Archive for : August, 2020

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Introducing the Yamaha B Series Pianos

Developed in Japan and manufactured in Indonesia, Yamaha’s B Series pianos are some of their most affordable entry level acoustic uprights. Within the series there are three models, the B1, B2 and B3 each containing subtle differences that render each model slightly more superior than the last.

This series allowed for reduced production costs to ensure budget friendly prices for the consumer but as always, Yamaha does not compromise on the high quality materials and craftsmanship that is involved in the creation of each piano.

Every instrument is carefully and meticulously crafted with each note played 500 times by a machine in order to test the whole action. After which, it is then tuned four times and regulated before being shipped to its final destination.

Each piano in the series is supported by at least four wooden back posts and a strong cast iron frame to support the high grade hammers and proven action design. Its highly responsive keyboard touch allows both beginners and professionals to play effortlessly.

Yamaha’s B Series features pianos in a range of heights, widths, and depths. The B1 and B2 boast slender profiles, making them ideal for small spaces. With its larger dimensions and heavier construction, the B3 upright requires a little more room but brings a rich, far-reaching sound.

B1

Yamaha has made the B1 for many years and over that time it has become an industry standard for pianos operating at this level, completely redefining the word value. The B1 effortlessly exemplifies Yamahas design principles, offering a magnificent piano at an affordable price. This model stands at 109cm using wooden blocks on the bottom which allow the instrument to resonate with the floor. The B1 embodies a contemporary compact design making it well suited for smaller spaces.

B2

The B2 is the mid range piano in Yamaha’s B Series combining both incredible performance and affordability. At 113cm the B2 is slightly taller than the B1 and features a solid spruce soundboard and longer strings that offer warmth, depth, volume and larger tonal spectrum. Visually the B2 is a more impactful instrument with traditional piano legs combined with the solid spruce soundboard when compared with the B1’s laminate soundboard. Players have also commented on their ability to play more dynamically and expressively with the B2 due to it underfelt on the hammers that create more stability. The distinct beauty and elegant aesthetic of the B2 will look great in any space and is an equally as affordable option.

B3

At the top end of Yamaha’s B Series is the B3 and it is the largest and most tonally rich of the three models. This piano is based on the U1, arguably Yamahas most famous piano making it an extremely desirable instrument. The B3 is 121cm tall allowing for an impressive tonal range with its solid spruce soundboard and larger strings. It also benefits from five back posts to strengthen the instrument, adding stability to the larger sound post and strings.  The hammers, like the B2, also use underfelt for added weight and control for each user. Although the more costly of the series, the B3 offers optimum tonal characteristics and quality craftsmanship.

At Markson Pianos we are proud to offer the B1, B2 and B3 from the Yamaha B Series. If you are interested in finding out more about our Yamaha models or any of our other upright acoustic pianos feel free to contact us today or pop into our London piano showroom to try them out.

In order to keep our staff, customers and members of the public safe, we are currently offering appointment only visits to our showroom in line with the governments Covid-19 guidelines around social distancing.

If you would like to visit us to experience the Yamaha B Series models, please call us on 0207 935 8682! Our London-based piano experts have been selling the full range of electronic, acoustic and grand pianos for over one hundred years, and we can help determine the right option for you.

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Which is better: Yamaha U1 or U3?

Yamaha pianos have remained one of the most consistent choices amongst pianists over the years for their superior quality, impeccable music range and sleek aesthetic appeal. Both amateurs and professionals can find a Yamaha piano to suit their needs, particularly when it comes to their upright acoustic range.

At Markson Pianos we are proud to offer two of the best options available as part of Yamaha acoustic upright range, the U1 and U3 models.

In terms of the build and component quality, these two models are virtually indistinguishable, being ideal for both professionals and beginners. The only key physical difference between the two is that the U3 model is 10cm taller and slightly deeper in order to house longer strings. This provides pianists with a much richer and warmer sound, reminiscent of the phenomenal sounds of a concert grand. Its increased depth also allows for a larger soundboard as well as longer keys and a taller action. Again, allowing the U3 model to produce much richer tones and offering pianists a touch that can be likened to a grand piano.

Arguably the U3 provides a more comfortable and balanced touch which many pianists having commented that it allows them better control when playing. The slightly reduced size of the U1 can create a more hollow and shallow touch that is especially evident when comparing the two instruments.

Tonally, however, the U1 is thought to be more consistent, having very minimal variation between bright and mellow. This means you won’t have to worry about choosing your exact piano as from testing one you will get a feel for all U1 models.

Conversely, U3 pianos can vary between bright, medium and mellow tones. As this model is able to house a larger soundboard and hammer, the tone can vary quite dramatically from each piano. Although this means you will want to be sure you’ve chosen your exact piano with the perfect tone, it also means you will have an instrument that has a completely unique voice.

This variation in tone from the U3 also provides you with more choice to suit the space your piano will live in. If your home has a lot of hardwood flooring and minimal soft furnishings you will want to choose a mellow piano for the best sound. On the other hand, you may wish to house your piano in a room with a heavier carpet, soft furnishings, curtains etc. in which case, a brighter piano would be much better suited. Depending on how many U3 pianos you are able to test and choose from, this varied choice of tone can be beneficial.

Ultimately, the key factor that separates these two models is the price, with the U3 costing you slightly more but also being the more popular option of the two. Conversely, the U1 is a more budget friendly model but with it being a similar size and build to the U3, you are still assured an excellent and rich tone.

At Markson Pianos we are proud to offer both the U1 and U3 from the Yamaha U Series. If you are interested in finding out more about our Yamaha models or any of our other upright acoustic pianos feel free to contact us today or pop into our London piano showroom to try them out. In order to keep our staff, customers and members of the public safe, we are currently offering appointment-only visits to our showroom in line with the governments Covid-19 guidelines around social distancing.

If you would like to visit us to experience the Yamaha U Series models, please call us on  0207 935 8682! As one of the leading piano experts, Markson Pianos have been selling the full range of electronic, acoustic and grand pianos for over one hundred years, and we can help determine the right option for you.

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Top five online piano performances by celebrities during lockdown

During lockdown in the UK, celebrities have used their online platforms to lift people’s spirits.Some have spread musical joy.

Some have spread musical joy.

Music is language that we all understand; it unites us, and it has been great to see how people have been able to come together in a virtual setting despite being confined to their homes. Here, we select our top five online piano performances by celebrities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gary Barlow

The Take That front man has been working hard to spread happiness online by duetting with a whole host of musical artists in a series dubbed ‘The Crooner Sessions’. We have seen the likes of Michael Ball, All Saints, Craig David and many more household names join him while he demonstrates an extensive piano playing prowess.

The Crooner Sessions’ 60-episode compilation has amassed a following of 1.3 million over the past 14 weeks, and continues to grow as Barlow shares with his fans new collaborations.

Jools Holland

Jools Holland has been teaching piano lessons for free online to those stuck for inspiration! Starting with the basics of his infamous boogie-woogie style, the television star has been breaking down a variety of musical techniques to assist beginners.

In his first lesson, he said: “If you don’t have a piano, get Dad’s shirt or Mum’s tablecloth when they are not looking and draw keys on it so you can practice silently.” It meant nobody could feel left out!

We have been loving watching each lesson during lockdown, especially the ‘Stay Home and Play Ray Charles’ Hard Times’ – a welcome reminder that in these challenging times we should remember and give thanks to those working on the front line.

Hugh Laurie & Jools Holland

We have also seen Hugh Laurie and Jools Holland join forces on an edition of ‘Later…With Jools Holland’ from their respective home and studio, duetting ‘We’ll Meet Again’. This particularly poignant piece has been held dear in the hearts of many Britons since VE day because it captured how so many are feeling.

That sensation became more acute after the passing of Dame Vera Lynn, the song’s original artist. Take a look at the duo’s beautiful and moving performance here.

Brendan Kavanagh

Contemporary British pianist, Brendan Kavanagh, also known as ‘Dr K’, recently took to YouTube to perform a ‘Happy Piano Livestream For The Post Lockdown Blues’.

As restrictions ease across the country, many still feel uncertain, which is why Kavanagh and his boogie- woogie playing have been so positively received by viewers online! The livestream is still available to view here if you are interested in discovering more about his innovative and improvised mixture of jazz, blues and rock and roll.

Andrew Lloyd Webber

During the lockdown, Andrew Lloyd Webber took to Twitter to play some of his most famous pieces of music on the piano for all to enjoy. One of the crowd favourites was undoubtedly Webber’s ‘All I Ask of You’ from the 1986 musical ‘Phantom of The Opera‘ – a popular choice among his followers.

Since then, Webber realised the demand for his online performances and has continued to let people vote for their favourite pieces as part of a ‘lockdown listening party! You can take a look at his profile for musical classics such as ‘Any Dream Will Do’ and ‘Memory’ from CATS.

If you have been inspired by any of these amazing celebrity performances, and are considering whether to buy or hire your own piano, why not get in touch with us today? We have recently reopened our showroom in London, and our staff are more than happy to show you our extensive range of upright and acoustic pianos.

You can book an appointment by contacting us on 0207 935 8682, or send an email to info@marksonpianos.com