If you are looking for the best music advice in town, Pats Music Store has the Blog you simply must read. Learn what our music aficionados have to say about some of the Musical Instruments in store. Experts from our Piano Shop and our Guitar Shop, frequent these pages with invaluable insights into choosing the right instruments.
If you are looking to buy Piano music or perhaps change the tone of your Electric Guitar, follow this forum to get some great ideas, straight from Melbourne's favourite Music Shop.
It’s well known that learning the piano can enhance brain development.
When we play the Piano we use multiple parts of our brain at one time.
We use our eyes to read which requires the visual cortex and the occipital lobe.
We use our ears to hear and adjust the notes which require our auditory cortex and temporal lobe.
We use both our hands and our 10 fingers to play different rhythmic patterns, requiring our primary motor cortex, our prefrontal cortex and our cerebellum.
To be able to play ‘in time’ our brain needs to synthesise a ‘beat’ then synchronise all sensory input and motor activities to this ‘beat’. This requires the use of our prefrontal cortex and cerebellum.
We also need to develop spatial awareness in order to play without looking at our hands. This utilises our parietal lobe, cerebellum and the right hemisphere or our brain.
Learning to read sheet music is like learning another language. The language of musical instruments is predominately mathematic but also requires visual spatial awareness; it is somewhat like map reading.
As well as developing brain function, playing or learning the piano can be a great way to express feeling and release stress. It is known to encourage the release of endorphins which is a feel good hormone.
Most notably, learning to play the piano strengthens the link between the right and left brain which has been associated with the creative problem solving skills known as ‘divergent thinking.
For help finding the best learner piano or recommendations of Piano teachers call Pats music on 0396538711.
To read more about how learning either an Acoustic Piano or Digital Piano Keyboard, follow this link to an extremely interesting article.
Audio Recording Technology or Music Production is an industry once reserved for life-long professionals and money-fuelled record companies. Today however, Audio Recording has been made easily accessible to bedroom musicians and amateur bands everywhere. The introduction of Digital Audio Interfaces, Recording Software and Digital Audio Workstations, means recording is more affordable than ever before. Additionally, new Audio Recording technology has made music production a whole lot easier. Not just for professional audio engineers and producers, but for beginner recording artists as well. This blog will give you a rundown of exactly what you need to get your home studio up and running.
The first step in building your home studio is selecting an Audio Interface. Thankfully most brands are compatible with both PC and Apple Mac computers. This means you will have a variety of options regardless of your operating system and budget. Here at Pats Music, we stock Focusrite Scarlett, Steinberg UR, and Presonus Audiobox interfaces. Each of these interfaces conveniently comes with a free version of the brands respective recording programs. In some instances, this may help you in deciding which interface to go with.
The Focusrite Scarletts come with Ableton Live Lite, the top DAW choice for electronic artists and producers. With an extremely user friendly setup, Ableton Live Lite lays down all the tools, including selected instruments and effects, that you need to record and produce your own music.
The Steinberg UR interfaces ship with a download code for Cubase AI. Cubase AI provides all the basic tools for recording, editing and mixing everything from the initial idea to the final masterpiece.
Finally, the Presonus Audiobox interfaces come with Studio One Artist which is an easy to use Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). In fact, Presonus Audiobox has enabled many artists from around the world, to get more out of their productions.
Once you have decided on brand, the next thing to consider is how many audio inputs you will require. Each of the audio inputs on board your interface, allow you to record just one signal. So, for example, if you would like to record an acoustic guitar and your voice simultaneously, you will need to purchase and interface with a minimum of two audio inputs. One input assigned to your guitar and the other input for your voice.
But what if you are wanting to record something a little more complex such as live acoustic drums? In this instance, you may need to consider an interface with 8 or more audio inputs. Focusrite, Steinberg and Presonus all offer interfaces in multiple sizes, all of which we stock at Pats Music. Regardless of how many audio inputs you require, we have the Audio Interface to suit your needs!
Once you’ve chosen your audio interface, you will need to purchase yourself some recording microphones. There are three different types of microphones available;
Dynamic, Ribbon and Condenser Microphones.
Each of these has different strengths and are used to record different instruments and sound sources.
In short, Dynamic Microphones are great for picking up loud sound sources which are strong in the mid frequency range such as snare drums, tom toms and percussion.
Ribbon Microphones are more sensitive than dynamic mics, picking up a broader frequency range. This makes them
more suited to record Guitar and Bass Amplifiers, Kick Drums, Brass and Woodwind instruments.
Condenser Microphones are the most sensitive, capturing everything from sub bass through to sparkly highs. Of course, this makes them the most versatile Microphone and is used for most recording situations. Indeed, such a wide audio range affords the Condenser Mic the luxury of recording various sounds like vocals and acoustic guitars. What’s more Condenser Microphones can be placed in front of Guitar Amplifiers, Organs and Wind Instruments. Not to mention all kinds of acoustic Drum recording as Drum overheads.
Therefore, at Pats Music, we recommend starting with a condenser Microphone due to their versatility and overall professional sound. For example, the SE Electronics X1A condenser microphone is popular choice at our store. At Pat’s, you’ll find the X1A Microphone for sale at the very friendly price of $129.
The SE 2200 is another popular condenser microphone at $349 and is perfect for crystal clear vocal and acoustic guitar recording. If you are looking for something more specialist, Pats also offers a range of Ribbon and Dynamic microphones. These include the SE X1R ribbon mic, the SE V3 and V7 dynamics, and of course the famous Shure SM57 and Sm58 microphones.
The final piece in your home studio puzzle is the necessary accessories. Firstly you will need microphone cables, which we stock from only $10 each. Brands available are D’addario, Carson, SM Pro and Planet Waves.
Equally important, you will also need recording headphones or studio monitors, in order to be able to get a true reflection of your mixes. We offer Smart Acoustic Headphones and both the Yamaha HS and Presonus E series Studio Monitors.
Reflection filters and pop filters are advisable, but not necessarily required, for recording vocals at home. These give you greater control over your recordings and start from $142 and $19.95 respectively.
On a final note, setting up a home studio can seem to be a daunting and expensive task, but help is at hand. With a little bit of research and friendly help from the highly knowledgeable staff at Pats Music, you will be up and running in no time.
Oh and it doesn’t have to break the bank either!
In the following article we discuss Piano Care and ways you can increase the enjoyment of your musical instrument.
The delivery day of our Piano is a special day in the life of any piano player.
It takes pride of place in the specially selected room, standing proudly and silently with the promise of musical adventures for decades to come.
What a marvellous sight.
It’s only natural that we want take the very best care of our piano.
How do we do this?...
Pianos are made with the need to stay tuned. Strings are made to resonate at their best when they are tightened to their ideal tension. As a string is struck, the sound waves from string transfer through the bridge, and onto the soundboard. It then travels along the grain of the wood spreading all over the soundboard and amplifying. As these sound waves travel they end up gently shaping the wood on a molecular level to better amplify sound. That’s why the soundboard of an older, regularly tuned, piano can resonate so magnificently. If a piano is regularly played out of tune, it will not mature as sweetly.
As a rule of thumb the tuning of our piano should occur at least once a year. Exposure to heat can cause a piano togo flat, because the wood in the pin block relaxes and the pins loosen. In the same way it can sharpen when the piano gets colder and the wood tightens. Strings do stretch slightly over time too so regular tightening is usually required. It is cheaper to tune our piano regularly rather than let it go out of tune. When piano strings are left at a looser tension (flat) they are slowly stretched so as not to break. This takes much longer and may need to happen over repeat visits.
Cleaning the inside of a piano is a little more difficult. With an upright piano, the front panels and the fall, or lid, are taken off to access the inside. If you have a Grand Piano it is easier to access the inside but it is harder to clean, manoeuvring a cloth or duster under the strings is very tricky and not recommended.
A light dust and vacuum is all that is recommended.
If your vacuum cleaner can blow in reverse, even better. Blowing the dust out from under the strings is better than trying to reach behind them.
Try not to touch the strings at all. Finger prints on strings can make them go rusty and any pressure on the strings from a cloth or duster can affect the tuning.
If there is the requirement for more detailed cleaning, we recommend using a piano tuner or technician. They can pull apart the piano and clean inside and put it back together properly for you. Such technicians are experts in Piano care.
A piano technician is our best friend when it comes to looking after the inside of a piano. For a recommendation of a piano technician in your area feel free to call Pats music on 03)95638711.
Keep the piano dry. Pianos and water don’t mix! Keep other liquids away from them too, such as red wine or champagne. It can be very expensive if not impossible to fix the damage if water, or any other liquid, gets into a piano.
Many people ask us how to clean the outside of a piano.
Pianos with French polished finish, the high gloss mirror effect, like regular dusting, weekly cleaning and monthly
We recommend using a soft duster, and a soft microfiber or cotton cloth. To remove finger prints, fill a spray bottle with 50% water and 50% methylated spirits.
Spray a light mist of this liquid onto the cloth and clean gently. The water helps lift the finger prints and the methylated spirits helps to dry the water and reduce streaking.
Polishing is another important aspect of Piano care. When polishing a piano we recommend using a piano polish (such as the ones pictured) and 2 microfiber or cotton cloths, one cloth for applying the polish and another for removing it.
Then... pretend to be the Karate Kid and use a ‘polish on polish off ‘ type movement.
If your piano is an older piano with an antique-style, matt-wood finish, then a regular wood furniture polish works well. If the wood is thirsty it may take a lot of polish to restore its former lustre.
The keys of a piano will also need attention. You should try to keep keys free of dust to avoid dust building up between them. There may also be the need for cleaning if little sticky fingers have been at them.
If the keys are acrylic (not ivory) then use a soft cloth in soapy water and wring it out thoroughly before cleaning. Clean the keys in a back to front motion rather than a side to side motion to avoid getting dirt between the keys.
If your keys are ivory then you should require less water. A light spray onto the cloth and the same back to front motion. Clean one key at a time for the best result.
Whether you are looking at buying your child their first kit, starting drums yourself or picking the sticks up again. The first question you will need to answer is a difficult one; Should I go with an acoustic or electronic drum kit?
Both of these options come with their own unique advantages and challenges. The answer can be complex and difficult to arrive upon. That said, through careful consideration, you will find yourself leaning in the direction that is right for you. Ultimately it is a balance between your needs and your budget.
The greatest advantage of an acoustic drum kit is the unmistakable feel of its skins and cymbals. Consequently, this
feel is what delivers a large array of achievable tones. Just like any other musical instrument, mastery of the drum kit is found through great control of dynamics and tone. A set of acoustic drums will allow its player to perfect their stick handling technique. Furthermore, Drum practice will also teach them how to control volume and intensity. In terms of building good drumming habits, you cannot go past an acoustic kit.
At Pats Music, acoustic drums start at very reasonable prices. For example, a 5 piece Yamaha Rydeen kit including a stool, kick pedal, Paiste PST3 cymbal set and various bits of hardware. These kits come in 6 stunning colours and are perfect for the beginner level player. For the aspiring drummer looking to build their craft from the ground up, this is ideal. The Yamaha Rydeen drum set presents the perfect balance between quality and affordability. Additionally, the PST3 offers that world renowned Yamaha tone, without breaking the bank.
Pats Music also caters to the player who is looking to invest in their forever drum kit. One obvious example, is the famous and much loved Yamaha Stage Custom. This stunning kit once again comes complete with everything you need and more. This includes a second floor tom and upgraded Paiste PST5 cymbal set (currently including a free splash cymbal). Whether you are rehearsing at home, gigging relentlessly, or making records, the Yamaha Stage Custom with its solid birch shells will meet all of your expectations with ease.
The main challenges you will find in owning an acoustic drum kit are space and noise. Drums are very big and loud instruments. For players in smaller living arrangements, this can be an issue. There is nothing worse than having your rehearsal session interrupted by a visit from the local police. However, if you can manage the space required to set up a drum set, there are options available which enable quiet practice. The Remo Silent Stroke skins are a semi-permanent solution, offering the same feel as regular drum skins with a sound that reduces to below talking volume. Vic Firth drum mutes are another option which are added or removed from a kit in a matter of minutes, allowing for both quiet practice and full blown rehearsals.
An electronic drum kit is absolutely perfect for any person looking to build their sense of rhythm and timing. Electronic kits are smaller than their acoustic cousins and enable close-to-silent practice. An electronic kit’s greatest asset is its
digital capabilities. Selection and alteration of a wide variety of sounds is achieved with the touch of a button. Most noteworthy however, is that you can rehearse songs through headphones or amplified through an external speaker. This also means that recording is a breeze.
On top of all this, electronic drums come in a variety of different setups to suit a player’s budget and drumming requirements. The Yamaha DTX series has been a Pats Music favourite for a long time. Offering superior sounds, playability, and user-friendly interfaces, the Yamaha DTX range has something to offer for everyone. Even if you are the person picking up a pair of sticks for the first time, or the advanced player who lives and breathes rhythm.
Due to their affordability and silent capabilities, electronic drum kits may seem to be the perfect solution. They do, however, have their own challenges. Electronic drums do not allow for the same level of control a player might have over an acoustic kit. This is largely due to the difference in feel between electronic drum pads regular acoustic skins. To combat this issue, Yamaha begins introducing silicone pads in the middle of the range, starting with the DTX522K.
In conclusion, it can be difficult choosing between acoustic and electronic drums. In some circumstances, the choice may be made for you due to space and noise restrictions. Our recommendation would be to closely consider what is important to you as an individual. More importantly, to choose an instrument that you are going to love to play. If you need help in finding what is right for you, come and visit us at Pats music and we can take you through the all of the different options.
For the budding pianist, having access to a beginners piano with which to practice is paramount. That said, even a beginners piano could be too expensive for the average student. So what options are there for beginners who need a Piano Keyboard to practice on?
Four options for beginner piano students on a budget.
The most affordable solution is a keyboard like the Yamaha PSRE363 , which retails at $349. This keyboard has touch-sensitive keys, meaning it can play loud and soft notes. This depends upon the pianist use of expression in controlling the way the keys are struck. It also has rhythms and auto accompaniment, which can teach the player how to play in time. It will also help with learning chords. On top of this the Yamaha PSRE363 has a built in lesson function. The built in lessons show the player what notes to play in order to play a song.
Though the piano keyboard has touch sensitive keys, they are not ‘weighted’. This means the keys are light to press down unlike a piano keys, which are heavier to press down. Therefore although a student will learn the coordination required to play the piano, they will not learn to control the dynamics (louds and softs) of a real piano with this. Furthermore, the Yamaha PSRE363 is also not a full length keyboard, meaning it only has 61 of the 88 keys that a piano has.
Amongst the digital pianos a model like the Yamaha P45B is a very popular affordable solution. Firstly, the Yamaha P45B has all 88 notes of a piano and the keys are both touch sensitive and weighted. Also called 'Graded Hammer Action', this means that the weights on each key are made to feel like the hammers an acoustic piano. They are heavy at the lower notes gradually get lighter at the higher notes.
Additionally, the P45B has headphone socket, USB port and metronome and comes with a music rest and sustain pedal. Students can use the P45B with a computer, however the keyboard is not ideal in a professional live situation. It is also possible for the P45B to attach to a H frame wooden stand or sit on an adjustable stand.
Another option for first time piano students who want to try piano is to rent. At Pats music we have a partnership with rental company 'Studio 19'. Through Studio 19 a musician can choose a new digital or acoustic piano and try it out for a minimum of 6 months. After this time if they choose to stop learning or want to upgrade their piano they can return the instrument at no extra cost, with the exception of the cost of freight if required. However if the student wishes to continue with the instrument they can buy it out or keep renting it and pay it off over time.
When the budget is tight it can in some cases be worth checking out Gumtree, eBay or Facebook market place. The obvious risk purchasing 2nd hand items privately getting stuck with a faulty item. With brands like Yamaha, Roland or Kawai their manufacture warranties are not transferable so if something does go wrong the instrument the warranty may not be applicable, even if it is within the warranty period. When purchasing privately we recommend asking your teacher or a piano technician to help assess a second hand instrument before you buy it.
Pat's Music Shop has two rooms devoted to print music with over 7000 items in stock. For music tutors in search of teaching methods or teaching repertoire for your students, we stock the appropriate literature.
Likewise, for students looking to broaden their repertoire and knowledge, our variety of sheet music can help.
Moreover, if we don't have what you're looking for, we will do our best to source it for you.
Since many of our piano customers are teachers, we support them by stocking 35 different piano methods. Our range of Piano Tutorials serve both children and adult students. These include the best selling John Thompson course, which has been a popular method for over 80 years. Further tutorials continue and include the Bastien New Traditions course of 2016.
In between is the Hal Leonard Piano Course, Alfred's Basics, Premier & Prep courses. Additionally we stock the Nancy & Randall Faber's Piano Adventures, Bastien Piano Basics, Edna Mae Burnam's Step by Step & A Dozen a Day and much, much more.
Correspondingly, many of these courses have supplementary books to which we mostly keep on the shelf.
On the whole, music books for the AMEB exams are a large part of our business. As a matter of fact, our sheet music department proudly sells more AMEB literature than any other music shop in Australia.
For example, we stock books for piano, guitar, violin, cello, flute, clarinet, voice and all instruments students choose to learn.
Presently, our wide range also includes musical theatre, as wells the most recent Piano For Leisure, Series 4.
Pat's Music Store has an extensive selection of piano, vocal and guitar (PVG) folios for a range of popular
Additionally, our PVG collection covers a multitude of genres. Within our Print Music store, you are certain to find something to play and sing along to.artists. Of course, both old and new artists are covered in our range of PVG folios.
Whether it is an anthology from your favourite artist, or a collection of chart topping radio hits, there is something for everyone.
Notably, Vocal selections and PVG's for stage and screen are all readily available in store.
You can find the soundtrack to your favourite movie or the music score for a popular Broadway musical. Likewise children's classics, contemporary theatre songs, vocal collections from around the world, can all be found on our shelves.
By the same token, if you are looking for something that we may not have in stock, our print department staff are more than happy to try and source it for you. In light of the fact that not everyone plays the piano or guitar, we have albums for a variety of solo instruments. Similarly, these include movie soundtracks, theme music and collections, radio hits, decade chart toppers, anthologies and theatre selections. Some even come with CDs or online audio access.
For those looking for methods suitable for a group, you are more than likely to find something from our large range of school band and string orchestra / ensemble selections.
Our collection includes a variety of methods including Essential Elements, Encore on Strings, String Time Joggers, Standard of Excellence, Accent on Achievement, Band Class and many more.
As well as print music & music books, you can also find music stands, accessories and giftware. There is a selection of stands ranging from the Xtreme stands, perfect for younger students and beginners. Additionally, the Wenger and Manhasset stands, are designed to serve all musicians at a variety of levels.
In order for students to get used to playing in time, Pat's Music also stocks a range of metronomes, both digital and mechanical. In particular, Intelli, Korg and Rebel digital metronomes are all available in the print department. As well as Wittner and Nikko mechanical metronomes, which come in a range of colours and finishes.
Finally, if you're looking for a present for your teacher, or maybe your students, our accessories and giftware are perfect. Music gift items include carry bags, music folders, pens, pencils, lapel pins, key-chains, glassware and the popular Rondofile folders.
Visit our Sheet Music Pages by clicking here
In brief, the answer depends on the musician’s goal and budget. For unlike other instrumentalists, many piano players will never own their ideal musical instrument. And for good reason. In reality the ideal piano to learn and develop the finite skill needed to be a concert pianist, is a 9ft Concert Grand Piano. (Priced at over $200k).
Obviously it is not realistic or practical for most people to own a 9ft Concert Grand Piano. Comparatively, anything less than that is inevitably a compromise and so too are digital pianos.
Even so, many of the top brand digital pianos come freakishly close in sound and feel to an acoustic piano. Due to great advancements in technology over the last decade, many Piano Keyboards make a convincing substitute.
With this in mind, here are some terms you may come across when researching digital pianos and what they mean;
With sensors under the keys or inside the key mechanism, a digital piano responds to how hard of soft the keys are struck. As a result, a harder key strike triggers the relevant louder sample, taken from a real piano. In contrast, a softer strike of the key, triggers a sample taken from a softer piano keyboard strike.
The keys on an acoustic piano are heavy to press because they are attached to the hammers that strike the strings. The hammers that strike the bass strings are bigger and the ones that hit the treble, or higher strings are smaller. In a digital Piano the ‘action’ mechanism is created to feel like it’s moving hammers by using little weights. We know this as weighted keys. Most digital pianos have heavier weights in the base and lighter in the treble and they call this Graded Hammer Action.
Essentially this is the processing power, i.e how many samples are able to play at one time, before the memory runs out and the sounds become compromised. Using the piano sound for example, the player can play up to 10 notes at a time (10 fingers). They may even have 2 instruments on at one time, such as Piano and Strings. This means 20 sounds play at one time. If the player holds down the sustain pedal the notes will then play on top of each other. Most good digital pianos have over 129 note polyphony. The player would have to play 11 X 10 note chords with using 2 sounds at once plus the sustain before the sound start to cut out. It’s very unlikely a player would do this.
Some digital piano manufactures now use ‘sound modelling technology’ either to create the entire sound or add to the digitally sampled sound. SMT gives the piano sound more detail and dimension. Put simply SMT observes and maps out the behaviour of sound waves and designs detailed algorithms to recreate the sound waves. SMT can gives us ‘after sound’ sounds such as sympathetic resonance; Where, on an acoustic piano, the strings resonate in sympathy to other strings being struck. SMT can calculate harmonics, naturally occurring overtones in instruments. SMT can recreate cabinet resonance; the woody sound of the piano body vibrating. And after touch; the sound of the damper dropping back on the sting. Sound Modelling Technology makes digital pianos more realistic than they have ever been.
The three most well known brands for Digital Piano Keyboards are Yamaha, Kawai and Roland. The Casio Celviano pianos are also becoming more popular. Each digital piano replicates different acoustic pianos. The Yamaha for example replicates the Yamaha CFIII and Bosendorfer Concert grand pianos. The Roland Replicates the most elite European Piano. However, neither Roland or our Piano Shop Blog but can name it for legal reasons.
There are many benefits of a digital piano. The first is the ability to play silently with headphones. Also a Digital Piano does not need tuning. Furthermore, a simple connection to a computer, allows use with record software or many of the apps now available. Some digital pianos also have Bluetooth, for use with iPods. Models such as the Yamaha CSP range take piano playing to another level by incorporating auto-accompaniment, lessons, Karaoke, multi-track recording and microphone input. They’re like a musical home-entertainment-system as well as a piano.
Once you have decided to play the guitar the more difficult decision is often which type of guitar to buy. In this Guitar Blog we will look at some of the pros and cons to help you make the best choice for you.
The Nylon String Classical Guitar is one of the most popular choices for a beginners guitar. The most significant
advantage is that nylon strings are soft and require less tension to reach correct tuning. Consequently this means the strength needed to play is reduced and to softer nature of the material causes less pain for the player. This is especially important for children, who need more time to develop strength and are more easily deterred by pain when playing.
The neck on a classical guitar is also wider than a steel string guitar. While this can be a concern for people with
smaller hands, the advantage is that a little more space between strings makes it easier to place your fingers on one string without obstructing another string. This can be helpful when you are learning to play chords.
In addition, a drawback with nylon strings is that they are much more sensitive to heat. This causes the guitar to lose its tuning faster that steel strings. Fortunately, these days we have electronic tuners and smart phone apps that help you get your guitar back in tune quickly and easily.
The Steel String Acoustic Guitar rose to prominence early in the 20th century and in Australia is certainly still the
most popular style of guitar. The steel strings offer a brighter and louder sound than nylon. Therefore as steel strings need approximately double the tension to tune, the construction of steel string guitars differs greatly from nylon string guitars. This makes both styles of guitar unsuitable for switching strings.
Nylon String Classical guitars are generally available in four sizes. A full size classical guitar is considered to be 4/4, with sizes ¾, ½ and ¼ getting smaller by increment.
A general sizing guide for children would be:
¼ size – 3 to 5 years
½ size – 5 to 8 years
¾ size – 8 to 12 years
4/4 size 12 years and up
This is just a general guide. To make sure you purchase the correct size guitar for a child it is recommended you take the child to a music store to find the most suitable size.
Steel String Guitars also come in four basic sizes. Only, it is a little more complicated.
00 or Parlour size – The smallest steel string model, comfortable for smaller players. Smaller body results in lower volume and less bass frequencies.
000 or Grand Auditorium size – A little wider and deeper body size than the 00 gives the guitar a better high to low frequency balance and improved projection.
Dreadnought – As the name suggests, provides pronounced low frequencies and powerful projection. This is the most popular size of steel string guitar. The larger size can be a drawback for smaller players.
Jumbo – Similar in shape to the 000 only larger than the Dreadnought. It has a deep bass frequency and projection that you can feel in your chest as you play. As with the Dreadnought, the larger size can be uncomfortable for smaller players.
Once you have an idea of the type of beginners guitar you want you still need to find the right brand and price.
Here at Pats Music we have a range of instrument for the beginner through to the pro.
Our Guitar Shop sells Nylon String Classical Guitars from Valencia, Yamaha, Katoh, Ibanez & Alhambra.
The prices range from $75 for a ¼ size Valencia through to $1399 for Alhambra 4P professional guitar.
In our Steel String Acoustic range we have guitars from Yamaha, Fender, Sigma, Ibanez, Martin & Maton.
Entry level Steel String guitars start at $100 and can range up to $3500.
For more Guitar advice, why not stop by Pats Music Guitar Shop and talk to one of our in-house pro guitarists.
When you begin looking for a Piano for sale, a common question to ask is “what sort of piano should I buy?” There are many different takes on what may be the ideal piano for your needs. However there are a few simple things to bear in mind.
There are many brands of acoustic pianos on the Market. For example, many of the best brands are made in Europe, often with price points into the tens of thousands of dollars. These pianos have very individual touches and tones and are the choice of some of the world’s best pianists. However, many people are purchasing a piano for their children to begin the journey of playing piano. With this in mind other options may be both affordable and in many cases more suitable for home use. At Pat’s Music we are strong advocates of Yamaha musical instruments for a number of reasons.
When you buy a Yamaha Piano, you inherit part of a company that have been building quality musical instruments in Japan for approximately 130 years. Yamaha pianos are the choice of top schools, concert halls, and professional players world wide. Did you know that the AMEB (Australian Music Examination Board) use the Yamaha YUS1 Piano in their examination rooms? Monash University have Yamaha YUS1PE pianos in nearly all of their practice rooms? Furthermore, both Sydney Opera House and Monash University have the $30,0000 Yamaha CFX Concert Grand piano in their Performance halls?
It is for this reason we recommend Yamaha pianos for home use. If your child is studying for an examination on a Yamaha piano, shouldn’t you have the closest thing at home to what the exam board uses? In addition to Yamaha Pianos, there are many alternative Piano brands on the market. It is always preferable that an acoustic piano, have the touch and sound as close the examination piano as possible.
When you buy an Upright Piano it is important to purchase something that is of professional height. At 121cm tall, the Pianos height gives a deep enough tone in the bass notes to play with expression. Size matters to achieve a full, rich sound from an Upright Piano. If the piano is going into a living area or large space 131cm is the ideal height, as the strings are longer, therefore more volume and depth to fill the space.
New Japanese made Yamaha professional pianos include a 10 year warranty and they are available at Pat’s Music starting from around $13000.
We understand that this may be beyond the budget of many people purchasing their first piano for a young child. Therefore in many cases a secondhand piano may be a suitable option. All of the pre-owned pianos at Pat’s Music are always sourced from Japan and are graded in an A+ condition. This means that even pianos that are 40 years old are still in excellent condition, of a professional standard and are purchasable for a fraction of the price of a brand new one.
The lifespan of most pianos can be 60-80 years, however like a car, you may need to relpace parts from time to time. Buy purchasing an A grade piano from Pat’s music we will include a 10 year warranty on most used Japanese Yamaha Pianos.
Sometimes purchasing a 131cm older professional piano can give better results for learning than a brand new small 109cm student piano for a similar price, as the tone is more often significantly better.
For some people starting out there could be constraints on the budget to under $1500. In this case we will always recommend an electronic instrument over an acoustic piano. New acoustic pianos (as in student models) have a starting price of around $4000. Problem is, you will be buying something small that you will need to upgrade down the track. For under $1500 you can purchase a fully weighted 88 note Yamaha Digital Piano. Consequently, such a Piano Keyboard, will never need tuning and can be moved by two people easily around the house. This sort of instrument will be much more consistent and reliable than any used piano under $3000. Therefore, when the time comes that your child needs an advanced piano, you will be more comfortable investing $5000 or more in a professional used or even upgrading to a new Yamaha Professional piano.
Finally, to discuss the purchase of Pianos, or even buy Piano Music, why not stop in and say hello. Our friendly staff are knowledgable and will make you feel quite at home in our Piano Shop.
Written By Adam Goodwin, Piano Department / Store Manager Pats Music
The Piano is arguably the most influential instrument in the evolution of modern western music. It has also been described as one of the easiest instruments to learn, but the hardest to master. The Piano is unique in that it is a stringed instrument, a percussion instrument and also keyboard instrument.
The beginnings of the Piano can be traced back all the way to 900AD to an instrument called the Hammered Dulcimer or Hackbrett. The Hackbrett is a triangular shaped wooden instrument with a series of strings stretched across 2 bridges. The Hackbret either sits on the lap or in front of the player and is played by striking the strings with little spoon shaped hammers. In Europe and the UK the Hackbrett was tuned to the western chromatic scale with the stings arranged in the circle of fifths. But this instrument was commonly used all over Asia, India and the Middle-East where different tunings were likely used.
The word ‘claviature’ is said to mean ‘a keyboard or fingering system’. In around the 1400’s, the Hackbrett had evolved to include a keyboards which made playing much easier. They keys were arranged in a way that maps out the western chromatic scale with black and white notes. From here on we saw the emergence of the clavichord, clavecina, spinet, virginal and gravicembalo.
In the 1500’s the Harpsichord became
a prominent member of the stringed keyboard instrument family. The harpsichord
also has strings, starched over a bridge. The Harpsichord was made for volume so
is far larger than any of its relatives. It has a lid that sits up to allow for
sound projection and the stings are plucked by a rotating mechanism rather than
struck with hammers.
The popularity of the harpsichord inspired many composers to write for keyboard instruments. Though beautifully loud, the harpsichord was not able to convey dynamics. Meaning it could not be played both loudly and softly. Harpsichord music was composed specifically with this in mind. Composers used denser passages of notes to convey loudness and more sparsely placed notes to convey softness.
The first Pianoforte was made in Italy by a Harpsichord maker Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori. The words 'Piano' means soft and the word ‘Forte’ means loud. This new instrument had the ability to be played both softly and loudly hence being named the ‘softloud’. Crisofori had created a hammer mechanism that fit the larger size of the Harpsichord and there the Piano was born. Composers like Beethoven had a large influence on the development of the Pianoforte in Vienna in the 1800’s.
Europe led the Piano manufacture boom in the 1900’s in countries such as Germany, Austria, Italy and Vienna. Pianos were also made in England, America and Australia. Today, the majority of pianos are made in Japan, and China with a few still made in Europe and the USA.
Over the years many amendments were made to the Piano by Piano makers all over the world. This included the development of the upright piano, the steel or iron frame, under dampers, practice pedals or levers, player pianos or pianolas. Today the traditional Piano has moved gracefully into the digital age with the invention of the hybrid piano. A full acoustic piano that uses laser-sensors, robotics and digital technology to enable the Piano be connected to the internet and played from anywhere in the world.
The story of the development of the piano is really a story of mankind's ability to collaborate to make wonderful things limited only by our imaginations.