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I love my digital piano. She's got weighted keys and can be quiet when she needs to, but for practice there are few things which compare to a real nice acoustic piano.

I live in London so there must be some places to go every week or 2 for the real deal. Bonus points for cheaper places, but I'm willing to accept that a Bosendorfer might push the price up!

So, the question is, Where might I be able to go to play a good quality acoustic piano regularly?

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No idea on the accuracy or validity of this information, sorry: streetpianos.com/london2012 It says some are still available. –  Lee Kowalkowski Apr 15 at 12:44
    
Make it an answer man, let me give you rep :D There are indeed plenty of street pianos around. Including one in Camden Market and Multiple at st Pancras Station –  Alexander Troup Apr 15 at 12:45
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I live in Colorado, so this isn't much help to you (...now), but I'm planning to start a non-profit organization to provide access to practice rooms and pianos for people who don't have them at home. –  Kyle Strand Apr 15 at 15:39
    
@KyleStrand That's a great idea! I don't have a piano to play regularly, this would be of great help :) bon courage! –  Chris Cirefice Apr 15 at 18:59
    
You could also contact ABRSM and ask if they can aid you. I'm not sure if they can but it does not take a lot to send an email. –  Neil Meyer Apr 18 at 11:00

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I would suggest schools, but more and more schools are getting rid of their pianos. However, if you find one, ask about seeing the caretaker and going in at holidays (now!) or weekends. Some pubs may provide, and maybe you could play in the background when punters are in. Occasionally rehearsal studios (not cheap) have a real piano.Colleges , especially music colleges, will have the facility - you either ask nicely, or walk in brazenly, it's up to you !

Alternatively, print some fliers, and go posting locally. There will be a neighbour, possibly an old biddy, who would love you to play the piano her kids learnt on 40 yrs ago ! Some churches will have retained their piano, or there may be one in the Church Hall that needs playing : always mention that acoustic pianos need regular playing !

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Do you think ministers would be offended if I asked to play with their organ? –  Alexander Troup Apr 15 at 11:00
    
I'm only guessing, but it could depend on their persuasion. You'll find their organs have a very different action from their pianos, though. –  Tim Apr 15 at 11:31
    
i am PRETTY sure he was jokin'... –  Stephen Hazel Apr 15 at 15:53
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I think I've covered my back, so to speak... –  Tim Apr 15 at 15:59
    
Bravo on raising the tone Ti... wait... –  Alexander Troup Apr 16 at 18:27

No idea on the accuracy or validity of this information, sorry: http://streetpianos.com/london2012 says some are still available.

Failing that, these look reasonably priced: http://www.jspianos.com/hire/practice-room-hire - I might use them myself next time I'm working in London, since real pianos kinda scare me.

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schools, churches, nursing homes. that's probably about it.

nursing homes have sort of gone to digitals or else you may find their acoustic way out of tune. but it's worth a shot. you'll definitely have an appreciative audience.

other than that, pony up the cash and buy one, or make do with your digital. My cp-33 is fine for me, at least. I like to come across an acoustic, though.

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The problem is not cost unfortunately, It's space. London is not exactly known for spacious living conditions –  Alexander Troup Apr 15 at 15:53
    
True. Same for me. I could fit an upright in my microscopic living room, but, mmmm, if I'm going acoustic, it'll have to be a grand. –  Stephen Hazel Apr 15 at 15:54
    
There's a business opportunity here, I'm sure of it! –  Alexander Troup Apr 15 at 15:55
    
It'll be like those driving days you can go on in a Ferrari –  Alexander Troup Apr 15 at 15:56
    
There are some quite small studio pianos available, a ship's piano is one that comes to mind, soundboard same height as the keys.With 88 notes, all are going to be as wide as each other though. –  Tim Apr 15 at 16:03

Here's a couple of central practice rooms I've used:

http://www.jspianos.com/hire/practice-room-hire http://themusicstudios.co.uk/rates.php

And a list from RAM (PDF):

http://www.ram.ac.uk/viewfile.cfm?id=794&h=C4EEABAD93A5D4D0B5D22A704D1F4E39F63F9CDC2DA53FE99DC276FCF6EF25DD

Typical prices are between £10 and £20 an hour.

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