By Al & David
Two Pianos - Rock ’n’ Roll Experience
We are very excited to be using the Casio Privia PX-S1000 Digital Piano as part of our Two Pianos rock ’n’ roll production, which is currently touring UK theatres and we want to share our experience of using the PX-S1000 live on stage.
The first thing that strikes you about the PX-S1000 is it’s compact size and portability. Weighing around 11kg, it’s very light weight and easy to carry around, especially if you are walking long distances for load-ins or venue to venue. It’s snug-fit carry case comes with adjustable shoulder straps, which make carrying the piano very little effort especially if you need to walk with it over long distances. I have struggled in the past with heavy stage pianos when transporting them, especially when it comes to commuting around busy cities like the London Underground. With it’s shoulder straps and light weight, it makes the journey so much more pleasant and you will hopefully not be worn out by the time you’re ready to perform. We had the opportunity to do serval shows on the Norfolk Broads last month and transporting the PXS-1000 was such a joy. It even runs on 6AA batteries if you can't access a mains supply!
Once set up the PX-S1000 boasts a very elegant, stylish and slimline appearance, with a shiny touch screen selection panel and a depth of 20.3cm and 10.2cm height. As part of our Two Pianos production we are required to house the pianos within a replica grand piano case to add visual effect to our live shows. We have had 2 new cases made to fit our new PX-S1000’s, which have reduced in size and weight from our previous cases, reflecting on the compact size and weight of these digital pianos. It also makes transporting them much easier, reducing load space, weight and travel costs!
The PX-S1000 hosts a selection of instrument sounds, including several piano and electric piano sounds, harpsichord, strings and a range of organs. In our show, we tend to use piano sounds only, though with two pianos simultaneously playing, it is vital for us to achieve the distinction between each piano. We achieve this by using different piano patch selections. Alan tends to play in the style of Jerry Lee Lewis, so he finds using a brighter ‘rock piano’ sound has more cut within a live band situation. Also playing heavy rock ’n’ roll piano for over 2 hours can take its toll on your fingers, so having the option of a brighter piano sound is helpful and can reduce any over playing. myself on the other hand, I like to use a softer piano sound to suit my style of playing, which is more bluesy and jazzy. I have used both the default piano sound and the Jazz piano selection, which has a slight chorus effect on it that does sound rather nice on some of the ballads and country songs we perform.
Touch and feel. The PXS-1000 has a very light and responsive touch, but still retains a great weighted key action. Playing the heavy rock ’n’ roll style of piano that we do, we tend to move around the keyboard quite quickly, with the right hand playing blues and jazz licks and left hand playing boogie boogie and rock ’n’ roll rhythms. The key response is very forgiving and allows you to play what you intend to play, if this makes sense. Some electric pianos can be be very light on touch, response and weight so getting this combination right is essential when playing tricky and technical stuff.
There are lots of technical features such as split keyboard, sensitivity, transpose, bluetooth connection and the facility to connect to your phone to the via the ‘Chordiana Play for Piano’ app as a control surface. This is very useful on stage as the keyboard doesn’t have a display screen, so it does make selections easier to see on stage in live and pressured situations.
We would highly recommend the Casio Privia PX-S1000 for it’s sound, portability and price and we are looking forward to performing with them on tour with Two Pianos.