1,629 word post, approx. 5-6 min. read
Happy New Year to you!
Everyone’s in a festive mood and excited to start working on their New Year’s resolutions for 2019. Do you have one already? As a musician, there’s so much you can do this year. You can hone your skills more, learn new things, and meet other music lovers. If you’ve been thinking about what instrument to get, I’ve prepared a grand vs. upright piano post here to help you decide which one is a better fit for your musical needs.
To get you warmed up to the idea of playing piano or getting better at it, I also want to share with you a New Year’s resolutions list for musicians like you. Hopefully, this can help and guide you in your pursuit to be a really good musician this year and in the years to come. Feel free to take note of this list I’ll be sharing so that you can look at it every day and continually be inspired.
Steps to be a Better Musician this Year
This may be all too obvious but it’s one of the basic steps you need to cover if you want to be a better musician. It would be best if you can establish a routine. Make time each day so you can practice. To get better at playing music, you have to prioritize your practice routine. Our daily lives are unpredictable. Before you know it, there’s just too much that you have to do and there’s no more time to play music. So, put this on top of your list so that you’ll always have time for it.
Gradually Increase the Time You Spend for Practice
It may already be a challenge to find time to start a practice routine, let alone increase that time. That’s why I want to emphasize “gradually” here. You don’t have to immediately spend 2 hours each day for practice. Though that’s the length of time recommended, you can start at just 30 minutes each day. After a few weeks, increase that time by 15 minutes. When you’re comfortable and ready to spend more time on it, increase by another 15 minutes. Repeat this until you reach 2 hours of daily practice.
Commit to Warming Up Properly
Not doing a warm-up before practice is something many of us are guilty of. It’s easy to say that “there’s just no time for that.” But I have to stress that warming up is important for any musician. Especially in performances and practice sessions, warming up can prevent you from getting injured while building up your strength. It can also help in improving your fluency and overall skill. So, give yourself 15 minutes for warm-up and promise yourself that you’ll never skip it during any practice session this year.
Have a Mentor
With the Internet as a fertile ground for almost anything – resources for learning music, video tutorials, and other really helpful stuff for musicians, you may think that you don’t need to enroll in a class or have teacher or mentor. But there’s a lot of benefits to having someone teach you and guide you on your journey to becoming a better musician. When you have a mentor, someone can hold you accountable. For your practice sessions, you know that your lessons are specific to your skills and knowledge of the instrument that you are playing. You can ask your mentor your questions and get answers instantly. And lastly, having a mentor will help you with staying committed to your goals in music. You’ll experience much growth with this step.
Create Your Music
Have you been thinking about composing something original but never really got around to doing it? Well, this is the year for you and that goal. If you can set up your routine for playing music, you’ll surely have time to compose. Don’t pressure yourself into making something perfect. Your goal should be to create music that speaks to you. Don’t think about the audience yet. Once you start having that imaginary audience in mind, you’ll be paralyzed with the thought of making things perfect for them. Just think of what you like and what you want to hear. Play how you want to play. Just have fun and enjoy the moment.
So, what do you think of this list? It’s not that hard. It’s simple and doable. You just have to commit yourself into giving music enough time each day. Of course, before you can do all these things, you first have to pick a musical instrument. What we’ll cover in this post is grand vs. upright piano. It’s easy to think that a piano is a piano. But in reality, there’s a wide array of pianos. Let’s not confuse ourselves with all the other types though. Let’s just focus on these for now.
Grand Vs. Upright Piano: How to Choose?
When we say “piano,” what this term really refers to is the grand piano. As mentioned earlier, there are now so many kinds of pianos such as upright pianos and digital pianos, that we have to be more specific with the terms that we use. If you’re planning on getting a piano, you may be wondering which of these two to get. So, I’ll lay down the major differences to help you determine which can better serve your needs as a musician.
What’s the Difference Between the Grand and Upright Pianos?
Upright pianos have strings that are strung in a vertical manner so that it is more compact. If you have limited space, this is a good choice. The exact opposite is the grand piano where the strings are horizontally strung. The way these strings work, either horizontally or vertically, has a lot of impact on sound as well as expression.
Difference in Action
When it comes to action mechanisms, these two have a number of differences. With the grand piano, since it’s horizontal, the hammers can return to the resting position with their own weight. In repetition where the notes are being quickly repeated like when you play trills, you can expect that it will be smooth.
With the upright piano, since it’s vertical, for the hammers to return to the resting position, they have to be reliant on springs. You may find that there’s a limit if you want to do fast repetition. You can only do about half as many repetitions than with the grand piano.
Difference in Pedals
The pedals in each have different functions. While both have three pedals, they don’t function in the same ways except for one which is the sustain or damper pedal; the right pedal.
With the grand piano, it has the shift pedal, the sostenuto pedal, and the sustain pedal. The shift pedal is also referred to as the una corda pedal or soft pedal. Using this, you can shift the whole action assembly toward the right. This changes the sound volume as well as creates some changes to its tone. The sostenuto pedal is there to keep the dampers away from the key’s strings. You can sustain the notes that you select using this pedal. The sustain pedal allows you to sustain the notes that you play even if you take away your fingers from the keys.
With the upright piano, you have the soft pedal, the muffler pedal, and the sustain pedal. The soft pedal, when pressed, moves the hammers closer toward the strings. This reduces the sound volume. The muffler pedal is also known as the practice pedal. When you use this, a piece of felt gets between the strings and hammers which mutes the sound. Lastly, the sustain pedal allows you to sustain the notes even if you lift your fingers, just like the one in the grand piano.
There are several things that you should consider if you’re thinking of getting a grand piano or an upright piano. I’ll share with you two of the most important factors to consider.
First is space. Do you have enough space for a grand piano? For most of us, we most likely don’t. But if you do have sufficient space, then go for it! A grand piano can provide you with better sound and expression than any other type. So, if you happen to have enough space in your home to accommodate a grand piano, it is most certainly well worth it.
The next thing to think about is the cost. Grand pianos are expensive. If you’re inclined to the more practical choice, then the upright piano is the better option both for space and cost. But if you really want a grand piano, it’s going to be something that you must pursue. It will take hard work and a lot of saving up to get one. Never be discouraged by your limitations though. Don’t think that you’ll never get to play great music with your own grand piano. In the meantime, practice as much as you can with the instrument you have.
You may play using an upright piano, a digital piano, or even a keyboard. The most important thing for any musician is not so much that you play with a great instrument, but that you play well with the best that you have.
Well that’s about it for today my friend. I do hope you’ve enjoyed this Grand vs. Upright Piano comparison, and came away with some valuable insight.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact Us!!
Which of these pianos tickles YOUR pickle? We would love to hear from you. Until next time..
All the best and God bless,
-Home Studio Basics
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