The Importance of Walking Around a Concert Hall

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This is Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com. Today we are going to talk about the importance of walking around a concert hall. What am I talking about? If you ever get the opportunity to play a concert and you have the chance to go to the hall beforehand, there is no better experience than to get someone else playing the piano in that space while you walk around the hall. You will learn so much.

No matter how fine of a hall you are playing in, the sound you will get in the front row compared to the last row, the left to the right, and the balconies can be dramatically different.

Unless you have the opportunity to hear music in the hall on the instrument you play, there is no way that you can really be sure of what you are projecting.

I had the opportunity with my father Morton Estrin who played in so many different halls, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, to walk around and listen. You get to understand that in some halls you might want to alter your touch or tempo of what you are playing because things can become muddied in certain areas of the hall. Other halls might be overwhelmingly loud in some sections and soft in others and you might want to be able to moderate your expression to be able to suit the hall.

This isn’t just for concert halls. Anywhere you play you’ll want to listen in different parts of the room. Imagine you are having an in-home concert and the piano is opened up, and you go in the room and people’s ears are getting blown away because you don’t realize how loud it is! You’re probably just playing at your regular volume that you always practice at. You want to make sure that you are playing appropriately for the space.

There is no better way than to get another person to play so you can walk around and listen.
That way you’ll know exactly how to create the sound you are after. If you don’t have the luxury of a second person to play:

If you have a good quality portable recorder you can try recording from different sections of the hall.

You can listen back and get some idea of what you are getting. But, there is really no substitute for being there live. One of the coolest things is if you have a recording system on your piano. You actually play in the hall on the piano, play it back, and walk around the hall. That’s an ideal situation! Short of that, get a friend to play for you, listen to what you are getting, and pepper your performance to make sure it is ideal for the space you are playing in.

Thanks again for joining me, I’m Robert Estrin from LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store.

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