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#1323378 - 12/11/09 02:23 PM Which keyboard is best for substitute piano practising?
Hfffoman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/24/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Kent, England
I am a classical pianist and like to practise on an electronic keyboard when the grand piano would disturb people. I got this idea from Mark Swarzentruber who says it works for him and I reckon what's good enough for him should be good enough for anyone.

I have a high end Kawai with variable touch but even the heaviest setting is much lighter than a real piano and I have the feeling that practising on it is bad for my playing.

Can anyone recommend which electronic keyboard has the best touch and weight for piano practise? I am not interested in any of the other features.

Thanks

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#1323465 - 12/11/09 04:03 PM Re: Which keyboard is best for substitute piano practising? [Re: Hfffoman]
EmmaElise Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/09
Posts: 37
Loc: N. California
Hi!

You didn't mention what model your Kawai is. How long have you had it? Did you not try out other brands/models? Just curious.

I find your comment interesting that practising on a DP would be bad for you, especially since it would not be your exclusive practice instrument. Acoustic pianos are widely variable in their touch/action so there seems to be a certain amount of flexibility and adjustment that a musician has to have in order to play them well. I see adjustability as a very good quality to have when working on a skill like playing the piano or any other motor skill. Unless, of course, you're always going to bring your personal acoustic where ever you go! wink I just don't see how it would be bad if you had a excellent quality, weighted keyboard for some practice sessions.
_________________________
Love others and do what you love!

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#1323524 - 12/11/09 05:05 PM Re: Which keyboard is best for substitute piano practising? [Re: EmmaElise]
EdenResident Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 65
The sensitivity setting won't change the touch on your keyboard, just makes the notes a little louder or softer.

I find the touch on my CLP-270 pretty heavy.

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#1323672 - 12/11/09 09:03 PM Re: Which keyboard is best for substitute piano practising? [Re: EdenResident]
Chris G Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/09
Posts: 737
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I have a Yamaha CP-30 and the keys need about as much pressure as a regular piano. I don't have any problem switching between the CP-30 and my upright piano, they feel different but no more than one acoustic piano feels different from another.

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#1323726 - 12/11/09 10:50 PM Re: Which keyboard is best for substitute piano practising? [Re: Hfffoman]
mezzo-poor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 47
Hfffoman, I thought Yamaha DUP,DGP series were good for you, because their dummy actions are very similar to the acoustic piano's actions. I actually tried them in a store and the touch was as heavy as the touch of acoustic pianos. However I couldn't find them in uk.yamaha.com. Are they available only in Japan?
If you don't have problems about the budget, Avant Grand might be an option.

Then how about silent pianos?
About 10 years ago, I had used a DP(Casio AP-7), and I also thought the touch was too light. Even if I could play some rapid passages on AP-7, I couldn't play the same passage on acoustic pianos. Then I bought a silent upright (KAWAI HAT-7) and I think I have no problems to play any piano (grand, upright or digital) now.

Please refer to:
For Yamaha
http://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/musical_instruments/keyboards/silentpianos/

For Kawai
http://www.kawai.co.uk/
In this page in the tags "GRAND PIANOS" and "UPRIGHT PIANOS", find the word "Anytime".

# And KORG sells the silent units only. Using them, you may convert your piano to a silent piano. However my piano tuner says there are some risks for this conversion.

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#1323787 - 12/12/09 12:52 AM Re: Which keyboard is best for substitute piano practising? [Re: Hfffoman]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: Hfffoman
I am a classical pianist and like to practise on an electronic keyboard when the grand piano would disturb people. I got this idea from Mark Swarzentruber who says it works for him and I reckon what's good enough for him should be good enough for anyone.

I have a high end Kawai with variable touch but even the heaviest setting is much lighter than a real piano and I have the feeling that practising on it is bad for my playing.

Can anyone recommend which electronic keyboard has the best touch and weight for piano practise? I am not interested in any of the other features.

Thanks


You don't say which Kawai you have.

But if you like a heaver action. Try any Yamaha that has the Yamaha's "GH" key action. The lowest priced GH based keyboard would be the P155.

Roland's "PHA II" action is good also. The RD700GX has what Roland calls "PHA II with escapement and ivory feel". It is Roland's best key action.

But also the lowest priced Casio is a somewhat heavy key action. Look at the PX130. The discount price is about $400

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#1324009 - 12/12/09 01:19 PM Re: Which keyboard is best for substitute piano practising? [Re: ChrisA]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I'm a serious amateur classical player
who grew up with acoustic pianos only,
but have been playing digitals since
1989. When shopping for my current
digital, I deliberately looked
for a budget model ($600 US), because
these are the only ones that still have
the older non-graded (non-progressive)
keyboard and the non-half-pedal.
I feel that the non-graded action
is heavier and builds more
strength than a graded action,
and I believe that a non-half-pedal
encourages better pedaling technique.
My previous digital had a graded
action and a half-pedal, and although
it was good, I came to believe that
the action was not heavy enough
and the pedal was ruining my pedaling
technique.

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#1324742 - 12/13/09 07:07 PM Re: Which keyboard is best for substitute piano practising? [Re: Gyro]
Hfffoman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/24/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Kent, England
Thanks for your comments. My Kawai is an ES4. It has a nice sound, (although it has developed some faults which started just after the guarantee had expired).

I find that the keyboard offers so little feedback onto the fingers that it is like playing on water. Playing feels easier but deceptive. I don't have a feeling of control and can't play classical passages with the accurate timing they require. Then, when I return to my grand piano I find I can't play the things I thought I could play.

I take the point about versatility. The Kawai is just too different froma piano though.

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#1324795 - 12/13/09 08:14 PM Re: Which keyboard is best for substitute piano practising? [Re: Hfffoman]
LS35A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/31/09
Posts: 139
Loc: Hayden, ID
I have an ES4 and love it, but when I'm at my teachers house playing her Yamaha upright it feels very different. Makes me wonder about buying an upright, but other than the expense I'm not nuts about having a four hundred pound instrument that needs to be tuned. But I'm just an amateur playing for fun.

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#1325199 - 12/14/09 01:15 PM Re: Which keyboard is best for substitute piano practising? [Re: LS35A]
ocd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/06
Posts: 201
Loc: North East
For silent practice I use a Kawai MP8. It is the closest I have found to a grand piano action.

ocd
_________________________
"Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen."

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#1325210 - 12/14/09 01:23 PM Re: Which keyboard is best for substitute piano practising? [Re: ocd]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
For piano practise and gigging as well, I use a Yamaha CP-300 digital piano.

Excellent action...not too wimpy, and not too stiff....just right.

It's used by a lot of professionals, including yours truly. wink

I play a lot of classical and jazz, and the action works great...the built in speakers are incredible.

For something less expensive, and easier to move (only 25 lbs) I recommend the Yamaha P-85 which also has an 88 note graded weighted hammer action.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1325305 - 12/14/09 03:49 PM Re: Which keyboard is best for substitute piano practising? [Re: Hfffoman]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
The thing is, if you play more than one piano, whether it's an upright, another grand piano, or anything else, they are all going to be slightly different from your grand piano. So instead of trying to find something that is a perfect duplication of your acoustic grand piano, just get something good like the GH3/NW or Roland PHA II/III action and be prepared to adjust to different touch and feel when you move from one piano to another.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#1325310 - 12/14/09 03:57 PM Re: Which keyboard is best for substitute piano practising? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Get a celeste rail.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1325445 - 12/14/09 06:17 PM Re: Which keyboard is best for substitute piano practising? [Re: ocd]
Huygens Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 217
Loc: Sweden
Originally Posted By: ocd
For silent practice I use a Kawai MP8. It is the closest I have found to a grand piano action.

Have you compared it with _any_ of the Rolands upper ranged keyboards. Specially the PHA II with Escapement and fake Ivory?
_________________________
P-85 cheap plastic imitation; not because of sound, but weight.

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