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#1414115 - 04/09/10 10:14 AM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Bunneh]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1263
Loc: California
I have some students who have portable keyboards, some who practice on digitals, some who have acoustic pianos. I would say that at least half of the students who own acoustic pianos should ditch them, as they would be better off with a digital piano.

If you're comparing playing on a digital to a GOOD acoustic piano, then yes, I would always recommend the acoustic. However, in the real world, most parents will NOT pay the serious $$ needed for a good acoustic. Instead, they find a 'steal' in the newspaper or maybe they inherited Grandma's piano. Many older models have horrible action (much like the 'highly-hated' keyboards) and are out of tune. In such cases, is an acoustic better than a digital? No way.

I would love it if all of my students had a quality acoustic piano, but that's not real life.
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#1414231 - 04/09/10 01:37 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: cinstance]
fe2008 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/09
Posts: 380
Loc: Brazil
Originally Posted By: cinstance
My son started (when he was 6 1/2) with a Roland digital piano for one and a half years. We upgraded to a Kawai RX-3 two months ago because he had outgrown the digital piano. "outgrow" here means the digital can no longer meets the teacher's requirements such as producing tone color, pedal practice, and producing consistent dynamics when switching to an acoustic for performance.

After the upgrade, my son found out that he could play a trill with faster speed and easier with the acoustic upon the first try, and he really begun to experiment with different touches and listen to the tone rather than satisfying with just playing the notes right like he were with the digital before. The transformation from digital to acoustic is not hard at all for a little boy, but I can feel how different his playing is now from two months ago.

My view is that a good digital piano might be OK for a young beginner, but it would be better to start with an acoustic to avoid the unnecessary transition later.


What's the roland piano model your son used to play?
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#1414240 - 04/09/10 01:45 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: fe2008]
cinstance Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 104
fe2008,

My son played on a Roland HP 203, it is probably very similar to your CLP 330.

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#1414263 - 04/09/10 02:24 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: cinstance]
cinstance Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 104
B.T.W., we didn't make the upgrade until we changed from my son's first teacher, whom we truly loved and thanked, to his current teacher, a most expensive one in the town if it does make a difference to mention smile.

We were not that convinced by my son's first teacher to upgrade, because her main point opposing the DP is its light action. We tried a lot of acoustic pianos in the stores and find many of their actions are not noticeably heavier or better than the Roland DP. On the other hand, the sweet hamburg Steinway sound of the Roland HP 203 outperformed probably more than half of the acoustic pianos we tried.

Not until my son's new teacher, showed us her tremendous skills in creating numerous color tones from her rebuilt 1893 Steinway B, and to a less extent my son could also do it on the same piano, we begun to understand we can not wait any more.

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#1414284 - 04/09/10 03:07 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: LisztAddict]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7311
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: LisztAddict
Can you tell that this person does a large portion of his practice on a DP?

http://www.youtube.com/user/doowlehc#p/u/10/xMf4bGvjbwQ


The bear baiting not withstanding, you might consider that a person who can competently play on a piano should have little trouble using a keyboard. It's the reverse being discussed here.
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#1414893 - 04/10/10 05:47 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4750
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
I have some students who have portable keyboards, some who practice on digitals, some who have acoustic pianos. I would say that at least half of the students who own acoustic pianos should ditch them, as they would be better off with a digital piano.

This parallels my own experience as a teacher.
Quote:

If you're comparing playing on a digital to a GOOD acoustic piano, then yes, I would always recommend the acoustic. However, in the real world, most parents will NOT pay the serious $$ needed for a good acoustic.

That also matches my experience.
Quote:

Instead, they find a 'steal' in the newspaper or maybe they inherited Grandma's piano. Many older models have horrible action (much like the 'highly-hated' keyboards) and are out of tune. In such cases, is an acoustic better than a digital? No way.

It's worse. I have students whose parents have bought new pianos, but the pianos are horrible. For the most part, parents do as they please, and tops on their list is how the piano will match the rest of their furniture. And after they get pianos, they won't tune them. They won't have a technician keep them in regulation.
Quote:

I would love it if all of my students had a quality acoustic piano, but that's not real life.

It's not real life where I live. My students have to earn better instruments by proving to their parents that they are serious, by becoming good enough players so that the difference is AUDIBLE to the parents. I didn't get a good upright until I was in my teens. A grand was out of the question. Even playing on a good one was a rare treat.

And as I have repeatedly said, once I did have grands to practice and perform on, I could not stand to play on uprights. No one seems to agree with me, but I loathe them.
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#1414902 - 04/10/10 06:08 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Gary D.]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7311
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
It's not real life where I live. My students have to earn better instruments by proving to their parents that they are serious, by becoming good enough players so that the difference is AUDIBLE to the parents.

That's interesting. Most of my parents couldn't hear the difference between an electric and acoustical if their lives depended on it. The students, however, are another question.

Originally Posted By: Gary D.
And as I have repeatedly said, once I did have grands to practice and perform on, I could not stand to play on uprights. No one seems to agree with me, but I loathe them.

There's no question that for a well trained pianist, there is a very noticeable difference between grands and uprights. But loathing just seems a bit strong!

Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
I would love it if all of my students had a quality acoustic piano, but that's not real life.

My life observations are that people buy pretty much what they want, regardless of income strata (not talking the uber rich here).
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#1415162 - 04/11/10 09:23 AM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: IramChZ]
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 944
Loc: Bulgaria
What about people like me who practice daily on a poorly regulated upright acoustic piano? Is it still better than practicing on a digital such as Yamaha P140?
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#1420963 - 04/21/10 12:40 AM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Teodor]
elfenbein Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/10
Posts: 45
Loc: USA
My husband and I like to look at houses (for sale), out of curiosity, not because we are looking to move. One particular one was a McMansion, fancy, bombastic, everything screamed "we are rich and we are not afraid to show it!" In the basement family room was a baby grand, couldn't have been more than 4 and a half feet long. Lid closed, the whole thing shoved into a corner. My husband thinks it came with the McMansion kit ...
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#1421006 - 04/21/10 02:15 AM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Minaku]
tdow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 203
Loc: Canada
We always tell parents that, if the choice has to be made, a good digital piano is a better choice than a horrible "off Noah's arc" acoustic. Of course acoustic pianos are the preference if they are a quality piano.

Few beginning piano students are fortunate enough to have a family that can afford the optimal instrument (and few parents are willing to invest without first knowing ifthe piano will be a long-term interest for their children). We've found digital pianos are a great alternative to having students practice on awful keyboards or old, out of tune and broken acoustics. They're certainly the lesser of two evils! Once their children are hooked on the piano, parents have been happy to sell their digital (they hold their value pretty well!) and upgrade to a good acoustic. We view them as a very solid stepping stone.
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#1421833 - 04/22/10 03:51 AM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Minaku]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
When I was 18-19 years old, I moved away from my parents and live by myself in another city. In my tiny room that I share with another lady, I can't fit my piano in there and I end up buying a digital piano (88 keys,weighted) (not a keyboard) and practice on it while taking lesson from a teacher in town. After one year, somehow, during conversation, my teacher realized that I only practice on a digital piano, she was SO SURPRISE! She even ran to her husband (also a very good concert pianist in town) and tell her husband that:"I can't believe she is only playing on a digital piano at home all these months"
I think either she cannot really tell the difference or I able to adjust to both digital and acoustic?


Addition after edit:
I practice on acoustic piano since my childhood at my parent's home, and I might already develop my fingers muscle on that. Only those two years that I don't have access to a real piano, and I had only a digital piano. I think that is why she is not able to tell. Guess what, I pass my ABRSM Grade 8 with flying colors with that digital piano that I had for two years.
Anyway, I always encourage the parents in my studio to buy an acoustic piano if they can afford one, or otherwise I can accept a digital piano up to 1 year of piano studies.


Edited by small piano (04/22/10 04:02 AM)
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#1422508 - 04/23/10 07:27 AM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Smallpiano]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
small piano, I think that's exactly it - you started and continued for years to practice on an acoustic piano... I too had only a digital for a couple of years, and it did me no substantial harm, but I was already a pianist with 12 years of playing (as well as some diplomas) behind me, and access to acoustic pianos at least once a week...

This discussion is about people genuinely 'learning' to play the piano from scratch using a digital keyboard/piano.....
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#1422712 - 04/23/10 02:16 PM Re: Digital/acoustic students - Can you tell the difference? [Re: Elissa Milne]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
Agree with you Elissa Milne!
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