Welcoming the Yamaha Silent Piano (Quietly)

Yamaha Silent Piano

Yamaha Silent Piano — note the headphones at the bottom LH side of the keyboard

We see lots of pianos at California Keyboards, from uprights to grands. And in most instances, the actual instrument is a pretty low-tech affair. The person playing depresses a key, which sets off a complicated series of movements unlike a Rube Goldberg machine and eventually creates the sound that you hear.  It’s worked great for centuries and still works today.

But one thing has always been an issue. Playing a piano is loud and isn’t always a great thing to practice in the wee hours of the evening due to that.

The solution to this problem in the past has usually involved playing at a decent hour, practicing in a private studio, or acquiring a keyboard that has a headphone capability.

We now have a new option–The Yamaha Silent Piano.  It’s a fully functioning piano, complete with hammers, strings, and all the accoutrements you would expect.  However, there is a module attached to the bottom left side that, when the middle damper pedal is pressed and moved to the left, disengages the hammers and prevents them from making audible sound.  By putting a pair of headphones on, however, you can play as if everyone in the room was listening (but of course, nobody can except you [or another person who’s also plugged in and listening, since there are two jacks for that purpose]).

The sound heard by pressing the piano keys are electronic samples of an actual Yamaha 9′ Concert Grand.  Volume and reverb can be adjusted on the player’s end, while their playing can be recorded and played back with buttons on the module. It also has a USB slot on the bottom so one’s beautiful melodies can be downloaded and shared with others.

The Silent Piano module can be added to both new upright and grand pianos by Yamaha and is also on select new models. It’s something that truly needs to be experienced firsthand to be believed.  Give it a try when you stop by!

See the YouTube video below of a Silent Grand Piano in action.

Renovations Continuing Along

In case you haven’t been by the store in a while, we’re in the process of undergoing a complete store transformation.  Think of it as a chrysalis preparing to become a beautiful butterfly.  We’ve shown a few photos of the changes on Facebook already, but want to share a little more in-depth what you’re going to be seeing over the next few weeks.

So far, we’ve consolidated the sheet music section to the back of the store, replaced the neon signs overlooking Oak Street with instrument displays that will keep out the glaring Bakersfield sun, and switched out the old Yamaha Pianos sign (any guesses on how old it actually was?) with this:

Yamaha Wall

New side wall with Yamaha sign

Right now, we’re working on creating a new waiting area for parents and kids in addition to completing a slew of technological enhancements (both inside and out).  And that digital display that used to tell you hot it was outside?  Don’t worry—we’ve got that covered as well . . .

We’ll keep you updated as we get closer to a grand reopening happening sometime in April or May.

(Oh, and in case you were wondering, the Yamaha Pianos sign was 36 years old–the same age as the company itself.)