Saturday, January 21, 2012

A key decision when shopping for a piano

Not what I bought, but maybe one day...
Having survived the first few weeks back of the New Year after a relaxing, enjoyable and pleasingly economical Christmas it seemed appropriate to head into London and reward myself for working for three weeks in a row by making a purchase on the trusty credit card.

The object of my desire was a keyboard – a piano keyboard, not a computer keyboard – in order to help continue with my efforts at home over Christmas at trying to learn the infernal instrument some eight years after I gave up lessons while living at home.

My brother being a bit of a whiz on the old Joanna meant I had free tuition for several days and many aspects of the instrument that had always confused me before – what’s different about the black keys (answer: nothing), how do you make minor chords (answer: invert the 4/3 finger pattern for major chords to 3/4 (simple right?)) – I thought I should give the thing another shot.

So I wandered into Denmark Street – the music shop district of London – and this left me facing a bewildering array of choices at all manner of price points and styles. Some with light up keys, some with terrible tinny soundings keys, some with stands, some without, and prices from £50 to £300 for “beginner” models.

In the end I went for…nothing, as I was so overcome with choice I didn’t know what to do and thought I should check with my hermano (that’s Spanish for brother, I don’t know why I know that I studied French for four years) to see what he thought.

His answer: have my old keyboard. Ah, well, that’s an idea that should have crossed my mind when I was at home, but didn’t. Still, never look a gift-horse in the mouth, especially one that can play the piano – imagine that, a piano-playing horse.

So, now I am the proud owner of a second-hand keyboard and can happily tinkle away learning tunes such as Mary Had a Little Lamb and other nursery rhyme classics. What?

Still, at least my credit card survived a hit: well it did until I ended up splashing out on a new blazer instead for about the same price. It was in the sales, though, so was a bargain really…

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