When we think of pianos, we imagine large instruments that emit sound at reasonable volume. While your small upright won’t emit the same amount of sound as a baby grand, it’s fair to say that the neighbours will still hear you practice.
While many people won’t mind the sound of a pianist practicing their scales, others find the noise disturbing, and some environments aren’t suitable for frequent, noisy practice. But with care, advice and modern technology on your side, you can find a piano that can be played in the dead of night without any sound at all.
First, let’s consider traditional pianos. If you need a quiet instrument, a used piano will probably have a duller sound than a modern upright, and that will be less noticeable and jarring for neighbours and family members.
To some extent, the level of noise emitted will depend on the environment at home. A piano on a wood floor will resonate with the planks and sound louder, while carpets and soft furnishings help to muffle the sound somewhat.
If your piano is too loud, talk to our technicians. We might be able to suggest tweaks that will help, like changing the location of the piano or covering your windows.
The only failsafe way to play silently is to invest in a silent piano system. This technology effectively mutes the strings on the piano and converts the notes you press into electronic signals. You can listen to the digital sound using headphones, but the piano itself makes hardly any noise, since the hammers no longer touch the strings when the keys are pressed.
Silent piano hardware can be retrofitted to the vast majority of pianos, both grand pianos and uprights. It’s also possible to buy a brand new piano that has a silent system fitted at the factory. Yamaha currently manufactures dozens of pianos with the silent piano hardware already fitted.
Silent piano systems allow you to record and play back your practice sessions and recitals. You can choose from a number of tones to hear from the headphones, too, thanks to a built-in sound module.
The system picks up on the nuances of your performance, including how hard you hit the keys, to give you a realistic impression of a real piano sound. The data generated by the piano is MIDI compatible, and you can therefore load MIDI files into the piano and listen back through your headphones – great when you’re learning difficult new pieces.
When you’re ready to play normally, the silent system can be switched off quickly, either with a pedal or a button.
In a world of televisions, gadgets, ringtones and external noise, a little peace and quiet goes a long way. A silent piano could help you get that extra practice without disturbing others around you, and installing a silent system it’s a great way to upgrade a piano you already love.
If you’d like to try a silent piano, call in to Piano Workshop and we’ll show you all the latest models. We can also demonstrate and fit silent piano systems to any pianos in our showroom today.