Music Is Portable!
Not the piano, the player.
It is something that goes with you your entire lifetime.
Music Is Portable!
Not the piano, the player.
It is something that goes with you your entire lifetime.
November 1st – 30th
We are pleased to announce our “Kawai Factory Rebate” program offering manufacturer-direct rebates on a wide selection of Kawai acoustic, hybrid, and digital pianos. Customers who purchase eligible instruments* between November 1st and November 30th will qualify for factory rebates up to $1,500.00. Come in to our showroom today for more details and to take a look at all of our beautiful qualifying pianos!
The Piano Outlet – 2085 Sperry Avenue, Ventura, California 93003
The Piano Outlet in beautiful Ventura, California is currently liquidating select pianos to celebrate our 30th anniversary! Take a moment to check out our television spot below and then head into our showroom for a great price on a great piano.
From Guest Blogger Lucas Denzer:
An amazingly talented professional piano player once told me, “There is no such thing as wrong notes, only notes that sound wrong.” At the heart of what he is saying, I believe he understands something about the true purpose and essence of music. Though music contains many similarities to mathematics, and many like to make the obvious comparisons, music serves a much more eloquent purpose. Music is arguably the deepest language we have, for it can communicate with great feeling, emotion, depth, and fervor where words can too often fail. It does not have to have a right or wrong answer.
Music to me will always be a time-based art; it is fleeting by nature. It is something that is experienced over time, and ever-changing, which makes it more powerful and more precious. Perhaps the most important aspect of music is that it does not mean the same thing to everyone. People have differing opinions about it, everyone is affected by it differently, and most importantly, justifiably so. Music is so big, that it can accommodate the whims and desires of the most deserving as well as the most careless, and yet retains an inexhaustible source of influence in almost any capacity imaginable.
As Stravinsky once said:
“I know that the twelve notes in each octave and the variety of rhythm offer me opportunities that all of human genius will never exhaust.”
The Piano Outlet thanks today’s blog contributor Lucas Denzer, a pianist, educator, and composer with 17 years of experience in teaching, performing, and composing music. He has a degree in Music Technology from the University of Oregon, and his talents and style are a welcome addition to the Central Coast region.
Thank you for visiting us at www.thePianoOutletCo.com, your source for music with good new and used acoustic pianos and new digital keyboards for sale in Oxnard, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Nipomo, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Southern California and the Central Coast, and throughout San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, Los Angeles County, and beyond!
A recent study, reviewed by online service Faculty of 1000 Biology and Medicine, concluded that “practicing a musical instrument connects and develops the motor systems of the brain, refining the entire neurological system in ways that can’t be done through any other activity.” Imagine that! Learning to play the piano can help your brain think better!
Many studies through the years have found similar data, that playing a musical instrument helps you in so many ways, including using your brain. Dr. Richard Haier, a University of California Irvine professor of pediatric neurology, said, “In some ways, the brain is like a muscle.” Well, you know what happens when you go to the gym and work out. Your muscles get stronger and work better, and you can do more. Your brain needs a workout too. Have you exercised your mind today? Practice the piano!
Thank you for visiting us at www.thePianoOutletCo.com, your source for new and good used acoustic upright and grand pianos, new digital pianos, and piano benches for sale in Oxnard (and greater Southern California), Nipomo (and the Central Coast), and throughout San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, Los Angeles County, and beyond!
Each fall, Kawai offers instant rebates of up to $1,000, on selected models, so now is a great time to buy Kawai pianos. This rebate program has been extended to October 31, 2015. Come in now and see why Kawai is the choice of so many musicians and instrumental artists around the world.
Thank you for visiting us at www.thePianoOutletCo.com, your source for new and good used acoustic pianos and new digital pianos for sale in Southern California and the Central Coast, and throughout San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, Los Angeles County, and beyond!
We just received Kurzweil’s new Compact Upright, CUP-2, digital, the latest addition to their growing family of home digital pianos. This instrument features the usual terrific Kurzweil sounds, including their famous Triple Strike Grand Piano (with a dedicated Grand Piano button), and world-class sounds in every category: rich strings and orchestral sounds, realistic electric pianos, drums, basses, guitars and synthesized sounds.
The Kurzweil CUP-2 has an 88-note “wood embedded” graded hammer action and genuine wood keys, for a balanced response and great feel. Its sleek cabinet is classy-looking with an ebony polish finish, but, at 42” high and less than 17” deep, it earns the name “compact.” It includes a slow-close fallboard, like high-end acoustic pianos.
We have the Kurzweil CUP-2 model in stock in our Oxnard store. Come in and try one out! (Kurzweil & other brand info: https://www.thepianooutletco.com/Brand_Information.php)
Thank you for visiting us at www.thePianoOutletCo.com, your source for digital pianos and new and good used acoustic pianos for sale in Southern California and the Central Coast, and throughout San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, Los Angeles County, and beyond!
You’ve decided to buy a piano. Choosing the right one at the right price is a very difficult process that can be simplified. Ask yourself some basic questions:
As silly as that may sound, many people forget that a piano is a musical instrument. Many pianos are also fine furniture, and some are even investments. But it is first a means to create beautiful music.
A good piano, new or used, is an expensive purchase. Investing in a good-quality used piano does not cost the same as a poor-quality used piano. Many buyers will search online sites by price. In viewing a similar used model on one listing compared to another, the buyer often determines that the better choice is the cheaper of the two. But with 7,500 moving parts in a piano, that is an assumption that is too often a costly mistake. When buying from a private party, it is always good to take a piano technician with you. He can disassemble the piano quickly and assess its condition. When looking at a piano in a store, request that the dealer open the piano and discuss the condition of the instrument with you.
Pianos come in two basic shapes: vertical (or upright) and horizontal (grand). Grand pianos (including “baby” grands) will, generally speaking, take up more space, cost more, and sound better. Buy the largest possible piano for the space and money available.
Spinet pianos are the smallest of the verticals and range in size from 36 to 38 inches in height. Those with a longer string length and a taller size are called consolettes. Both types have an indirect or drop-type action, a shorter string length than taller consoles, and a smaller soundboard. Because of the shorter string length and soundboard, a spinet will not play as loudly as a larger piano.
Console pianos range in size from about 40 to 44 inches in height. They are very popular in this country due to furniture design, tone, larger volume, and direct-blow-type action. Consoles come in a wide range of prices and qualities.
Studio pianos are the tallest of the verticals and range in height from 45 to 52 inches. They are known as “professional” or “school” pianos, and some resemble the old upright that may have graced your childhood home (or your parents’ or grandparents’ home), although in a smaller version. Studio pianos produce a large volume of tone and are built, in most cases, to “school” specifications for durability. Many studio pianos have the tonal qualities of a small grand piano.
Baby Grand and Grand Pianos
Grand pianos range in size from about 4 feet 7 inches to 9 feet for the concert grand. There are other common names for the grand piano. The parlor grand measures between 5’7” to approximately 6½ feet in length, the baby grand about 5 feet to 5’6”, and the petite or miniature grand, under 5 feet. Longer grands are the semi-concert grand at 7’, and the concert grand, at 9 feet. Expect to pay anywhere from $9,000 to $40,000 for a good new grand piano.
A buyer should consider what style of cabinet best suites their home. Is your décor contemporary, traditional, country, or a mixture of styles? What colors or wood finishes do you have? Into which room will the piano go? (Remember that it’s best to place a piano on an inside wall and away from heating sources, direct sunlight, or drafty windows. Extremes in temperature and humidity affect the tuning stability of the instrument.)
Many piano buyers have in mind a shiny black piano with standard tapered square legs, but there are many other more stylized cabinets available. Some pianos have French provincial or Queen Anne styling, others have Empire legs, for example. Finishes come in satin (smooth) or polish (glossy or shiny). There are many beautiful wood tones – mahogany, cherry, bubinga, walnut, to name a few – in addition to basic black.
The quality of the piano purchased will be more appreciated by a more proficient player. An occasional user may be happy with something less than a good instrument. A student, while not needing a fine piano, needs a completely functional instrument. All keys and pedals must work properly. The instrument must be capable of being tuned up to A-440 pitch, and must hold its tuning for a period of perhaps one year. Tone, while less critical, should be good and pleasing to the ear. An instrument falling short of those standards will not promote a good musical education or experience. Interest, as well as good skills being developed, will less likely be achieved. A professional or advanced player will require an even more appropriate instrument.
Now the search begins. You have decided on an approximate budget (be realistic), a size and style of piano (remember: instrument first, furniture second), and a purpose for making this investment.
Perhaps this issue is the hardest one to overcome. A buyer has gained a little (dangerous) knowledge along the way. Many dealers will talk down a brand they do not carry. While choosing a good brand is important, the buyer must keep in mind his answer to the question of finances previously raised. If shopping for a used piano, you should be aware that there are piano sellers out there actually putting “good” brand names on inferior pianos. Some even go to the trouble of gluing names on the metal plate inside a grand, then spraying over it, giving it a factory look. These “entrepreneurs” most often advertise one piano, but have a dozen or more pianos for sale, scattered throughout their house and garage.
Finally, the condition of a used piano often outweighs the name on the piano. Many people forget that while a particular piano might have once been an exquisite instrument, years of neglect and overuse have reduced it to something considerably less. Reconditioning and rebuilding are often the solution to restoring a piano’s vibrancy and value, but that’s a topic for another post.
Piano dealers usually carry several new brands in different price ranges, as well as trade-ins and used instruments purchased through other sources. If a new piano is desired, don’t limit yourself only to something you have remembered from isolated comments about a particular brand, but shop for value and quality. Use your instincts when being led through the piano jungle. Remember, a dealer’s job is to show you pianos that fit your needs and are within your budget, and that represent a good value for your money. Choose a dealer whom you feel is knowledgeable and whose reputation and pricing policies score highly.
Many buyers will try and stay away from any help, not wanting to be “sold.” However, help should be welcomed. If you, the customer, know little about pianos, it is crucial to get good, sound advice.
Many “private party” ads lead you down the road to piano brokers, technicians or consignment operations. Many of these sources are good places to shop. Be prepared to pay a fair price for the piano you desire. To the best of my knowledge, no one ever got something for nothing, and, amazingly, this also applies to the purchase of a piano.
True private-party advertisement searches are time-consuming and sometimes costly. If you have the time, tear through the internet listings and see what’s out there. Don’t expect to be happy with what you find having visited 2 or 3 homes. Choose at least 6 possibilities and then make the effort to see most of them, then narrow the field down to one or two. To avoid a costly mistake, hire a qualified technician to confirm your favorite choices.
Without writing a book on the subject, a handful of hints should serve you well: Play each key to be sure that all notes play and do not stick.
If you are able, listen to the intonation of the piano. Play each white key from bottom to top. Does it sound like a musical scale? If not, there could be problems with the pinblock which holds the pins (holding its tune is of utmost concern when buying a piano).
Avoid pianos before 1900 unless you are purchasing for “look” or wanting an antique. There are exceptions, but serious rebuilding should have been done in order to consider this a playing instrument. Be sure the sustain (right pedal) functions properly. This should raise all the dampers to create a sustained sound until released. Check to see if the “soft” (left pedal) moves the keyboard (on a grand) sideways so that hammers strike only two strings, rather than three, in mid and upper ranges. On a vertical, the “soft” effect is attained by moving the entire set of hammers closer to the strings to create less of a striking distance. A crack in the metal plate of the piano is not something to be fooled with. A minor crack in the (wood) soundboard, however, rarely affects the tone of an instrument.
Look over the general condition of the piano. A piano can be 30 or 40 years old and be in relatively good shape. You can usually tell if a piano has been cared for. But, again, making the outside of a piano attractive by refinishing is not enough to insure a good instrument. Ask what kind of work has been done inside. It is not unusual for a recent purchaser to call in a technician, only to find that, in addition to tuning, several hundred dollars of repairs are needed. When buying a rebuilt or reconditioned piano, ask about the technician who worked on it. Technicians (as in any other profession) come in all degrees of proficiency.
Lastly, play the piano yourself, even if you have no real ability. Sit down and go over the above procedures. Remember, this piano will probably be part of your life for many years to come. Also, be sure to maintain your piano with at least an annual tuning by a qualified technician.