Category Archives: Buyer’s Guides

Roland Digital Pianos: SuperNATURAL Piano Sound

Probably the most common question I get online is “What the heck is so SuperNATURAL about Roland’s piano sound?” …and it’s a fair question! Since Roland invented the first digital piano in 1975, they have been known throughout the World as a leader in digital music technology. If they’re excited about a technology, then it must be something big!

Well, I decided that SuperNATURAL Piano was too intricate to describe in a text blog. Who’d want to read that anyway?! …so for all of you who’ve wondered but never asked – and, of course, for all of you who asked, here’s my latest video: “What is SuperNATURAL Piano by Roland?”


…and check out the entire line of Roland SuperNATURAL digital pianos!


The Harpsichord Makes a Digital Comeback

Today’s digital technology is giving classical instruments unparalleled exposure to increasingly younger generations of musicians.  In fact, with modern sampling technology, some instruments (like the Roland C-30 Digitall Harpsichord) can so closely replicate the authentic sound of a traditional harpsichord that the human ear can’t tell the difference.  As a result, music educators all over the world are delighting their students with authenticity – many for the very first time.

1765 Blanchet French double harpsichord 1765 Blanchet French double harpsichord on display in the Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments

1765 Blanchet French double harpsichord 1765 Blanchet French double harpsichord on display in the Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments

Imagine.  What would “The Well Tempered Clavier” have sounded like when Bach wrote it?  How different would Mozart’s early works sound if performed on harpsichord instead of piano?  How did the piano’s development change the way Western Music was written?  These topics and more – traditionally very difficult to teach without a 7’ harpsichord in your studio – are now returning to private piano lessons…thanks to Roland.

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How to Select a Piano Dealer


Do you trust your piano store?

Do you trust your piano store?

People often compare the piano retail business to used car sales and, frankly, I can understand why.  Over the years, far too many piano dealers have participated in misleading advertising schemes, unethical pricing schedules, “bait and switch” tactics, misrepresentation and outright dishonesty.  It’s gotten bad enough that those of us who truly care about our clients have to work ten times harder to earn their trust.  Piano shoppers today often experience real fear at the prospect of giving an unfamiliar business their hard-earned money.   It’s sad, but it’s completely understandable. 

The rise of The Internet helped in some ways.   It’s given consumers a whole new voice.  Piano shoppers can review their dealers, leave feedback and even warn others when they feel they were mistreated.  The downside to the internet is its sheer volume of information.  Everybody with an opinion and a smart phone can create a blog.  …and while it’s great that everyone has an opinion, it’s hard to know whose opinions are based on real information and whose are based on old info, opinions or third-party propaganda.   

How, then, can you tell which piano dealers are trustworthy and which ones are just “out to make a buck”?

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Teaching Special Needs Students on Roland Digital Pianos

Roland RM-700 Digital Piano

The Roland RM-700

I have often said that people think there’s “nothing new under the sun” in the piano business.  We’re dealing with an instrument that is over 300 years old and has changed relatively little.  Most teachers, technicians and private owners have chosen their favorite brands years ago, firmly plugged their fingers into their ears and begun to hum loud enough to drown out any new information that might contradict their traditional view of the piano world.  For those of us who work with current piano information on a daily basis, this is extremely frustrating.

One of the biggest challenges I face as a piano expert is finding others in my community who understand the value of modern piano tools.  It’s not easy to find someone who will ask their students to play along with a CD, record a MIDI file or – gasp – practice their scales with a drum rhythm instead of a metronome.  However, I occasionally have the fortune of encountering one of these enlightened souls and I want to share her relatively unique story with you. Continue reading


Shower Karaoke with Roland

Center Cancel on Roland Pianos

Turn your favorite CDs into karaoke CDs!

Come on. Admit it. There’s no shame in it. Lot’s of people do it. In fact, I do it myself. Some mornings when I get up and step into the shower, I can’t help myself. I grab my shampoo bottle, turn up the radio and start belting out “Friday” or “You Can’t Touch This” – whatever comes to my (admittedly groggy) mind. Hi. My name is James and I’m a Shower Singer. …and so are you.

Lots of us get up every morning, sneak into the bathroom, crank the radio, and sing to our hearts’ content. …and, though we hide our efforts from the “discerning” ears of friends and family, we take some comfort in the fact that – though he doesn’t know it – we can hear our next door neighbor doing the very same thing.

Well, fellow Shower Singers, the future is here! Introducing the all new HP-305 digital pianos from Roland.

Designed to reproduce the natural, expressive feel of a grand piano (right down to the characteristic “click” feel and the old-school “ivory feel” keys), the new Roland HP305 is so authentic you’ll forget you’re playing a digital instrument! …but, though it has a breath-taking SuperNATURAL piano sound (based on the Steinway 9′ concert grand), 3-track recorder, metronome, and iconic front leg cabinet design, the HP-305’s real appeal is for – yes, you guessed it – the Shower Singers!

Connect your iPod, USB flash drive, or USB CD drive to this piano and you can take pre-recorded songs (even your favorite CDs!), cut out the vocals, and sing your favorite music with CD accompaniment! You can even change keys! You’re shower can’t do that!

So, fellow Shower Singers, it’s time for us to step out of the shower, dry ourselves off, (put some clothes on!), and sing ‘till our hearts’ content with the all-new HP-305 pianos from Roland.

Stop in for a demo and I might even sing for you – just don’t tell anyone!