In my last blog post I mentioned the piano shopping I was doing during my annual leave that, unfortunately for me, will have ended by the time you read this. Back to work on Monday like everybody else... *sigh*
From the major music stores in the city, I was able to quickly cut it down to 2 digital pianos that, for my price range, had pretty much everything I was after: a full range of keys, weighted, with a good grand piano sound, and some options for a sort-of beginner piano player like myself. If you're interested in model numbers, they were the Yamaha Arius YDP-S31, and the Korg LP-350
The Yamaha grand piano sound is what I grew up on, and because of that the Yamaha had a head-start over every other keyboard I came across. The weighted keys though felt a bit tough and kinda bouncy, which weirded me out.
The Korg was the opposite: great feel, but the sound from the built-in speakers felt like they missed the grand piano sound in some notes, particularly the higher ones.
So I spent a lot of time going back-and-forth between the 2 music stores that had these models, and soon enough the staff there were able to recognize me by sight. I brought my headphones to each store, tried to remember the way the pianos felt and sounded as I went between one store to the other, trawled the internet for reviews and opinions from others, and generally spent a crapload of time getting nowhere.
Then, last Sunday, I went indoor rock climbing for a friend's birthday which turned my arms into jelly. It was the best thing to happen to me in my hunt for a digital piano.
With my arms now useless, struggling to lift a glass of coke to my lips in the lunch that followed (well it wasn't that bad, but avid readers of this blog will have learned that hyperbole is my friend), it made a difference when I next went to play those 2 pianos. First, I went to the Yamaha, and the tougher resistance in the keys made it an effort to play. I actually got tired on that piano and thought, Screw this. I'm going home.
The path home from there went passed the other music store with the Korg, so I decided to give the Korg a play anyway, thinking I wouldn't get a whole song finished before my fatigued arms would fail me and droop to my sides in defeat. I sat before the Korg, played and... made it all the way through the song. Huh, I thought, let's try another. So I did, and I got through that too.
I never noticed how much I was struggling with the Yamaha's keys until I had virtually no energy left. I don't know whether that speaks volumes about my lack of upper-body strength or that my purchase decisions tend towards the things that need the least energy out of me, but that was the tie-breaker: I went with the Korg.
I bought it on Tuesday, then waited for the delivery of it every night since then (the colour of the model I was after had to be sourced from another store, but they said they should be able to get it overnight). Like a child on the night of Christmas Eve, I couldn't go to sleep because I kept anticipating the delivery of the piano the next day. In the day that followed, no call from the music store. So I waited the next day, lacked sleep once again, and it still didn't come. This went on for a while - while enough for me to lose sleep over several days in a row such that this morning, even after the full 8 hours of sleep that I normally need to function, I woke up feeling exhausted.
After getting some breakfast in me to provide the energy I needed that sleep wouldn't provide, I got a call from the music store that they would be around with the piano in the next half an hour :D
I was very glad that I could get it before I had to go back to work on the Monday. I even went so far as to record me playing (badly) on it:
So, 2 weeks of leave, and this is what I have to show for it.