Wanted: Keyboard…er, Stage Piano
Since I lack Scandinavia’s most common transportation vehicle (a bicycle, not a car), I find myself walking kilometers a day. I feel somewhat embarrassed at how easy walking really is. Back home I used to drive, catch rides, bike – anything to avoid using my legs. I could have walked to work. Here I traverse at least twice that distance each day on average. Like today, for example; I estimate covering eight kilometers. The majority of those were spent on an excursion to the music store on the outskirts of town.
This week has been wet. Wednesday rain kept me from leaving the apartment for the practice room at Michael Hansens. October is officially here. So naturally, I got to thinking about future days when I won’t have access to a piano. How can this potential disaster be remedied? Getting my own keyboard. You would not believe the variety of keyboard instruments they offer nowadays. Okay, maybe you would. I did some online research and it turns out that Lund boasts a well-stocked music store. I found a few cheaper items in Copenhagen, but actually about the same price if you factor in the transportation costs to obtain them [A train to CPH takes 45 minutes and costs about $20].
On my watch list was the M-Audio Keystation 49e, a 49-key MIDI/USB keyboard. When I arrived at the store, it was easy to spot amongst the other keyboards. By far the most affordable, but I made two realizations that ruled it out. First, 49 keys are not enough. You can barely play bass notes. 61 is probably ideal. Secondly, I hate dinky keys. The M-Audio model, like many keyboards, feels more like a toy than an instrument. Thin, lightweight plastic keys are just not acceptable. I need a keyboard that feels and plays more like a piano, with weighted keys. I think I need a digital piano, except a smaller, cheaper, and more portable version. I explained my keyboard predicament to the salesman. “That’s what a keyboard is,” he rebuked. “You want a stage piano. Keyboards do not have weighted keys.” Well, thank you for setting the record straight.
So basically, I want something that doesn’t exist. Since I’m certainly not compromising on the weighted keys issue, I’ll have to sacrifice on price or portability. Right now, neither of those sacrifices seem prudent. I guess I’ll have to wait until I get home. But home has a piano anyway. Oy.
Footnote: I played my first pick-up basketball game in Sweden this week. More on that later…