We all need community. Especially those of us who play piano. After all, it’s mostly a solitary activity. With that in mind, there aren’t a lot of forums where the focus is on the ‘king of instruments.’
But fear not. There are two ‘biggies’ out there you should know about.
The first one is called PianoWorld and it is the biggest, most active piano forum out there. It’s run and owned by webmaster Frank Baxter. Frank, himself an amateur pianist has been running these forums for over 10 years.
The good thing about these forums is they’re very active. In fact, there are more ‘members’ here than anywhere else. The bad thing is it’s pretty much all about classical piano. Of course, this would not be bad if you’re a classical pianist. But for those who enjoy jazz, pop, or even new age music, the pickings are slim compared to those who post on topics related to classical music.
Which brings me to ‘the ugly’ side of PianoWorld. I used to be a member there. Until I got banned for speaking my mind. I didn’t break any forum rules but I wasn’t well liked. Why? My theory is they didn’t want to hear what I had to say about piano playing in general. But if you know me and read my posts, articles, and other piano musings, you know what I have to say can be controversial and even threatening to those who have devoted most of their lives to playing classical piano.
But I encourage you to check it out for yourself. Find them at http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/
After PianoWorld comes Pianostreet. I don’t know who runs these forums but let me start with the ugly first - the entire site is done in reverse type.
What’s that you ask? It’s white text on a black background. Guaranteed to burn your retinas out after just a few minutes of viewing. In fact, white text with a black background is probably the worst design mistake you can make. Why? Because it’s the hardest of all design styles to read! And assuming you want people to visit, read, and eventually post, it’s really, really stupid.
Now, the bad. It too is mostly classical. And I really don’t understand why. Surely there are more ‘pop’ pianists out there than their classical playing counterparts. But it’s probably due to the fact that classical pianists love to chat about minutiae like, hand tension, fingering, dynamics - pretty much anything you can think of that would lead a classical pianist to perfect his art.
In fact, there are two major contributor’s there who do nothing, and I mean nothing but argue with each other over said minutiae. I won’t name them, but if you visit, it won’t take you long to discover their identities.
As far as ‘the good’ goes, there is a sub forum where people can post improvisations and the like via video. I have a few there and received some nice comments. But once again, if you’re not into the classical scene, the pickings can be slim. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
You can find the Pianostreet forums at http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php
Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 15 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Visit now and get a FREE piano lesson!