One of the frustrating things about being a piano player is travelling and being unable to practice. It's a bit easier if you play the harmonica.
Heading into a music shop under the pretext of wanting to buy yet another keyboard while on holiday is one means, if the owner doesn't get too narked once they realise you have absolutely no intention of buying.
You might stumble across a jam, but will they have a keyboard for you to play on? Possibly if it's a jazz night, but a blues jam...? Highly unlikely. And if you do get to play, will the guitarists lower their volume to give you a solo?!
I have jumped on a piano in bars, cafés, shopping malls, airports, railway stations all over the world. Some places just don't want you playing the piano though, despite it sitting in the corner, be it a straightforward "no", or the passive aggressive move of keeping the PA music on while you plonk away.
Anyway, if you're like me and always on the lookout for ivories to tickle, this is for you.
Main entrance, on the right hand side between the ticket machines and the barriers. Very good quality joanna for a street piano, with a nice little inscription from Jools Holland on the piano lid. As long as no one is busking at the front of the station, you'll enjoying playing here, although the fare dodgers pushing their way through the wide access gate is rather irksome.
There are a few others scattered around Canary Wharf - one very cool one by the Big Easy restaurant that looks like a London bus and another in the mall corridor nearish Heron Quays - but the piano in the Tube station is the best.
Two pianos here for you to enjoy (or endure in the case of one of them). Elton John cut the ribbon at the launch of the nicer piano and his signature adorns the top of the piano. John Legend rocked up and performed here once too.
Near the ticket barriers and perfectly playable but it does get cold here. The number of times people have asked me to play Oasis whilst sat at this piano is considerable. Jazz goes down better elsewhere!
A lovely pub with a fascinating history, handily located by the DLR, although soon to be dwarfed by endless development. Piano is on stage, but if it's quiet and you aren't totally rubbish, you should be okay to play.