5 Reasons A Guitarist Should Learn The Piano

5 Reasons A Guitarist Should Learn The Piano

Have you been playing the guitar for years? Maybe it’s time to take up the piano too. 

Many guitarists dismiss the piano as a bulky instrument, more of a piece of furniture. And let’s face it, fans scream over guitarists, not piano players. There is something inherently sexy about playing a guitar; a piano, well, not as much. 

Yet as a guitarist, learning the piano can make you a better musician.

You’ll become a better composer

The piano is the gold standard for composition, especially if you are writing for other instruments. With the piano, you can cover everything from bass lines, melodies, chords, and vocal arrangements and hear how it all comes together. Thus the writing process becomes more efficient. 5 Reasons A Guitarist Should Learn The Piano

Music theory is easier to comprehend

On a piano, every note is laid out in front of you. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of fingering and playing. With guitar, it’s not so easy. It’s a quirky instrument when it comes to how the notes are arranged and how a song is played. Because the notes are in front of you on the piano, it’s easier to learn along the way, especially when getting into complex music theory, such as inversions. 

You can try out new sounds

Playing a guitar can provide a lifelong learning experience. Yet it can’t hold a candle to the different sounds and experiences you can create with a digital piano. It’s a lot of fun experimenting with different rhythms, different instruments, different options, and you’ll find yourself understanding composition in new ways. 

You’ll have more opportunities

If your goal is to incorporate music into your career, you’ll have more opportunities if you play the piano. Piano is used in many different ways – singers need accompanists. Dancers need something to dance to. Even community productions often use the piano when they are creating their entertainment. 

You’ll become a better guitarist

With a piano, your hands get more of a workout. They stretch and reach to capture every note in specific rhythm. With a piano, it’s important to play every note evenly and distinctly as you stretch and reach for every note. You build evenness and speed, accuracy and strength. All of which will help you when you pick up the guitar once again. 

The piano may be one of the most difficult instruments to learn. But if music is a part of your life, the benefits far outway the costs. Learning something new stretches and gives you new opportunities. And that can mean better playability for you. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Is Listening To Mozart As Good As Playing The Piano

Is Listening To Mozart As Good As Playing The Piano

When you have your first child, your life becomes a whirlwind of reading and educating yourself to be the best parent you can be. And at some point, you probably ran across an article or two that said how good listening to classical music is for your baby. 

It’s called the Mozart effect. And it’s been studied for a long time. 

Back in the 1990s, a group of researchers at the University of California Irvine performed a test in which they divided students into three groups. They played Mozart for one, self-hypnosis audio for another, and the third sat in silence. Then they were each asked to perform a series of tests. Those who listened to Mozart averaged higher performance than the other two groups, and the “Mozart theory” was born.  

From there, a whirlwind of products were created touting the benefits music had on our lives. Things like Baby Einstein videos were developed, allowing parents to put educational toys and videos in front of their children, and allow a few moments of guilt-free parenting opportunities to help them get through their busy days. 

It became so ingrained in our society, that even the governor of Georgia recommended that every child born in his state get a free classical music CD. Is Listening To Mozart As Good As Playing The Piano

Studies continued. And slowly it was proved that listening to Mozart might not be as beneficial as everyone once thought. It won’t hurt; being cultured in music can only help a child’s development. And if it calms everyone in the family down and eliminates stress, all the better. 

The bottom line is products like Baby Einstein won’t “educate” your child, and simply listening to Mozart won’t create a stronger, more fine-tuned brain. That takes education. That takes work. It takes action; doing instead of merely listening. 

And that’s where playing the piano comes into play. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Should Kids Do Sports or Music … Or Both?

Should Kids Do Sports or Music … Or Both?

When a child takes an interest in an activity at a young age, a parent is faced with a dilemma. Do you encourage they spend a lot of time with one activity, which can lead to a high skill level as they age? Or do you push your kids to enroll in several activities across the spectrum, exposing them to many activities and interests? 

It’s a question many parents ask themselves, especially when we see how dedication can pay off. No one would doubt the ability of Michael Phelps who started swimming at the age of 11. Or Yo-Yo Ma who performed John F Kennedy and Dwight D Eisenhower at the age of 7. Even Mozart was composing by the age of four. Should Kids Do Sports or Music … Or Both?

But while dedication to a single activity works for some, in general, many more face burnout and injury when focusing in on only one activity, repeating the process over and over again throughout development. Sports, in particular, can be a problem. 

When a child specializes in one sport early on, certain body parts are subjected to large amounts of stress. A pitcher may throw the ball hundreds of time. The spine of a gymnast is tweaked and torqued again and again. Football injuries are finally coming to light. 

Burnout is also a problem. When a child is pushed into one activity, it loses its thrill over time. It can become a tedious process rather than one of pure enjoyment, one that is designed to eliminate stress. 

And in many cases, the goal rarely lies with what the child wants. Parents see the light at the end of the tunnel as scholarships or even professional status which brings along with it fortune and fame. Whether it’s a child’s dream or the dream of his or her parents, it can quickly wane over time. 

The solution is not to curb a child’s participation in either sports or music, but to encourage a variety of activities that develop different skills and body parts. For instance, swimming can be a great activity for a young baseball player that hopes to pitch. Playing the piano can also help develop patience and focus. And because they all work together, your child will develop in more rounded ways. 

Just like we as adults look for ways to use everything we have in different ways, for young children it should be encouraged even more. It isn’t about putting a child on a narrow path for possible success, but instead sharing with them the love of being able to do whatever they chose to do. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

How Playing A Concert Piano Changes Sound Quality

How Playing A Concert Piano Changes Sound Quality

What’s your dream as a piano player? Do you desire to play in some of the best concert halls in the world? 

As a musician, you develop a special appreciation for your instrument. Violinists, trumpet players, flutists – they all search out the perfect instrument that will allow them to create beautiful music. 

But piano players are different. In most cases, a piano player walks into a concert hall and performs on the instrument already on stage. 

That first touch establishes connection. You play something. A chord. A bar from your favorite song. And you begin to feel with the piano. How Playing A Concert Piano Changes Sound Quality

Most piano players will tell you they’ve played on good pianos – and not so good. They’ve plucked out tunes on all sizes and shapes, all manufacturers, all price points. And they will tell you that most of it doesn’t matter. Smaller can be better. There are hundreds of variables that go into the final decision. And even then, it’s often at the discretion of the piano player. 

From the first notes, a player will understand the capabilities of the piano in front of them. The more they play, the more they will adjust their playing ability. But nothing will change a bad piano and make it better. It doesn’t have tonal quality. It doesn’t have a rich sound that can be pulled from a good one. 

A piano that feels like it’s a continuation of their hands, from their thoughts to their hands to their fingers to the keys, that will help create beautiful music. 

When playing a piano in a concert hall, a pianist will sit and warm up. They will play to build that connection with the instrument. They will request the help of a good, trained technician to adjust the tonal character here and there. Working with a skilled technician can take hours, even days to build the perfection between musician and piano. 

For a pianist, the piano should sing, have a rich and varied tone, every note rounded out in perfect tune. What they don’t like, what sounds flat or unvaried, that’s why they request changed. That’s where the work is done. 

But even after all that practice and work and fixing, something changes once again when the concert hall fills up, and the pianist sits down to play with the orchestra or band. It changes once again. 

The hall’s acoustics change with the change in attendees. Suddenly it’s no longer empty seats, but living, breathing warm bodies that change the acoustics once again. Silence may still be silent, but it is interlaced with breathing, coughing, humming. The music fills the spaces in a unique way. You can feel it. You can hear it. 

And when the concert ends, you stand up and walk away. Another concert, another town. And it begins again. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

The Most Famous Pianos In The World

The Most Famous Pianos In The World

Have you fallen in love with the piano? When only the best will do, you can put one of the best on displays in your home. 

But not all pianos are for sale. You can’t play them. You can’t touch them. But you can see them. 

Mozart Museum

Head to Salzburg, and you’ll find many of the instruments Mozart used throughout his life on display. You’ll find the fortepiano that he used as a concert instrument and the clavichord he used to practice on. Mozart was a stickler for sound and preferred to bring his piano with him to concerts rather than using one provided by the hall. The Most Famous Pianos In The World

Beethoven Museum

One of the most legendary pianists was Ludwig van Beethoven. His compositions are still some of the most beloved of all times. You can step into his world if you visit Bonn, Germany and see not only where he lived but what he played. Like the piano given to him a year before his death, a piano built for extra volume by being quadruple-strung. 

Chopin Museum

Take a step back in time and visit the Chopin museum in Warsaw. Polish composer Frederic Chopin’s life is commemorated through personal items on display, such as the final piano he used to compose and write some of his most memorable pieces. 

Lennon’s Last Piano

The greatest pianos in the world don’t have to be centuries old. John Lennon’s last piano is on display at the Beatles Story. This was the piano named the John Lennon Piano due to his insistence on moving it everywhere he worked. This is the piano he played just hours before his death. 

Elvis’ Original Graceland Piano

You can’t think of music without adding Elvis Presley to the list. And if you head to Graceland, you’ll find one of the most memorable pianos Elvis owned. This white baby grand piano with gold accents was custom made and restored to how it was when Elvis used it to practice. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Silent Piano Concerts: The Newest Rage

Silent Piano Concerts: The Newest Rage

Looking for something to do on Saturday night? Want to experience something new?

You might try attending a silent piano concert. 

What’s that you say? A concert that’s silent? How can that be?

Silent piano concerts are a new invention that are sweeping the world. They are one of the most unusual events you’ll attend. Silent Piano Concerts: The Newest Rage

The idea is intriguing. Instead of sitting in a concert hall letting the sounds revolve around you, you stroll through the performance area instead. There you’ll find a series of piano, piano players in position pounding out their tunes. 

If you choose to listen, you pause, grab a pair of headphones and transport yourself away to listen in to what the artist is creating. 

Really, it’s not that difficult to understand how silent piano concerts evolved. As digital pianos became more prominent, one of the biggest factors of investing in one was the ability to play anywhere. In the middle of a crowded room. In an apartment complex filled with people. Pianists learned they could plug headphones into their piano and practice all hours of the day without interrupting the world rushing by. 

Imagine a pianist as they develop their rhythm, write their compositions, and play to the best of their ability. They don’t judge the sound based on the surrounding area. They judge it based on what occurs between the headphones, what they hear as the music envelopes them. 

Why shouldn’t you hear it that way too?


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Practicing The Piano: Sometimes It’s About Reflection

Practicing The Piano: Sometimes It’s About Reflection

As a parent, sometimes it’s difficult helping our children practice the piano. We want them to get better. To learn to love creating music and do it well. So we push. 

When they sit down, we listen for the details. We expect to hear warm ups – scales are usually in the mix. Then we expect to hear music. Possibly running through a song or two, or practicing a certain part. Over and over again. Practicing The Piano: Sometimes It’s About Reflection

We listen for it. We time it. We probe when we don’t hear what we anticipate. 

But sometimes there’s more to practicing the piano than hitting the keys and hammering out a tune. Sometimes it’s the introspect that makes a difference too. 

Imagine for a moment you’re making a fancy dinner for a special night. You’ve planned for this for days. You’ve shopped for the best ingredients. You’ve laid out the silver and china. You expect perfection. 

You add a little of this. Stir. Add a little bit more. It simmers. It blends. 

You take a spoonful and taste. You reflect. You determine it needs a little more of this. Or a little more of that. 

Reflection is a natural part of a cook’s repertoire. It’s something she does to ensure her meal turns out just the way she planned.  

The same can be said for a piano player. 

Music is something you create, you feel, and you hear. And each of those skills must be refined over and over again. 

Sure, you can practice several hours a day, beating out a tune over and over again. But what did you truly learn?

Instead, sitting down and feeling the music means the notes become an extension of who you are. That means understanding the music. That means feeling the notes. And reflecting on how you can put you into every step of the process. 

If you really want your child to love playing the piano and improve his or her skills, don’t just listen for the music. Ask about reflection. What does a song do for her? How does she feel it before she plays it? 

A little reflection can go a long way. It can help turn her into a lifelong lover of music. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

How To Use A Metronome In Piano Practice

How To Use A Metronome In Piano Practice

Learning the piano isn’t just about plunking out a tune on the keys. Learning how to keep time and pace on the piano is one of the most important skills you’ll develop over time.

It’s also one of the most difficult skills to master.

That’s where a simple tool called a metronome can help.

A piano metronome is a small device that is designed to keep a beat at a certain timing. It’s used to help musicians play songs with proper time signature and at the right pace.

You’ll find today’s metronomes come in analog, electronic, or digital, each with their own individual characteristics.How To Use A Metronome In Piano Practice

The very basic analog metronomes are made of wood and use a small pendulum to keep time. They are sometimes best for a beginner because you can see and hear the tempo.

Electronic metronomes look like tiny radios. They sometimes can double as a tuning instrument too.

Digital metronomes are probably the easiest to find thanks to today’s technology. Look no further than your smartphone – there’s an app for that.

A metronome improves your musical abilities by helping you focus on your rhythm. While it’s important to know the notes of a song, it’s equally as important to know when and how fast or slow to play them. A metronome forces you to pay attention to time.

Metronomes force you to become a better learner. With a complicated piece of music, it can slow down the beat to help familiarize yourself with the music before speeding it up to its anticipated speed.

Metronomes are also great to help practice tempos outside of your comfort zone. A lot of today’s music is played in the standard 4/4 signature. But if you freestyle or play pieces using less common signatures, you can use the metronome to improve your technique and skills. Helping you become a better piano player overall.

Looking for a free metronome app? Here’s JoyTunes, a free app that is packed with a lot of different features. Even better, it coordinates with your Apple watch, making it always available to use.


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Why Piano Apps Can Help Motivate A Piano Player

Why Piano Apps Can Help Motivate A Piano Player

Have a child you’re trying to motivate to stick with playing the piano? There’s an app for that. 

For as long as the piano has been around, parents have worked hard to keep their kids motivated for practice. Today the problem is only amplified with our technological advances. Smartphones, tablets, computer games and even television are far more exciting than the average practice book. It can be tedious at best, especially when so many other things are vying for attention. 

Instead of fighting it, why not give into it instead? New digital tools can liven up your child’s practice routines in new and exciting ways. After all, smartphones have made almost everything in our lives better, why not practicing the piano? Why Piano Apps Can Help Motivate A Piano Player

It only takes a few clicks to open up a world of opportunity. Piano apps can help motivate a child through games or let them become the next maestro by conducting an orchestra. They can help a child write their own music or combine different sounds and record their own songs. We’ve even given you a few of our own favorites right here – and here – on our blog. 

There’s something fascinating about using a smartphone or tablet. You’ll see it in the faces of even the smallest child. Being able to slide, tap, and click away to play in a magical world is exciting. With the inclusion of a tablet into your weekly practice routine, it can add to the “coolness factor” that makes learning the piano even more thrilling. Before a child even knows it, they’ve improved their skills. And they can easily convert their knowledge from something they learned in a game to real world practicality. 

As a parent, it can be difficult to know the difference between playing and practicing. Your child’s piano teacher is a great resource for finding high quality apps that can help in the process. You can also learn more on your own by doing a few simple searches online. Innovative tools are being added all the time and are often just what a child needs to turn even the most frustrating practice sessions into fun again. 

Want to learn piano yourself as an adult? Not a problem. We typically have two things in common. We want to learn fast, and we don’t have a lot of spare time. That’s where an app can help. Apps can provide an interactive learning environment that engages you and provides feedback on your process. It can allow you to understand the nuances of your practicing in far more efficient ways. 

Want to learn the piano? There’s an app for that. And we’re sure you’ll be amazed at how beneficial they can become. 

What are your favorite piano apps?


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Why Do Pianos Have 88 Keys?

Why Do Pianos Have 88 Keys?

Sit down at a piano and strike every key. Each makes a different sound. When played together, they create a beautiful sound. 

Pianos have 88 keys on a standard piano. They have more combinations than any other instrument played today. Each key represents a different note, giving the piano a wide array of playability. 

Why Do Pianos Have 88 Keys?But why 88 keys? Why not 50? Or 200? The answer is both historical and practical. 

The piano was originally developed based on the modification of the harpsichord, which has 60 keys. If you travel back in time, you’ll find that era had pianos with 60 keys. 60 keys represented 5 octaves, with 12 notes in an octave. 

As pianos grew in popularity, composers began writing more music specifically for the piano. It wasn’t long before they attempted to create more difficult pieces requiring higher pitches than were possible with the originals. So they began working with piano makers to create pianos with more keys. 

Over the history of the piano, you’ll find many different versions of pianos with different numbers of keys. By the mid 1800s, pianos had reached their modern day 7 octave range, with Steinway creating one of the first 88 key pianos. Other piano manufacturers quickly followed suit.

Today’s modern pianos have 52 white keys and 36 black keys. The white keys represent the musical tones A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. The black keys represent the half-step intervals, known as sharps and flats. The grouping of seven white keys and five black keys together make up the 12 notes of the octave. 

Could pianos be made with more than 88 keys? Yes. But the added notes would make the piano bigger and heavier. And more expensive. In truth, notes beyond the standard 88 keys get into octaves that are more difficult for the human ear to distinguish. While it is possible, many consider it impractical. Which is how 88 became the standard.


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172