The road warrior like piano or guitar


As I admire my sister’s water color of piano and guitar on my wall, I can’t help noticing how different the two instruments are. One is transfixed to the location. The other is portable. One has 88 keys. The other has 6 strings and many frets.

Plink & Strum by Frances Ku, Copyright 2011, 16″ X 20″ Watercolor on 140 lb Strathmore, Cold Press

Plink & Strum by Frances Ku, Copyright 2011, 16″ X 20″ Watercolor on 140 lb Strathmore, Cold Press

The players are different, too.

As a pianist, I don’t carry my instrument. But I have to adapt to the instrument at the venue. Sometimes it’s a pleasant surprise. Sometimes it’s not so nice. Nearly always I have to get used to it. Does the soft pedal work? Do I have to open the lid? How does it sound with the guitar? How does it resonate in the room?

As a guitarist, Robert always carries and plays his own instrument. He knows his instrument like the back of his hand. The only things he needs to adapt to are the piano at the venue and the acoustics.

Compare this analysis to road warriors who require computers to work. As convenient as laptops are, they still require carriage, taking out of the case, plugging into a wall socket, opening up, charging, etc. There is a risk of theft and damage. A laptop takes up space. For all these reasons, I prefer desktop computers. I carry a memory stick (flash drive) and/or I load my files on Google Docs or web directories. I can log into any internet-connected computer and get what I need. I am the quintessential pianist who would rather adapt than carry.

Meanwhile, the guitarist is accustomed to carrying his instrument. He will use a laptop or an ipad or an iphone.

This is not to say that I don’t use a laptop. I have a laptop — an old powerbook G4. It sits on my desk like a desktop.

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Filed under guitar, instrument, piano, travel, venues

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