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#2253464 - 03/28/14 11:00 AM finger tips and key surface
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1696
Loc: Portugal
It would have been nice to have one of the tackier 'ivory feel' key surfaces, but as it is, I have ordinary smooth acrylic key surfaces, as most pianos did until recently. Sometimes my finger slip on the surfaces.

But I do not think the problem is mostly to do with the key surfaces - if it were, my solution would be simple but expensive: replace a perfectly good DP for another with 'ivory/ebony' feel keys.

I think, though, the problem is mostly my fingers - especially as it's much worse sometimes, other times not even noticeable. I notice that in the evening it's usually more slippy, so my fingers are probably drier, then.

Does anyone else have this problem? If so, is there something you can put on your fingers to solve it. Some possible solutions:

1. Hands in bowl of hot water (what Glenn Gould used to do, but for different reasons)

2. Vinegar (seems to clean/cure most things and also hardens conckers)

3. Some kind of moisturing cream....Nivea?

4. Yoghurt (also touted as a panacea)

5. Other.


Edited by toddy (03/28/14 11:01 AM)
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2253469 - 03/28/14 11:10 AM Re: finger tips and key surface [Re: toddy]
lolatu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 465
Loc: UK
I found with my old acrylic key tops that a light dab of hair fibre putty on the fingertips worked wonders - mainly to stop fingers slipping off the black notes in quick runs. This seemed to be a problem after recently washing my hands with soap, as that would leave the skin smooth and dry, hence slippy on the smooth keys.



Main ingredients are water and "petrolatum", which seems to be a theme among hair products.
_________________________
Kawai CA95 / Pianoteq Stage / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22; In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810

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#2253471 - 03/28/14 11:13 AM Re: finger tips and key surface [Re: toddy]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11968
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I think most of your solutions would add to the problem by drying out the hands more. Get a good hand cream and apply it regularly to keep your hands from drying out - especially if you are in a drier climate.
_________________________
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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#2253475 - 03/28/14 11:17 AM Re: finger tips and key surface [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1696
Loc: Portugal
What you describe sounds similar to what happens to me. But whether this curious product is available in Portugal. Hair fibre putty?? Anyway, thanks for the tip - I'll look out for it.

By the way, you seem to imply that ivory keys solved the problem. Did they, for you?
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2253478 - 03/28/14 11:20 AM Re: finger tips and key surface [Re: Morodiene]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1696
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I think most of your solutions would add to the problem by drying out the hands more. Get a good hand cream and apply it regularly to keep your hands from drying out - especially if you are in a drier climate.


So, you think a simple hand moisturiser would help? I'll definitely try that.

If that doesn't work, I'll look out for this putty stuff - even though I'm not sure what it is. It it kind of punky?.....You don't get so many punks or goths here.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2253485 - 03/28/14 11:35 AM Re: finger tips and key surface [Re: toddy]
lolatu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 465
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: toddy
By the way, you seem to imply that ivory keys solved the problem. Did they, for you?

I think they help a bit - maybe 25% of the problem if I were to estimate a number! Haven't had my new piano very long, so it's hard to judge.

Originally Posted By: toddy
If that doesn't work, I'll look out for this putty stuff - even though I'm not sure what it is. It it kind of punky?.....You don't get so many punks or goths here.

I think it's pretty standard stuff that you should find if you browse the haircare section of your supermarket. However it's just what I happened to have around and found it worked. Other products might work just as well.
_________________________
Kawai CA95 / Pianoteq Stage / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22; In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810

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#2253486 - 03/28/14 11:36 AM Re: finger tips and key surface [Re: toddy]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11968
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Sometimes this happens to me, like if I've been doing the dishes or cleaning and my hands get dried out. Even on ivory feel or real ivory it's a bit slippery. Lotion seems to do the trick for me.
_________________________
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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#2253495 - 03/28/14 11:50 AM Re: finger tips and key surface [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1696
Loc: Portugal
Interesting - thanks for the replies.

I went on a fact finding mission into the bathroom and found a tub of cream that I hadn't seen before. 'Hidratante' it says so I assume it's some kind of moisturizer. Yes - it seems to help.

And also, doing the dishes might be part of the problem. 'Housework hands' as they used to say. So yeah - a tub of good moisturizer will probably do the trick.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2253569 - 03/28/14 03:33 PM Re: finger tips and key surface [Re: toddy]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1336
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
FWIW (and really off the wall) --

If the DP isn't worth a whole lot of money, you could "texture" the keys with sandpaper. My _guess_ is that 100-200 grit would gently roughen the surface, and give you better grip.

I wouldn't do this on a DP I expected to sell. And I haven't tried it on my own DP (Casio "Ivory Feel" surface already embossed).

. Charles

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#2253656 - 03/28/14 06:59 PM Re: finger tips and key surface [Re: toddy]
ADWyatt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/13
Posts: 91
Toddy, the good news is that I have the perfect solution (or at least the one that works for me). The bad news is that I live in the USA and you live in Portugal, and so you may not be able to buy the product I use.

I had exactly the same problem as you, and since I play with fingers curled as though they're holding onto a tennis ball, I needed only one small slip on the ivories, or one little misstep on the black keys, to send me flaming down.

The product I found that takes care of this very nicely is called "SORTKWIK" which I purchase at my local Wal-Mart. Although it wouldn't seem to work, as it advertises itself as a fingertip moistener, it states that it is "The easy, clean way to get a better grip." After swiping all ten fingers in this pink solution, I slowly rub the fingertips of both hands together until they have a nice gripping feel.

Wal-Mart office workers use this product to quickly sort through papers, and they never have to wet their fingers. And I never have a problem on the keyboard using it.

However, if you should find this product I would warn you to take two precautions in using it. First, it would be a very good idea to wash your hands thoroughly before eating after you've used SORTKWIK. I would imagine that it's not dangerous if a small amount of it is transferred orally (although it cautions against contact with the eyes), especially as there are no warnings regarding ingestion. Secondly, I think it would be a very good idea to clean your piano keys regularly, perhaps every two days, to keep residue from the product accumulating. Of course, you will have to use a non-abrasive cleaner to prevent scratches to the key surfaces.

While SORTKWIK is made in the United States, a similar product, made just for finger gripping, might be available in the stationary isle of any large department store. Hope this helps.

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#2253679 - 03/28/14 07:56 PM Re: finger tips and key surface [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1696
Loc: Portugal
Charles, sanding the keys might result in a better grip, as fake ivory probably would. But I really want to keep the piano in it's present good condition. Anyway, I'm almost sure that the fingers themselves are the main culprits here - and much easier to deal with. lolato estimates ivory keys help 25%, though I reckon it maybe less.

I've started using a moisturizer as Morodiende suggests, and it works. I'll certainly look out for the products mentioned by lolato and WDWyatt mention. Yours, WDWyatt sounds as if it's manufactured specifically for this kind of problem, so would be interesting to try.

Thanks for all the ideas - I think they'll be useful - and not only for me.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2254989 - 03/31/14 07:11 PM Re: finger tips and key surface [Re: toddy]
lolatu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 465
Loc: UK
I just did a direct side-by-side comparison between the Kawai CA95 (ivory / wood feel) and my old Roland (smooth keytops), and found the Roland's smooth surface is actually grippier! It's the case for both white and black keys, but more so with the black keys. This is counterintuitive and (not being a tribologist) I don't have a good explanation.

The texture on Kawai's ivory-feel white keys is barely perceptible (you can maybe just about feel it if you run your nail over the surface). The black keys (of which the whole of the visible part is a lump of moulded plastic) have a more pronounced texture - not like wood grain, just kind of generic rough.

So I retract my estimate of 25% improvement in grip. I don't have a Roland ivory-feel to test, so maybe that's different. Anyway I am now of the opinion that ivory-feel does nothing to improve grip and is probably detrimental.
_________________________
Kawai CA95 / Pianoteq Stage / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22; In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810

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#2254999 - 03/31/14 07:49 PM Re: finger tips and key surface [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1696
Loc: Portugal
Well mow me down! I'm still of the opinion that it's mostly down to the condition of your fingers and from what you're saying, acrylic is as good as anything.

Hand cream seems to do the trick, for now, anyway. Also slightly counter-intuitive because it is kind of oily, itself and slips around on your fingers. But it works!
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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