Awesome Pianos

Popsicle Stick Kalimba

Popsicle Stick Kalimba

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.

Piano Key Testing Rig

Piano Key Testing Rig

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.

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Piano Keyboard Desk

Piano Keyboard Desk

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.

Macro Footage Inside a Piano

Macro Footage Inside a Piano

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.

Chopstix: The Talking Piano

Chopstix: The Talking Piano

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.

3D Printed Grand Piano

3D Printed Grand Piano

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.

Playing a Water-filled Piano

Playing a Water-filled Piano

“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.

One-Day Piano Build

One-Day Piano Build

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.

Electric Piano Wire Instrument

Electric Piano Wire Instrument

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.

Cheap vs. Expensive Pianos 3

Cheap vs. Expensive Pianos 3

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.

A Very Long Piano

A Very Long Piano

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.

The Detachable Rag

The Detachable Rag

The Pocket Piano is a modular music-making system that lets you carry an entire 88-key piano in your backpack. Musician Jordan Rudess and his pal Maddi had a little fun with the magnetic keyboard modules by gradually removing octaves in the middle of a performance.

50 Pianos, 1 Song

50 Pianos, 1 Song

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.

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Piano with Real Hammers

Piano with Real Hammers

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.

The Cocktail Piano

The Cocktail Piano

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.

250 BPM Bumblebee

250 BPM Bumblebee

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.

Lord Vinheteiro’s Truck Concert

Lord Vinheteiro’s Truck Concert

Lord Vinheteiro has always impressed us with his piano playing (and deadpan staring) abilities. But can he maintain his composure as he plays a concert of classics from Debussy, Mozart, Beethoven, and others while his piano sits in the back of a moving pickup truck?

Klavins Vertical Pianos

Klavins Vertical Pianos

David Klavins builds musical instruments unlike any other. Combining design elements from upright and concert grand pianos, he builds modern, vertically-oriented instruments, including the world’s tallest piano, measuring 15 feet tall. Great Big Story went inside of Klavins’ workshop for a demo of these impressive pianos.

Famous Wurlitzer Songs

Famous Wurlitzer Songs

The Wurlitzer 200A electric piano has been featured in some of the most memorable songs of all time. Keyboard expert Doctor Mix walks us through a few of the best, from The Beatles Get Back to Beck’s Where It’s At to Supertramp’s The Logical Song.

Retro Tech: SEGA Grand Piano

Retro Tech: SEGA Grand Piano

Techmoan checks out another unusual gadget from the past – though this one only dates back to 2007. For a brief period of time, videogame company SEGA’s toy division made a pricey miniature grand piano with mechanical keys that move in time with the music. You could also play it yourself – if your fingers were really tiny.

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Roland Facet Grand Piano

Roland Facet Grand Piano

Digital musical instrument maker Roland introduces us to Jong Chan Kim, who came up with a hypermodern design for a grand piano. Since digital pianos don’t depend on acoustic properties, he was able to come up with this futuristic low-poly design. The Facet has powerful speakers built into its base, and a flat screen for sheet music.

5-Key Piano

5-Key Piano

While musician Lord Vinheteiro claims he bought the smallest piano in the world, we beg to differ. Still the idea of a normal height upright piano with just five keys is quite the oddity. While we admire the construction, it sounds quite horrible.

Cheap vs. Expensive Pianos

Cheap vs. Expensive Pianos

You can spend a few hundred bucks on a used upright piano, or hundreds of thousands or more on a concert grand. So what’s the difference? Musician Vinheteiro decided to play the same passage of music on six pianos of escalating values to see if we could tell them apart. Once we got past $50,000, we had trouble.

Tiny Piano Players

Tiny Piano Players

Musician and video maker Beanzo decided to enlist the help of 19 tiny digital clones of himself to perform Beethoven’s Für Elise on a grand piano. He openly admits he swiped the idea from Mystery Guitar Man, but Beanzo’s approach was clearly quite a bit more complex.

Restoring a Toy Piano

Restoring a Toy Piano

Rescue & Restore found an old metal toy piano rusting away in a barn, then carefully disassembled it, satisfyingly sandblasted off the rust, powder-coated it, and cleaned and restored its mechanism – which was basically a xylophone with keys. The resulting restoration is quite impressive.

The Hybrid Piano

The Hybrid Piano

Ukrainian band Brunettes Shoot Blondes found an old, broken down grand piano, and decided to partially gut it, filling its innards with a variety of analog instruments, mechanically connected to its keys. The resulting sound on their track Houston is remarkably rich and full.

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