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Of food, technology, movies, music, and travel—or whatever else strikes my fancy

Just banging on my old piano

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Thought I might periodically start writing about “a few of my favorite thing”—my own, narcissistic version of Stuff White People Like, I suppose. So I’ll get to PVRs, chocolate, and Zomig eventually, but I’d like to just start with my piano. Which I’ve talked about before, but now I have pictures!

It’s gorgeous to look at. It finishes off the living room very nicely. (That room’s come a long way from its empty desolation when we first moved in with only condo contents.)

But more important, it sounds great. Even though I’m the one playing it, and I’m hardly the world’s most gifted player. When we were shopping for it, I also tried out the smaller, cheaper version in the same brand (the one I’d walked in expecting to buy), and the larger, more expensive one with a million complicated doo-dads. Of the three, this one just had the nicest tones. The piano player’s piano, the salesman said.

So I love playing the thing. I’m having no trouble motivating myself for twice weekly practice sessions, which of course is also contributing to it not sound too bad when I play. I wish I had even more time for it.

In shopping for it, we discovered that we get could  a real piano for less than we paid for this digital one. Not a grand, of course. An upright. A “starter” upright, whatever that means. But we stuck with digital, mainly for not having to tune it, for it being so much lighter and more portable, and for being able to get the look of a grand, without the expense.

But I also like some of the digital features. For example, though I do mostly play in “piano” mode, I can choose between Piano 1 and Piano 2. And though I can’t explain to you the difference between the two, I can hear it, and some songs sound better in one or the other. I also occasionally use the more exotic sounds, like harpsichord for Bach, or strings+piano for, say, The Beatles, or electric piano for Queen’s “Your My Best Friend”. The one thing I’m actually missing a bit from my old keyboard are the synthesizer sounds, but I can somewhat approximate that with some of the weird vibraphone mixes included.

You can also fine-tune things. Like I was finding the touch a little too resistant (after years of playing on a keyboard with no touch sensitivity at all), so I was able to lower that. I can increase the resonance, so the sounds is fuller and richer without me playing any better. And I can take songs in impossible keys, like “Love Reign O’er Me”, which has six (!) flats, and transpose them into another key. Allowing me to play the song as written, except with only three flats (it somehow feels like a song that needs some flats), but it comes out sounding OK, and I can actually get through it.

So yeah, my piano is definitely on the list of things I like.

Something else I like? That Glee is back soon. With Madonna! And Joss! And Neil Patrick Harris! And The Beatles! Squee…

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