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#2308145 - Today at 12:52 PM Questioning the Wisdom of Heavy Actions
Dwscamel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 451
The sentiment is often repeated that it's better to practice on a heavier action than a lighter one, because if one's fingers are used to the heavier one, then a lighter one will be easier to play on.

I wonder if anyone has any experience with this being the case.

Moreover, I wonder if anyone has experience with practicing primarily on a light action and still being able to adjust to heavier ones quickly.

A light action was good enough for, say, Horowitz, but we don't all have the luxury of taking our instrument everywhere (or being able to play like Horowitz whistle). I suspect that the obsession over 'as heavy as possible' actions is misguided, but I'll wait to hear people's actual reports first.

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#2308155 - Today at 01:10 PM Re: Questioning the Wisdom of Heavy Actions [Re: Dwscamel]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1160
Loc: uk south
- I don't see that there's any way to define an ideal weight. In any case I doubt anyone would advocate 'as heavy as possible'. If the idea of working with a heavy action is to avoid being ill-equipped to cope with uncertain actions in strange places then all that's required is to get used to playing on something representative of the typically heavier action. Clearly, there's an upper limit.

You've hit the nail on the head with Horowitz and others who only play their own pianos. The same would presumably apply even to an amateur who refused to play with anything other than <insert model ID> keyboard. But for those who expect to get around, to perform in unpredictable settings, I'd say they'd be taking a risk in working out on too light an action.

Perhaps this should be qualified; if the music one performs is leisurely, not too technically demanding, it probably matters much less.

As an afterthought..
I wonder if anyone has any experience with this being the case.

I do. Whenever I gigged on a lighter action piano, I felt like I was on steroids.

#2308180 - 1 minute 6 seconds ago Re: Questioning the Wisdom of Heavy Actions [Re: Dwscamel]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11425
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
It will be different for everyone. Personally, I like heavier actions for Romantic and music with big chords, but for more detailed stuff from Baroque and Classical eras, I prefer a lighter one.

I have experienced it where you practice so much on a heavy action and perform on a lighter one that it's much easier to play. Sometimes TOO easy and your tempo gets away from you. I have also experienced where you practice on a really light action and perform on a heavy one and it's difficult to play.

I don't think there's a great solution. I will switch the touch on my MP11 to varying levels also depending on what I'm playing, so it's nice I can do that.
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11


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