Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#1409593 - 04/02/10 05:56 PM Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference?
IramChZ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 47
Loc: Michigan, USA
A teacher recently posted in the digital piano forum that "the results are clearly different between students who practice on a real piano, students that practice on a digital piano and students that practice on keyboards". Do all you teachers see a difference in results between students who practice on digital pianos and students who practice on acoustic pianos?

Top
(ad) My Music Staff
Check out the new way to manage your music studio
#1409625 - 04/02/10 07:02 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: IramChZ]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 841
Ah. So you feel like starting a war on this forum? Of course there are differences between these students. But you will find the digital supporters won't notice these differences and will complain that the piano supporters are imagining things.

P.S. Why do you ask?


Edited by Candywoman (04/02/10 07:02 PM)

Top
#1409634 - 04/02/10 07:22 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Candywoman]
IramChZ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 47
Loc: Michigan, USA
I definitely don't want to start a war. I know there is some controversy in this area, but the reason I ask is that my daughter and I are both going to be starting piano lessons in the next few months and I need to buy a piano. I had thought that I would buy a digital, but now I'm having serious second thoughts.

Maybe, in order to avoid conflict, someone might report to me simply "what they have heard said" regarding any specific differences there might be between students who practice on acoustics and students who practice on digitals.

Top
#1409642 - 04/02/10 07:47 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: IramChZ]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
I can ALWAYS tell when a student has been practicing EXCLUSIVELY on a digital piano. When a student practices on both an acoustic and digital I honestly cannot be sure that I can tell the difference.

There are fantastic digital pianos out there, having said that, and if you do want to go that way (for reasons of space and being able to control the volume living with neighbours on the other side of the wall, say) make sure that you get a digital piano that replicates absolute everything that a piano does: this may mean you are looking at an instrument that costs about the same as a good basic model upright acoustic piano new.

The things most noticeable about students who play digital pianos exclusively are a poorer execution of legato playing and a reduced ability to create dynamic contrasts. I had a wonderful student who had a digital piano only for the first 6 years of her lessons, and by the time the parents finally got an acoustic piano it was really holding her back! Now she's working on an acoustic she is flying ahead, but of course, she is getting reasonably advanced these days.

Moral of the story: it's a disadvantage, but a good digital piano can reduce these disadvantages to negligible for the first few years of lessons, but if you want to learn serious repertoire you absolutely need to have an acoustic piano.


Edited by Elissa Milne (04/02/10 07:48 PM)
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

Top
#1409703 - 04/02/10 09:50 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Elissa Milne]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
I tend to think that if you are starting out and not sure if you are going to commit yourself to the instrument for years then start out with a GOOD digital piano. You will have some drawbacks, and you should be aware of that upfront, but then again, you won't have to pay great amounts of money. I personally think that basic, beginners repertoire doesn't inhibit the learning process. It's only when you start to hit the intermediate level and early advanced pieces were you should seriously consider purchasing an upright. I learned on an acoustic piano since I was young, when I started to play digital pianos at performances were a piano wasn't there, I noticed that the sustain pedal doesn't 'mesh' the sound as much as the acoustic piano does (so listening for pedal changing can be hard), I also noticed that the touch was very different and on top of that the sound wasn't the same as an acoustic piano.
_________________________
http://colouredsilence.wordpress.com/


Top
#1409756 - 04/02/10 11:09 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: IramChZ]
Fingerprints Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Ohio
I don't know about digital piano's.. but I can tell you that I can hear a definite difference between my son along with three of his friends who are all playing keyboards... and another friend who has a piano. The keyboard players fingers are not as "strong" as the boy who practices on a "real" piano. I can see where not having a acoustical or a really good digital has hampered my son's progress.

I agree with the above about getting away with it for the basic beginner.. but I left it too long. You really do need to upgrade before the 2nd year of lessons. I'm going next week to put my down payment on a new piano. Hope to have it soon enough to help him with this years recital piece.
_________________________
Lisa

Top
#1409819 - 04/03/10 01:50 AM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Fingerprints]
lechuan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 180
I'm a student who practices almost exclusively on a digital piano. I always find it frustrating at my lesson to play with the right touch and volume on the Grand Piano. Now that I'm getting more serious about my lessons I'm going to try to get more practice time on an acoustic. Not all digitals are created equal however, I recently tried out the (expensive) Avant Grand N2/N3 and found the touch to be practically identical to an acoustic grand; practicing on one of those would pretty much be like practicing on an acoustic.

Top
#1410199 - 04/03/10 06:28 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: lechuan]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
We are twenty yrs. into the Digital Piano Age, and yet many piano
teachers still have never played a digital piano, will
even refuse to enter a room where there is one, and will discourage
students from having one. There are even teachers who will
not take students with digital pianos, even a marvelous one
like the Roland V-Piano, which is essentially a concert
grand that will play rings around any acoustic piano.

This is probably what happened in the 19th century when the
pianoforte started to replace clavichords and harpsichords.
There must have been great resistance from diehard clavichordists
and harpsichordists who refused to give up their instruments
for the new instrument that "wasn't a real keyboard" and
that would "ruin your technique" for keyboard playing and
on which you "couldn't develop the proper technique" for
playing. These people stubbornly clung to their clavichords
and harpsichords until their deaths and never tried the
new pianoforte.

We are now in an era where digitals are replacing acoustic
pianos. Digitals have made acoustic pianos all but obsolescent
for home use. And with advances in software and circuitry,
the day is not that far off when a digital will be able to
replicate the finest concert grand.

I use a budget $600 digital that I bought sight-unseen online
last yr. This inexpensive digital is satisfactory for playing
anything, including the biggest concertos.

Top
#1410208 - 04/03/10 06:39 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: IramChZ]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5484
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: IramChZ
Do all you teachers see a difference in results between students who practice on digital pianos and students who practice on acoustic pianos?


Yes, of course! The difference is night and day!
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1410214 - 04/03/10 06:46 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Gyro]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: Gyro

I use a budget $600 digital that I bought sight-unseen online
last yr. This inexpensive digital is satisfactory for playing
anything, including the biggest concertos.


It's my personal preference to hear piano concertos performed live on inexpensive digitals too - but I really struggle to find performances to my preference in this regard.
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

Top
#1410547 - 04/04/10 08:07 AM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: AZNpiano]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: IramChZ
Do all you teachers see a difference in results between students who practice on digital pianos and students who practice on acoustic pianos?


Yes, of course! The difference is night and day!


Do you always know what a student plays at home? Maybe keep it as part of the records?

If not, the ones who stand out as either better or worse than average could easily get assigned to the acoustic or digital erroneously.
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#1410565 - 04/04/10 08:55 AM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: IramChZ]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
IRamChZ, a couple of years ago I resumed piano after almost 40 years (self taught as a child). I had played for about 3 months when I played in the house of someone I knew. She was a former piano teacher. Her first words were, "I can hear that you are practising on a digital piano." That was correct. "The development of your playing will be limited by this." which I had also already noticed.

This former teacher noticed it when I had played barely 10 minutes, and I had only been using a digital for a few months.

Top
#1410608 - 04/04/10 10:50 AM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: lechuan]
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: lechuan
I'm a student who practices almost exclusively on a digital piano. I always find it frustrating at my lesson to play with the right touch and volume on the Grand Piano. Now that I'm getting more serious about my lessons I'm going to try to get more practice time on an acoustic. Not all digitals are created equal however, I recently tried out the (expensive) Avant Grand N2/N3 and found the touch to be practically identical to an acoustic grand; practicing on one of those would pretty much be like practicing on an acoustic.


No, it wouldn't, and no, they will never be the same.

For the money, you're better off getting an acoustic.

Gyro, keep up the humorous posts. I haven't been back here in a year and forgot how entertained I am by you.


Edited by Minaku (04/04/10 10:51 AM)
_________________________
Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina

Top
#1410730 - 04/04/10 02:47 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Gyro]
Tweedpipe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 427
Originally Posted By: Gyro
......the Roland V-Piano, which is essentially a concert
grand that will play rings around any acoustic piano....


If this is Gyro’s attempt at humour, I vote that he now be promoted to court jester!
This is really very, very, bad and sad advise he is giving, and to me at least is living proof he has never, ever, played - and especially 'felt' - the thrill of a really good upright or grand acoustic piano.
Gyro occasionally gets close to some truths, but here instead of hitting the mark he misses by a mile in adding the word ‘any’.
Let’s get one thing clear. The Roland V-piano is an extremely fine, capable instrument. I tried one for about an hour, and did I like it? I simply loved it! And it’s certainly better than a huge number of upright acoustic pianos, and indeed certain new baby grands that I've tried. However, no way would I prefer it to many of the better upright pianos that I auditioned some while ago. I'm thinking here names like Schimmel, Seiler, even Kawai to name just a few.


Edited by Tweedpipe (04/04/10 02:55 PM)
_________________________
Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Yours sincerely,
The Unicorns



------------------------------


Top
#1410876 - 04/04/10 06:50 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: TimR]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: IramChZ
Do all you teachers see a difference in results between students who practice on digital pianos and students who practice on acoustic pianos?


Yes, of course! The difference is night and day!


Do you always know what a student plays at home? Maybe keep it as part of the records?

If not, the ones who stand out as either better or worse than average could easily get assigned to the acoustic or digital erroneously.

No. The point is that you can tell within ten minutes (at most, as keystring attests) that a student is not playing an acoustic piano at home. It's nothing to do with being an average student - it's specifically to do with the way the student touches and approaches the keys, nothing to do with limited practice time or a failure to understand concepts. Great students practicing on digital will still be great, apart from having this distinctive (and inappropriate/limited) manner of touching the keys, which does mean that while they are great students they are struggling to be great pianists.
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

Top
#1410892 - 04/04/10 07:24 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Elissa Milne]
John_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 621
Loc: Bristol, UK
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
....it's specifically to do with the way the student touches and approaches the keys .... Great students practicing on digital will still be great, apart from having this distinctive (and inappropriate/limited) manner of touching the keys, which does mean that while they are great students they are struggling to be great pianists.


Elissa, could you give an indication of the manner in which a person learning on a digital piano touches the keys differently?

Top
#1410901 - 04/04/10 07:36 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: John_B]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: John_B
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
....it's specifically to do with the way the student touches and approaches the keys .... Great students practicing on digital will still be great, apart from having this distinctive (and inappropriate/limited) manner of touching the keys, which does mean that while they are great students they are struggling to be great pianists.


Elissa, could you give an indication of the manner in which a person learning on a digital piano touches the keys differently?
Generally the ability of the student to create anything close to forte is nil, while softs are well controlled (a student practicing on an acoustic piano tends to struggle more with soft than loud, and can actually create both, even if they might struggle with soft). Aside from this dynamic deficiency students practicing on digital pianos frequently fail to create effective legato shaping across a phrase. Legato also tends to not have the tonal control one sees in students working on an acoustic (that is, notes might *bump* within a smooth phrase). Both dynamics and articulation are about how you touch and approach the keys, and this is where teachers notice the significant and unmistakable signs of students working on digital pianos.
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

Top
#1410905 - 04/04/10 07:40 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: John_B]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
I find that those who practice on a good acoustic (grand or upright) listen more attentively to the sound they produce and are more aware of the subtle nuances that can be produced by variety of touch.

I can understand why lots of people opt for DP's where a good acoustic is just not a possibility. Unfortunately it just isn't the same. Even the new AvantGrand and V-piano (both of which I have played) can't give the kind of feedback you need. It's about more than touch and tone, an acoustic piano has character. When did anyone describe the sound of a digital as beautiful, warm, mellow, dark, rich etc. The most you can say is that they sound 'just like' a grand piano. What they sound like is a recording of a grand piano which is not the same thing from the pianists perspective.

The other thing I notice is a difference in motivation between those who have digitals and those with good acoustics. A nice acoustic is more inviting to play, it feels and sounds special. It's no surprise to me that my best students are generally the ones with the nicest instruments.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

Top
#1410909 - 04/04/10 07:45 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: John_B]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
I can say, from my own personal knowledge, that I've been trying the digital keyboards from some of the best makers recently. I've been looking for a second keyboard, so I can practice 'after-hours' and so I can take advantage of the sequencer, other instrument sounds, etc. My present instrument is a 6-6 grand. The difference between them is that of throwing a switch, and of pressing a mechanical device which exploits the laws of physics to create both a 'feel' and a musical tone.

So far, I haven't found any DPs that come even close; not even close to a good upright action.

I got one of the earlier DPs twenty or more years ago (still have it), and played it for quite a long time. I'll just say that, when I started playing a real piano again, I found out pretty quickly what I'd been missing out on in terms both of sound and of the physical ability that's developed on a real piano's keyboard.

I can't bear to touch the old keyboard anymore. I couldn't recommend anything I've seen or heard recently for the use of a student.
_________________________
Clef


Top
#1411007 - 04/04/10 09:45 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Elissa Milne]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: IramChZ
Do all you teachers see a difference in results between students who practice on digital pianos and students who practice on acoustic pianos?


Yes, of course! The difference is night and day!


Do you always know what a student plays at home? Maybe keep it as part of the records?

If not, the ones who stand out as either better or worse than average could easily get assigned to the acoustic or digital erroneously.

No. The point is that you can tell within ten minutes (at most, as keystring attests) that a student is not playing an acoustic piano at home. It's nothing to do with being an average student - it's specifically to do with the way the student touches and approaches the keys, nothing to do with limited practice time or a failure to understand concepts.


I wondered because neither of my last two teachers asked what I had at home. We did discuss it with my daughter's teacher, as she started on an unweighted keyboard while we shopped for something better.

I practice on a digital at home, a decent upright and a grand at church. Those two acoustics are tuned regularly but not regulated or otherwise maintained, as are the great majority of acoustics. And in the church basement, in the cherub choir room, is an ancient upright next to a $50 unweighted keyboard. Nobody who's skilled EVER plays the upright, it's just too painful. Hee, hee.
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#1411020 - 04/04/10 10:09 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: TimR]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I am certainly thankful to read the comments of many of the newer teachers to this forum reiterating what dozens and dozens of teachers have explained over and over again for many years and many similar threads.

Perhaps a bit brutal, but I suspect that if you don't or cannot hear a difference, then you're not going to be able to play piano to the highest level. And this is perhaps why ear training and teaching touch right from the first lessons, is so important, and what is so very difficult about self teaching.
_________________________
"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

Top
#1411239 - 04/05/10 07:43 AM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
John_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 621
Loc: Bristol, UK
Interesting comments about the playing traits of people using digital pianos.

As far as the dynamics are concerned, I wonder whether this is linked to the reason that some people use a DP, i.e. wanting to be able to play relatively quietly so as not to disturb other family members or neighbours. If you are in the habit of playing relatively quietly your dynamics are also likely to be scaled down. Of course that is not necessarily the case when using headphones - but it might be that the scaling down becomes an ingrained habit which DP users need to somehow counteract.

There is another factor that I wonder about. People playing a real piano will be aware that others are likely to be able to hear the playing or practising. This might in turn provide a discipline to play with more attention to the musicality, to listen more and, when practising, to keep the playing to the speed where it is just below where everything breaks down. All of which will probably yield better long term results.

One other matter I wonder about. When I was playing the classical guitar (which I did, off and on, for decades) if my nails were poor and I wasn't producing a beautiful sound and/or I was playing an instrument that had limited responsiveness and limited available colours my own playing was limited and rather pedestrian. Whereas if I was producing a beautiful sound and/or the instrument was expressive and could produce a depth of colours and gradations of tone my playing automatically went to a totally different level, without any conscious decision. I just reacted instinctively. I wonder whether there is any sort of parallel with pianos. (There is also the physical and emotional interaction with the instrument, of course.)

(I am posting as someone who has recently returned to the piano after ~45 years, during which time I played the classical guitar. I've started with a digital piano to avoid inflicting my practising on the neighbour but, if things progress reasonably, I will be looking to get an acoustic.)


Edited by John_B (04/05/10 07:56 AM)

Top
#1411321 - 04/05/10 10:44 AM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: John_B]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: John_B


As far as the dynamics are concerned, I wonder whether this is linked to the reason that some people use a DP, i.e. wanting to be able to play relatively quietly so as not to disturb other family members or neighbours. If you are in the habit of playing relatively quietly your dynamics are also likely to be scaled down. Of course that is not necessarily the case when using headphones - but it might be that the scaling down becomes an ingrained habit which DP users need to somehow counteract.


Interesting idea, and it suggests a practical strategy.

Like it or not, the digital is here. It outsells acoustics between 2:1 and 4:1, and all but a few teachers will have to deal with students on digitals (except for those of you who just say no).

So while we might not be able to eliminate the dynamics problem many of you recognize, could we minimize it?

The digital has in theory 127 levels of dynamics between 0 and the current setting of the master volume. There aren't any instructions for the best place to set that master volume.

What if we set it very low, forcing the student to learn how to get volume out of the piano with technique rather than a twist of the knob?
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#1411390 - 04/05/10 12:24 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: TimR]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: TimR
Like it or not, the digital is here. It outsells acoustics between 2:1 and 4:1, and all but a few teachers will have to deal with students on digitals (except for those of you who just say no).


Interesting observation.

I note that Margarine has been around for a while (1813 for discovery of margaric acid, 1869 for first practical butter substitute), yet no chef worthy of his name uses margarine for serious culinary efforts. An no one serious about flavor and tastes of their food uses margarine. I suspect that in 100 years, there will still be an ongoing debate over the merit of digitals for serious piano practice.
_________________________
"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

Top
#1411406 - 04/05/10 12:54 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3200
Loc: Virginia, USA
Sure, I like butter better too.

But more parallel: are you still buying film for your camera?

If so, where?
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#1411417 - 04/05/10 01:05 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: TimR]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
At my local Walgreen's or at the Photo Shop. Wonder if Ansel Adams would go digital. I use digital for fun memories, a real camera for art photos.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

Top
#1411431 - 04/05/10 01:20 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: TimR]
John_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 621
Loc: Bristol, UK
It would be a pity for the interesting discussion in this thread to be diverted into the usual cul-de-sac.

yawn

Top
#1411478 - 04/05/10 02:06 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Elissa Milne]
Dorrie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 438
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
I can ALWAYS tell when a student has been practicing EXCLUSIVELY on a digital piano. When a student practices on both an acoustic and digital I honestly cannot be sure that I can tell the difference.

There are fantastic digital pianos out there, having said that, and if you do want to go that way (for reasons of space and being able to control the volume living with neighbours on the other side of the wall, say) make sure that you get a digital piano that replicates absolute everything that a piano does: this may mean you are looking at an instrument that costs about the same as a good basic model upright acoustic piano new.

The things most noticeable about students who play digital pianos exclusively are a poorer execution of legato playing and a reduced ability to create dynamic contrasts. I had a wonderful student who had a digital piano only for the first 6 years of her lessons, and by the time the parents finally got an acoustic piano it was really holding her back! Now she's working on an acoustic she is flying ahead, but of course, she is getting reasonably advanced these days.

Moral of the story: it's a disadvantage, but a good digital piano can reduce these disadvantages to negligible for the first few years of lessons, but if you want to learn serious repertoire you absolutely need to have an acoustic piano.


I think this the most straightforward, reasonable discussion of the issue I have ever read here. I good digital can take a student through some years of lessons (maybe better than a crappy upright) but at some point, if one is going to play serious classical/art music, an acoustic must be available. The son of a friend of mine, who is completing his first year at a conservatory used a digital for his first 4-5 years of lessons and an excellent upright for his last years at home. He DID have access to a grand several days a week for extra practice for all those years.

Remember - many students who start lessons will quit before an acoustic is absolutely necessary.

I think the debate, for those who see starting a student on a digital as a possibility (but who expect the student to transition to an acoustic) is whether to advise the student/parent to get a top of the line digital (top of the line in terms of the instrument's ability to imitate a piano) OR to spend as little as possible for full size, weighted keyboard.

Dorrie

Top
#1411481 - 04/05/10 02:10 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: John_B]
edt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 210
what's wrong with teaching students how to play piano on the digital piano?

If I want to learn jazz guitar, and I went to a teacher, and the first thing he did was force me to play on a martin dreadnought during our sessions, I would be extremely concerned, because jazz is not played on an acoustic it's played on something like an electric archtop gibson es.

It would be nice if piano teachers taught how to play on the digital, so when the student had questions like how to set up your MIDI, au, rtas, vst, whether to use a linear velocity curve the teacher could help, just like when a student of the jazz guitar asks how high up do you crank the humbucker coils, well, the jazz guitar teacher can explain it.

Right now though, students are all learning on digitals, while teachers are all on acoustics. And if the student eventually gets a gig playing piano at clubs, the odds are you will be carting around an unweighted keyboard and an amp, not even a fully weighted keyboard.


Edited by edt (04/05/10 02:13 PM)

Top
#1411529 - 04/05/10 03:07 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: edt]
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: edt

It would be nice if piano teachers taught how to play on the digital, so when the student had questions like how to set up your MIDI, au, rtas, vst, whether to use a linear velocity curve the teacher could help, just like when a student of the jazz guitar asks how high up do you crank the humbucker coils, well, the jazz guitar teacher can explain it.


I can say with 100% confidence that in my years of teaching, I've never had a question like what you've posited. And I'm pretty sure that I will never field a question about whether to use a linear velocity curve. That seems more like a question to ask a recording engineer or a sound tech instead of a piano teacher.

Nor are my students moonlighting as jazz musicians in clubs. I'm pretty sure 9- and 10-year-olds wouldn't be allowed in there. So, yes, I will dismiss your argument; the original position that digitals can and do hinder progress on the piano technically and artistically still stands.


Edited by Minaku (04/05/10 03:08 PM)
_________________________
Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
ad (Casio)
Celviano by Casio Rebate
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
VI Labs True Keys: From ilok to Hard Drive Activation
by imyself
09/18/14 10:46 AM
A REALLY Indirect Blow Action
by Steve Cohen
09/18/14 09:01 AM
Bone chilling ending to pieces
by lacrymosa85
09/18/14 08:44 AM
help with finger numbers in this piece...
by PianoKimmy
09/18/14 05:35 AM
Most Difficult?
by SiFi
09/18/14 01:21 AM
Who's Online
151 registered (ajames, Alexander Borro, accordeur, 3mb3r4, 3times2, 45 invisible), 1532 Guests and 19 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76237 Members
42 Forums
157601 Topics
2314979 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission