same as purchasing on the internet, be sure that everything is ok or it will cost you more than what you save. The good thing is that you can try the instrument before buying it.
Music shop:
Those are a good choice but choose a good shop. In a big chain generally, they don’t care about your profile they just want to sell you something.
There are good shops in Derby.
Now, the pro music shop is; Warranty, if something goes wrong they are easy to reach, they generally try to find the best instrument to your budget/profile, they are not necessarily more expansive than the net and the most important, you can try the instrument before purchase.
And in my point of view, Nothing replaces human contact!
In Iron gate, in Derby, you can find Foulds Music shop (click the name of the shop to see their website). They are really professional and friendly.
It is a family business established since a very long time in Derby.
 
If you want to give them a call, ask for Danny Jackson, she is friendly and nice and will take all the time you need to choose the right instrument for you.
 
You can also ask for Richard Belfitt and he is exactly the same profile as Danny, but in a male version with a lovely beard.
 
It can be a little bit more expansive to buy a piano on a music shop, but first of all, you can negotiate and you might actually save money in case of something goes wrong with it. Plus you can have professional pieces of advice and try your instrument before purchase.
The price range for a digital piano or an acoustic piano? Well, it can go from around £200 to the price of a three bedroom house in Derby!
That model is probably one of the most expansive, but I don’t think you need this one. It is magical to play on one of those instruments. Just in case you want to buy me a nice present for my birthday in April…
 
 
 grand Steinway
 
And finally if you really want to spend a lot of money and buy the latest of the latest grand piano, then I would like to introduce you to the Peugeot-Pleyel design piano:
design peugeot-pleyel piano

Conclusion:

 
A digital piano is good for a beginner but an upright is even better.
 
A cheap digital piano is good for a few years, depending on your progression, but you will feel the need for a better quality instrument after a moment (probably a few years).
 
When you start the piano, you don’t need to buy an expansive instrument, because if you have to stop after a few months or worse, just don’t like it, then it would be a shame to spend a lot of money on a good instrument.
 
If you having a piano lesson don’t buy a keyboard because you will have to change it and buy a piano after a few months!
You can also ask more about it to me or your piano teacher.
 
 I hope this is helping to choose the best piano, keyboard for beginner and don’t hesitate to contact me for any help with purchasing your instrument.
Have fun!