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#2143630 - 09/03/13 07:43 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: Polyphonist]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 428
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
And my opinion has not changed; namely, that ANY acoustic is better than a digital as long as the action works. It may not sound as good immediately, but at least you will be able to learn actual piano technique, instead of fake piano technique.


How do you know? You have not played anything other than a grand.....

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#2143682 - 09/03/13 09:49 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: The Monkeys]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
It would be interesting to know if the pianists developed their performance skills and technique on an acoustic or a non.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2143690 - 09/03/13 10:05 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: Polyphonist]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11737
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
And my opinion has not changed; namely, that ANY acoustic is better than a digital as long as the action works. It may not sound as good immediately, but at least you will be able to learn actual piano technique, instead of fake piano technique.

Until recently there was a piano in my mother's basement. It had not been tuned for 20 years and was moved twice over a long distance. A3 stuck and you had to pry it up with two fingers. E5 sounded like EFb. The keys were sluggish and the action uneven. The sustain pedal made a noise as if a midget with a huge sledgehammer was trapped in a metal room - but after all that noise, it didn't actually "sustain".

My digital piano has properly weighted keys, none of which get stuck, and all of which are in tune. The action is even. When I use the sustain pedal, it does what it should, and is minus the midget.

You are not going to tell me that learning on the first is better than the second. Among actual piano technique, I can learn to pedal on a digital where the pedal works, but not on an acoustic where the pedal has turned into a drum.

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#2143697 - 09/03/13 10:18 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: The Monkeys]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys

This is the key point I guess.

From the promotion video, sound quality aside, what was wrong with the digital? What essential techniques were not no shown and cannot be performed on the digital?


I don't need to hear or see the video to know what the limitation of that style of keyboard is.

Look, this is a technical question that requires a rather long and detailed answer. I hope you'll be satisfied with the short version I have time to write now.

1- No electronic keyboard design, even the latest hybrid versions, completely or accurately mimic the construction, response, or timing of the grand piano action.

2- The existing switching assemblies used in most keyboard actions throws off the timing of the vertical keystroke in the player. Also, the switching assemblies are not standardized. It's different on every make of keyboard.

3- Since this last is the case, it trains the player to mis-time the keystroke in every instrument they play. This single factor ruins their ability to develop a full range of touch on any instrument.

4- This kind of keystroke mis-timing is also responsible for a good deal of injury in keyboard players. I've worked with a number of injured electronic keyboard player in rehab, trying to train them out of the keystroke timing electronic keyboards trained them to have.

5- Even though the sampling has gotten better, and the keyboard "piano sound" has a number of dynamic shadings on the more expensive instruments, there is no way that such an action will allow the player to influence the tone color produced. That's why the Casio Mozart sounds rather monochromatic in the ad, compared to the grand piano. If you didn't hear that, I suggest you go back and listen a few more times because the difference is very obvious.

I'm very happy they got a couple of skilled players to come in and play some Mozart. That was a very smart marketing strategy, as it will persuade a lot of people.

However, paid endorsements are worthless. I do wish they would have consulted any performing arts medicine clinic at any teaching university hospital before they went about trying to assess their claims. Those clinics are filled with jazz and pop keyboard players who got injured because of the limitations of the electronic keyboard action.

So, that's why I don't think this is as wise or desirable option for for anyone, let alone students. Claims to the contrary are not only worthless, they are misleading.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2143723 - 09/03/13 10:53 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: keystring]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Until recently there was a piano in my mother's basement. It had not been tuned for 20 years and was moved twice over a long distance. A3 stuck and you had to pry it up with two fingers. E5 sounded like EFb. The keys were sluggish and the action uneven. The sustain pedal made a noise as if a midget with a huge sledgehammer was trapped in a metal room - but after all that noise, it didn't actually "sustain".

My digital piano has properly weighted keys, none of which get stuck, and all of which are in tune. The action is even. When I use the sustain pedal, it does what it should, and is minus the midget.

You are not going to tell me that learning on the first is better than the second. Among actual piano technique, I can learn to pedal on a digital where the pedal works, but not on an acoustic where the pedal has turned into a drum.

That's not a fair comparison. Why don't you compare it with a keyboard where only half the tone generators are working, one of the pedals stick, five keys are missing, one speaker out, etc. etc. How well would the piano compare if it were properly serviced?
_________________________
"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

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#2143733 - 09/03/13 11:03 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: The Monkeys]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11737
Loc: Canada
John, I didn't write a comparison. I responded to a statement that ANY acoustic was better than a digital. I did practise on that thing.

Every argument is presuming a pristine, wonderful acoustic piano. I've also read that no technique at all can be learned with a digital. I'm exaggerating the other way around - but there are in fact people playing things like that.
Quote:
How well would the piano compare if it were properly serviced?

How much would it cost to have it serviced? I have no idea since I don't have an acoustic piano.


Edited by keystring (09/03/13 11:08 PM)

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#2143740 - 09/03/13 11:18 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: keystring]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Well, he did caveat it with the statement, "as long as the action works." If keys aren't working, then the action doesn't work, as most of us consider the keys as a major part of the action.


Edited by John v.d.Brook (09/03/13 11:19 PM)
_________________________
"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

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#2143744 - 09/03/13 11:23 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: keystring]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Well, he did caveat it with the statement, "as long as the action works." If keys aren't working, then the action doesn't work, as most of us consider the keys as a major part of the action.

Exactly. Keystring, you used an example which I did not allow for with that caveat.

Originally Posted By: keystring
My digital piano has properly weighted keys, none of which get stuck, and all of which are in tune. The action is even.

Except that there is no action, since it's a digital, remember?
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Polyphonist

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#2143785 - 09/04/13 12:09 AM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: The Monkeys]
rlinkt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 320
Loc: CA
My original position still stands: I think there are differences between the instruments, and the skills that the pianist will develop will be geared to the capabilities and limitations of the instrument. Here is one perceived difference in skill development -- I have noticed a significant difference in my daughter's development in her control of expression, and how she tries to blend the left and right hand. When she first moved from the digital to the acoustic, her playing was very flat compared to where her skills are today. Some of it, is simply the result of a lot of playing time on the piano, but I think quite a bit of it due to the difference in the instrument she is using. However, I cannot prove this claim in any way.


Edited by rlinkt (09/04/13 12:10 AM)

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#2143801 - 09/04/13 01:20 AM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: laguna_greg]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 428
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg

2- The existing switching assemblies used in most keyboard actions throws off the timing of the vertical keystroke in the player. Also, the switching assemblies are not standardized. It's different on every make of keyboard.

3- Since this last is the case, it trains the player to mis-time the keystroke in every instrument they play. This single factor ruins their ability to develop a full range of touch on any instrument.

4- This kind of keystroke mis-timing is also responsible for a good deal of injury in keyboard players. I've worked with a number of injured electronic keyboard player in rehab, trying to train them out of the keystroke timing electronic keyboards trained them to have.


Thanks Greg, this is very interesting and informative.

I would like to understand this. Do you mean there is a latency between the keystroke and production of the sound, that the manufactures are unable to eliminate? And different broads have different latencies. When playing between broad, they will be confused by the different latencies and possibly hurt themselves?

Were there any quantified measurements of the latency?

I noticed you said most, does that mean there are some broads don't have this latency issue?

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#2143807 - 09/04/13 01:38 AM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: Polyphonist]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11737
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Well, he did caveat it with the statement, "as long as the action works." If keys aren't working, then the action doesn't work, as most of us consider the keys as a major part of the action.

Exactly. Keystring, you used an example which I did not allow for with that caveat.

Originally Posted By: keystring
My digital piano has properly weighted keys, none of which get stuck, and all of which are in tune. The action is even.

Except that there is no action, since it's a digital, remember?

The difficulties of the language. "Action" has several meanings. I meant the way it moves, not the mechanism of an acoustic piano. Like "His action when throwing the ball is so graceful."

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#2143812 - 09/04/13 01:46 AM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Perhaps the question ought to be phrased somewhat differently. Can a beginner rise to the ranks of artist using only a keyboard as a learning tool?

My answer: we don't really know IF we consider someone who more or less has to start on a keyboard (a number of factors play into this) but is moved over to a fine instrument fairly early.

My reasoning: in doing some research recently I found out that the famous tennis player, Poncho Gonzales, started with a 51 cent racket. He did not even get proper equipment until he started winning important matches.

The best way to go? Hardly. But he was without doubt one of the most incredible players who ever lived, winning major matches against the much younger players even when he was close to and past 40.

It's a lot the same in music. If you give an incredibly talented and motivated young player SOMETHING to play on, then that young player starts to do amazing stuff, most likely (or possibly) someone or more than "someone" will come along to help with "better equipment".

But if you put today's best rackets, with the power and "magic strings", into the hands of the average person, it just doesn't make much difference.

In the musical world, bringing in the tennis analogy and back to Gonzales, that might mean starting on a crap, no action 61 key keyboard - which by the way I also hate - but moving to something better within or shortly after 6 months, then little by little getting better instruments.

Today a lot of kids who have no aunt or friend with a piano to give to them, and whose budget does not currently allow going out and taking a chance on buying an instrument for a kid who has not yet started and who may have no talent or desire, get a keyboard from a friend, or buy something that is a couple hundred dollars.

Then I get some of these kids. Now, as you all can guess, MOST of these kids do not show any huge promise, or desire, or talent, or will power. Would they do better if they had an expensive grand at home? Maybe. But some of them simply are spoiled, lazy or innately so unmusical that the best instrument in the universe would not help them.

On the other hand, now and then we get a kid who just won't give up. That kid will do the best s/he can on an instrument that would stop most people, then people get excited and pitch in. Starting on a crap keyboard - one of those blow the keys down with a weak breath and not enough keys and a tinny sound - does not mean staying on it.

I think most of you work with kids who are way more entitled than most of the ones I start.

I started on a Hardman Peck, quite literally from nearly the century before. It only had 85 keys. It had sticky keys, and it was out of tune, although my parents did get a tech to try to make it work as well as possible

If I had to play on it today, I would quit. I'd rather play on any good 88 key weighted keyboard, a decent one, than that Hardman Peck.

It's all relative.

But yes, playing on any keyboard today just makes me dream of getting back to a grand. Even an upright frustrates me to the point that I don't want to play.

Once you play on a grand, and you master that playing, you just can't go back - not to perform and not to get the full range of sound and touch and everything else.

But the crap instrument was all I had when I started. It was sent down from NY by my aunt. My parents at that time had no money for such an instrument.

Later my parents got a Knight upright, so I only played on a grand in lessons, until I got into FSU. And having only the upright really hurt me, because the Steinway A felt heavy, sluggish, slow, and it caused tension. The instrument was excellent, but I could not master it only playing it in a lesson.

Once I got to FSU I had access to grands, and for the first time I had a chance to compete with other students who grew up with grands in their homes.

Anyone playing on an upright and then trying to enter the world of serious students playing on grands is playing catch-up, in a really huge and serious way.

But the other side of this is that I almost get the feeling that most teachers here would have given up on me because I did not have a grand at home.

I am torn between agreeing that a good grand is by far the best way to go, always, when navigating through the serious classical music world - and also wanting to stand up for all the people who come from a background where the best possible instrument is not an option.

I don't want to see the idea promoted that for anyone who for ANY reason can't get a first-class instrument, the world of music is forbidden, off limits, impossible, etc.

About teaching on uprights:

When Chopin taught on his upright - remember HE played on the upright while his students played on the grand - you can bet that he sounded a whole universe better on the upright. I also think it is highly unlikely that he considered the upright a truly inferior instrument.
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Piano Teacher

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#2143849 - 09/04/13 04:34 AM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: Gary D.]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5513
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Then I get some of these kids. Now, as you all can guess, MOST of these kids do not show any huge promise, or desire, or talent, or will power. Would they do better if they had an expensive grand at home? Maybe. But some of them simply are spoiled, lazy or innately so unmusical that the best instrument in the universe would not help them.

I think this last point (my underline) is something we can all agree on.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2143905 - 09/04/13 08:06 AM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: Gary D.]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3220
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I am torn between agreeing that a good grand is by far the best way to go, always, when navigating through the serious classical music world - and also wanting to stand up for all the people who come from a background where the best possible instrument is not an option.



The bold font is my modification, don't blame Gary for that.

Is navigating the serious classical world the only reason for piano lessons?

Is it even the best reason for piano lessons?

That sounds a bit elitist to me.

I live in a middle ground musical world, that area between the enrichment activity student and the high level artist. My peers play in amateur groups, well short of name recording artist groups, but often paid performance - stuff like wedding dances, Easter services, community wind ensemble and orchestra concerts, etc. Most of us put in considerable effort to be competent enough to handle our part of the team, but lack the talent and time to perform at the highest levels. Still, we play in public, a lot.

If we play keyboards on a gig (mostly I'm on brass, my public piano has been in churches) a high percentage will be on a digital and a grand will be exceedingly rare. In a large venue an acoustic piano cannot compete and will have to be miked anyway.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2143940 - 09/04/13 09:53 AM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11737
Loc: Canada
TimR, you've taken a post which talks primarily about people often not able to have top instruments, and speaking on behalf of them, and then quoted one part where you highlight a section and infer that it is elitist, and then write against that inferred elitist thus:
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I am torn between agreeing that a good grand is by far the best way to go, always, when navigating through the serious classical music world - and also wanting to stand up for all the people who come from a background where the best possible instrument is not an option.

What if you changed the highlight thus:
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I am torn between agreeing that a good grand is by far the best way to go, always, when navigating through the serious classical music world - and also wanting to stand up for all the people who come from a background where the best possible instrument is not an option.

and then try continuing in your statement against the "elitism". I think you missed the point of the post.

In a teacher forum, many teachers will be teaching classical music, and those that do have also been advocating for grand pianos. Gary is addressing all the teachers, including those who teach such literature, and who have been arguing that grands is the only way to go. Some have even stated that they would not accept a student who doesn't have a grand. If you read the whole text then you will see that he is arguing that even students wanting to play such literature but do not have access to quality grand pianos, that even these students should not be dismissed. The entire post is as far removed from elitist as can be.

It has happened to me more than once that when I write a longer post in an effort to be clear about my ideas, that someone will quote a part in a way that the meaning of the post is lost. Seeing it happen here, I thought I would step in because I do not at all see the meaning that you implied.
Originally Posted By: TimR
If we play keyboards on a gig (mostly I'm on brass, my public piano has been in churches) a high percentage will be on a digital and a grand will be exceedingly rare. In a large venue an acoustic piano cannot compete and will have to be miked anyway.

This in no way argues against the suggestion that people with only digitals can make it in music study, whether classical or otherwise.

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#2143948 - 09/04/13 10:18 AM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: keystring]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3220
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
In a teacher forum, many teachers will be teaching classical music, and those that do have also been advocating for grand pianos.


keystring,
Your points are quite valid.

I went on this tangent because I seem to have a quite different slant on amateur music.

I have perceived for some time that much of the Teacher's Forum mindset is oriented towards that <1% of students who will proceed to the highest classical levels. And any poster who asserts a grand is necessary from the beginning for these students will get no argument from me - I have no interest in those students.

That leaves 99% of students who will never play any Rachmaninov. <g> Do any of them need a grand?

Not sure. But, there are a huge number of enrichment students who will put in there 2 - 4 years to make their parents happy, then drop and never touch a piano again. That's okay, their lives have benefitted and their teacher's economics been improved.

And then there is potentially a middle group like myself that never gets talked about, hobby musicians that aspire to competence rather artistry, who enjoy playing in public, who may prefer digitals for much of their performing because of how it enhances what we do.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2143951 - 09/04/13 10:24 AM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: Gary D.]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Gary, thanks for the fine post. You covered a lot of ground there. A couple of thoughts.

People initially wanted uprights because of space considerations, not financial considerations. If you were to build a one-off of a grand and also of an upright, totally from scratch, the upright would be slightly more expensive because of it's more complex construction. Uprights today are less expensive due to production economies of scale. Additionally, grands are seen as "status symbols" so vendors add a premium to them. When Nikolas & I were doing the Frankfurt Musikmesse together a couple years ago, you could purchase a wholesale grand from China for around $2,000. While these weren't great instruments, they would have been great for beginners. You can imagine what would have happened to the piano market had someone elected to purchase a couple hundred thousand of them and start to flood the market with $4,000 grands.

I can visualize the the advertisements: Perfect instrument for students and adult beginners; diamond plated 90 day warranty; free tuning with purchase, etc.

Speaking of your Hardman Peck: I visited my sister a few years back and she still owns the family piano which we grew up on. It was a 5'8" Krakaurer. Supposedly a respected name and instrument. She had spend a bundle having the action adjusted, etc. When I played it, I couldn't believe that I had learned to play the piano on it. How did I ever learn to play? Then I realized that in my college years, I had great difficulties playing like the professors wanted. Even as an adult teacher, I started out using uprights, albeit relatively higher end models, where touch and technique can be developed and could finally afford an entry level grand in my late 30s. I think a lot of us are in the same boat. However, if I have a family where the child shows ability if not talent, and the parents have the financial resources, I most certainly encourage them to switch over just as soon as they can adjust their budget.
_________________________
"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

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#2144025 - 09/04/13 12:55 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11737
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: TimR

keystring,
Your points are quite valid.

I went on this tangent because I seem to have a quite different slant on amateur music.

I have perceived for some time that much of the Teacher's Forum mindset is oriented towards that <1% of students who will proceed to the highest classical levels. And any poster who asserts a grand is necessary from the beginning for these students will get no argument from me - I have no interest in those students.

That leaves 99% of students who will never play any Rachmaninov. <g> Do any of them need a grand?

Not sure. But, there are a huge number of enrichment students who will put in there 2 - 4 years to make their parents happy, then drop and never touch a piano again. That's okay, their lives have benefitted and their teacher's economics been improved.

And then there is potentially a middle group like myself that never gets talked about, hobby musicians that aspire to competence rather artistry, who enjoy playing in public, who may prefer digitals for much of their performing because of how it enhances what we do.

I am thinking that probably in teaching piano for students of any aspirations, there is a set of literature that has been commonly used for a long time that many teachers reach for. You would have the method books, or programs like the RCM (which I'm most familiar with). It's not that they expect most of their students to become classical performers, but that this material is "out there" and that's the familiar routine.

I'd like to learn to play a variety of kinds of music even if I lean toward the classics. Above all, in an instrument I revel in being able to do many things with it by way of expression. The grand piano would be my piano of choice. The reality is that it is out of my reach. Meanwhile a digital is in many ways a different instrument, and its nature should be explored and worked with in order to master that instrument, and use it to its full potential. Also, there are many things that can be learned using a digital that are also used on an acoustic. For example, I have learned how to pedal, what kind of timing is involved, what to listen for etc. When I get to an acoustic, I should be able to refine this.

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#2144042 - 09/04/13 01:34 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: The Monkeys]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg

2- The existing switching assemblies used in most keyboard actions throws off the timing of the vertical keystroke ...It's different on every make of keyboard....it trains the player to mis-time the keystroke in every instrument they play....This kind of keystroke mis-timing is also responsible for a good deal of injury in keyboard players.[/u]


I would like to understand this. Do you mean there is a latency between the keystroke and production of the sound, that the manufactures are unable to eliminate? And different broads have different latencies. When playing between broad, they will be confused by the different latencies and possibly hurt themselves?


Hi The,

Let's describe it this way. On a grand action, the let-off is set within the first third of the stroke. That's where sound happens, and it's a standard on every well-regulated grand action. Uprights very successfully mimic this point of regulation even though they do not use gravity to function. So all acoustic pianos in good repair have their point of sound set to the same place. It's also an excellent place to put it, as 1- it promotes the minimal use of muscular effort in the correctly trained player and, 2- the mechanism itself can be used to utmost efficiency.

Not so in electronic keyboards. Many of them have their switching set somewhere at the bottom of the stroke, and this promotes a mist-timing of the keystroke referred to as keybedding. Keybedding can give you a very nice case of tendinitis in the upper arm (tricep), shoulder, and even in the neck. It can also promote excessive flexion in the fingers and cause problems there. It also causes the player to use excessive force in the keystroke, wasting a lot of energy and promoting fatigue and technical dysfunction.

Some manufacturers set the switching very high in the action, which promotes hovering. That will give you tendinitis in the bicep, anterior deltoid, and promote excessive extension in the fingers and all the problems that go with it, including a lot of technical dysfunction at the other extreme.

The new hybrid actions I've played also do not successfully mimic the let-off adjustment in the grand action. They just plain don't have one. I have to assume that the design engineers who put these actions together did not think this was an important feature to retain.

Other lesser designs don't even pretend to mimic the piano action, even if the keys are weighted. Also, this feature in the electronic action cannot be regulated after manufacture. The point of sound is set wherever it is when it comes out of the box, and you're stuck with it!

I don't know if this makes any sense to you. I've got a couple of appointments now that I have to attend to, but I can write more later if you like.


Edited by laguna_greg (09/04/13 01:38 PM)
Edit Reason: thought of something
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2144056 - 09/04/13 01:59 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: laguna_greg]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3220
Loc: Virginia, USA
greg,
That is a new concept to me, and I'm not convinced everybody agrees with the technical details.

I would encourage you to repost over on the Digital Pianos forum and generate some discussion.
_________________________
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#2144063 - 09/04/13 02:18 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: TimR]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Tim,

Why would I even want do that? All I'm going to get there is an argument from people with an agenda, who really don't know what they're talking about in the first place.

The idea of the "point of sound" is about 130 years old and started with Matthay. Today, it's a technical factor discussed and taught by the most celebrated teachers in this country, and in leading conservatories. I myself have more than enough clinical experience with these issues, in both trainees and equipment, to know that this is indeed the case.

Heck, any good piano technician will tell you this is so!

While I can appreciate your skepticism Tim, it would behoove you to find out if I'm right or not, instead of rejecting it out of hand just because you haven't heard of it.

Look, if you're having trouble about me making pronouncements on this subject, click on the link to my day-job below and see if I don't have a basis for forming an opinion.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2144078 - 09/04/13 02:46 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: The Monkeys]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 428
Loc: Vancouver BC
Thanks Greg for taking your time to explain the escapement mechanism from the ergonomic point of view, it is very enlightening.

So if I understand you correctly:
The similarity between a digital and an acoustic are: if you press a key, it makes noise, if you hit the key harder, it sounds louder, if you hold the key longer, the noise last longer, but the similarity ends there.

The subtle escapement mechanism is not (at least no properly) replicated in the digitals. Since some/many of the advanced techniques are built based on the escapement mechanism, thus it cannot be developed on a digital.

Is this a fair statement to summarize your position?

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#2144090 - 09/04/13 03:10 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: The Monkeys]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3220
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Is this a fair statement to summarize your position?


That's only half of his position.

The other half is the physiological half, that the finger does not press the key down at a constant rate or constant force, but during normal play it adjusts its force curve to the force curve of the key mechanism, regardless of whether you are a Whiteside arm weight whole body proponent, or a finger centric coin-on-the-wrist Letischetski fan.

And the conclusion is that only the force curve of the grand piano key mechanism is ergonomically correct, and any other mechanism will produce injury.

That's all quite possibly true. But......it wouldn't seem unreasonable to approach it a bit skeptically at first, albeit with an open mind.
_________________________
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#2144092 - 09/04/13 03:15 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: TimR]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Tim, that's only the half the creates the sound. Silence is also part of music, and the half which creates that are the dampers. When the damper pedal is not depressed, the pianist totally controls the descent of the individual damper, thus the tail end of the sound heard by the listener. This half of sound production is totally ignored, not only by teachers, pianists, but by many so-called artists, which is why their music isn't satisfactory in the long run.
_________________________
"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

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#2144102 - 09/04/13 03:43 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: The Monkeys]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3220
Loc: Virginia, USA
Ah. So you're saying I need to also consider the velocity curve of the lift of the individual key.

If I understand what you're saying, the hammer strikes the string, it is an impact. The speed of the hammer before impact determines the result. But while the damper contacts the string at a given point in the key lift, it can be placed on the string with a bit of control?

I don't think I'm at the skill level where I focus on key lift much. I'm pretty pleased with myself when I get the right key down.
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#2144108 - 09/04/13 03:56 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: TimR]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Tim, go to your piano and play/hold a note. Now, slowly release the key and listen to the "tail" of the sound. Try a fast release. Try a variety of releases. BTW, I almost hate to say this, but on a grand, where the dampers are controlled by gravity, not springs, you can achieve a much greater consistency. The biggest problem is that most pianists don't actually listen to the sound coming from their instrument, but rather hear the sound they want to hear in their minds. A true artist knows the sound he wants to hear before playing a key, then listens to see if the sound he's producing matches what he was going for. This ain't easy, as they say, which is why we have so few true artists in the world.
_________________________
"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

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#2144115 - 09/04/13 04:05 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11737
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Tim, that's only the half the creates the sound. Silence is also part of music, and the half which creates that are the dampers. When the damper pedal is not depressed, the pianist totally controls the descent of the individual damper, thus the tail end of the sound heard by the listener. This half of sound production is totally ignored, not only by teachers, pianists, but by many so-called artists, which is why their music isn't satisfactory in the long run.


A note starts, continues and ends. Note 1 is followed by note 2 which is followed by note 3. Something happens between note 1 and note 2. Either there is a silence between them (basic definition of staccato), or note 2 starts just as note 3 ends, or note 1 blends briefly into note 3 before it disappears (moving into legato). How long note 1 lasts to create these possibilities depends on how long the damper stays up before silencing that string. This is done either by holding down the piano key, or through the sustain pedal.

I think this is what you are describing John, correct?

This part does get mimicked by digital pianos, though I don't know how perfectly.

L G was talking about another thing, namely that on digital pianos you have to press the key down a long way before any sound comes out. I imagine that on an acoustic - esp. grand - in addition to this happening earlier, there is probably a variety in how deep you go depending on what you do. If you cannot do a "quick, shallow brushing of the keys" because you always have to dig down, then this affects how you play and also how you can use your arm mechanism. This is something that I do experience with my digital, and it does present some limitations to what I can do.

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#2144126 - 09/04/13 04:26 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: keystring]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3220
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring

L G was talking about another thing, namely that on digital pianos you have to press the key down a long way before any sound comes out. I imagine that on an acoustic - esp. grand - in addition to this happening earlier, there is probably a variety in how deep you go depending on what you do. If you cannot do a "quick, shallow brushing of the keys" because you always have to dig down, then this affects how you play and also how you can use your arm mechanism. This is something that I do experience with my digital, and it does present some limitations to what I can do.


That varies from digital to digital. It does not seem to be a problem on my P500; I've played some Clavinovas that felt that way.

I try to play on any piano I can get away with. My perception, granted a very non expert one, is that there is a HUGE difference in key feel/action between individual pianos. The between piano variation is larger than the between type variation. (Two acoustics will often be more different than an acoustic and a digital, or an upright and a grand.) When I had a church job, my digital was very similar to the church's grand, and very very dissimilar to my teacher's spinet, and all three were pretty far from the beat up upright the church had in the basement.
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#2144128 - 09/04/13 04:29 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: keystring]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3220
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Tim, that's only the half the creates the sound. Silence is also part of music, and the half which creates that are the dampers. When the damper pedal is not depressed, the pianist totally controls the descent of the individual damper, thus the tail end of the sound heard by the listener. This half of sound production is totally ignored, not only by teachers, pianists, but by many so-called artists, which is why their music isn't satisfactory in the long run.


A note starts, continues and ends. Note 1 is followed by note 2 which is followed by note 3. Something happens between note 1 and note 2. Either there is a silence between them (basic definition of staccato), or note 2 starts just as note 3 ends, or note 1 blends briefly into note 3 before it disappears (moving into legato). How long note 1 lasts to create these possibilities depends on how long the damper stays up before silencing that string. This is done either by holding down the piano key, or through the sustain pedal.

I think this is what you are describing John, correct?



If so, I misunderstood John. I heard him as saying the end of note 1 can be influenced by the rate at which you allow the damper to silence the string. I will test this as soon as I can. On several pianos of course.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2144146 - 09/04/13 05:05 PM Re: Did you expect this? [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11737
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Tim, that's only the half the creates the sound. Silence is also part of music, and the half which creates that are the dampers. When the damper pedal is not depressed, the pianist totally controls the descent of the individual damper, thus the tail end of the sound heard by the listener. This half of sound production is totally ignored, not only by teachers, pianists, but by many so-called artists, which is why their music isn't satisfactory in the long run.


A note starts, continues and ends. Note 1 is followed by note 2 which is followed by note 3. Something happens between note 1 and note 2. Either there is a silence between them (basic definition of staccato), or note 2 starts just as note 3 ends, or note 1 blends briefly into note 3 before it disappears (moving into legato). How long note 1 lasts to create these possibilities depends on how long the damper stays up before silencing that string. This is done either by holding down the piano key, or through the sustain pedal.

I think this is what you are describing John, correct?



If so, I misunderstood John. I heard him as saying the end of note 1 can be influenced by the rate at which you allow the damper to silence the string. I will test this as soon as I can. On several pianos of course.


I believe I am talking about the same thing, but dwelling more on the starting point. First, John was saying that teachers and students often don't consider this part. Well - duration of a note - we consider it to some degree in the sense that we know that if you have a half note followed by a quarter note, you can't start the quarter note until two beats have passed for the half note. But when to actually end the sound - that's what I think John is saying people don't consider enough.

That's the first part. The second part then is how to end that sound, namely via the piano key that lifts the damper off the string, or the sustain pedal. It's the same issue.

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