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Weighted Keys?


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#1 greenmatter

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 07:36 AM

welcome
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#2 MarthaT

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 03:37 AM

Welcome!
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#3 greenmatter

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:58 PM

indeed
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#4 MarthaT

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:27 PM

Very helpful
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#5 soulvids

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 12:43 AM

Thanks everyone for your input!

#6 Ascoli

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 05:25 PM

Hi Soul,
Pat's video link shows the complexity of the piano which results in the feel of a true piano key. This "feel" developed along with continual piano improvements for about 100 years resulting in the instrument we play today. It is an instrument that can play very quiet and soft (piano) or very loud and forceful (forte). As the piano developed playing techniques developed to best play the instrument. These techniques are based around this "feel" of a wood key activating a hammer that hits a string or strings.

I've decided there are as many theories about technique as there are piano instructors but one thing is clear, piano technique requires a keyboard that feels like a real piano keyboard. There's nothing wrong with other keyboards including organs, synthesizers, controllers, etc. It's simply that they don't "feel" like a real piano, so the technique used on a piano doesn't really translate. If you learn on a touch sensitive keyboard, a weighted piano keyboard will feel odd and your technique will probably be different due to the nature of the instrument you play. Also, you can't get the intonation on a touch sensitive keyboard once a good technique is developed. This intonation is most felt and best played with good technique on a quality grand piano. Digital keyboards can simulate this intonation to a small degree.

I feel good technique is very important, but for me, even with a very good instructor on technique when I started, I've only now started to understand and apply what he stressed two years ago. For me the biggest thing is to always stay relaxed, use the whole arm and keep the fingers in a natural shape. Here are a couple links to info on what my past instructor's technique theory was based on:
http://www.taubman-i.../html/home.html
http://www.golandskyinstitute.org/

To finally answer your question. If you want to play piano, then not having a weighted keyboard is not optimal. If, however, you are just interested in playing keyboards with semi-weighted keys then you will not be limited in using this course to learn to play them.

Good luck,
Steve
"To play without passion is inexcusable." - Beethoven

#7 msteen

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 05:22 PM

Having played on both a Yamaha DGX-500, much like the model you're working with, and a Yamaha P-120 digital piano, I think I'm in a position to "weigh in" on this issue.
Several years ago, when I began, I purchased the DGX, thinking that it would eminently suit my purposes for many years to come, after which I might consider graduating to a more substantial instrument. Almost as soon as I started taking lessons, I found out how wrong I was. At my teacher's home, I was almost unable to play on her grand piano. My attack of the keys was light and spotty, and I just couldn't get any volume out of her instrument. Under my hands, the difference between forte and pianissimo was virtually nonexistent. I determined then that I would replace the DGX as soon as possible so as to actually LEARN piano.
After much "discussion" with my wife, I sold the DGX and bought the P-120. I've never been happier with a decision. The weighted keys have a real feel to them and add dimension and depth to my playing. When I lightly caress them or go at them aggressively, they respond in kind, and I have a great deal more feedback through my fingers. Plus, when I do my Hanon exercises, it's actual exercise, strengthening my weaker digits.
Interestingly, having played on the digital piano for several years now, I can easily make the transition back to an unweighted keyboard and play on it quite successfully. The reverse is not true. You will have a great deal of trouble playing on a weighted piano if all you've ever played is a keyboard.
Now, if your goal is to play an organ, you may find the keyboard to be no problem. Organs typically have a light touch and unweighted keyboards. But for my money, there's nothing like the feel of a weighted keyboard under your hands. Granted I'll never have the space or the $$$ for an acoustic, but I've actually found that my Yamaha is HEAVIER in touch than some acoustics I've played. And that's a good thing.

#8 soulvids

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 11:26 AM

Thanks for your reply, Movement. Fascinating video. It should be required viewing for anyone who takes this course. I can now understand why pianos are so expensive given the amount of craftsmanship required for each one.

Can anyone else add on by explaining whether the lightly weighted keys of my piano will somehow limit my learning to play via this course?

#9 MovementCode9

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:02 AM

Hello soulvids. I practice and play with a digital piano and I'm very happy with it. However, my ultimate dream is to practice and play on an accoustic grand piano. Perhaps the following vid can explain better...pat



BTY...my digital piano has wooden weighted keys.

#10 soulvids

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 04:50 PM

I don't know if this has been addressed in detail yet, but can someone clarify once and for all the precise importance of weighted keys. I couldn't quite makes sense of the terminology for some time until I made a trip to SamAsh this past weekend to play with some of the pianos. While I can feel a distinct difference in the weighted keys as compared to my piano (Yamaha DGX-530 w/lightly weighted keys), I'm still trying to fully understand why there's such emphasis on weighted keys. It's almost implied that learning how to play the piano is not possible without them. I must admit that my keys feel comparable to that of "toy" pianos in comparison to the weighted keys but the notes are still the same as the more expensive digital pianos nonentheless. Should the weighted keys be viewed as more of a "luxury" for those who can afford them, or will my learning truly be limited as a result of the lightly weighted keys? Thanks in advance for your replies.

#11 pstudios

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 12:59 AM

:pianodancer: I would go weighted if U plan to ever play a real piano. It's even hard to play on a weighted keyboard till U get finger strength. What has stopped me is $$$$$$$$. Saving now and it will have to be a very inexpensive fully weighted w/ 88 keys, if there is such an animal. Then it has to not be too heavy, if it needs to be moved. I can't drag 70 lbs and many of them weigh that. But absolutely go weighted.

#12 GD

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 04:07 AM

Having played on both a Yamaha DGX-500, much like the model you're working with, and a Yamaha P-120 digital piano, I think I'm in a position to "weigh in" on this issue.

Several years ago, when I began, I purchased the DGX, thinking that it would eminently suit my purposes for many years to come, after which I might consider graduating to a more substantial instrument. Almost as soon as I started taking lessons, I found out how wrong I was. At my teacher's home, I was almost unable to play on her grand piano. My attack of the keys was light and spotty, and I just couldn't get any volume out of her instrument. Under my hands, the difference between forte and pianissimo was virtually nonexistent. I determined then that I would replace the DGX as soon as possible so as to actually LEARN piano.

After much "discussion" with my wife, I sold the DGX and bought the P-120. I've never been happier with a decision. The weighted keys have a real feel to them and add dimension and depth to my playing. When I lightly caress them or go at them aggressively, they respond in kind, and I have a great deal more feedback through my fingers. Plus, when I do my Hanon exercises, it's actual exercise, strengthening my weaker digits.

Interestingly, having played on the digital piano for several years now, I can easily make the transition back to an unweighted keyboard and play on it quite successfully. The reverse is not true. You will have a great deal of trouble playing on a weighted piano if all you've ever played is a keyboard.

Now, if your goal is to play an organ, you may find the keyboard to be no problem. Organs typically have a light touch and unweighted keyboards. But for my money, there's nothing like the feel of a weighted keyboard under your hands. Granted I'll never have the space or the $$$ for an acoustic, but I've actually found that my Yamaha is HEAVIER in touch than some acoustics I've played. And that's a good thing.


I have been wanting to upgrade from my 61 key Yamaha to an 88 weighted-key model. Have been looking around for several months trying to do the research (& looking for the best price!!). Really want one of the new Roland keyboards, but don't want to spend the $$$. The Yamaha P-155 looks like a very good choice. It has the GH key action instead of the GHS, like many of the othe less expensive Yamaha's have. Seems to be very close to the real thing. Most on-line stores have the P-155 on sale for about $1000. I'm assuming that this model took the place of the P-120. Does anyone have an opinion of the P-155? msteen, you really seem pleased with the P-120.
GD

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