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dummy/practice pianos

Mr. B

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I am wondering if there is such a thing. I am a pianist, working in several bands, and am finding myself touring a lot. I would like to be able to practice in the hotel at night, but on REAL piano keys/action. Even if it doesnt make any noise at all, I really need to have the real action and resistance to keep my chops up to pace.

If anyone has ideas on if they exist and/or where to get them, please email me. Infact, I know they exist...I've heard of concert pianists touring with these things. I am finding they are hard to locate. Thanks.


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I've seen a couple of those on eBay.They were suitcase type and very old. I don't think their action feels exactly like the one of a grand piano, because their depth didn't look that deep.But I could be wrong. If I see another one, I'll let you know so you can check it out.


When my Chroma Polaris died, I disembodied it and sawed the keyboard in two,taking the longer piece (3octaves)with me almost everywhere. I used it to practice during breaks at work or long trips where a keyboard wasn't available. Try to find a broken weighted keyboard for parts.I've seen those at eBay, too.I actually bought a Roland HP piano keybed assembly last year.It doesn't have the hammer action the new Rolands have, and I plan to use it in one of my little projects.


You can also go to a place where movers dispose old pianos, and build your own 3-4 octave keyboard.I know it's doable, because I made a five note grand action with old parts.But it would be even nicer if you found a piano rebuilder to do that for you.And he/she could make it more compact by reducing the distance between the wippens and the keys, and turning the hammers upside down to lower the hitting point, still keeping the same travel distance.

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You might want to focus your seach on Europe. In the old times (the very very old times) concert pianists would ahve to sit in horse drawn coaches for days getting from one location to another. They would bring dummy keyboards along and practice in the coach. I know I read about Liszt doing that.


So probably the dummy keyboards you find are only going to be 2-3 octaves. Antyhing much bigger than that is going to be awfully cumbersome to travel with anyway. I'd like to see the expressions on the faces of the TSA people at the airport when you put that through the scanners!


I agree with you that synth action, even weighted synth action keyboards, are next to useless for keeping in shape in a true pianistic sense. The heaviest weighted synth action is still too light, and responds too differently.


The suggestion about making your own seems like a good one. I would think it possible that you could find a piano technician that would enjoy the challenge.

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