Many people ask the question if pianos are too loud, or how can I make an acoustic piano play quieter? Perhaps you have neighbours, have a newborn who you’d rather not wake up, or like to practice well into the night? Well the good news is, that’s not a problem and for those looking for an instrument that can be played either quietly or silently, look no further!
Today we’ll be breaking down the main ways that pianos can be played quietly, giving you full piece of mind knowing that you won’t be disturbing anyone around you!
Digital Or Acoustic
The first question to ask here is one that we often find many people slip into because they aren’t aware of the technology available to them! Many people would love a real acoustic piano, but instead opt for a digital instrument because they can be played with headphones...well whilst there are some fantastic digital instruments on the market, for the aspiring pianist, or those who are intending on getting to a higher level of play, we’d almost always recommend an acoustic instrument over a digital one.
To learn more about the things to consider when buying a digital piano, read our guide here.
For those who want to experience the true power and feel of the piano however, keep reading as acoustic instruments can still be played quietly (and even silently too!)
Silent pianos are one of our absolute favorite types of piano and are one of the best kept secrets from many piano players! We’ve written a full guide about how easily these sensational pieces of technology can be retrofitted to almost any piano, even old ones you might already own.
We recently had one customer who was absolutely devastated that they thought they might have to swap in their cherished piano because it was too loud, however after introducing them to the KIOSHI silent piano system, they were thrilled that they were able to transform their instrument into a silent piano without the need for getting rid of their current instrument!
Silent pianos essentially are full acoustic instruments that can be played silently by some kind of digital technology. Many manufacturers also produce their own silent systems such as the astounding C.Bechstein Vario System and also the Kawai AnyTime ATX4 system. Kawai have also innovated the new AURES system which essentially combines the best of both technologies and allows for a silent piano to be played with aloud with varying volume!
Want to learn more? Contact our experts today to enquire about silent systems!
Not a fan of fitting a silent system? We’d seriously consider it, however there are a few other ways that acoustic pianos can still be played quietly.
Know Your Pedals!
Also known as the ‘Una Corda’ or ‘soft’ pedal, Many pianos do also come with a ‘practice pedal’ that essentially moves the piano’s hammers slightly to the side of the strings so it does not hit them centrally, this gives the instrument a far more ‘muted’ tone. Other versions of this pedal may also lower a strip of soft felt between the hammer and string, making the whole piano quieter. Learn more about piano pedals here.
Positioning The Piano & The Room
Many aren’t also aware that you can stop a piano’s noise ‘leaking’ through walls by placing it in the right location! We’ve written a full guide to piano placement and positioning here,
Whilst you might not be able to stop sound completely without fully adding major reconstruction of your walls to be fully soundproof, you can mute the sound somewhat by putting the lid of the piano down, putting your piano against a wall or even better in the corner away from those you're worrying about disturbing. Next we would recommend putting sound proofing foam or a thick blanket behind the back of the piano as well as underneath it.
This will not only mute the piano somewhat, but will significantly reduce the sound transferring through nearby walls. It also helps if the piano is standing on carpet or on top of a thick rug. The same can be used for grand pianos, however because of their size, grand pianos are far harder to mute.
Essentially, the more absorbing materials that the room has, the more the sound will be absorbed into the room and stop bouncing through the walls. Sofas and even curtains will also help insulate the sound that little bit more.
Finally, a few other things you can do to reduce the amount of sound coming out of the room, keep the doors and windows closed while playing the piano, but also having double glazed windows and double doors may help further.
Ask Your Technician!
Our final tip would be to ask your technician for their advice during your next piano tuning! Depending on the room, they may offer a completely new solution or recommend fitting a silent system to your piano.
A knowledgeable piano technician can also attempt to make your piano less bright sounding which may impact the overall sound but also mute the piano slightly. This can be done by needling the felt on the hammers and adjusting the action mechanism.
Want to learn more about silent piano options? Contact our experts today or visit our showroom today!