||The Songwriter's Store
Digital Pianos for Songwriters
The piano, along with the guitar, is another excellent tool for writing songs (as you probably already know if you're checking out this page!). A stringed keyboard musical instrument, the piano is used for individual performances, but is also a very convenient aid for songwriting, composing and rehearsal. Digital and electric pianos have taken this to the next logical level, creating portable versions of these instruments that are, if not exactly easy to transport, at least possible to carry along with you.
Below are locations where you can purchase digital pianos, portable pianos and synths along with their related gear. There are often specials and discounts available, as well as free shipping over a certain amount of dollars spent.
Musician's Friend is one of the premier suppliers of digital pianos on the market today. You can Shop by Brand, visit their Clearance Center, and they have Free Shipping on Most Orders Over $99. Alternatively, you could visit their piano specific section to see what they have in the way of digital pianos. Most well-known brands of digital pianos and other piano gear are located here:
Or your could find whatever you happen to be looking for through this handy search function:
I'll also be adding educational products for the piano as I come across them (feel free to email me if you would like to suggest some!) but for now, here are some locations that offer courses where you can improve your songwriting and musicianship in general:
Find Schools Online - Music Degrees | Berkleemusic.com | SongU.com
And below, is some information you may not have known about the piano's history - just for interest's sake. It's always nice to know more about what you're playing, isn't it?
History of the Piano
Pianos are a distant relation of the very first piano called a pianoforte. Based on centuries of work on the harpsicord and the clavicord, the first modern piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori of Florence, Italy in 1709. From then on, the piano has evolved into a sophisticated instrument that can be used everywhere from the home, schools, local pubs to music and concert halls. In the 1980s, piano technology took a huge jump with the invention of the digital piano. Portable, compact and capable of being integrated with the computer, the digital piano has become a songwriter's tool of choice.
Using a similar case structure, soundboard, bridge, and keyboard, Cristfori's piano was the first design to use a hammer and lever action. This action allowed the hammers to strike the string and return to their original rest position without any violent bouncing. This revolutionized piano design in that it allowed the user to change the intensity of sound using a stronger or weaker touch of the fingers. Later designs by Gottfried Silbermann in the 1730s added what was basically the forerunner of the modern damper pedal (also known as the sustaining pedal or loud pedal), which could lift all the dampers from the strings at once.
In the age of Bach and Mozart, the Silbermann pianos dominated piano design until the Industrial Revolution. With the invention of things like high quality steel for the strings, and precision casting for the production of iron frames, pianos took on took on a new form. By 1820, these structural changes allowed for an increase in the tonal range of the piano from five to seven octaves. A year later, Sébastien Érard introduced the double escapement action, which became the standard action for all future grand pianos. Since the early days of the piano, numerous improvements were and are still being made in piano design and construction. Today, some of the most respected piano manufactures include Baldwin and Steinway. Some of the most popular digital pianos today include those from Yamaha, Roland and Canon.
Kinds of Pianos
Pianos are decended of the harpsichord and the clavicord. While the harpsichord produces sound by plucking a string with a quill or similar tool, the clavichord makes sound by striking a string with a tangent which remains in contact with the string. The piano creates sound by using felt hammers to strike a steel string and leaving the string to vibrate freely. Once these vibrations are generated, they are transferred though the bridges to the soundboard.
The modern piano comes in two basic configurations: the grand and upright piano. In a grand piano, the frame and strings are placed horizontally, with the strings extending away from the keyboard. This makes it a rather a large instrument which requires a spacious room with high ceilings for proper resonance. The smaller baby grand piano is often chosen for domestic use where space is limited. Upright pianos, also called vertical pianos, are more compact because the frame and strings are placed vertically, extending in both directions from the keyboard and hammers.
Digital pianos have been available since the 1980s. They use digital sampling technology to reproduce the sound of each piano note. The best digital pianos are sophisticated devices, with features ranging from working pedals, weighted keys, multiple voices and MIDI interfaces. The digital piano doesn't have the same look and feel of a traditional piano, but has many other advantages while maintaining useability. They are not as expensive, big or as heavy as a traditional piano. They don't need to be tuned. You can use them to create several different piano timbres. They incorporate MIDI implementation and because they're at least somewhat portable, they can assist you in the songwriting process. Digital pianos also come with headphones, making it possible to play in situations where noise is not allowed. They often come with a transposition feature. They do not require the use of microphones, eliminating the problem of audio feedback in sound reinforcement, as well as simplifying the recording process.
If you have a digital piano or musical instrument that you'd like to promote, feel free to contact me so that we can talk about it.
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