Willie’s Grand Piano And Studio Upgrade

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I’ve been lucky enough to have some nice pianos in my life. My old studio piano was a 1925 Kanabe 6′ grand piano. My Kanabe and I have had some great memories together. In fact I wrote and rehearsed the songs for both of my albums on that piano. Now my Kanabe lives in my living room.

Here’s Annika tickling those ivories. Actually the Kanabe doesn’t have ivory, it’s a plastic-based key which I’m not 100% sure of its makeup. But, it feels good to the fingers!

Even though the Kanabe has served me well over the years, I felt I needed a better quality instrument for my Jazzedge studio.

Time for an upgrade…

Jami encouraged me to go take a look at pianos, and in October of 2020 we took a ride up to Steinert in Boston and I fell in love with this Boston piano. Thank you Jami for encouraging me to get it!

Quick story about Boston pianos.

I’ve always loved their pianos since I did a gig about 20 years ago on a Boston piano. It was a private house party in which the hosts had a gorgeous Boston piano in a room away from the guests. I was hired to play cocktail piano for a few hours and it was like a wonderful practice session just sitting at this beautiful instrument, being able to play whatever I wanted for hours.

Needless to say, I was hooked on Boston pianos. So, in October 2022, I took the leap and purchased the GP-193 Performance Edition II by Boston.

The Grand Piano Move

Moving a 6’4″ 824 lb piano is never an easy job. Luckily being close to Boston we have some great piano movers in this area.

The movers needed to bring the piano up to the 2nd floor where the Jazzedge studio is located. Plus, they needed to make a pretty tight turn.

Take a look at some of the pictures from that day:

Studio Upgrade

Now that Paul is back with Jazzedge, I’ll be focusing on my new TheTotalMusician program.

I wanted to have a new studio look for this new program, so I was lucky when the office condo next door came up for sale. I quickly grabbed it and got working on a studio revamp.

Here you can see the studio being torn apart to be rebuilt:

‘Midifying’ The Grand Piano

MIDI, which stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface allows you to connect devices to your computer. Basically a MIDI interface on a piano means that I can plugin in my piano to my computer to record, write music, and trigger the Jazzedge Virtual Keyboard.

To do this, I’m using the PNOScan product from QRS music.

My piano technician, Larry Brown can be seen below installing the light sensors for the MIDI application.

Now that I have MIDI installed on the piano, I can do fun things like trigger the Jazzedge Virtual keyboard to “light up” keys making it easier to see what I’m playing.

What Does The GP-193 PE2 Sound Like?

The piano has a beautiful, rich tenor and bass due to the fact that the soundboard of the piano is so wide, plus it is 6’4″ long.

Here’s a sample from the Jazzedge homepage of me playing the piano:

This is not the best recording, but it does highlight the beautiful range of this piano.

New Studio Coming This April

The new studio will be reading this April, 2022 and I plan on releasing many more performance videos once complete. I’ll also be releasing early access to my TheTotalMusician program as well.

Right now, the piano is waiting for the action to come back…

Conclusion

Well, that’s my new piano.

How about you?

Do you have any piano stories to share? If so, leave them in the comments area below!

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Responses

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  1. I think the Kawai 920 could do the job a lot easier but good luck
    BTW your music education is excellent

  2. Nice new piano Willie!
    Here’s my story. I inherited my mother’s 1922 George Steck baby grand with a Duo Art player after she passed away. As a child, I had never learned how to play because I was afraid of making mistakes and being criticized.
    Then I saw your site, signed up for lessons and went through ‘Homeschool piano’ and now ‘Jazz Piano Lessons.’ Though still a late beginner, I have taken on 10 year old twins of friends, to teach them the basics.
    Your beginner tips have come in handy with their lessons.
    They want to play popular radio/Disney music so this stage is focusing on their sight reading primarily, so they will develop those skills prior to jumping too fast into chords without being able to read the score.

    I did give them a taste of what chord construction is and will move to progressions when they’re ready, to keep them interested and engaged into knowing how music works along with song construction.

    Thanks for all the knowledge resources and answered questions you’ve provided so far!

  3. I am probably the only person who admits to totally and deliberately destroying a 6ft John Broadway grand piano belonging to my grandfather. When I was 18 my family wanted to move hundreds of miles away and I was not going with them. I was the only one who could play a little bit, but we needed to sell the piano. It was in 1968 when many people were actually smashing mostly upright pianos up because nobody wanted to buy them. We could not find a buyer for our piano and even when we tried to give it to a club owner he didn’t want it. The day before the removal men came I was told to “get rid of the piano” and so I proceeded to literally break it up and cart it away to the local tip. How I regret it now. If only I could have stored it somewhere I would be able to enjoy it today. I renewed my interest in playing the piano a few years ago and have been a member of Jazzedge for two years now. Such is life!

  4. Since my early childhood I loved to play everything with keys (accordion p.e.) by my own only, with no teachers. But after a few years of doing business, my wife encouraged me a) to take lessons (started iwith my age of 35 yrs ) and after a while playing a synth and electric organ, b) to buy and order a real new 88keys- piano. That was a change! And waiting for the new build piano (upright, but strings long as a Baby Grand) drove me crazy until the delivery date 6 Months later. Nervous like the first date with my wife when I played the first time omn MY beautiful black piano. That feeling stays on every time I´m playing( approx. every day). That piano followed me when i`d been living in Alabama for a while in the 90ies and again back to Germany. The tips and hints from your site are very useful for my playing and my now much better understanding of some theory in music. Thank you so far for your great and functional concept and I´m wishing you the best for the future of your new organized JAZZEDGE- activities. [I hope I wrote understandable in English.]
    Take care , Sincerely Ray

  5. I once owned an 1880’s 6′ 4″ rosewood Kanabe that I had rebuilt in the 1980’s. It had the original action which was not as responsive as I liked so I traded it in for a 6′ 1″ Kawaii which I love and was a much better fit for my teenage daughter.

JPC glossary / key

  • RH – right hand
  • LH – left hand
  • HT – hands together
  • CM – contrary motion (to move in opposite directions)
  • Harmonically – to play as chords (all notes together at once)
  • Melodically – to play as a melody (single note) – arpeggiate
  • R7, R3, R37 – chord shells (Root-7th, Root-3rd, Root-3rd-7th respectively)
  • bpm – beats per minute. Refers to the metronome setting