Here’s my piano story…
I’ve classed myself as an enthusiastic amateur inspiring to be an
I have watched, learned and listened to all types of piano styles.
When I practice, I make small list and make up my own medley of songs. These
helps with finger memory, adapting and key changes between
Numbers and training the ear for improvising.
Musical number for all different eras.
I will start out with a grand piano sound and layer the song with other
instruments as I play down my lists
These can change in tempo and rhythm as well as changing the keys of the
I don’t write out all the chord changes just the name of the song and its
key beside the song.
For e.g. A Beatles Medley,
The Night Before in the Key D
Lady Madonna in the key of A
No Reply in the Key of E,
In My Life in the key of A
When I am 64 to Octopus Garden keys of C and E
From me to you key of C including the last chord progression.
I’ll do anything from “Oliver” Key of D
Creatures of the Nights from Phantom of the Opera in the key E
If I had a talking Picture of you. in the key of D
Joseph’s Any dream will do in the key of A or D
Can’t help loving that man in the key of D
Thank you for the music in the key of E
Hey Good Looking in the key of G
Crazy in the key of C
A fool such as I in the of C
Don’t you make my brown eyes blue in the key of A
On the Road Again in the key of E
Mixing up the years and the Rhythms
Oh What a Night 1963 in the key of D
I don’t feel like dancing by the Scissor Sisters
Hot Stuff Disco Donna Summers key of B
Ride A white Swan Trex in the key of D
Material girl Madonna key of C
Reprise of Oh What a night all of these I use backing drum but not backing
Please note that I find it difficult to speed read I tend to play everything
by ear and memorize the key changes, the key inversions
I only write the key of the song not all the key changes this is good for
Then I will practice Piano scales and various chord inversions, again all
When I bought my first 88 note keyboard I bought the Yamaha SGX 530. (nearly
3 years ago)
I found a sound called “Suitcase Piano”, it sounds like an early Fender
I play a few chords in different inversions In no time at all I played
A second inversion E root, G first Inv. D root then A major in lower
A Hey presto it’s the rift to “Lazy Sunday” by the Small Faces.
This keyboard has all the bells and whistles I needed and more but I bought
because of the grand piano sounds and its for the light touch.
My mother has a very old baby Grand made by Challen, She’s had it for about
a year now, She had the action altered and tuned when she first got it.
When I play it the keys seem very heavy and I noticed the tuning as gone out
in the last 3 months. (she has promised me this piano to me in her will)
I hope she gets may more years out of it, although her sight is failing her
she reads music but doesn’t play by ear.
The Challen is a lovely rich sound piano and quite loud even with the lid
I realize that they are weighted keys and now I am in the right frame of
mind wanting to put some time aside for some serious piano lesson.
This mean I needed to change my piano/keyboard with weighted keys and maybe
to improve piano sound and style.
Like most people serious about buy a replacement piano
I read up on everything from the history of the Piano to all the various
types and reading the music reviews on the latest digital pianos.
I even browse You tube for ideas and the how to play can be informative.
I don’t have enough room or the budget for a grand piano, I did spend £550
on the Yamaha a few years ago.
I have a very good friend Pariac Dwyer that has a music shop called String
n’ Things in the town of Bridgwater. He has been trading for the past 26
As well as a very good friend he is also a fine musician he is a classical
trained pianist and now plays in a local cabaret band.
I have been buying amp guitars keyboards from him, it’s great he will let be
borrow almost any instrument to try at home as well as spending lots of time
demo-ing all the various instruments he has in his shop. ( why is when you
are offered the chance to play some in a music shop, your fingers just
and you lose the ability to sit down and play something?) Perhaps I get
attack of the shys???
I spoke to him about upgrading my piano about a year ago, I sent him a
raving review when I bought my Yamaha keyboard 2 1/2 years ago.
I told him being 53 year young, I was a bit embarrassed about not being able
to read music and I really should of put the time and learnt the basic
rather than carry lots of riffs around in my head, nonsense the ability of
playing by ear is a gift and can only be enhanced by learning to read music.
If you’re in the right frame of mind and have the time, you will soon catch
up, how very true.
So: When you get to your early 50’s you’re on the change, we both laughed,
we both have a wicked sense of humor.
Getting back to the keyboards I asked what Yamaha are doing about the new
models, very little.
He told me about all the major keyboard/piano makers didn’t have enough
stock to supply UK and Europe.
Yamaha, Korg, Roland etc Didn’t manufacture enough stock for the Christmas
market. They missed a trick there.
So for the month of December and January music shops were pulling their hair
out by the clumps.
So what’s new. I was looking for a Digital piano with semi or full weighted
keys must be 88 and the best Piano sound
Recording facilities would be a must and the ability to down load new sound
and backings via the interweb as we say here in Somerset.
Yamaha had no new models to replace what I had, I ask Pariac what he played,
He had Tryos Korg SP250 Stage Piano and something else.
He really sang the praises of the Korg make and sounds. He promised he would
give a call when the next PA series would be in.
True to his word, he did call, however the excellent sounds and backings of
the PA keyboards were very impressive.
The big let down it was only 61 plastic organ type keys.
What else was there? Korg have PA2 but it was too expensive and more of a
studio keyboard, than a home instrument.
Whilst I was tinkering away on the various Clavinovas and stage piano, he
made a few phone calls.
It was my lucky day. All the manufactures have released their stocks and
they now have a stock piles so an excellent time to buy.
So I told him what I wanted we did the deal on the Korg PA 588 (88 weighted
Being the same size and colour silver, perhaps the wife wouldn’t notice. Ha
Well the ladies like their show collection and fashions, when you quiz them
about it , you get the answer,
You don’t notice anything, I have had that for ages and agesâ€¦ Yes dear.
I wonder if she’ll notice my new keyboards, with a grimace and fingers
crossed tightly behind my back..
Yes This is my old one, I‘ve had it for years ( wow I nearly said minutes).
Happy playing everyone thank you for your advice, your tips and guidance is
spot on when buying an instrument, even though I didn’t purchase a piano
from you this time there will be another occasions.