Robert Estrin - piano expert

When is a Spinet Piano the Best Piano for You?

Learn more about spinets compared to pianos

In this video, Robert talks about spinets, giving you useful information about them. Are they better than a piano? Why would you want to play them?

Released on October 30, 2019

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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, I'm Robert Estrin. Here at The question today is, "Is a spinet ever the right piano for you?" Indeed, there are times when a spinet piano is the best piano for you. How can this be? Did you know that spinets aren't even made anymore. What are spinets? Spinet pianos, if you've ever seen them are really short, even shorter than regular uprights or consoles. They can be three feet tall, and you wonder how do they pack a whole piano in there? Well, it's not easy and the way it was done, because as I said, nobody to my knowledge, make spinet pianos anymore because they were deemed to be inferior. Why? Because in order to fit the action in there, what they had to do was cut the keys right in the middle so that the keys ended right beyond the fall board and connecting rod to the rest of the action which was below.

That's how they could fit it into a small case. It's referred to as an indirect blow action or a drop action. Now they are generally inferior in response, although there are some spinets that were better than others. What comes to mind is the Baldwin Aquasonic which is one of the best spinets ever made. Had some technologies in there to make it a little bit more precise, but still spinets don't have the same substantial feel as other uprights, much less grand pianos. And that is why it could be the right piano for you.

How can this be? Here's the deal. Generally speaking, you practice piano all week long and then you go to lessons or recitals or friends' houses or church and other places to play, so you want to make sure your piano translates to other instruments. Now spinet pianos are much easier to push the keys because you're having smaller keys that are not as long. The whole thing is easier to play.

Now, generally speaking, as I said, it's not going to prepare you and develop the strength to play other pianos, but suppose you have hand problems. Maybe you have arthritis and you are limited in how much you can play the piano because you experience pain. A spinet could be the perfect piano for a person in that kind of situation. So indeed, while spinet pianos generally are not the best instruments for most people, in certain circumstances, if you want an easier than normal piano with less volume, a spinet could be the perfect piano for you.

That's the longer turn of that. I bet you didn't expect that today. I hope you've enjoyed this. Once again, I'm Robert Estrin here at We'll see you next time.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Hank * VSM MEMBER * on October 30, 2019 @11:10 am PST
Hey Robert,

I just love you segments!! You, obviously, are a great pianist, but, your tips are so easy to understand. You use plain English which is so helpful to us beginner and intermediate piano players. Thank you!!!

Robert Estrin on November 2, 2019 @1:08 pm PST
So glad the videos are helpful for you. If you have any subjects you would like us to cover, just let me know!
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