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What Piano Does Elton John Use

Elton John often uses a customized Yamaha grand piano on stage. This piano is tailored to his personal specifications and style.

Elton John, a legendary performer and pianist, has captivated audiences worldwide with his dynamic stage presence and mastery of the piano. Over the years, his relationship with Yamaha has led to the creation of striking pianos that not only meet his performance needs but also reflect his flamboyant personality.

Each piano he plays is a testament to his enduring status in music history and his commitment to quality sound. Yamaha pianos, known for their rich tone and reliability, have become synonymous with Elton John’s live performances, providing the perfect complement to his classic hits and newer compositions alike. The partnership between Elton John and Yamaha showcases a shared dedication to musical excellence and innovation.

What Piano Does Elton John Use


Elton John’s Iconic Sound

The name Elton John immediately conjures images of glittery costumes, blockbuster concerts, and unforgettable tunes. Central to this vivid picture is the sound of his piano—powerful, emotive, and instantly recognizable. But what piano has been the cornerstone of this legendary artist’s sound? From the recording studio to the stages around the world, Elton’s choice of keyboard has been as much a part of his signature as his sunglasses.

Signature Piano Styles

Elton John’s pianistic flair is as legendary as his songwriting. Known for his gospel-infused beginnings, he melded classical techniques with rock ‘n’ roll energy. His Yamaha pianos often feature in his music, delivering crisp, clear, and dynamic tones that match his flamboyant performance style. The grand piano, with its rich and expansive sound, has remained John’s steadfast musical companion.

  • Gospel roots: Adds depth to his melodies.
  • Classical influence: Brings structured beauty to his songs.
  • Rock energy: Drives the rhythm, getting fans on their feet.
  • Yamaha grand pianos: Provide the unmistakable Elton John sound.

Evolution Of Elton’s Sound

As a testament to his enduring career, Elton John’s sound has evolved, reflecting his journey through different eras of music. His early work is marked by the raw, acoustic tones of upright pianos, as heard in the familiar intro of “Your Song.” As time progressed, Elton welcomed the sophisticated technology of electric pianos and keyboards, enhancing his live performances with a rich layered sound that connects deeply with the audience.

  • Early work: Characterized by the natural resonance of acoustic pianos.
  • Electric era: Used sophisticated keyboards for a modern twist.
  • Performances: Fused with rich sounds from high-tech instruments.
  • Current tours: Feature grand pianos for that iconic resonant vibe.

The Piano Maestro’s Choice

Elton John, a legendary musician, is synonymous with exceptional piano performances. His choice in pianos reflects his status as a maestro. Let’s explore the pianos behind the iconic melodies.

Preferred Piano Brands

Yamaha and Steinway & Sons take center stage as Elton John’s preferred piano brands. These brands are renowned for their unrivaled quality and sound excellence. Elton’s preference for these pianos contributes to his distinct musical signature.

  • Yamaha Grand Pianos: Often used in live concerts for their robust sound and durability.
  • Steinway & Sons: Chosen for recording sessions for their nuanced tonality and precision.

Customized Features

Elton’s pianos are not just any ordinary instruments; they boast customized features that suit his flamboyant style and performance needs.

Feature Description
LED Displays Lights shows synchronized with performance.
Modified Soundboards Tailored for stadium-filling sound projection.
Unique Artwork Custom art for a visual touch that matches his personality.

On Stage: Elton’s Keyboards

Elton John’s musical genius is not just in his voice or his flamboyant stage presence. It’s also in his choice of pianos. On stage, Elton’s keyboards are more than instruments. They’re part of his signature. Let’s dive into the world of pianos and keyboards that accompany Elton on his musical journeys.

Touring Pianos

Elton John’s most loyal stage companion is the piano. For decades, one brand has been by his side: Yamaha. The Yamaha CF grand piano, in particular, is his go-to for live performances. This piano stands out for its exceptional sound quality and durability, perfect for the rigors of touring.

Tour Piano Model Features
Farewell Yellow Brick Road Yamaha CF6 Exceptional tonal range, reliable for long tours
The Million Dollar Piano Yamaha CF4 Crystal-clear sound, elegant design

Notable Live Performances

  • Dodger Stadium, 1975: Growling lows and singing highs from a shimmering grand piano captivated thousands.
  • Central Park, 1980: Decked in feathers, Elton’s piano boomed across the vast lawns as fans cheered.
  • The Million Dollar Piano, 2011-2018: This custom-made Yamaha became a symbol of Elton’s Las Vegas residencies.
What Piano Does Elton John Use


In The Studio: Crafting Hits

Inside the walls of a studio, magic happens. That’s precisely where Elton John has spent countless hours crafting hits that resonate with generations. The blend of his iconic voice with a distinct piano accompaniment defines his sound. In this space, each melody becomes a masterpiece. Let’s dive into the instruments behind the music.

Recording Pianos

Elton John is synonymous with the piano.

It’s his weapon of choice in conjuring musical sensation. While Yamaha Grand Pianos are often linked to his stage performances, the recording studio is where the finer details emerge. There, Elton often selects his beloved Yamaha C7. This piano boasts a full-bodied sound perfect for studio work, encapsulating rich lows and crisp highs.

Features of Yamaha C7:

  • Consistent tone across octaves
  • Responsive touch for nuanced expression
  • Durable build, withstanding long hours of recording

Recording studios also host a diverse array of upright and electric pianos. Each type adds its unique flavor to Elton’s albums.

Albums And Production

In the heart of album production, Elton John meticulously shapes his sound. His records are a testament to his pursuit of excellence.

For different albums, different pianos. The choice depends on the song’s mood and the album’s overarching theme. His extensive album roster showcases a versatility in sound, achieved in part by alternating pianos.

More rows can be added as required
Album Piano Used
“Tumbleweed Connection” Yamaha C7 Grand Piano
“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” Various Electric Pianos

The same piano rarely records two albums. This keeps each project fresh and innovative. From the rich, organic timbres of grand pianos to the eclectic vibes of electrics, Elton’s range in piano sounds mirrors his prolific creativity.

Elton’s Piano Legacy

Elton John, a name synonymous with dazzling pianism, has left an indelible mark on the music world. His distinctive style and flair echo through generations. With his stage presence and his vibrant pianos, Elton has created a legacy that extends beyond music. It inspires people everywhere to reach for the keys and express themselves through the timeless language of melodies.

Influencing Aspiring Musicians

Elton John’s influence on the piano world is immense. Through his colorful performances, he has made the piano an icon of pop culture. His exceptional talent and creativity serve as a beacon to those learning to play.

  • Encouraged countless to take up piano
  • Brought new attention to the instrument
  • His music has become a staple for learners

New pianists strive to emulate his dynamic skill and passionate style, ensuring the piano remains a coveted avenue of artistic expression.

Charity And Piano Donations

Beyond the stage, Elton John’s legacy includes his commitment to philanthropy, particularly involving music education. His generosity is widely known, with significant contributions to charities and programs that focus on music.

  1. Donated pianos to schools and community groups
  2. Supported music education for underprivileged youth
  3. Partnered with various charities to improve access to music

Through these efforts, Elton has enriched the lives of many and has ensured that his legacy will resonate for years to come.

What Piano Does Elton John Use


Frequently Asked Questions On What Piano Does Elton John Use

Does Elton John Play A Steinway?

Yes, Elton John does play on Steinway pianos. He is known for his preference for this renowned piano brand during performances and recordings.

How Much Was Elton John’s Piano?

Elton John’s piano auction prices varied, with one selling for $3. 25 million at a 2020 Christie’s auction.

Does Elton John Use An Electric Piano?

Yes, Elton John has used electric pianos in his performances and recordings. His setup often includes various keyboard instruments.

Is Elton John A Classically Trained Pianist?

Elton John is indeed a classically trained pianist, having studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. His classical background influences his distinctive musical style.


Elton John’s piano choice reflects his legendary status. Be it a Yamaha, a Steinway, or a custom model, his instruments contribute to his iconic sound. As fans or aspiring pianists, we draw inspiration from his exceptional talent. Explore these pianos and perhaps add a touch of Elton’s magic to your music!

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