Robert Estrin - piano expert

Does a Piano Benefit From Being Played Regularly?

Discover whether your piano would benefit or not from your daily playing.

In this video, Robert tells you how your piano could benefit from your daily playing.

Released on September 9, 2015

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi, and welcome to and I'm Robert Estrin with a viewer question. Is better for a piano to be played or not? Boy, that's a really loaded question, with a lot for ramifications.

Well, let's start with the technical end of things. Does a piano benefit from being played? Well, to some extent, there's some little bit for truth to that. In that, if a piano is neglected, things could get gummed up. Key bushings can get tight around the center pins and things of that nature. But, if a piano is played a great deal, everything wears out little by little. So, it's a double-edged sword.

I guess the idea would be kinda like, if you had a car and just drove it around the block once a month, change the oil and kept it in the garage the rest of the time. A piano, ideally would be played very seldom, just to make sure everything is operating correctly, serviced on a regular basis and that would be the ideal. But then we have the whole other end of this discussion is, "What is the piano for?" It's not just a monument for all time. It's something to be enjoyed and played.

So, I would have to say that it's better for a piano to be played. And so be it if eventually you have to replace harmers or other action parts and maybe even strings over time. It's worth it to be able to enjoy the piano. That's what it's there for, isn't it? Thanks for the viewer question. I am Robert Estrin, here at Virtualsheetmusic and
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Fulvia Bowerman * VSM MEMBER * on September 11, 2015 @6:28 am PST
Hi Robert, I have an unusual question for you. My hands were small to start with, and now with age and arthritis have become smaller yet, to the point that I strain to reach one octave. In fact, recently I sustained an injury because of the straining. I just read an interesting article on the magazine "Clavier Companion" about the Ergonomically Scaled Piano Keyboards. There seems to be some options for the size of the keys, according to the size of the hands. It is fairly expensive to have such keyboard to fit an existing piano, but I would be willing to do it. The manufacturer is Steinbuhler & Co. in Pennsylvania. According to the charts in the article, my hands would be suitable for a DS5.5, which is a 7/8 keyboard. My question is: have you come across a piano with a reduced size keyboard, and would this affect the original quality of the sound of the piano I have, which is an upright Yamaha?
Robert - host, on September 11, 2015 @11:29 am PST
Smaller keyboards have been available in very limited supply for a long time. The great pianist Josef Hoffmann had very small hands. He had a Steinway 7-foot grand with a smaller keyboard he played on when he could. I have heard about the American piano manufacturer Charles Walter offering smaller keyboards. I am not sure about availability of smaller keyboards for upright pianos. But the smaller keyboard should have no effect upon the quality of sound if you can locate someone to retrofit your piano. Another option is to seek out a piano that already has a smaller keyboard.
Fulvia Bowerman * VSM MEMBER * on September 11, 2015 @5:45 pm PST
Thank you, Robert. Will be doing some searching around! My injury was caused by a couple of simple Czerny studies, so I must do something to solve this problem.
LUIZ SETTE * VSM MEMBER * on September 9, 2015 @5:49 am PST
Nice video, intersting topic. I want to ask to which extent it is true that the brand of piano components , like strings and hammers impact on its quality and final results.
Robert - host, on September 11, 2015 @11:32 am PST
While there are many companies making parts for pianos such as hammers, strings and such, it isn't just the quality of the parts that matters. It takes a very experienced piano technician to know which parts are the correct specification for each individual piano.
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