Saturday, November 3, 2012

Upright vs. Grand

A visitor to my website recently contacted me and asked my opinion on owning an upright vs. a grand piano.  They asked my opinion because my older recordings were all made on my upright while my newer recordings were made on my grand.  I thought that this was an intriguing question, worthy of sharing on my blog.  Below is the answer that I provided:
You asked about my thoughts on having an upright vs. a grand piano.  In general, I believe that beautiful art can be created regardless of the medium.  However, the instrument does have a profound affect on the music.  I was finally able to purchase a Steinway grand piano a few years ago.  This was after many years of saving and working towards that goal.  The difference in both sound and touch are extraordinary.  I still own my original upright piano as well.  I now produce all of my recordings on my Steinway grand; but my older recordings were all recorded on my upright.

So to answer your question, yes, I believe that the instrument makes a tremendous difference.  However, the instrument should never be a reason for an artist to stop producing art.  A true artist will work with whatever instrument they have to produce beautiful music.  Pianists especially know this, as we cannot take our own instrument with us when we travel to perform and are subject to whatever instrument is available.  I have even been asked to perform on pianos that were missing keys!

So make the best music that you can with whatever instrument you have available to you; but the quality of the instrument certainly does make a difference.  If you can afford the space and money to purchase a good quality grand piano, then it will definitely provide a better sound.  The touch will largely depend on the manufacturer - so you will want to spend a good amount of time playing each piano before you consider purchasing one to make sure that it "feels" right for you.

Steinway, in my opinion, is still the best piano manufacturer.  However, they are quite costly.  I purchased mine second-hand (used) but only after more than a year of looking at used pianos to find the right one for me.  It was a long journey to save the money and then to find the right piano!

I wish you the very best in your personal journey towards finding the right musical instrument for you.  When you find the right one, you will "know it" both in your hands and in your heart; and it will bring you a lifetime of joy!