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#1175685 - 04/06/09 06:15 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Horwinkle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 1011
Two things:

1. Let's take the original question in reverse ... After playing an acoustic piano, how hard is it to adapt to a digital?

2. Also ... I wonder if the original question is moot because it generalizes about the feel of an acoustic and the feel of a digital. Is that a meaningful comparison? Do all acoustics feel the same? Do all digitals feel the same? I'd say no to all three of those questions. Consequently, one can only compare a specific acoustic to a specific DP.

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#1175696 - 04/06/09 06:30 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: tickler]
MA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
My son has had no problem switching from our DPs to our acoustic grand to the grand pianos in his teacher's studio to the upright and grand pianos in practice rooms to Steinway Concert Grand pianos on stage. (He had more problems adjusting and positioning the benches.)

And again, he spends most his time on one of our DPs out of conveniece. "He plays with sensitivity and already has great control!" (as one concert pianist and piano teacher has commented.)

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#1175700 - 04/06/09 06:38 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
tickler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 375
Loc: Chicagoland
kennychaffin wrote:
Quote:
it matters what the feel of the Digital Piano is. Some are very good as far as the same feel and responsiveness as an acoustic.


To that, I ask: same as which specific acoustic?

No two acoustic pianos feel the same. Some acoustics have a heavier feel, others a lighter feel. A grand's action allows for faster repeated key strokes than a spinet.

Whatever specific acoustic the DP is trying to imitate, it's almost certainly not the piano that one will be performing on.


Mary
_________________________
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

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#1175701 - 04/06/09 06:40 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: tickler]
tickler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 375
Loc: Chicagoland
Quote:
1. Let's take the original question in reverse ... After playing an acoustic piano, how hard is it to adapt to a digital?


Gah!!! I hope I never have to!

I almost put a smile on the above sentence. But then realized that I do feel that way. No offense to all the DP advocats on the forum.

Mary
_________________________
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

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#1175718 - 04/06/09 07:06 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: tickler]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: tickler
kennychaffin wrote:
Quote:
it matters what the feel of the Digital Piano is. Some are very good as far as the same feel and responsiveness as an acoustic.


To that, I ask: same as which specific acoustic?

No two acoustic pianos feel the same. Some acoustics have a heavier feel, others a lighter feel. A grand's action allows for faster repeated key strokes than a spinet.

Whatever specific acoustic the DP is trying to imitate, it's almost certainly not the piano that one will be performing on.


Mary


Mute point Mary. We were talking about your specific experience to which you did not know the digital piano in question so my answer is the same as yours.
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1175720 - 04/06/09 07:08 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: tickler]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: tickler
Quote:
1. Let's take the original question in reverse ... After playing an acoustic piano, how hard is it to adapt to a digital?


Gah!!! I hope I never have to!

I almost put a smile on the above sentence. But then realized that I do feel that way. No offense to all the DP advocats on the forum.

Mary


Hmmmm, see that's part of my issue in this thread. I suspect you've probably never played a really good digital piano. That's fine if you don't want to, but it's not good to reject them if you are not aware. smile
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1175830 - 04/06/09 10:52 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
tickler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 375
Loc: Chicagoland
Kenny -- I don't know what your issues with this thread are, but let me re-iterate my position.

I've never said that DPs are bad. What I've said is that if ALL you practice on is a DP and you're going to perform on an acoustic, that you should practice on an acoustic at least once, preferably on the acoustic that you'll be performing on. Who wants surprises at a live performance?? I would also recommend that if all you practice on is an acoustic and you'll be performing on a DP, you'd better practice at least once on a DP.

I admit, the only DPs I've played have not been top-of-the line models. I know that DPs have a wide variety of features that acoustics do not, but I have no need or desire to take advantage of those features. By features, I mean things like: portability, playing silently (only a few acoustics do this), playing with other sounds than that of an acoustic, connecting to a computer, adding rhythms or accompaniments, no tuning required.

Let's not forget that the goal of DP development is to provide touch and tone that mimic an acoustic piano. The acoustic piano is the standard by which DPs are judged! DPs are a useful tool, but they're imitations of the real thing -- the acoustic piano.


Mary
_________________________
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

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#1175874 - 04/07/09 12:20 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: tickler]
buck2202 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: tickler
I've never said that DPs are bad. What I've said is that if ALL you practice on is a DP and you're going to perform on an acoustic, that you should practice on an acoustic at least once, preferably on the acoustic that you'll be performing on. Who wants surprises at a live performance?? I would also recommend that if all you practice on is an acoustic and you'll be performing on a DP, you'd better practice at least once on a DP.

I think this is a quite reasonable position. In terms of performing, you're best served by practicing on an instrument as close to the performance instrument as possible. And there's usually some need for adjustment when going to any unfamiliar instrument. The closer your own piano is to the "best" piano (read "best" to mean high-quality grand, since different grands have their own distinctions), the less adjustment you'll need when you play on one.

I don't think that anyone can argue against the idea that a person should have (or at least regularly practice on) the best instrument that they can...and the point that I've been trying to make all along is that for some people, the best instrument that fits into their situation is a DP. Heck, for some people's goals, the best instrument is a DP. A good grand will always be the standard, but that doesn't mean that a lesser instrument (be it grand, upright, spinet, DP, whatever) is always bad. Unless you get a top-tier grand, you're probably limiting yourself as a pianist in some way, but we do the best that we can.

Originally Posted By: tickler
Let's not forget that the goal of DP development is to provide touch and tone that mimic an acoustic piano. The acoustic piano is the standard by which DPs are judged! DPs are a useful tool, but they're imitations of the real thing -- the acoustic piano.

Partially true, I think. To take Yamaha as an example, their high-quality DP lines include two classes: one that is almost solely a piano (CLP), and one that builds on the piano line with many different voices, accompaniment, and recording features (CVP). In the CLP class, yes, the goal is first and foremost to be the best acoustic piano replacement that they can. The CVP class can be for a different crowd, and it can't be called simply a "piano wannabe". You can partially judge it that way, but to a person who actually uses all of the additional features, it's much more than that.


To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what this thread is about anymore. I don't think that anyone disputes that
  • A DP is superior to some acoustic pianos in quality
  • A DP can't approach a top-tier grand in being the best piano
  • DPs are sometimes the best piano possible for a given situation, and DPs are sometimes superior to acoustic pianos for a person's particular goals

Some people don't see that a good acoustic is "better" than a DP because the DP serves their own goals as well or better than an acoustic could. And some people think that a DP is a bad choice because it can't be a better piano than the best acoustic pianos. Are we really arguing about anything but semantics at this point? We wouldn't be arguing if the thread topic was "how many of your students have only a spinet?" but much of the dialog would be the same. "I don't have the space/money for a grand" or "a grand would be too loud" or "the spinet is fine for my needs" or whatever, vs. "you're limiting your development" or "the touch/sound is inferior." The biggest difference would be that no one would argue that a spinet piano isn't a "piano."

If you have and enjoy a DP, and you bought it because an acoustic piano wouldn't fit into your situation (noise, space, money, etc.), fine..you have a "piano." If you have and enjoy a DP, and you bought it because it does things that an acoustic can't (recording, voices, accompaniment, etc.), fine..you have a "digital piano." What does it matter what other people call it? You and your teacher are the best judges of what's best for your development, and you alone can judge what's best for your situation.

Geez..now I've gone and typed so much that I've forgotten what we're arguing about.

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#1175904 - 04/07/09 03:03 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: buck2202]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
buck2202 wrote:
I don't think that anyone disputes that

* A DP is superior to some acoustic pianos in quality
* A DP can't approach a top-tier grand in being the best piano
* DPs are sometimes the best piano possible for a given situation, and DPs are sometimes superior to acoustic pianos for a person's particular goals


I'm the OP. I agree with points 1 and 3, but want to take issue with point 2.

It seems buck2202, and others here believe not only that there is no DP that can come close to the best acoustic, but that in principle there can't be such a DP. Some argue that those DP designed to come as close as possible to the touch and tone of the best acoustic grand will always remain an imitation and not the real thing, and therefore less. THAT latter argument is IMO specious and doesn't interest me. Remember, I'm the student whose teacher told him he won't realize his potential unless he gets an excellent acoustic, preferably a grand. Her reason is that without such a piano I won't learn to express all the nuances possible only with an excellent acoustic. I'm not at all interested in performing in public, nor in preparing myself to play a grand piano.

But back to the in principle argument. I trust there is agreement here among those who have looked at today's DPs, that the better DPs are in fact becoming better, i.e., approaching the ideal touch and tone of an excellent acoustic. No cigar yet, I'll agree, but how about 10 or 5 or even 2 years from now? If at some point blindfolded top-flight pianists can't tell the difference between the best DP and a concert grand by playing them, then we have a difference that is no longer a difference.

I haven't seen that anyone in this thread has followed through on my suggestion to view the demos of the soon-to-be-released Roland V-Piano, at http://www.roland.com/V-Piano/ . Could this be my piano?


Edited by pianozuki (04/07/09 03:07 AM)
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1175913 - 04/07/09 04:12 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Originally Posted By: pianozuki
Remember, I'm the student whose teacher told him he won't realize his potential unless he gets an excellent acoustic, preferably a grand. Her reason is that without such a piano I won't learn to express all the nuances possible only with an excellent acoustic. I'm not at all interested in performing in public, nor in preparing myself to play a grand piano.


But where does she draw the line? Even if you did plan to be a concert pianist what should you do? A concert pianist will perform on a premium concert grand piano in a concert hall. So if you are going to express all the nuances possible in this ideal situation you had better go out and buy a concert grand and while you are at it a concert hall to put it in. Anything else has its limitations. If you shoehorn a large grand piano into a small room its expressive qualities are limited (I know because I have done this in the past). If you buy a 100 year old acoustic which has not been restored then its expressive qualities are limited. If you buy the best DP on the market then its expressive qualities will still be limited. None of this matters to me. A good pianist needs to be able to adapt to any piano in any situation because they are all different. Unless you are going to perform on the same one in the same place all the time you had better get used to this. It's a skill which develops with time and experience. By the time you need to be able to do this you should be performing regularly in different situations. That is the only way to practise this aspect of performance. What you have at home might not really matter at this point.

I don't much like that flashy V piano. For me the beauty of pianos is their individuality and personality. I get excited when I sit down to play a new piano because you don't know what to expect. You have to respond to what you hear and feel. I don't want a bland box which can simulate any sound. It has no soul. Just my opinion though. If you like it then get it. Looks expensive though.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1175923 - 04/07/09 05:04 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
buck2202 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Cleveland, OH
I'm not sure what to say about the V-piano...obviously you'll have to try it and see what you think. Guitar center's website is showing it for preorder at about $6000, so yes, expensive. About twice what a lot of people in the DP forum are paying for near top-of-the-line right now.

I agree that the in principle argument is specious. If your definition of a piano is strings in hammers, a DP can never be a piano at all, and I don't agree with that. But I wouldn't be much of an electrical engineer if I didn't believe that a DP will rival an acoustic grand in touch and tone someday. As for when, I'm not sure...some people will tell you that midi software already gets pretty close on the sound front, and I can't imagine it being that expensive for manufacturers to get that built in. In terms of touch, I'm not sure...I've played an acoustic grand once in my life for about 10 minutes, so I don't have a basis to compare where my DP (CLP 370) is now. I can tell you definitively that it's worlds above my previous low end DP, and that I quite prefer it to the acoustic upright that I take my lessons on.

You're right, though...my second point should have read that in terms of being a piano, today's DPs don't rival the best acoustic grands. And admittedly, that's just something that I have to take on faith from the people who know what a grand can do.

The engineer in me doesn't think that it should take that long to get DPs functionally comparable to the best acoustic grands...but then again, the engineer in me doesn't see what should be so hard about it in the first place. Memory and processing power are cheap, and the feeling of striking a piano key, quite frankly, is complex but not impossible to model. If I had to guess, I would say that the current state of DP technology has more to do with marketing than research.


My take on your initial question (if you really want to drop the semantic argument smile ) is that a new DP will be worlds above the one that you have now for sure. Will it limit your development? A top-level pianist can surely do things with a concert grand that can't be done with today's DP. But I think the line between people that can and people that can't is a fuzzy one...when does one get to that point? 10 years? 15? 5? My feeling is that you can't go wrong upgrading to today's DP from where you are now. A good acoustic grand would be a better piano. A top-level upright, maybe better. But if your circumstances don't permit it, or you just prefer the convenience of a DP right now, I wouldn't lose sleep over "lost potential." I think if you're actually being limited by your instrument right now, you don't have to sit around guessing about it. If you can't tell that you've hit a ceiling, surely your teacher can.

And even if you spend the money on a DP today and find that it does limit you in 5 or 10 years, it doesn't automatically become useless if you decide that you do want an acoustic grand after all. The digital will still have its own advantages. And if you still don't want an acoustic grand, get a new DP. It's technology, not an heirloom (as the prices of a DP and a grand conclusively indicate)...they'll get better and they'll probably get cheaper (unless yamaha and roland start copying apple's pricing scheme smile )

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#1175937 - 04/07/09 05:45 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Chris H.]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
Hmm. I'm just not getting through. To quote from YOUR quote of me, "I'm not at all interested in performing in public, nor in preparing myself to play a grand piano." I AM interested in "learn[ing] to express all the nuances possible".

You say, "A good pianist needs to be able to adapt to any piano in any situation because they are all different. Unless you are going to perform on the same one in the same place all the time you had better get used to this."

Well, I intend to flunk your test of a good pianist. I want only to play the best I can in my family room--for myself and my cat, and only occasionally for a few friends who drop by. But my test and my teacher's test is the ability to express the nuances in the music itself. I don't see any reason a DP by itself would prevent me from developing this ability. If not the best DP now, then one not far down the road. It's this I will begin to try to convince my teacher of, when I have my next lesson this afternoon. I hope to get her to accompany me to the 23,000 square-foot piano store that very recently became a Kawai dealer, the only one in the Seattle area that has both acoustic and digital pianos. (The nearest Yamaha dealer is in Tacoma--a 30-mile hike down horrible I-5.)

(I've copied those V-Piano videos to a memory stick, and will leave it with her today.)


Edited by pianozuki (04/07/09 05:51 AM)
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1175943 - 04/07/09 06:12 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: buck2202]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
Terrific! Pianist and electrical engineer in the same person. A rational, tech-savvy artist!

Originally Posted By: buck2202
I'm not sure what to say about the V-piano...obviously you'll have to try it and see what you think. Guitar center's website is showing it for preorder at about $6000, so yes, expensive. About twice what a lot of people in the DP forum are paying for near top-of-the-line right now.


Yes, expensive. But PLEASE tell me what you thought of the videos.


Originally Posted By: buck2202
My take on your initial question (if you really want to drop the semantic argument smile ) is that a new DP will be worlds above the one that you have now for sure. Will it limit your development? A top-level pianist can surely do things with a concert grand that can't be done with today's DP. But I think the line between people that can and people that can't is a fuzzy one...when does one get to that point? 10 years? 15? 5? My feeling is that you can't go wrong upgrading to today's DP from where you are now. A good acoustic grand would be a better piano. A top-level upright, maybe better. But if your circumstances don't permit it, or you just prefer the convenience of a DP right now, I wouldn't lose sleep over "lost potential." I think if you're actually being limited by your instrument right now, you don't have to sit around guessing about it. If you can't tell that you've hit a ceiling, surely your teacher can.


Yes. My sig says it all.

Originally Posted By: buck2202
And even if you spend the money on a DP today and find that it does limit you in 5 or 10 years, it doesn't automatically become useless if you decide that you do want an acoustic grand after all. The digital will still have its own advantages. And if you still don't want an acoustic grand, get a new DP. It's technology, not an heirloom (as the prices of a DP and a grand conclusively indicate)...they'll get better and they'll probably get cheaper (unless yamaha and roland start copying apple's pricing scheme smile )


Thanks for really understanding me, and for your informed and sensible advice.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1175949 - 04/07/09 06:51 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Pianozuki, thank you for bringing this back around to the original point. I think we see eye-to-eye here and I'm going refrain (as best I can smile ) from arguing with those who seem to have their own agenda.

The point of the thread (as I see it) was to find out what piano teachers opinion of digital pianos were and certainly there is a range of opinion, some on target, some misguided some seemingly even intentionally negative, sometimes these opinions are based experience and some on hearsay and fabrication.

I think there is also a distinction in what the purpose (i.e. the final outcome) of the study is to be. I think you explained it well above (I'd have to go back an re-read the initial post to see if it was expressed there) -- there is no intent here to be a top pianist touring the world and playing concerts (correct me if I'm wrong). Currently the performing solo pianist uses an acoustic (grand or otherwise smile ) that is what is expected.

Is that what the future holds? It's anyone's guess. I suspect acoustics will be around for many centuries but I also believe they will soon be replaced by digital pianos in the same way typewriters have been replaced by computers, CDs have replaced vinyl records, digital tv has replaced analog tv and books/newspapers are being replaced by digital book readers and the internet. It's inevitable given the advantage of digital pianos over acoustic. Sure some will continue to worship acoustic pianos just as there are those who worship vinyl records or period instrument orchestras. That too is inevitable and expected.

We're at a transition period at the moment. We'll have to wait to see what the future brings.
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1175952 - 04/07/09 06:57 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: buck2202]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: buck2202
....

Geez..now I've gone and typed so much that I've forgotten what we're arguing about.


grin

Yes, but well presented better than my response which I typed and then deleted.

Thanks Buck.

P.S. Good to meet another EE here as well. smile


Edited by kennychaffin (04/07/09 07:18 AM)
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1175953 - 04/07/09 07:00 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Bart Kinlein Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 715
Loc: Maryland
I regularly play both acoustic and digital pianos. I bought the digital because I thought it was reasonably close (in touch, not sound) to the acoustic. I use it for practice with headphones in the "wee small hours" and when my wife is also practicing. I find that I am able to translate the things I've worked on at the DP to the acoustic.

I think that the big difference is between the acoustic I play at home and the acoustic I play at school. Entirely different touch, sound, everything. I prefer my digital to that piano, and I've had considerable experience with another of the same make and size. I'm not saying it's bad, just very, very different.
_________________________
Steinway 1905 model A, rebuild started 2008, completed 2012
Yahama CVP-401
Will somone get my wife off the Steinway so I can play it!

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#1175980 - 04/07/09 08:06 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Bart Kinlein]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Pianozuki,
I just spent a bit of time reviewing the V-Piano. I couldn't view the Roland videos directly as I do not have quicktime installed but watched this video (maybe the same?) at synthtopia:

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2009/01/23/the-roland-v-piano/

Looks very impressive and appears that Roland has incorporated into hardware the virtual piano approaches that I'm seeing happen in the software virtual piano world such as with Truepianos:

http://www.truepianos.com/

and others in this category. There are many sampled digital pianos as well as modeled pianos in both hardware (i.e. physical pianos) and software (i.e. VSTi running on computers and controlled by a keyboard controller).

As is indicated in the video, there are many issues with the sampling approach which are overcome by the modeling approach. Not that there are not issues with modeling as well, but at least for my money the modeling approach is where this technology will end up.

I don't know that this particular piano - the Roland V-Piano is the be-all end-all but it's certainly the leading (bleeding) edge and thus the high $$$$.

And certainly Roland makes some of the best keybeds out there for their feel and responsiveness.

Personally I am not in a position that I would pay the price for the V-Piano (unless I win the lotto tomorrow smile ), but certainly it looks to be an excellent stand along virtual modeled piano.

For me, for now, I will stick with my Casio PX-320 and Yamaha NP-30 for practice and playing along with my Sonar 8 Professional and my virtual pianos both modeled and sampled for recording.





Edited by kennychaffin (04/07/09 08:08 AM)
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1175988 - 04/07/09 08:46 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
Pianozuki,
I just spent a bit of time reviewing the V-Piano. I couldn't view the Roland videos directly as I do not have quicktime installed but watched this video (maybe the same?) at synthtopia:

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2009/01/23/the-roland-v-piano/


Yes Kenny, that's the same video (or the video in 4 parts)

Thanks very much for your useful review.
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1176002 - 04/07/09 09:25 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Originally Posted By: pianozuki
Hmm. I'm just not getting through. To quote from YOUR quote of me, "I'm not at all interested in performing in public, nor in preparing myself to play a grand piano." I AM interested in "learn[ing] to express all the nuances possible".

You say, "A good pianist needs to be able to adapt to any piano in any situation because they are all different. Unless you are going to perform on the same one in the same place all the time you had better get used to this."

Well, I intend to flunk your test of a good pianist. I want only to play the best I can in my family room--for myself and my cat, and only occasionally for a few friends who drop by. But my test and my teacher's test is the ability to express the nuances in the music itself. I don't see any reason a DP by itself would prevent me from developing this ability. If not the best DP now, then one not far down the road. It's this I will begin to try to convince my teacher of, when I have my next lesson this afternoon.


Your point is getting through just fine. Obviously mine isn't. I see no reason for you to go out and buy an expensive grand piano in order to learn to play. A good quality DP will do the job and there is no reason why that, in itself, should limit your progress. But then I think you had made your decision before you even posted this question here. It's clear that you intend to convince your teacher later today. Good luck with that.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1176011 - 04/07/09 09:57 AM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: Chris H.]
pianozuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Bellevue WA, USA
Thanks, Chris.

Yes, I like the digital idea, just as I like writing on a computer better than on a typewriter. DPs will continue to improve, and eventually surpass the best APs.

The purpose behind my question was in part to shape up an argument to use with my teacher. I think I've got that now, just in time for my 2pm lesson today.

Secondly, I was hoping to learn of DPs that I didn't know of. I now know I should investigate Casio and Roland in addition to Kawai and Yamaha. And I'm in luck for the Kawai and Roland, because I learned in a thread here of a big piano store (Prosser) near Seattle that has just become a Kawai dealer and I think was already a Roland dealer. For Yamaha, I'll have to go to Tacoma, Olympia, Portland, or Spokane. Kawai has been my tentative first choice all along for either a DP or AP -- I had a Kawai upright when I lived in Tokyo decades ago.

My thanks to everyone for their participation in this thread.

Dick Moores
_________________________
Kawai RX-2

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#1176067 - 04/07/09 12:06 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: pianozuki]
jwcolby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 27
Loc: NC, USA
I have found this thread a little sad, and a lot judgmental. "serious students", only take students with a "real" piano etc.

Wow!

I can certainly understand teachers requiring certain tools. I can understand teachers limiting themselves to students with a certain level of skill, which is what I have to assume is going on here.

OTOH, I grew up playing on an old piano with a cracked sound board, that sounded abysmal, rescued from the back porch of my great grandparents house. My parents had it "tuned" - for all the good it did. It had harmonics never intended by the manufacturer, I can assure you of that. It had an abysmal feel.

I never became a concert pianist, but that really is not important. What is important is that I learned to love music, and I am now (at the ripe old age of 54) going back to see what I can pick up again.

I am truly glad that my piano teacher did not dictate a grand piano, or I would not have had lessons. My parents were so poor that the choice was between food on the table and a good piano. My grandmother paid for the lessons! Choices my hind leg. THAT is judgmental hooey!!!

There are BILLIONS of people in this world where the family makes a dollar a day. If their children (or the parents) want to learn piano, they are every bit as "serious" as the Kennedy's of this world, but they will NEVER own a grand. They might find a used DP though.

I just bought a well used "used to be somewhat high end" DP (for $100) from my Pastor's wife. I took it apart, cleaned all the electronics and put it back together again.

Now I have to learn the scales, I have to learn to read music again, I have to learn music theory again, I have to learn to play the most basic stuff. I have to train my fingers to work together again. I have many years of just the basics to work through before I will have any use whatsoever for a "real" piano.

I do not NEED a grand piano, I will with 99% certainly NEVER need a grand. I am a programmer, not a concert pianist; I will never be a concert pianist. However I will enjoy learning again. I will enjoy hooking up the DP to my computer and storing my "creations". I will enjoy playing with the synth. I had more fun playing the "ATOMIC Lead" synth voice this morning, I must have played a half hour of finger exercises just because the sound was so neat!

So no, I am not a "serious" piano player, but I have to say it is annoying to be so callously discarded to the trash heap with that expression. I do hope to once again enjoy playing music.

Obviously I have no need for the John v.d. Brooks of the world, though I appreciate that they exist for those who have the need (and the money!!!). Further, given his (and other poster's) heartfelt "prejudices", it seems unlikely that we would even enjoy each other's company! Which I also find a little sad.

But say what you will, a DP fits my needs precisely.
_________________________
John W. Colby
www.ColbyConsulting.com

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#1176077 - 04/07/09 12:39 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: jwcolby]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7382
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
John, you make a lot of accusations here. Name for us the teachers on this forum who responded saying they only take students with pianos to practice on.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1176085 - 04/07/09 12:50 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: jwcolby]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
The majority of my students will be spending less than £1000 on their first instrument. I can understand that even that is a lot to lay out on a new activity for yourself or your kids. At this price point (and often less) a DP is a good option. There are acoustic pianos available for this budget but you are taking a big risk if you don't know what you are doing. I know a local dealer who sells starter pianos (acoustic) for around £1000 and he is honest and reliable. I did visit him a few weeks ago and I have to admit that some of the stock was less appealing than the DP's I played recently.

I would still hope that as they advance most of them will consider a change to a good acoustic if possible. And a lot of them do. They still keep their DP's for silent practice and so far I have not noticed any negative side effects.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1176089 - 04/07/09 12:53 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
John (Brook), I don't think he (John C) pointed out any specific teacher other than you and you and I have been through all that already.

Nor does he need to delineate a list of teachers. There have been numerous postings in this thread by you and others denigrating and demeaning both digital pianos and those who use them. That's fine, it's your opinion, you're free to express it as am I, as is John Colby.

As I said in one my previous posts, we should stick to the O.P. question at hand and drop the judgments. Maybe just Yes/No answers. smile

Should you want to continue this discussion, I'm still looking for you to detail the limitations you believe students are placing on themselves by using a digital piano. Of course email or PM might be more appropriate than continuing to pollute this thread.





Edited by kennychaffin (04/07/09 01:07 PM)
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1176095 - 04/07/09 01:11 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: jwcolby]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5500
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: jwcolby
There are BILLIONS of people in this world where the family makes a dollar a day. If their children (or the parents) want to learn piano, they are every bit as "serious" as the Kennedy's of this world, but they will NEVER own a grand. They might find a used DP though.

I just bought a well used "used to be somewhat high end" DP (for $100) from my Pastor's wife. I took it apart, cleaned all the electronics and put it back together again.


I would encourage you to think about the billions of people in this world who can't afford what you just purchased. Are you now more "serious" about piano than they are?
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1176103 - 04/07/09 01:21 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: AZNpiano]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Well there are billions of people that probably have no thought of pianos as they are struggling just to survive and make it through the next day if not the next hour.

Is that what you are getting at AZNpiano?

Just curious as to your question.
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1176105 - 04/07/09 01:23 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
jwcolby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 27
Loc: NC, USA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
John, you make a lot of accusations here. Name for us the teachers on this forum who responded saying they only take students with pianos to practice on.


John,

>>>My question would be: why strap an anvil around your ankles when learning to swim?

What a ghastly analogy to learning to play on a DP.

>>>Chris, when it comes to the topic of humans, I find myself a slow learner. I was probably in my 50s before I realized that people can afford what they want, and cannot afford what they don't want.

Hmmm... uhhhh... right. Tell that to the billions of families that make a dollar a day. My father was an alcoholic that left when I was 11. My mother worked two jobs and was on all kinds of government aid. A grand piano would have fallen through the floor of the "house" that I grew up in, not to mention being many years pay for my mother.

What an asinine thing to say. But of course, perfectly true for the Kennedys. I guess your belief system is very much determined by who you hang out with eh?

>>>Would I prefer all my students practice on grands? Of course. Would I refuse to teach them if they were limited to uprights or electronic substitutes? Of course not. They limit themselves when they choose this route. Why should I stand in their way?

Hmmmmm... do I get that your heart would not be into teaching such a child?

>>>>I didn't answer, but the answer is 1. It's mine and it's a loaner because the student couldn't afford anything other than lessons.

Hmmmmmmmmm..... Hardly a glowing "I'd teach any student that wants to learn..."

>>>The fact that I own 'em and loan to students ought to speak volumes.

That would appear to be student (singular)...

John... I apologize, you obviously did NOT say that "you only take students with pianos to practice on".

Notice that I also said that it is the right of any teacher to demand certain tools from the student, and to only take students with a certain level of education. Both of those things I find perfectly valid. It would help if you would preface your remarks with something like "Please understand I am a very talented pianist, and a very talented teacher, and I only have the time to take students who have displayed a certain level of competence". That would put your comments into context.

OTOH To call a DP an anvil around the ankle of a child that cannot even afford a DP is simply... breathtakingly ... well it leaves me speechless. To think that you actually LOANED such an anvil to some poor child is unconscionable!!! Why would you do such a thing?
_________________________
John W. Colby
www.ColbyConsulting.com

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#1176106 - 04/07/09 01:24 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
molto_agitato Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/09
Posts: 162
Loc: Washington State
Hello everyone, I'm an adult beginner who has been taking lessons for about 20 months. Since I began lessons, I have practiced on only a digital keyboard and the only times I have played on an acoustic are during my lessons. I want to buy an acoustic piano in the near future, but I have one concern. I'm worried that having practiced solely on a digital will irreparably impair my ability to develop skills that are best learned on an acoustic. That is, I'm worried I won't be able to adapt to an acoustic. I'm curious about experiences teachers have had with students who started on digitals and later switched to acoustics.

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#1176111 - 04/07/09 01:27 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: AZNpiano]
jwcolby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/09
Posts: 27
Loc: NC, USA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: jwcolby
There are BILLIONS of people in this world where the family makes a dollar a day. If their children (or the parents) want to learn piano, they are every bit as "serious" as the Kennedy's of this world, but they will NEVER own a grand. They might find a used DP though.

I just bought a well used "used to be somewhat high end" DP (for $100) from my Pastor's wife. I took it apart, cleaned all the electronics and put it back together again.


I would encourage you to think about the billions of people in this world who can't afford what you just purchased. Are you now more "serious" about piano than they are?


Nope, my point exactly!

Thanks for helping me out there!!!


Edited by jwcolby (04/07/09 01:29 PM)
_________________________
John W. Colby
www.ColbyConsulting.com

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#1176113 - 04/07/09 01:31 PM Re: How many of your students have only a DP? [Re: kennychaffin]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
I would say that a DP is limited (compared to a quality acoustic) in two ways. Sound and touch.

Over in the piano forum you will hear the sound and tonal qualities of a variety of pianos described in many ways. Some are bright or mellow, full, rich, dark, shrill, colorful etc. They can be called beautiful or they can have character. None of these descriptions seem to be applied to a DP. The best compliment you can pay a DP is that it sounds 'like a real piano'. Hence the state of the art Roland 'Virtual' piano. I have played top of the range DP's recently and good as they might be they still leave me cold compared to the real thing. A real piano gives me more feedback when I play. I feel more connected to the sound and more in control of it. It will respond to the subtle ways in which I can touch it. A DP will to a certain extent but still not close enough.

As far as touch is concerned I have yet to play a DP which feels exactly like a good acoustic. I can't feel the action in the same way and this does not give me confidence if I were to perform advanced repertoire. It will respond only to velocity. An acoustic has a mechanical action which you can only get the best out of when the keys are struck or played in the right way. A 3 year old child can play a key on a DP and it will sound no different to the same key played by a concert artist. Some might say this is a good thing and if you never intend to play an acoustic then perhaps that is true.

This might sound like I am being very critical of the DP. I don't mean to be and I appreciate that for many people it is the only option. It's just that for me the acoustic is a better match for the music I play and the situations in which I perform. I prefer it.

But I still don't feel that the DP limits progress. If at any time you want to explore the possibilities of an acoustic then all you need do is practise on an acoustic. I grew up with a mediocre upright and it did me no harm. When I went to college I had the oportunity to practise on grands. That is where I learned to get the best out of a grand. Up until then I hadn't needed to. When I started to perform more regularly on concert grands in large venues I had to learn how to get the best from them. Of course I didn't have one at home, who does? I needed to gain experience and practise in that situation.

Get the best you can afford or whatever suits your situation. Then forget about it and concentrate on learning to play.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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