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
Topic Options
#2004050 - 12/24/12 04:56 PM What is your favorite action?
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
So as I've been playing a number of pianos this week, I've encountered numerous different types of action. Some seem to be very, very stiff, others much to loose. Some pianos seem to have a shorter distance between pushing down the key and creating sound than others. It's just been interesting playing so many vastly different pianos this last week. [digitals, uprights, concert grands, baby grands, semi-concerts, mid size grands....I've played em all this week.]

I, personally, prefer a bit lighter action, where I feel like I can easily be gliding over the keys, getting to the bottom of them at the velocity I want, without to much trouble. The action on the Yamaha C series pianos I played was generally excellent, and I like the action on most Steinways. Of course every piano, even amongst the same model of the same brand, is different! One of the professors at my school has two steinways [I believe same model - they're at least the same size] in his office - one that i love playing and has a great feel, another that has such stiff action I literally can not play certain things on it - the keyboard feels like I'm doing more of a resistance work out rather then playing piano.

But what do you find creates the "perfect" action for you and why? I'm just curious what other people in the piano world think. Obviously, a good pianist can adapt to any piano and still create music, but what sort of piano action do you find is most conducive to your playing?
_________________________
Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

Top
Ad 800 (Pearl River)
Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#2004054 - 12/24/12 05:02 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
trigalg693 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 609
Kawai Millenium III, at least the one on the SK-9 I played was perfect.


Edited by trigalg693 (12/24/12 05:02 PM)

Top
#2004072 - 12/24/12 06:15 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
yamaha. what also contributes to the action's excellence in a meaningful way are the shape of the black keys and the ivorite keytops, the perfect amount of grippiness.
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#2004075 - 12/24/12 06:18 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6102
Loc: St. Louis area
I like them light. The Shigeru Kawai action felt best to me, but I've played some that were inconsistent with my original impression. I suppose they can be altered significantly from piano to piano.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

Top
#2004098 - 12/24/12 07:38 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6098
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Lighter action, not too bright sound.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


Top
#2004102 - 12/24/12 07:58 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
Ted Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 1503
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
I like a rather heavy action and a large dip. This is probably because I have played a Weinbach most of my life and have used a Virgil Practice Clavier regularly. The initial sensation of facility imparted by a light touch I find brief, unstable and tending to loss of dynamic control.
_________________________
"It is inadvisable to decline a dinner invitation from a plump woman." - Fred Hollows

Top
#2004117 - 12/24/12 09:16 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11693
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
It depends on the repertoire I'm playing sometimes. I tend to like a bit more weight to the action because the greater resistance allows me to give more dynamic range in Romantic pieces, but with Baroque or some Classical, a lighter action is preferred.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#2004143 - 12/24/12 10:53 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1298
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
Light action with a fairly good key dip and adequate aftertouch for insurance against hammer bobble. I like a very close letoff. I've been able to "dial in" my preferred toughweight with the TouchRail system.

http://pitchlock.com/

I've posted about it before and there are other threads in the archives.
_________________________
Do or do not. There is no try.

Top
#2004287 - 12/25/12 12:35 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: Morodiene]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6098
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
It depends on the repertoire I'm playing sometimes. I tend to like a bit more weight to the action because the greater resistance allows me to give more dynamic range in Romantic pieces, but with Baroque or some Classical, a lighter action is preferred.


I understand your point, but the composers of the Romantic period themselves played on pianos with a lighter action (because all pianos had a lighter action back then).
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


Top
#2004290 - 12/25/12 12:47 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: ChopinAddict]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19265
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
It depends on the repertoire I'm playing sometimes. I tend to like a bit more weight to the action because the greater resistance allows me to give more dynamic range in Romantic pieces, but with Baroque or some Classical, a lighter action is preferred.


I understand your point, but the composers of the Romantic period themselves played on pianos with a lighter action (because all pianos had a lighter action back then).
If someone prefers a heavier action for whatever reason, I don't think it's relevant that the pianos the composer played on had a lighter action. Why would one choose the action another person preferred or used because it was standard at the time?

Top
#2004296 - 12/25/12 01:04 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4791
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I think that hammer recovery is just as important as how the key feels going down.

I like a light, responsive, "buttery" feeling that allows me to play rapidly repeated notes with ease. I also want a piano that allows for good dynamic control such as making it easy to play pianissimo without getting silent notes. (I think I'm talking about a well regulated Steinway. 3hearts)
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

Top
#2004297 - 12/25/12 01:05 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: pianoloverus]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6098
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
It depends on the repertoire I'm playing sometimes. I tend to like a bit more weight to the action because the greater resistance allows me to give more dynamic range in Romantic pieces, but with Baroque or some Classical, a lighter action is preferred.


I understand your point, but the composers of the Romantic period themselves played on pianos with a lighter action (because all pianos had a lighter action back then).
If someone prefers a heavier action for whatever reason, I don't think it's relevant that the pianos the composer played on had a lighter action. Why would one choose the action another person preferred or used because it was standard at the time?


Maybe because one really prefers it?
Not really light or heavy action, but Bathaun for example said his piano is tuned to the same frequency as Chopin's and that it sounds great.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


Top
#2004334 - 12/25/12 03:42 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: ChopinAddict]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19265
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
It depends on the repertoire I'm playing sometimes. I tend to like a bit more weight to the action because the greater resistance allows me to give more dynamic range in Romantic pieces, but with Baroque or some Classical, a lighter action is preferred.


I understand your point, but the composers of the Romantic period themselves played on pianos with a lighter action (because all pianos had a lighter action back then).
If someone prefers a heavier action for whatever reason, I don't think it's relevant that the pianos the composer played on had a lighter action. Why would one choose the action another person preferred or used because it was standard at the time?


Maybe because one really prefers it?
Not really light or heavy action, but Bathaun for example said his piano is tuned to the same frequency as Chopin's and that it sounds great.
What I meant, which I thought was clear from my first sentence, was why would someone choose the action only because another person from a different era preferred it? IOW the idea that the composers from the Romantic era may have played on a piano with lighter action seems irrelevant.

Top
#2004340 - 12/25/12 03:55 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: pianoloverus]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6098
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I still agree with what I said based on what the poster I was replying to was saying (that he/she preferred to play music of the romantic period on a piano with heavier action). What is wrong with pointing out that actually composers of the romantic period played on a piano with a lighter action? I didn't say anywhere that it is better or that it should be preferred. I just stated a simple fact. Only because I had stated in another post that I prefer a lighter action and then said that composers of the romantic period played on a piano with lighter action it doesn't mean that everybody should prefer it or that it is better or that everybody should choose it.

_________________________



Music is my best friend.


Top
#2004347 - 12/25/12 04:33 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: ChopinAddict]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11693
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
I still agree with what I said based on what the poster I was replying to was saying (that he/she preferred to play music of the romantic period on a piano with heavier action). What is wrong with pointing out that actually composers of the romantic period played on a piano with a lighter action? I didn't say anywhere that it is better or that it should be preferred. I just stated a simple fact. Only because I had stated in another post that I prefer a lighter action and then said that composers of the romantic period played on a piano with lighter action it doesn't mean that everybody should prefer it or that it is better or that everybody should choose it.



Just to clarify: my preference has nothing to do with what composers of a particular era actually played on. It's based on my personal preference when playing their works. Simple.


Edited by Morodiene (12/25/12 04:34 PM)
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#2004349 - 12/25/12 04:47 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: Morodiene]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6098
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
I still agree with what I said based on what the poster I was replying to was saying (that he/she preferred to play music of the romantic period on a piano with heavier action). What is wrong with pointing out that actually composers of the romantic period played on a piano with a lighter action? I didn't say anywhere that it is better or that it should be preferred. I just stated a simple fact. Only because I had stated in another post that I prefer a lighter action and then said that composers of the romantic period played on a piano with lighter action it doesn't mean that everybody should prefer it or that it is better or that everybody should choose it.



Just to clarify: my preference has nothing to do with what composers of a particular era actually played on. It's based on my personal preference when playing their works. Simple.


It is perfectly fine if you prefer a heavier action when playing their works.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


Top
#2004357 - 12/25/12 05:44 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3455
Loc: US
I like a very precise, "connected" feel to the action-- predictable response, medium-light, smooth and controllable. Not too much to ask, is it? smile

Top
#2004401 - 12/25/12 10:10 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
WinsomeAllegretto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 828
I prefer a pretty light action. Maybe this is because I am a small person and it is harder for me to get a really big sound out of a stiffer action. I've liked the action on most Steinways I have played. It also seems that I would rather play on an old piano than a brand new one. (As a side note, I thought this was a pretty universal preference, but then I realized I was the only pianist at my school who chose to play on the old Steinway in my teacher's office rather than the shiny new Yamaha.)

On the other hand, I don't like old, light action uprights whose keys are almost loose, which is what I have at home crazy

Top
#2004416 - 12/25/12 10:54 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: sophial]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: sophial
I like a very precise, "connected" feel to the action-- predictable response, medium-light, smooth and controllable. Not too much to ask, is it? smile

Top
#2004470 - 12/26/12 02:05 AM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
DonaldLee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 166
I really like this thread! I'm a weird pianist in that I like different actions depending on the piano. For a Steinway, I LOVE a heavy action. It lends itself to the New York Steinway sound. For a cleaner sounding European piano, I like a lighter action. It matches the crisp sparkling sound of Schimmel and C. Bechstein, for example. Now, in general, if I got to pick two favorite actions, they would be the actions in the Schimmel Konzert line and the Shigeru Kawais. In fact, my 15 year career and asset acquisition goals include the purchase of either a 7'6" Shigeru Kawai or Schimmel Konzert. Hey, I can dream right????...........and work non-stop to make the come true crazy
_________________________
Currently working on:
Brahms Op. 118
Mozart Sonata K. 576
Bach Prelude and Fugue in b-flat minor (WTC Book I)
Balikerev Islamey



Top
#2004526 - 12/26/12 09:32 AM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
in addition to yamaha i agree with others that shigeru kawai have wonderfully fast, buttery smooth actions. i would also add that c bechsteins that i've played have a 'kräftig' feel in that when you press a key you know you're pressing a key (not to be confused with a heavy feel); the feel of german engineering at its best.
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#2004722 - 12/26/12 08:54 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
I did play a brand new Kawai six foot grand today and was VERY impressed with the action. For the price, I've found pianos I like much better, but it still was a lovely piano with a great feel!

Also, I'm beginning to see why a heavier action gives greater dynamic control - today on a brand new Weber with a bit stiffer action than I'm used to, once I got used to the feel, I was able to create some wonderful tones and colors with complete control.


Edited by TrueMusic (12/26/12 08:55 PM)
_________________________
Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

Top
#2004968 - 12/27/12 01:51 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
DanS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 553
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic
I did play a brand new Kawai six foot grand today and was VERY impressed with the action. For the price, I've found pianos I like much better, but it still was a lovely piano with a great feel!


RX?

I like the RXs a lot, great feel and control.

_____
I recently played a Steinway A3 with a WNG carbon fiber action. I was really impressed by it. Great repetition, feel and control, and the tech was still putting the final touches on it. I wish I could have played the final product.
_________________________
"Most pianists are poor musicians, they dissect music into bits-and-pieces, like a roast chicken" -Debussy

Top
#2004996 - 12/27/12 02:47 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: DanS]
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
Originally Posted By: DanS
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic
I did play a brand new Kawai six foot grand today and was VERY impressed with the action. For the price, I've found pianos I like much better, but it still was a lovely piano with a great feel!


RX?

I like the RXs a lot, great feel and control.

_____
I recently played a Steinway A3 with a WNG carbon fiber action. I was really impressed by it. Great repetition, feel and control, and the tech was still putting the final touches on it. I wish I could have played the final product.


I can't recall what model it was - it did however have the carbon fiber Millennium action, so I imagine it would be quite similar to the Steinway you played. It did have a great feel to it, and I am interested in the concept of a piano that won't lose it's quality action over the years! [Supposedly, this is what the dealer told me would happen with the carbon fiber parts.]

Does anyone know what year Kawai started using the carbon fiber action in their pianos?
_________________________
Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

Top
#2005016 - 12/27/12 03:26 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
DanS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 553
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic


Does anyone know what year Kawai started using the carbon fiber action in their pianos?


I was told 2002 by the local Kawai dealer.
_________________________
"Most pianists are poor musicians, they dissect music into bits-and-pieces, like a roast chicken" -Debussy

Top
#2005492 - 12/28/12 11:58 AM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3493
I also like a lighter than standard action. Some (many?) older Steinways have a bit lighter action. My current Grotrian has modified action that also plays lighter than standard.

I can play on heavier actions but it feels clumsy and tires my arms quite a lot. So I can imagine that pros want a heavy instrument, just to be prepared for a concert on a heavy action.
_________________________

Top
#2005523 - 12/28/12 12:37 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 635
Loc: NY and NC
My technique is not strong, and I think I play a little better on a lighter action, with fewer missed notes, but I imagine my technique will more likely improve if I have to adapt to a heavier action, forcing me to hit the notes more evenly. I have played mostly on Steinway and Mason-Hamlins. Both a little heavier to me, but good. I played a brand new Millenium action on a Kawaii and found my figures flew over the keys. Fun to play. Not sure if it was the best for me as I strive to improve, but very nice action.
_________________________
2004 Mason-Hamlin polished ebony BB.
Working on jazz standards and Chopin nocturnes, preludes, and mazurkas (the easier ones.)

Top
#2005529 - 12/28/12 12:48 PM Re: What is your favorite action? [Re: TrueMusic]
Beethoven747-400 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/24/11
Posts: 126
Loc: Perth, Australia
Heavy action! I think it gives you more control.
_________________________
YouTube Channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/brandonscherrer?feature=mhee

Top

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
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.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
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
Who's Online
91 registered (Ben_NZ, aesop, Allard, beet31425, AZ_Astro, AndrewJCW, 22 invisible), 1051 Guests and 17 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75898 Members
42 Forums
156857 Topics
2304759 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Tuning my piano with an app
by johan d
08/22/14 03:14 AM
Tuning a piano
by johan d
08/22/14 02:14 AM
Yamaha CLP-430 or Roland RP-401?
by masterboy
08/22/14 01:22 AM
NY Steinway in Russia
by victor kam
08/22/14 12:38 AM
DAMPP CHASER
by tksler
08/22/14 12:05 AM
(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