David Hicken ~ Pianist & Composer

Advice For Pianists

If you are serious about your piano studies, then you owe it to yourself to practice on the finest instrument that you can afford.  Not all pianos are created equal, and an inferior instrument can hinder your progress.

The best instrument you can own is a grand piano.  I understand that this is not possible for everyone due to cost and space restrictions, however if it is not possible for you to own one right now, then seriously consider working towards getting one in the future.

A grand piano is the epitome of what the instrument should be.  The horizontal soundboard and open lid allows for sound projection and resonance that is not possible in other types of pianos.  Grand pianos are beautiful, and can hold their value in ways  that other instruments cannot.  They can be proudly handed down from one generation to the next.

Grand pianos have a unique feel under the fingers, because each time you depress a key, the hammer is forced upwards against gravity.   Grand pianos also have something called a repetition lever which allows a note to be repeated very quickly in a way that is not possible on an upright piano.  The pedals also feel different on a grand piano, and the damper pedal allows for greater control than other types of pianos.

The length of a grand piano can be anywhere from just under five feet to a full concert grand that is nine feet.  The longer the piano, the larger the soundboard and the better the sound quality as well as being louder too.  A nine foot concert grand would be too much sound for a small living room, and a baby grand would not work so well in a concert hall.

A grand piano consists of tens of thousands of parts, and a tremendous amount of work goes into making one.  The more expensive ones are hand made, which does make all the difference.

German pianos were considered to be the finest instruments for a long time, but I recently switched from a German piano to a Japanese brand.  The hand-made Shigeru Kawai that you see in my recent videos is quite simply the finest piano I have ever played, and I have been fortunate enough to have played them all.

The feel of a piano is absolutely essential to an accomplished pianist, just as the handling of a car is to an experienced professional driver.  My Shigeru Kawai has a carbon fiber action which sets is apart from other pianos, and allows me to have complete control over what I am doing.

At seven and a half feet long, it has a bold, rich and powerful sound due to the use of specially aged woods as well as the finest materials for all of the components.  I am lucky to own such a magnificent instrument, but I decided a long time ago that I wanted to own the finest piano available.

If you are really serious about your piano playing, you need to own a real piano.  A real piano is a grand piano.

Grand pianos will fit inside apartments, so lack of space is often just an excuse.  If you really don't have space, then sell the dining table!  Purchase a grand piano made by the finest manufacturer, and then your budget, as well as space will determine what size piano you should choose.

To learn more about my Shigeru Kawai SK7 piano, visit www.shigerukawai.com

Happy practicing!!

David Hicken

All of the concepts that I write about here are detailed in my eBook "Secrets To Better Piano Playing" .  Click the image below to find out more.