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#1447655 - 05/31/10 08:23 PM Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano
dlee1001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/10
Posts: 80
I've been listening to a piano solo of "Der Erlkönig" on a Piano Classics CD because I wanted to play it. I could tell that the pianist was playing on a grand piano (an excellent sound quality, for that matter).

I've gotten much better at playing this piece, except for one problem. When I play this piece on my Casio PX-120, my right arm gets tired pretty quickly as a result of playing repeated notes quickly, a characteristic of this piece. The right hand plays repeated triplets of the same notes very rapidly.

I played part of this piece on a real grand piano, and when I played, I noticed that my arm was not tired at all.

Why did my right arm get so fatigued when I played on my Casio PX-120 (or other digital piano), but not when I played on the grand piano?

I've had my Casio PX-120 for about 8 months now. I can't afford a piano in my basement, which is where I live and keep the Casio.
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#1447681 - 05/31/10 09:29 PM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: dlee1001]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3669
Loc: North Carolina
Posture? Does your position before the digital differ from that before the grand piano.

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#1447865 - 06/01/10 07:25 AM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: MacMacMac]
Marthart Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/28/10
Posts: 14
I can relate to what you write. Playing fast on my Yamaha Clavinova is very tiring for me, too. I'm pretty sure that for the most part it's a matter of technique or lack thereof in my case, but having played on good uprights and grands as well, I know that it is just so much easier to play on a good keyboard.

With a lot of keyboards, either the action is too soft or it is too hard and playing feels like a work out for your fingers. Furthermore, with many keyboards, the key needs to travel a long distance until the sound is produced, it's like walking though deep snow, very tiring.

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#1447870 - 06/01/10 07:34 AM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: Marthart]
Dave Horne Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5260
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Which muscles are affected, your top forearm muscles or the muscles on the underside of your arm?
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#1447876 - 06/01/10 07:39 AM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: Dave Horne]
joe80 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 954
I get fatigue when playing a digital piano too, thats because the key needs to go very far and doesn't come back quick enough.

On a grand piano, the key doesn't have to come all the way back to rest position before you can strike it again. On a digital, it does.

I use my digital for slow practice with headphones, at times that it is not appropriate to use the grand, so hardly ever really. I'm glad its there though.

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#1447887 - 06/01/10 08:01 AM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: joe80]
NikkiPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 172
Loc: Hertfordshire, UK
Originally Posted By: joe80
On a grand piano, the key doesn't have to come all the way back to rest position before you can strike it again. On a digital, it does.


Which digital do you use? This isn't the case on my digital Yamaha Clavinova, nor should it be on those digitals pianos with three sensors, GH3 etc. The Casio PX-120 does not have a Tri-Sensor keyboard.


Edited by NikkiPiano (06/01/10 08:06 AM)

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#1447888 - 06/01/10 08:02 AM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: joe80]
hpeterh Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 824
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: joe80

On a grand piano, the key doesn't have to come all the way back to rest position before you can strike it again. On a digital, it does.


That was what me disturbed most with my CP136.
Technically spoken it was necessary to rise the key by 50%, and because nobody can do this precisely I had to rise the key 80% to 100% before restriking.
But I modified it and now it is fine.

Also the new Casio series with 3 sensor keyboard and the new Kawais dont require to rise the key totally.

Peter
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#1447912 - 06/01/10 08:39 AM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: NikkiPiano]
joe80 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 954
Originally Posted By: NikkiPiano
Originally Posted By: joe80
On a grand piano, the key doesn't have to come all the way back to rest position before you can strike it again. On a digital, it does.


Which digital do you use? This isn't the case on my digital Yamaha Clavinova, nor should it be on those digitals pianos with three sensors, GH3 etc. The Casio PX-120 does not have a Tri-Sensor keyboard.



I have a CP-300 which doesn't have the GH3 keyboard. At the school where I teach there is a CLP-370 and yeah its good, but still not really close to a grand, and I still get tired out on it.

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#1447915 - 06/01/10 08:46 AM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: joe80]
NikkiPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 172
Loc: Hertfordshire, UK
Do you think this is because the action may be heavier, stiffer, has more travel or doesn't bounce back in a more amenable way?

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#1447917 - 06/01/10 09:04 AM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: NikkiPiano]
Marthart Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/28/10
Posts: 14
If I may answer,too: it'a all four factors you mentioned that make long playing so tiring.

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#1447937 - 06/01/10 09:52 AM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: Marthart]
joe80 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 954
Agreed smile

Digital pianos are great instruments and have a place, but virtuoso practice isn't one of their places yet. Well, of course, the AvantGrand is a different story!

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#1447940 - 06/01/10 09:56 AM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: Marthart]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4271
Loc: Northern NJ
I've noticed the grading of the keys on both of our keyboards (P120, StudioLogic 880) is not nearly as pronounced as our grand piano. The keyboards feel largely the same from low to high, whereas on our grand piano you can really tell where you are by the heaviness of the feel. This tends to make the higher notes on our keyboards heavier than on our real piano, which might be one reasons your right arm out is tiring out.

Whatever you do, if you feel pain you should stop for a while. My wife has what seems to be a permanent injury from playing through the pain many years ago.
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#1450026 - 06/04/10 09:51 AM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: NikkiPiano]
dlee1001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/10
Posts: 80
What is your opinion of the Casio PX-120? Is it a good digital piano to play fast music such as "Der Erlkonig"?


Edited by dlee1001 (06/04/10 09:52 AM)

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#1450085 - 06/04/10 11:27 AM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: dlee1001]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
I've found that indeed, the weighted keys on all the digital pianos I"ve played have felt heavier than any real piano I ever played, I think they over-do it! Maybe, as someone mentioned, they are weighting them all as "bottom" keys. As for the keys being graded to reduce the weight as you move up on the keyboard, that's supposed to be a feature of the recent Yamahas, which I haven't played.

I had never thought about the other issue raised here, though, that you have to raise the key higher before a restrike, too. As it happens, I have one of those "triple strike" Casios on order, I'll be curious to see if that actually addresses that.

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#1450244 - 06/04/10 03:25 PM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: dlee1001]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: dlee1001
What is your opinion of the Casio PX-120? Is it a good digital piano to play fast music such as "Der Erlkonig"?


The PX-120 (and 320) has the heaviest, clunkiest action of a digital piano ever, or at least of those DPs I know. With the PX-130 (and 330), Casio has made the action much lighter, more Yamaha-like I suppose, so it looks like they realized their earlier action was too stiff and heavy.

I'm not surprised at all you are having fatigue issues with the PX-120 if you try to play fast on it. To me the PX-120 always felt like playing on bricks...
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#1450468 - 06/04/10 08:59 PM Re: Arm gets tired when playing fast music on a digital piano [Re: Marthart]
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
on some good acoustic pianos, the keys have the sort of mechanical/string bounce feel, which if you could take advantage of would make playing much easier, but digital keys (at least in current action technology) don't have such feel, and would feel somewhat 'dead weight', which won't help your relaxing your fingers or arms at all unless you force yourself playing relaxed. just have to find a way to adapt to it. my teacher used to tell me that playing on acoustic is easier than on digital.

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