Two nights ago, a man asked me the very ambiguous and open-ended question, “What is the best kind of piano to get?”
I patiently explained that pianos, as instruments, are a lot like cars. The factors of size, budget and personal preference need to be considered, as well as what kind of mileage needs to be covered during the instrument’s lifetime, where it needs to perform, and how it needs to be function.
Upon deaf ears, the question was re-clarified.
“I saw a Steinway at an estate sale. They’re the best kind aren’t they? Should I get it?“
I didn’t tell him that even Ferraris and Porsches come with problems from time to time and it’s the same for pianos. Especially used ones.
I didn’t ask if he knew any other brands of pianos.
And I certainly didn’t care to know if he was acquiring this Steinway for his child or as a decorative home feature.
I just told him that the best instruments are the ones that you love to hear, that you enjoy playing, that you miss when you are on other keyboards, and that inspire you interpret songs a little more diligently.
The best instruments are not like cars, but rather like people who positively influence you to be better and to do better.