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Topic Options
#2165287 - 10/12/13 01:55 PM Best keyboard for older players
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3870
Loc: Northern England.
who may suffer from arthritic problems? I`ve heard some sad articles; I`m not getting younger and want to keep what I`ve got for as long as I can . . .Your experiences and advise would be helpful, perhaps, to many here. Including this ole fart writing now . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2165315 - 10/12/13 03:07 PM Re: Best keyboard for older players [Re: peterws]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1098
Loc: Southern California
Taking better care of the hands is one side of the equation. On some other threads, others have mentioned gloves, the Hand-Eze brand (lightweight latex-like) and the Imak brand (cloth, marketed for arthritis. There are also carpal tunnel gloves.

I have lots of gloves and wear them while playing. My current favorites are cloth, full fingered, designed for touch screens.

For me, keep the hands warm is a big part of the equation. In my case, it might be more of repetitive stress related problems, but the symptoms are similar. In air conditioning, in cool weather, when using the computer, when playing music, I almost always have gloves on. Some are half fingered, some full, some light weight, some more of a medium weight. I often sleep with them on. Again, the cool air seems to worsen any symptoms I have.
_________________________
my piano uploads

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#2165386 - 10/12/13 06:36 PM Re: Best keyboard for older players [Re: peterws]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
I have hand and wrist troubles. I am now ambidextrous with a computer mouse. Wear gloves for things I never used to, tennis, gardening, DIY, driving, and so on, but not piano. Warm my hands up in warm water before playing in winter months. Avoid hard feeling keyboards actions like PHAIII on many Roland's. Stop practise if I feel a stretch or a jar that was unexpected. Practise playing lightly with no tension (you mentioned in another thread you can feel plastic keys flex - unbelievable to me, must be playing too hard?). Learning new pieces with new fingerings, means little by little and slowly, until I am sure it's not a problem for my hands. The converse, which I did recently, was drop learning a new piece which I think going to be a problem (for my hands). ... and so on.

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#2165573 - 10/13/13 08:46 AM Re: Best keyboard for older players [Re: peterws]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
peter.... You're not young, like me. You get out and exercise. Try to take care of yourself.
Instead of worrying about a keyboard that might help arthritis. Why don't you get into doing Mobility training. I've written about it before on here. People have referred to it as the fountain of youth. It does a ton for you. Although at first, a person might think it can't do much. After experiencing it for a year. It does a whole bunch. It isn't exercise. It's simply going through moving your body's joints to their full extent everyday.
People often haven't moved in certain ways for many years. Most of us haven't moved in certain ways our whole life. The joints get unhealthy. Everything related to the joints become unhealthy. Blood flow past the joints is decreased. Kinda like a Bonsai tie.
I believe it helps with arthritis. A bunch more also.
I think you would get a ton out of Mobility.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2165574 - 10/13/13 08:49 AM Re: Best keyboard for older players [Re: rnaple]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12215
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: rnaple
peter.... You're not young, like me. You get out and exercise. Try to take care of yourself.
Instead of worrying about a keyboard that might help arthritis. Why don't you get into doing Mobility training. I've written about it before on here. People have referred to it as the fountain of youth. It does a ton for you. Although at first, a person might think it can't do much. After experiencing it for a year. It does a whole bunch. It isn't exercise. It's simply going through moving your body's joints to their full extent everyday.
People often haven't moved in certain ways for many years. Most of us haven't moved in certain ways our whole life. The joints get unhealthy. Everything related to the joints become unhealthy. Blood flow past the joints is decreased. Kinda like a Bonsai tie.
I believe it helps with arthritis. A bunch more also.
I think you would get a ton out of Mobility.


This sounds really interesting, and sorry if I've never heard of it before. Can you refer me to the thread where you go into detail about what you do (or a link to an article)?
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2165585 - 10/13/13 09:31 AM Re: Best keyboard for older players [Re: rnaple]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3870
Loc: Northern England.
I have done pilates lately without bother. My flexibility`s ok apart from my back. I can (nearly) touch my toes . . . .but I do like a light keyboard. I just wondered if others who`ve had problems found one keyboard better than another . . .but it looks very much like "everyone to his own", We`re all different.
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2165605 - 10/13/13 10:17 AM Re: Best keyboard for older players [Re: Morodiene]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Peter... I've looked at Pilates. It looks good. What I'm talking about gets to the point. It's only 20 minutes a day. Do it everyday. There is so much more to doing this than simply joint mobility. You have to experience it for yourself to understand.

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
This sounds really interesting, and sorry if I've never heard of it before. Can you refer me to the thread where you go into detail about what you do (or a link to an article)?


I've never wanted to come off like I was spamming. Because I'm not spamming. I've never gotten into too much detail on the threads because of this. Offered to give info PM.
Even though he admits that his biggest customers are middle aged adults. Some are put off by what he does. He is the Coach of the US National Sambo Team. The big thing he has for us is training methods that work. The basis is the Mobility. It is the one and only thing he wants people to do everyday.
If you want to know more. I'll be happy to answer a PM.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2165661 - 10/13/13 01:12 PM Re: Best keyboard for older players [Re: peterws]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1535
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
FWIW --

I was test-playing DP's last winter.

My complaint about the Yamaha "GHS" action (used in the P105 and several other Yamaha digital pianos including the DGX 640 / DGX 650) was:

. . . It's too light.

Get to a music store, and try one out. You (or rather, your fingers) might like it.

The Yamaha "GH" action (used in the P155) and Casio PX-x50 action (PX-150, etc) are noticeably heavier.

That difference seems (to me) to be a physical difference in the key action, not just a byproduct of the mapping from "physical key velocity" to "MIDI velocity".

If you test-play a digital piano, and you want to go easy on your fingers:

. . . If it has a "Touch" control in the menus,
. . . set that to "light" touch (that's "Touch=1"
. . . on the Casio PX-x50 series).

Good luck --

. Charles

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#2166228 - 10/14/13 05:40 PM Re: Best keyboard for older players [Re: peterws]
boynamedsuse Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/15/13
Posts: 23
I may have missed something, but the touch setting on Casios (or on my PX-3s in any case), just increases or decreases the volume that is produced from a given key velocity. For that, I prefer to turn the volume up, which maintains dynamic range while reducing the tendency to hit the keys too hard.

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#2167125 - 10/16/13 10:52 AM Re: Best keyboard for older players [Re: boynamedsuse]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1535
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: boynamedsuse
I may have missed something, but the touch setting on Casios (or on my PX-3s in any case), just increases or decreases the volume that is produced from a given key velocity. For that, I prefer to turn the volume up, which maintains dynamic range while reducing the tendency to hit the keys too hard.


You missed something. [This explanation is going to take some time . . . ]

On current DP's (including the PX-3s, I think), both the volume and the tone quality change, as the keys are struck harder (or softer).

"Turning up the volume" on the DP changes the volume (for a given force of touch) but _not_ the tone quality.

Now there's a digression . . .

When you strike a key, the keyboard mechanism measures the velocity that the key has, more-or-less as it hits the bottom of its travel. That "key velocity" (which is in meters per second) is translated into something called "MIDI velocity" (a number from 0 to 127).

. . . that relationship, between the key velocity and the MIDI velocity,
. . . is called the "touch mapping".

The MIDI velocity and pitch (which key you struck) are sent to the DP's sound generator. The MIDI velocity is used to specify both the volume of the sound, and its tone quality.

[An acoustic piano string vibrates _differently_ (not just more, or less -- there's a different overtone structure) depending on how hard it's struck by the hammer. The DP manufacturers spend lots of time and money trying to reproduce that effect.]

Changing the "Touch" value, in the DP's menu, changes the touch mapping -- the relationship between "key velocity" and "MIDI velocity".


So if you change the Touch from 2 (the default) to 1, you're not just saying:

. . . When I strike with a "mp" power in my finger,
. . . make the piano 3 dB louder than it was before.

You're saying:

. . . When I strike with a "mp" power in my finger,
. . . make the piano's volume and tone quality
. . . sound as though I'd struck with
. . . "mf" power.

The "touch = 1" setting lets you hit the keys softer, but get the same _tone quality_ you'd get if you hit them harder.

It also means that "ff" and "FFF" tone quality happens _before_ you hit the keyboard "as hard as you can".

. . . The tonal range for "gentle playing" (as felt by the
. . . fingers) expands, and the tonal range for "hard playing"
. . . (as felt by the fingers) gets smaller.

I'm sure there's _somewhere_ that explains this better than I just did.

Another note to the original poster:

. . . If you are _only_ playing a digital piano,
. . . consider a "synth-action" keyboard.

It doesn't match the feel of an acoustic piano, but it's touch-sensitive, and _very_ light in touch. With a good sound generator, it'll let you sound like a piano, with no heavy-handed pounding.

I don't know what instruments are available with 88-key, synth-action keyboards, but i bet other people here do know.

. Charles


Edited by Charles Cohen (10/16/13 10:57 AM)

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#2167225 - 10/16/13 02:04 PM Re: Best keyboard for older players [Re: Charles Cohen]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3870
Loc: Northern England.
Thanks Charles. I have GHS now, but played a relative`s GH (YDP 161) which was heavier and clinical almost.A lot of resistance which made me happier with what I have . . .Dammit, who`d ha thought I probably have the best action (for me) that money can buy? . . . probably not true, but mkes you think!
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2167384 - 10/16/13 07:28 PM Re: Best keyboard for older players [Re: peterws]
DinaP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 152
Thanks, Charles -- best explanation of how it works that I've seen. I know for sure that on both my previous Kawai and my current Roland, adjusting the touch makes a real difference -- now I know why.

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