Guide to Choosing a Travel-Sized Piano

Guide to Choosing Travel-Sized PianoRecently, a curious reader emailed us about getting a piano that fit in a carry on bag. Being a travelling musician myself, I thought this was genius. It’s so easy to get inspired in a new setting, almost as easy as it is to neglect practicing- even when you want to! So, I did a little research.

First, I asked myself:

a) How light is it?

(Airlines restrict carry ons to around 12kg. I can carry up to 15kg comfortably if I’ve been to the gym, but do my noodle arms WANT to?)

b) Does it sound nice? (A fair query, considering.)

c) Weighted keys or non-weighted keys, that is the question…

Well. I figure that a decent sounding mid-ranged piano = A composed travel buddy = An ideal vacation situation, pianist edition!

Sound too good to be true? Not by the end of this article!

Some links below are affiliate, meaning that if you’d like to purchase any of the products with the link below, Artiden makes a small commission. This does not change the price, but it helps Artiden sustain itself. I am not paid nor asked to use these links.


A Portable Piano for Composing

In Amsterdam I let my nails grow out, but miss playing without them too soon after. I’ll bet most most pianists prefer it when they feel the keys, too.

If you don’t think you can groom your nails when you’re on the go, consider getting a keyboard with narrower keys. You can utilize your hand-space better, keep up with where the notes are on the board, and be able to hear them too. There’s no point in doing Hanon if your fingers are going to be splayed flat.

The Yamaha Reface CP is a portable keyboard geared towards people who want to compose and hear the notes rather than keep up their technique. It may also be useful if you teach music online, because students are concerned with seeing the sequence and range of the notes and the mini keys might fit their computer screens better.

The Yamaha Reface CP weighs 6 pounds. Seriously. The portability is so amazing that if I bought it, this would be a serious contender with my laptop for desk space.

Yamaha Reface CP


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Five Things You Need to Know about a Digital Piano Before Getting One

Five Things You Need to Know about a Digital Piano Before Getting One

This is a guest post by Jonathon Antoon! I’m thinking of getting a digital piano soon, so I thought this would be of interest to some of you as well. Jonathon is a reader from the Artiden community.

Squeezing your grandfather’s 800-pound piano into your tiny apartment is not how you should spend your Friday night or your Saturday evening.

Say hello to the instrument that will help you sharpen your Chopin and crush that cover of Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreak without setting you back a thousand dollars. With a market dominated by Casio and Yamaha models, finding the right model is like finding the perfect straw in a haystack. This article will be your guide to choosing a digital piano.

If you want to see what models are out there, tab into the best digital pianos under $1000 to find an assortment of items suitable for all piano enthusiasts.

Transition from a Traditional Piano

The first difference between digital and standard pianos is the “feel” that one gets upon physically pressing the keys. A traditional piano has a network of keys that are attached to levers. When a key is pressed, those levers trigger a series of felt-covered hammers to strike the strings inside the piano.

This process is important if you want the keys on your digital piano to provide a similar feel to an acoustic piano. Digital pianos are not powered by the hammer and string system, but manufacturers use an electronic variation of this mechanism. Known as weighted action, it synthesizes the strings and hammer feel when you press down on a key.

Not all digital pianos have this option. Comparable to playing an organ, which some pianists do look for, digital pianos that lack this feature are not the first choice for traditional piano aficionados.

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What’s Your Story in Music?

I got caught up in what one very critical, important person in my life thinks of me. A lot of us have someone like this in our lives, and I’m getting used to the idea that people who are close to us might not always know the best for us.

We say we don’t want to care what others think of us, but it’s a cute little lie because we all know that we care to some extent about what people think.

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Journey Towards Mental Wholeness

Journey Towards Mental Wholeness Using PianoPan thinks I should see someone for my worrying. I keep thinking that I don’t have a serious enough problem to need a professional to examine my head. Actually, I was offended the first time he suggested it because it’s one thing to joke about being crazy, but another thing for someone else suggest that you’re damaged enough to need professional help. I always assumed that if I manage to get myself married I’ll need couples therapy or a shaman or whatever they go to to fix marriages, but not now – not for something as seemingly insignificant as worrying a little too much.

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What To Do When You Can’t Practice Piano

What To Do When You Can't Practice PianoFor my next stage of life, I decided that I want to travel spontaneously. There will be a gym bag in my closet packed with clothes and a toothbrush for last-second trips. I will drive to remote islands to lay underneath the stars on my SUV’s roof and grab my surfboard when I feel like it.

I will be away from my piano so often that my fingers will not be as light for Liszt anymore, but I will befriend someone who plays a ukulele so I can enjoy live music during my travels. I will still tune my piano every year so I can play whenever I can.

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A Unique Sight Reading Challenge for Pianists

A Unique Sight Reading Challenge for PianistsPan and I spend hours waiting in the emergency room for a scan he has to do and while I’ve done more exciting and pressing things in my life, I’d also rather know that my best friend is okay. I am writing this on my phone in the emergency room and thinking back to all the times my piano students had trouble sight reading. Ironic, but I really liked the non technique parts of a music exam—sight reading, ear testing, clapping, you name it. It felt like a game to me.

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How did I start sight reading?

Sight reading is the skill that lets you learn a piece of music the first few times you play it.

Some genres of music rely so much on playing by ear and improv that a lot of musicians don’t find the need for sight reading until later on and the catch is that by then, they expect themselves to be just as good at sight reading as they are playing the instrument.

A lot of readers told me they’re looking to improve their sight reading, so I’ll share with you how I started sight reading in piano, and you might find ways to improve on your own sight reading journey. Please note that there may be affiliate links below when describing technique but I only recommend something that I would use, and Artiden may receive a commission when someone purchases using that link.

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