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Does playing keyboards ruin your "piano touch"?


eric.B

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After playing keyboards (with the 61 keys light plastic keys) only for several years, I bought a Yamaha digital piano with the 88-key graded hammer action last year. It took some time to get used to, but I really like the heavier touch.

 

Now, when I switch back from Yamaha to the keyboards and then back to the Yamaha, I notice that my touch is softer. I have to switch for a moment and "relearn" the hammer action.

 

How about you?

eric B
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I sat in on a job a few months ago and played a non weighted keyboard. I must have played at least 15 minutes and I couldn't play it well. Perhaps if I had played longer I would have gotten used to it. It was just horrible to play.

 

While I prefer resistance, some resistance, any weighted keyboard is better than a non weighted keyboard.

 

As far as ruining your touch, I think you'll always be at a disadvantage if you just play weighted electric keyboards, let alone bringing a non weighted action into the picture.

 

A weighted action (on an electric keyboard) is pretty consistant I must admit. When you go to play a crappy, unregulated acoustic grand, you'll have less control since you haven't had much time on real dogs.

 

With weighted keyboards (even acoustic pianos), it doesn't take long to get used to the action; it's just like learning the clutch in a different car. A few times around the block and you forget what you originally drove.

 

I think they should outlaw non weighted keyboards.

 

Wait .... I feel another real men ..... thread just around the corner. ;)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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When I was working on the ship this summer, I was playing a Roland RD-700 pretty much exclusively (with access to the grand pianos maybe once a week on average). When I got back on land and came back even just to my Boston upright, a lot of my chops had gone. Now I do most of my gigs, for portability reasons, on an M-Audio Axiom controller (semi-weighted), but because I'm still playing acoustic piano regularly, I'm not in fear of losing physical stamina as before.

 

I cannot, with good conscience, play acoustic piano patches on anything other than a weighted keyboard. Non-weighted 'boards just immediately put me in an organ/synth frame of mind (much as it's strange to play organ on 88 weighted keys). I can handle the sensation of electric piano sounds coming from unweighted keys, but not acoustic. Maybe it's because I have far more experience with real acoustic pianos of varying qualities than I do with Rhodes, Wurlies, organs or synths.

 

David

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Many years ago we all had multiple keyboards in our rigs with vastly different actions. Hammond, clav, rhodes, wurli, synth, etc.

 

As long as you don't neglect one for extended periods of time, you can get used to switching back and forth and being comfortable on each.

Moe

---

 

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Originally posted by mate_stubb:As long as you don't neglect one for extended periods of time, you can get used to switching back and forth and

being comfortable on each. [/QB]

Exactly.

 

The Pianist's side of me, desires 88 keys all the time. Feel restricted with five octaves even when composing side would be adequate with 5. Since year or so, I would always keep something 76 synth keyish around me,within reach from the masterkeyboard but now, every synth rack is played from the DMPC8 and MP9500. But when recording situation/location calls for plastic touch, do need to fuel many minutes till I rest the touch on those keys.

 

My favorite synth keyboard is still JX10. I love that keyboard. But the worst I've ever played would be Emax (I) keyboard. To this date, I can't believe how lifeless is that keyboard.

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Originally posted by mate_stubb:

As long as you don't neglect one for extended periods of time, you can get used to switching back and forth and being comfortable on each.

+1

 

Yeah, I'd say that it's the absence of playing piano that makes "piano touch" rusty.

 

Also, while it's true that we use the term a lot, the notion of a "piano touch" seems to imply a universality that really doesn't exist in pianos. In my experience, the action of grands and uprights can vary dramatically. For example, I've played some grand pianos that I had to plow through and some that felt like an average upright.

 

This thread makes me miss the days when I was a music major with fifty or sixty practice rooms to choose from. Man, did I get a lot of "action" back then! :P

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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Originally posted by Geoff Grace:

This thread makes me miss the days when I was a music major with fifty or sixty practice rooms to choose from. Man, did I get a lot of "action" back then! :P

 

:D

 

Does playing keyboards ruin your "piano touch"?

 

No... But Momma said that if I don't stop doing it, it might make me go blind. :eek::P

 

Ummmmmmmmmm...

 

I apologize for that. :rolleyes:

 

Tom

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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I find it harder going from a weighted action to a none weighted one. This maybe because I've never got my chops up on a organ or the like but I do think that because of the resistance, weighted actions are easier to play in most cases. Ok you have to put in more strength with your fingers but personally I find it harder to play with the looseness that a synth/organ action requires. I guess some of it comes down to the type of muscles you have in your fingers and what type of technique you use.
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One advantage (and disadvantage) I've found with heavier weighted keys is that they are more forgiving of sloppy playing. You can graze a stiff action key and it won't sound, but hit an unweighted key the same way and it will. It can be good to practice on unweighted keys every once in awhile to help discover any flaws in your technique.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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Originally posted by Geoff Grace:

Originally posted by mate_stubb:

As long as you don't neglect one for extended periods of time, you can get used to switching back and forth and being comfortable on each.

+1

 

Yeah, I'd say that it's the absence of playing piano that makes "piano touch" rusty.

 

Also, while it's true that we use the term a lot, the notion of a "piano touch" seems to imply a universality that really doesn't exist in pianos. In my experience, the action of grands and uprights can vary dramatically.

+1 to both statements.

 

I would add one thing - I think doing some work on an unweighted keyboard improves your accuracy on a piano. You have to control velocity directly rather than through strength plus the lack of resistance means that if you hit a black note a bit off to one side, you are much more likely to slip off it - and this makes good hand position more critical too.

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Oh yeah. For a few dark years, I played on a DX7 and an M1. During that period I did a record on a Yamaha C7. I played pretty poorly and hurt myself badly. It takes muscle to play a big grand. You can't build or keep that kind of muscle playing unweighted keys.

 

These days, after playing organ on weighted keys for the last 12 years or so, it's taken a while to get used to playing my XK-3. So this stuff works both ways. Playing piano ruins your organ chops.

 

Not that there are just two ways. My DX7 felt nice to me and the M1 felt like crap. Neither one of them feels like my XK-3, and I'm still trying to decide if that really feels like a B3. I'm thinking not exactly. Not that all B3s feel the same.

 

Even though there seem to be only a few types of action (weighted, semi-weighted, unweighted), there are a lot of different implementations of each. In addition to feeling different, each keyboard has its own raw velocity response. And then any given sound can and most often will respond differently to MIDI velocity.

 

Then there's the old school electro mechanical stuff Moe mentioned. Each is it's own unique animal. You'll kill and break reeds on a wurli if you approach it with your big grand technique. And you really can't play a clav like a clav on anything but a clav.

 

This topic's endless. I enjoy it every time it comes up. Add my +1 to all the other +1s. :)

--wmp
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My timing is thrown off on unweighted keys. I buddy of mine invites me up for a song when I go hear his 9 pc band. On some stages he has to get a small footprint so he uses his Motif 7 unweighted for his piano and XB2 on top. I have the hardest time finding a feel for piano on th Motif. It could be I have no warn up and play only one tune usually.

Jimmy

 

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I have a Steinway and several unweighted keyboards. Going from weighted to unweighted (and back) sometimes takes a few minutes, but I've learned to do it. It's just an additional limb-brain connection to get used to.

 

Running is not bad for walking. But the two are different.

 

Jerry

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I've been having these "conversion" problems ever since I got my Yamaha VR-760 (which I use with my Yamaha S-90)more than a year ago. But I've made great progress just by diligently practicing switching from one keyboard to the other.

 

Recently, I've enhanced this by playing Hanon exercises, first on one keyboard, then the other.

 

While I'm reasonably certain that doing this would not earn any strong approval from Dave Horne, if only because they are done in part on an unweighted keyboard, I've found it to be helpful. ;)

 

By the way, Hanon exercises can be downloaded free from this site:

 

http://www.sheetmusicarchive.net/single_listing.cfm?composer_id=7

 

Cheers....... :wave:

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My personal experience: At this point in my life, I feel I can play either type of action with no adaptation time, even playing one type of keyboard with each hand.

 

BUT I do my technique on a grand piano. It wouldn't work the other way around.

 

I've learned to play 'pianistically' on a synth keyboard, with a certain degree of precision... but I hate it when I'm forced to do that; it's really taxing.

 

If/when I'm forced to stay away from the piano/weighted thing, and I have only a synth to practice on, I *always* need a short period of re-adaptation to the weighted keys.

 

And needless to say, weighted actions allows around 5000% of more precision in dynamics and timing. That's why we like to play on them, right? :D

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

I sat in on a job a few months ago and played a non weighted keyboard. I must have played at least 15 minutes and I couldn't play it well. Perhaps if I had played longer I would have gotten used to it. It was just horrible to play.

 

While I prefer resistance, some resistance, any weighted keyboard is better than a non weighted keyboard.

 

As far as ruining your touch, I think you'll always be at a disadvantage if you just play weighted electric keyboards, let alone bringing a non weighted action into the picture.

 

A weighted action (on an electric keyboard) is pretty consistant I must admit. When you go to play a crappy, unregulated acoustic grand, you'll have less control since you haven't had much time on real dogs.

 

With weighted keyboards (even acoustic pianos), it doesn't take long to get used to the action; it's just like learning the clutch in a different car. A few times around the block and you forget what you originally drove.

 

I think they should outlaw non weighted keyboards.

 

Wait .... I feel another real men ..... thread just around the corner. ;)

Totally agree with you Dave, had a similar experience and whilst i do own and use non weighted synths, im allways using a weighted 88 to control them.
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