Rick Etsell, piano

The Anacortes Library has a very nice baby grand piano in the middle of the main floor of the library.  Librarians usually like libraries to be quiet though, so they don’t generally let folks play it.  But twice a month, once on a Sunday afternoon, and once on a Tuesday evening, they let volunteers with verifiable piano skills play for one half hour — SOFTLY!  You’re actually required to keep one foot on the soft pedal, which means the hammers are only hitting two out of the three strings for each note.  

I really enjoy playing the piano, but I find it hard to not pound away on it at least some of the time. I mean it is a “percussion” instrument.  It has 88 hammers and a huge sounding board.  But oh well, playing at the library forces me to keep practicing, and although I basically play for my own enjoyment, it is good for me to play in public on occasion.  

I’ve played at the Library now probably a half dozen times or more now.  I try to mix up the program a bit - a little classical, old standards, pop, etc.  Last month I threw in a Pink Floyd song “Wish You Were Here”, which is kinda pretty by itself on the piano. (Relatively quiet too!) One lady asked my when I was done, “Wasn’t that Pink Floyd? I just love Pink Floyd!”


Some samples I recorded . . .

Aja, by Steely Dan:



Wind Cries Mary, by Jimi Hendrix: (played on keyboard with an acoustic guitar setting:)