Cristiana Felgueiras of Get Hands Dirty shows off an awesome piece of furniture she designed for efficiency in a tiny apartment she’s building out. The desk has a floating design and a built-in electronic piano that slides out from underneath its work surface. She also built a matching rolling cabinet with a secret drawer.
There are lots of ways to learn to play the piano. Joel Creates and his friend Eric came up with the cruelest method. Their electric piano keyboard uses negative reinforcement, zapping students with high-voltage electricity if they mess up. It has electrodes on every key, so it shocks the same finger that played the wrong note.
With so many nooks and crannies and moving parts, pianos require regular cleaning and maintenance. Josiah Jackson, aka The Piano Doctor volunteered his services to clean a vintage piano with decades of dust and grime. After finishing the laborious task of removing dirt from under its wires, he gave it a full tune-up.
One of the most elaborate custom pianos in history, Pictures at an Exhibition, was created by noted painter/pianist Paul Wyse. The one-of-a-kind Steinway & Sons Model D concert grand piano features 24-carat gold, cast bronze, and classically painted scenes to pay tribute to Modest Mussorgsky’s most profound composition for solo piano.
Player pianos have been around since the 1890s. Modern models use electronics and servos, but vintage ones use a pedal-powered pneumatic system that forces air through holes in the music roll, actuating pushrods that move its hammers. Chris Plaola shows off an example of this Victorian-era engineering genius.
There are different kinds of puppets, from a sock on the hand to complex marionettes controlled by strings. This street performer shows off his mastery of the latter by puppeteering a character to play the piano with a string attached to each finger. We know he’s not playing actual notes, but we’re still impressed.
After melting all of the strings on his piano with high-voltage sparks, Mattias Krantz wanted to see if he could still make music with the thing. So he got to work building a series of circuits that fire plasma arcs onto the piano’s metal backboard to make sounds when he presses the piano’s keys. But it wasn’t easy getting it to work.
Musician and maker Mattias Krantz has done some pretty crazy things to pianos. This time, he teamed up with Mehdi Sadaghdar of Electroboom to create the most dangerous piano ever. Using a bunch of cheap camera capacitors, he modified his hammer-head piano to create high-voltage sparks when played.
The kalimba is a small musical instrument that’s played by thumping your fingers on its springy metal keys. But the same idea can be DIYed using a bunch of popsicle sticks, screwed in place at varying lengths along a board. Mr. Mash shows off his homemade instrument, along with an abridged version of his how-to video.
Pianos must be able to play hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of notes during their lifetimes. This fascinating video shows how one piano manufacturer tests their mechanisms while loosening up any stiff parts before delivery. The machine has 88 “fingers” that each strike a key in rapid succession.
The Laowa 24mm Probe Lens has enabled some pretty amazing views of the world. Jens from Another Perspective stuck the long and skinny macro lens inside a piano to give us an up-close and personal look at its strings, hammers, and other mechanical components.
Engineer Mark Rober takes a look at a very special piano that can transform speech into music. Known as Chopstix, the Edelweiss player piano was modified so it can play all of its keys simultaneously. It feeds on a steady diet of MIDI files which it can play at incredibly fast speeds. It can even perform Rush E.
Want a grand piano for your house, but don’t have enough room for one? Why not 3D print a mini version? Breaks’n’Makes shows off a tiny grand piano model he built based on a design from Mechanistic. It’s fully functional, with keys, hammers, and strings, and it even tiny working casters that it rolls on.
“I know this looks bad… but I’m doing it for the sake of science.” Mattias Krantz likes to do some crazy and borderline sacrilegious stuff to pianos. In this clip, he took an old piano, waterproofed it, then filled it with bucket after bucket of water to see what it would sound like when its strings and soundboard were submerged.
Musician Rob Scallon has been working on a series of DIY instruments that can be assembled quickly and inexpensively. For this build, he and his buddy Simon created a makeshift piano in less than a day, using a bunch of spare guitar strings, tuning pegs, door stoppers, and other bits and pieces from the Home Depot.
Inventor and musician Nicolas Bras continues to expand his collection of unconventional musical instruments with a gizmo that looks like a guitar had a chunk taken out of it. Nic assembled a pair of bass guitar pickups and eight lengths of piano wire on a wooden block, resulting in a wonderfully weird and unique sound.
Vineteiro follows up on his comparison of inexpensive vs. fancy-pants pianos with another round of very different musical instruments. After the jump from the $40 hunk of junk to the $600 used upright, the shades of grey become fuzzier and fuzzier to our untrained ears.
Piano builder Adrian Alexander Mann created this elongated piano, which measures 18 feet, 9 inches long and weighs over a ton. It has the longest bass strings of any piano, resulting in deeper harmonics and a richer overall tone without affecting pitch. Listen as musician Hyperion Knight performs on the impressive instrument.
To celebrate his 500,000th YouTube subscriber, musician PACIL created this lighthearted video in which he plays 50 different instruments, most of which could be considered a piano of some sort. He even included a Keytar, and a couple of those piano mats like the one Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia stomped on in Big.
Those little felt-covered things that strike the strings in piano are known as hammers, but they definitely couldn’t drive a nail. Musician Mattias Krantz wanted to see what would happen if he replaced all 88 of the piano hammers with real metal hand tools. The resulting sound is surprisingly pleasant and melodic.
Last time we checked in with musician Mezerg, he was playing the watermelon. This time, he performs on a more conventional instrument – though Voël Martin rigged up this upright piano with an electronic circuit and pumps that dispense a variety of juices and liquor to make a custom cocktail based on the notes he plays.
When you want to show off how fast you can play, the go-to choice for many musicians is Flight of the Bumblebee. We’ve heard the tune played on all kinds of instruments, but never on a toy piano. Listen as Hayato “Cateen” Sumino lets his fingers fly across the tiny ivories, gradually increasing his speed to an insane 250 BPM.