Robert Estrin - piano expert
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Robert Estrin - Meet The Piano Expert

Got questions about the piano? Post your questions, get your answers

Released on March 20, 2012

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Kendah on September 3, 2016 @12:26 pm PST
Hello mr.robert .how are you? I've a question please is the digital piano which made of wood has a better sound than the other which made of plastic? & thank you so much.
Robert Estrin - host, on September 4, 2016 @12:32 pm PST
It is possible that a wood cabinet could be incorporated into the sonic design of a digital piano. However, generally, the case of a digital piano has nothing to do with its sound. In fact, professional digital pianos don't have cases at all! They are slab type keyboards that rest on folding stands.
Kendah on September 5, 2016 @3:40 am PST
Ok thanks a lot mr.robert for this information.
simflynn * VSM MEMBER * on August 17, 2016 @7:26 am PST
Hi Robert, Oboe is my main instrument. However I have to play keyboard for my Church and pleasure. But! I am no keyboard player. I manage hymns and some classical music where both hands are roughly in the same direction. I would love to play some jazz or pop music with syncopeded rythms. Can you suggest suitable practice and exercises to build up my left hand confidence. Many thanks
John Gongolas on August 16, 2016 @7:09 am PST
Hello, I am an amateur pianist having come back to the piano after a 20-year break. I have learned and memorized Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu Op. 66, but am having difficulty playing it with the fluidity and expression that this piece needs to sound correct.
Robert Estrin - host, on August 16, 2016 @11:49 am PST
You will gain fluency and strength as you get back into the routine of playing piano on a daily basis. You should spend as much time at the piano as you can, gradually strengthening your technique and increasing endurance. You can supplement your practice with work on scales, arpeggios and other targeted exercises. Also, simply playing any pieces you know will also help.

As for how to work specifically on the Fantasie Impromptu, try taking each chunk of the piece and working with the metronome increasing the speed a notch at a time until you get it as fast as you can play it cleanly and comfortably. Do this with each major section of the work. Each day when you revisit the piece, you can repeat this process for any section that is still not up to tempo.
Luca Beinhoff on August 14, 2016 @2:25 pm PST
Hello Mr. Estrin,
I'm an amateur pianist. Up until now I have only played short pieces about one or two pages in length. Would you recommend learning a longer piece, or do you think that I can progress just as good with short pieces and miniatures?
Thanks a lot and greetings from Germany.
Robert Estrin - host, on August 15, 2016 @11:18 am PST
Tackling an extended work may be valuable for you at some point. However, mastering many shorter works gives you an opportunity to explore many more techniques and modes of expression in the same amount of time it would take to learn one longer work. If you have a substantial amount of time to practice and have a strong desire to learn a longer work, discuss this with your teacher. It may be possible to work on a longer piece concurrently with shorter works which you can get into performance shape sooner.
Chanel on August 13, 2016 @3:58 pm PST
Hi Robert,

My name is Chanel and I'm currently a MSM student majoring in classical piano. I will be moving to Europe recently to continue my study in Finland, therefore, I need to get a piano to practice at my apartment! I am looking for a fine up-right piano that has a comparable sound to a grand. Is there any specific model/brand that you would suggest me to look into?

By the way, as a old subscriber to your youtube channel, I am truly grateful for your generosity in knowledge-sharing that many videos have helped me tremendously.

I look forward to your reply!

Best wishes,
Dave O'Brien * VSM MEMBER * on August 10, 2016 @3:19 pm PST
Robert Estrin, it seemed to me your lesson on duplex scaling did not come across with the same audio clarity as you usually produce. My speaker positions and settings are the same as usual, and I have not noticed any difference with other audio sources. I appreciate that each of your setups is different. I suspect this was caused by a different microphone, or position, or equalization. Microphone aiming can also be a factor. I don't know your setup, so will leave you to puzzle over it. No reply is necessary. I love your lessons. Dave O'Brien
Robert Estrin - host, on August 10, 2016 @3:33 pm PST
Thanks for contacting me. The audio was recorded exactly the same on this video as our others. I just listened to it on audiofile speakers and it sounds fine. You may try playing some of our other videos you have listened to before to see where the problem is.
Dave O'Brien * VSM MEMBER * on August 10, 2016 @8:43 pm PST
Thanks. It must be my hearing.
Bill McClellan * VSM MEMBER * on July 27, 2016 @2:30 pm PST
After spending many days successfully memorizing a piece, it sometimes seems that if I then stay away from it for a couple days, it comes back firmer in my hands than if I had kept playing it every day.
Rich B on June 29, 2016 @6:46 pm PST
May i ask why my question was deleted? I had a question about broken chord fingering and then it was taken off. Why?
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on June 30, 2016 @8:30 am PST
Hi Rich. I am sorry to know this. I have no idea, I personally approve each single posted message on these pages and this is the first one I have seen from you. Maybe some glitch on either your computer or our server? I am very sorry, but please, post your question again if you can. Thanks!
Rich B on June 30, 2016 @8:53 am PST
Thank you for replying Fabrizio. It seems that my question is back. I guess it may have been a technical issue. Love the site. Take care
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on July 1, 2016 @9:36 am PST
Glad to know that Rich! Thank you for your support! Please, feel always free to contact me with any questions or ideas you may have, I will be glad to hear from you. Enjoy your time here on VSM!
Richard Brian on June 28, 2016 @7:43 am PST
Hello Robert. In one of your videos, you mentioned that Hanon's fingering system is like gospel for pianists and one should master them. Well, I have memorized all the major/minor scales, arpeggios, and chromatic scales. The problem is there is nothing in Hanon's book on broken chords and their fingering. What is the "gospel" when it comes to that. Does hanon have fingering for broken chords?
Robert Estrin - host, on June 30, 2016 @11:26 am PST
Arpeggios are broken chords. So you have fingering for those in Hanon. When dealing with expanded chords, there are thousands of possibilities making a standard difficult to achieve.
lourie mae on June 24, 2016 @6:04 am PST
Hi mr.Robert. I am an amateur and I want to know what is contrapuntal? I am an student. Thanks a lot.
Robert - host, on June 24, 2016 @12:33 pm PST
Contrapuntal writing is one that utilizes counterpoint - the interweaving of musical lines.
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