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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Choosing a Beginner's Instr.

2. The Piano

The piano is the instrument that composers and arrangers usually write at, as it encompasses harmony, melody and rhythm, unlike string, woodwind or brass instruments. It enables you to learn general musicianship skills that are applicable to all kinds of music, and in higher education is often required as a second instrument. Also, music available for the piano covers a wide repertoire from classical and jazz through to today’s pop music that makes it appeal to people of all ages. There are two main types of piano, the ‘traditional’ acoustic piano and the digital piano, and both have their pros and cons:

The acoustic piano has a mechanical ‘action’ where pressing the key in turn moves a hammer which hits the strings to produce the sound. It’s the best instrument for serious piano performance, as training and strengthening the fingers is essential if you want to progress to a higher level at college. When looking to buy a traditional upright piano, bear in mind the size and weight of the instrument and where it will go in your home, especially if you live in a 10th floor flat! Also, acoustic pianos are made of natural materials that are susceptible to changes in temperature and need to be tuned professionally on a regular basis, especially if the instrument is played every day.

If cost and noise are a problem, then a digital piano might be a better bet. Whilst there are now some very cheap models on the market, it’s generally true that the more you spend, the better the sound quality and the more realistic the ‘action’ of the keyboard. The big advantage is that the piano sound is generated digitally, and so the volume can be adjusted to suit, or you can shut out the sound completely by using headphones. Digital pianos also generally come with a range of other instrument sounds such as electric piano, harpsichord, clavinet and organ, along with effects like reverb, ‘chorus’ and delay, plus they can be used with music software on a computer if they have USB or MIDI sockets. For someone starting out on the piano, a digital solution is a good alternative to a ‘traditional’ piano, and at the top end of the price range comes close to emulating the real thing.

If you feel a digital piano is too much of a compromise because of the action, then a few acoustic piano manufacturers offer ‘quiet piano’ systems. These combine a no-compromise mechanical hammer action and strings with built-in digital sound generation. When you want to play quietly using headphones, a lever raises the hammers away from striking the strings, thereby eliminating any acoustic noise. Sensors detect the hammer movement, and the digital sound allows you to carry on playing. The main disadvantage of this option is that the technology is fairly expensive as it combines the best of both worlds.

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Conditions of participation
Terms and Conditions for participation
in online competitions

Note: Participation in an online competition runs independently from any purchase at Thomann GmbH. The following Competition Rules apply when participating in any online competition run by Musikhaus Thomann:

  1. Competition

    1. The competitions are organised by Thomann GmbH, CEO: Hans Thomann, Hans-Thomann-Straße 1, 96138 Burgebrach, Germany.
  2. Participation

    1. Competitions are only open to persons of full age.
    2. To take part in the competition you must answer all questions correctly, fill in the registration form and submit your entry to Thomann GmbH by pressing the "send" button.
      By pressing the "send" button the participant accepts the aforementioned terms and conditions.
    3. The participant is responsible for entering their email and/or postal address correctly. Entries to the competition will be logged electronically.
  3. Qualifying Entrants

    1. Staff of Thomann GmbH and any cooperation partners and their dependants are excluded from participation.
    2. Should these conditions of participation be violated, especially by using illegitimate means, Thomann GmbH reserves the right to exclude persons from the competition. In case of such violations prizes can be withdrawn and claimed back subsequently.
  4. Announcing the winner

    1. The winners will be notified by Thomann GmbH by email or in writing and their names may be published on the homepage www.thomann.de. The winner accepts this form of publication explicitly.
      Should for whatever reason the winner not claim their prize, then a new winner will be drawn.
    2. The prize presented to the winner may not be identical to the item description. There can be deviances regarding the model, colour etc.
    3. The merchandise prizes will be sent by Thomann GmbH or by one of its contracting delivery companies, per freight forwarder, courier or postal service to the postal address indicated by the winner.

      The delivery is free of charge. Only extra transport costs and customs/duties must be covered by the winner. In the case that the delivery has to be made through a freight forwarding company the freight forwarding company will contact the winner to arrange delivery timings.
    4. An exchange, cash alternative or replacement prize is not possible.
    5. The claim to the prize or replacement of the prize cannot be assigned to a third party.
  5. Data protection

    1. The participant accepts explicitly that Thomann GmbH saves all necessary data for the duration of the competition and forwards them exclusively for purposes related to the winning process to the respective cooperation partner, who is also permitted to save the personal data only for the duration of the competition. The participant is free to withdraw his entry at any time. Please direct the withdrawal to:

      Thomann GmbH
      to the data protection officer
      Hans-Thomann-Straße 1
      96138 Burgebrach, Germany
    2. Thomann GmbH is obliged to consider the regulations for data protection according to the Federal Data Protection Law (BDSG) valid at the conclusion of the competition. In this context the general data protection regulations under notes regarding data protection should be noted.
  6. Liability

    1. Thomann GmbH will be released from any obligations by handing out the prize.
    2. Thomann GmbH is not liable for the insolvency of a cooperation partner and the resulting consequences for the implementation and processing of the competition.
  7. Other

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Choosing a Beginner's Instr. overview


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