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Learning the piano- am I crazy?

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
I have always had a great love of music of all types. Music moves me more than the average person. Sadly, when I was younger, I never applied myself to learning to read or play music. The last few years, I have felt that this is one of my greatest regrets in life, and have wanted to take up the piano. A coworker has an upright piano that has been collecting dust for a few years, and he wants it out of the way. It is by no means cosmetically perfect, it may need tuning, but is mechanically sound. I am severely tempted to take it off of his hands. Am I crazy for wanting to start to play at 49?
 
My 2 cents:

- they are very heavy and take up a lot of room
- you'd have to pay to have it moved or go through the not insignificant hassle of moving it yourself
- you most likely will have to pay to get it tuned and that is a reoccurring expense
- if you decide it's not for you or you lose interest, you're stuck with a big heavy piece of furniture that's going to be hard to unload
- you have to play it where you put it, it's not portable or easily moved

If you think you are sold on playing keyboards, you might want to consider a portable electric keyboard though it's not the same thing or experience as a real piano. It's reasonably affordable, portable and can be tucked away if desired.

Might I suggest a ukulele? I was looking for an instrument to accompany my singing (just for fun) so I wasn't looking for an instrument to play instrumentals. They are small, portable, easily stored, easy to get started on and playing music quickly and they are a lot of fun to play. You have a lot of choice to spend as much or as little as you want on one. They are a happy instrument and ukulele players are some of the nicest people you'd meet.
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
No way!
Go for it!
You're going to rock the heck out of that piano.
Do you have a tune you're going to work up to?
I know it is ambitious, but one has to have a goal to make progress- Beethoven's Piano Sonata 14 aka Moonlight Sonata. If you're going to dream, dream big :) I love everything Beethoven. Of all the music I have ever listened to, his strikes me the deepest. Part of that may have been my mother's influence. Her brother was a huge musical influence in my life. He exposed me to just about every form of music, with great emphasis on the blues. He could sit down and play some Chopin, then spin off into Jerry Lee Lewis (he roadied for him for 3 or 4 years) without missing a beat. He was pretty good on the guitar, too. I wish I had spent more time from him learning and not just listening.
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
My 2 cents:

- they are very heavy and take up a lot of room
- you'd have to pay to have it moved or go through the not insignificant hassle of moving it yourself
- you most likely will have to pay to get it tuned and that is a reoccurring expense
- if you decide it's not for you or you lose interest, you're stuck with a big heavy piece of furniture that's going to be hard to unload
- you have to play it where you put it, it's not portable or easily moved

If you think you are sold on playing keyboards, you might want to consider a portable electric keyboard though it's not the same thing or experience as a real piano. It's reasonably affordable, portable and can be tucked away if desired.

Might I suggest a ukulele? I was looking for an instrument to accompany my singing (just for fun) so I wasn't looking for something just to play music you'd listen to with no vocals. They are small, portable, easily stored, easy to get started on and playing music quickly and they are a lot of fun to play. You have a lot of choice to spend as much or as little as you want on one. They are a happy instrument and ukulele players are some of the nicest people you'd meet.
I toyed with the idea of getting a Yamaha electronic piano. They have keyboards that mimic a real piano keyboard pretty well. At $3k for a new, though, I would rather have real thing. It is an upright piano. If I get it I will rent a small trailer, buy some beer, and get a couple guys from work to help out. I don't mind a reoccurring expense for things that I enjoy. Also, should I decide I don't want it, I will put it at the end of the drive on a Sunday afternoon. Trash day is Monday, and people cruise the neighborhood on Sundays looking for stuff. I have put some really heavy stuff out there before, and they have never lasted long.
 
Sorry if I sounded kind of negative. My wife got a "free" piano from church which ended up not so free getting it to our house and tuned. It doesn't really get the attention that it should. I think she is more in love with the idea of playing a piano than actually playing the piano.
 
I know a doctor who took up the piano when he retired. He was eighty.

When thinking of pianos or keyboards, don't forget to look at used. You have to be careful, but you can sometimes get bargains simply because the brand new sticker isn't on it. If you look at keyboards, try to find one with 88 keys or close to it. A good keyboard doesn't have to cost thousands. A quick check turned up brand new name brand keyboards from the $200 to $600 range. An advantage of a keyboard is you can connect one to headphones and practice to your heart's content.

Will say that I know of a piano teacher who recommends the real instrument. OTOH, key response is much better now.

Why not look at both and see what you like best?
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
Sorry if I sounded kind of negative. My wife got a "free" piano from church which ended up not so free getting it to our house and tuned. It doesn't really get the attention that it should. I think she is more in love with the idea of playing a piano than actually playing the piano.
Oh, I don't think you sounded negative. You offered advice, which I solicited. I will probably expand into guitars, should I enjoy myself. There is something about the sound of a piano that I have always liked (maybe from my youth, listening to the uncle play), so I am willing to take the lumps and hope for the best.
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
I know a doctor who took up the piano when he retired. He was eighty.

When thinking of pianos or keyboards, don't forget to look at used. You have to be careful, but you can sometimes get bargains simply because the brand new sticker isn't on it. If you look at keyboards, try to find one with 88 keys or close to it. A good keyboard doesn't have to cost thousands. A quick check turned up brand new name brand keyboards from the $200 to $600 range. An advantage of a keyboard is you can connect one to headphones and practice to your heart's content.

Will say that I know of a piano teacher who recommends the real instrument. OTOH, key response is much better now.

Why not look at both and see what you like best?
Very valid points, and it would be a little more portable. Like Mike says, you don't move real pianos around very much :)
 
Sorry if I sounded kind of negative. My wife got a "free" piano from church which ended up not so free getting it to our house and tuned. It doesn't really get the attention that it should. I think she is more in love with the idea of playing a piano than actually playing the piano.

FWIW, while I used to play, I haven't touched one in years, and we have one in the house. OTOH, the last time I did, I was politely told that then might not have been the best time to practice. Thus the advantage of a keyboard and headphones.

That was a used piano, BTW. Pretty good shape. I know of a piano player who deliberately got an old abused upright. He abused it further by putting metal thumbtacks on the strikers to get a saloon piano sound. Shudder.
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
FWIW, while I used to play, I haven't touched one in years, and we have one in the house. OTOH, the last time I did, I was politely told that then might not have been the best time to practice. Thus the advantage of a keyboard and headphones.

That was a used piano, BTW. Pretty good shape. I know of a piano player who deliberately got an old abused upright. He abused it further by putting metal thumbtacks on the strikers to get a saloon piano sound. Shudder.
Some people don't have the sense to come in out of the rain :lol:
 
There are a lot of advantages to many digital pianos.
  • can be played with headphones
  • auxiliary output for analog recording or to a PA system
  • internal recording (MIDI?) or USB output to record on computer
  • variety of piano tones and effects like reverb (no thumbtacks required)
  • electronic (ie. on/off) switch foot pedal for sustain
  • maybe built-in metronome
  • don't have to worry about humidity or movement messing up the tuning
  • more portable
  • better resale value
  • can be transposed or tuned slightly up or down to match other non-tunable instruments
You can probably get a decent portable or semi-portable with 88 full-sized keys for under $1000.
But ... crazy for wanting to start at 49? Definitely not.
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Now, if you get a guitar, you run the risk of getting GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome). It's a disease, really.
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(That's Yngwie Malmsteen)
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
There are a lot of advantages to many digital pianos.
  • can be played with headphones
  • auxiliary output for analog recording or to a PA system
  • internal recording (MIDI?) or USB output to record on computer
  • variety of piano tones and effects like reverb (no thumbtacks required)
  • electronic (ie. on/off) switch foot pedal for sustain
  • maybe built-in metronome
  • don't have to worry about humidity or movement messing up the tuning
  • more portable
  • better resale value
  • can be transposed or tuned slightly up or down to match other non-tunable instruments
You can probably get a decent portable or semi-portable with 88 full-sized keys for under $1000.
But ... crazy for wanting to start at 49? Definitely not.
proxy.php


Now, if you get a guitar, you run the risk of getting GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome). It's a disease, really.
proxy.php

(That's Yngwie Malmsteen)
You know, I like to cruise the pawn stores. The last couple of times I have seen a couple Yamaha keyboards that appeared to be full size, and the keys felt like piano keys. In fact, they got me to thinking down this line. I will have to drop by and snap some pics tomorrow and do some research.
 
Am I crazy? Oh you mean re getting the piano not in general. :001_tt2:

Mate, get it. This itch must be scratched. When I say it, I mean a piano or keyboard but that does not have to be this one.
I have no knowledge on pianos, so can't be helpful there but if it keeps you happy for a year at least, then what's the harm. Sell a razor or two, if need funds for the removal and tune up cost.

Removal: What is the access like. Flat, steps or hill. Ramp for the trailer?
Remember you only have one back.

Tuning: Check for the cost now, so you go into this eyes wide open.
How does you wife view this, is she onboard? You can't sneak this in like some of those razors. :)
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
I'm in favor of innocent insanity. The electric makes a lot o practical sense, but doesn't have the soul.
Maybe why that is why I prefer the real thing. That is the main reason I like Zeppelin instead of Rush (too sterile for my tastes). On the other hand, the electric may allow me to get technique down, then I can branch out.
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
Am I crazy? Oh you mean re getting the piano not in general. :001_tt2:

Mate, get it. This itch must be scratched. When I say it, I mean a piano or keyboard but that does not have to be this one.
I have no knowledge on pianos, so can't be helpful there but if it keeps you happy for a year at least, then what's the harm. Sell a razor or two, if need funds for the removal and tune up cost.

Removal: What is the access like. Flat, steps or hill. Ramp for the trailer?
Remember you only have one back.

Tuning: Check for the cost now, so you go into this eyes wide open.
How does you wife view this, is she onboard? You can't sneak this in like some of those razors. :)
Thanks. Haven't spoke to the wife yet :).
 
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