The Precious

When teleidoplex was living in Oakland, I drove over to the East Bay several times to play the piano in her co-op’s living room.

We’re talking a half-hour drive each way and a $5 bridge toll. To hang out with a friend too, sure — but if it weren’t for the piano, I would have been pressuring her to come to the Peninsula instead. 😉 And, as I said at the time, it made me really want to buy a keyboard for myself.

A year later — well after she’d moved out of the co-op — I was still thinking about it.

No, thinking is too mild a term. I was longing for a piano.

There’s a store not far away that sells keyboards. I went and tried some out. Found one I liked. Went back today to play it more extensively, see if it was really the one I wanted. Was allllllllmost happy with it . . . then tried a keyboard one tier up in price.

Yeah. It’s worth it.

The difference between this one (inadvertently dubbed “The Precious,” due to a brief Gollum-like incident in the store) and the stuff one tier down is that in this one, each key samples not only the individual note, but also the resonance of the other 87 — the strings that would be vibrating, if this thing had strings. The difference is very, very audible, if you play piano. And the touch is better, and, and . . . yeah. The Precious.

The touch is right, the pedal is right — hell, even the texture of the keys is less plastic-feeling. It has more bells and whistles than the picture would lead you to believe; they’re catering to a consumer like me, who doesn’t want lots of buttons and LCD displays de-piano-ifying the look of the thing, but if you read the owner’s manual, there’s an impressively non-intuitive system for using those eight buttons to achieve some interesting effects. You can adjust the touch of the keys, and also the brightness of the sound, in addition to the usual ability to change basic sounds — more than I really want, but I will admit the ability to play “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” with the sound of an actual organ is gratifying. ^_^ And I appreciate both the built-in metronome and the headphone jack, especially since the latter lets me play while kniedzw is watching TV without bothering him (or inflicting all my wrong notes on his ears).

And? It will never need tuning. <g>

So, yeah. I am now the proud owner of the most piano-like thing I could buy short of buying an actual piano. It makes me exceedingly happy. Look for more posts in upcoming days, as I begin my journey through remembering how to hell to play this thing . . . .

0 Responses to “The Precious”

  1. aulus_poliutos

    Ohhh, me wants one, too.

  2. ellen_fremedon

    What kind is it? My (second-hand and old when I bought it) keyboard has finally died, and I’m contemplating replacements.

  3. aishabintjamil

    I’ll preface this by saying I’m hopelessly non-musical. I took some years of piano lessons, but I have little or no real sense of rhythm, ear for it, etc. What’s the reason for buying an electronic keyboard that is as a close to a real piano as you can get, instead of just cutting out the middleman and buying a real one? Convenience? Price? Size? Something else?

    I’m kind of mystified by this because when my mother passed on, I had no place for the piano she’d kept and quickly found that no one else wanted it. It was old (1940’s era), and needed some refurbishment, but most of the places I approached didn’t care about that – they just said no one buys real pianos any more – they just want keyboards. It seemed such a shame.

    • auriaephiala

      Pianos are very heavy & very delicate, and really require professional movers to move. Keyboards are much lighter and more portable and more robust.

      You can also plug headphones into your keyboards and play w/o bothering your neighbours.

    • Marie Brennan

      Convenience, price, and size. I do not have room for a real piano — not even an upright. (I almost don’t even have room for this one, but after spending more than a year wanting it, I decided that was enough to counterbalance the problem.) It is also cheaper; I might be able to get a used piano for less than this cost, but it probably wouldn’t be very good. And this doesn’t need tuning, and is going to be far less hassle to move.

      I would honestly prefer an actual piano, and someday I hope to have one. But right now, this is much more feasible.

  4. benbenberi

    Very nice!

    I still miss my mom’s piano. No one had any room for it when she sold the house – I think she ended up donating it to a local music school. In my mind I’m still a person who plays the piano, though I haven’t actually touched one in decades…

    • Marie Brennan

      That was me, too, except I touched one occasionally when I went home and played the piano in my parents’ house. It kept my hand in enough to make me really want more.

  5. desperance

    Yay Precious! (In my dreams, in my age, I might do this too, and spend my declining years becoming a shadow of the pianist I never was.)*

    *But probably not.

  6. Anonymous

    No, no, no, that Bach piece is for brass quintet, not organ (even if it was written for organ, and even if this particular rendition doesn’t have the mind-blowing “throwing” effects of the studio recording):

    That said, the Precious. We wants it. It would fit nicely in the Skyline Shark Nest right nest to the computer keyboard. And even if Jaws has no fingers to play it.

Comments are closed.