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!

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

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
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#2332433 - Yesterday at 02:28 AM taking lessons on a very heavy grand. is it time to upgrade?
littlebirdblue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/14
Posts: 64
So, my DD is almost done with the Faber Primer books except for the Gold Star Performance Book. She's been hitting a few ghost notes here and there when playing her recital pieces for her teacher but I thought it was just her.

Today, I took my first lesson on the same grand piano (C7) and the keys were really on the heavy side.

We bought a Casio PX150 a few months ago and I thought we'll be okay with it for awhile but its touch is feather-light compared to our teacher's grand piano. Now that I've spent some time on it, I'm surprised that DD has been doing as well as she'd been doing, given the difference. I had a hard time adjusting.

I was thinking about upgrading to a Roland in a near future but how important is it to match the key weight? I do think it's good to learn to play on different pianos but will our fingers be strong enough to play on the C7 if we keep on practicing on the PX150?

Is this a symptom of GAS or a real concern?

Edited by littlebirdblue (Yesterday at 02:30 AM)

(ads) Sweetwater / Roland
Your Next Keyboard is at Sweetwater

Click Here

#2332440 - Yesterday at 03:23 AM Re: taking lessons on a very heavy grand. is it time to upgrade? [Re: littlebirdblue]
enzo.sandrolini Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 275
Loc: Europe - France
I had exactly same problem when I started to take lessons on an upright piano
very heavy, different from a 'classic' DP (whatever is the brand..Roland, Kawai etc, as I have tried many of them)
Finally, I have chosen the Hybrid way (because, in my flat, a real piano was not possible)
First a NU1, then I have trade it for a N2
I am very satisfied, and it helped me a lot a this time.

I would say that if you can afford a real piano, even an upright, go for it (with a silent module installed)

Now, after some years of practive, I can say that I can easily adapt myself to any kind of piano...
but It took time for me to reach this level, as a beginner, it was really difficult.
Music is a lifestyle

#2332473 - Yesterday at 05:52 AM Re: taking lessons on a very heavy grand. is it time to upgrade? [Re: littlebirdblue]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1335
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
One thing that _might_ help:

. . . Set the PX-150 "touch" to "heavy".

. Charles

#2332496 - Yesterday at 08:07 AM Re: taking lessons on a very heavy grand. is it time to upgrade? [Re: littlebirdblue]
Pete14 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/13
Posts: 241
Rolands tend to have light actions. The new Kawai CA95/65 are also on the lighter side; however, the older CA93/63 use slightly heavier actions (which I prefer).

As Enzo suggested, an upright acoustic, or perhaps even a hybrid (AvantGrand NU1/N1/N2/N3) are good options if money is not an issue. Or you could go the software route: Kawai VPC1 + a software-piano of your choice.

#2332498 - Yesterday at 08:09 AM Re: taking lessons on a very heavy grand. is it time to upgrade? [Re: littlebirdblue]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11967
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
It is better that DD gets exposed to different touches on a piano, because every piano will feel different and she needs to learn how to adjust. She's very early on in her studies, so it will be a while.

Keep in mind that with a large grand piano like the C7, the action will generally have more weight. The Px series tend toward the lighter side of things. Some people prefer to practice on a heavy instrument so that when they play elsewhere it's a bit easier. The danger is that you may end up playing a lot faster than you're used to and getting out of control. Playing with a lighter action is good for ease of use, but can cause problems like your daughter is experiencing. In the end, there's pros and cons to both.

The best you can do is try to find opportunities for DD to play on different pianos as often as possible. Don't obsess about it, but it can help. Down the road, you will want to upgrade to a good acoustic upright or preferably, a good acoustic grand. If you need a digital, then the silent option is good or go for a Kawai DP with the Grand Feel action (MP11, CA65/95, CS7/10). These have a nice, heavy action that mimics a grand piano very well.

But for now, stick with the PX-150. Wait until she completes the Faber series or gets to early intermediate repertoire before upgrading.
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

#2332535 - Yesterday at 09:56 AM Re: taking lessons on a very heavy grand. is it time to upgrade? [Re: littlebirdblue]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3226
I have a Yamaha C6, and I'd say it has a lighter action than a Casio PX-x50.

Grand pianos themselves vary a lot in how heavy the keys feel.

As for "upgrading" to a Roland, I think their lower end models (i.e. "Ivory Feel-G") feel less like a real piano than the Casio. The Casio seems a little sluggish on the return, but I think the Roland is even more so.

OTOH, I think the higher end Roland ("Ivory Feel-S") is one of the best actions you can get... but it is lighter feeling than the Casio that you already think feels too light!

One thing that makes these comparisons difficult is that I think people key into different aspects of the feel, and the basic mechanisms of a grand and a low cost DP are just fundamentally different. i.e. the difference between the upweight and downweight tends to be greater on an acoustic piano than a digital. So I think, depending on what you are more sensitive too, that could explain why different people could describe the same action as feeling light or heavy.

#2332559 - Yesterday at 11:13 AM Re: taking lessons on a very heavy grand. is it time to upgrade? [Re: anotherscott]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5154
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Grand pianos themselves vary a lot in how heavy the keys feel.


Including from the same brand.

I played on a brand new Grotrian-Steinweg 192 grand last week in a showroom's practice room to make some recordings, and was surprised to discover how 'heavy' it felt. Yet I remember playing a similar model (though used) last year, which felt slightly lighter than my V-Piano, and lighter in action than the Faziolis I usually play on when downtown (Fazioli concert grands are favored by many classical pianists these days for their light, responsive and swift key action, compared to Steinway D).

I don't know whether it was because that particular piano was brand new (the plastic protective film covering on the cabinet hadn't even been removed), and the 'heaviness' I felt was mostly due to friction, but it was certainly hard work playing it. After I finished, I went straight to the Fazioli F278 (which gets hired out to concert halls regularly) to make sure it wasn't just my imagination......and it felt feather-light after that Grotrian thumb.
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

#2332582 - Yesterday at 12:16 PM Re: taking lessons on a very heavy grand. is it time to upgrade? [Re: bennevis]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3226
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Including from the same brand.

Yes. I played a smaller Yamaha grand at a venue, I think it was a G3, and the action was so much lighter than my C6 (which does not have a heavy action to begin with), I actually struggled to play quietly on it.

Back to the OP, if you would prefer a heavier feeling action, you're probably better off looking at a Kawai rather than a Roland.

#2332592 - Yesterday at 12:54 PM Re: taking lessons on a very heavy grand. is it time to upgrade? [Re: littlebirdblue]
David Farley Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/13
Posts: 299
Loc: Illinois
I play on two uprights every now and then (a Steinway and a Lyon & Healy) and they both have much lighter actions than any DP I've played (mostly Yamahas).

#2332653 - Yesterday at 04:09 PM Re: taking lessons on a very heavy grand. is it time to upgrade? [Re: littlebirdblue]
littlebirdblue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/14
Posts: 64
Thank you everyone for taking the time to offer advice. I know I have a tendency to blame the gear rather than to focus on practice better (ahem) so it was helpful to get different perspective.

- N2 right now is not a realistic option financially right now but a used Yahama silent upright might be.

- I tried to play around with the touch response setting this morning but I think what I need is a heavier but more responsive touch if that makes sense

- Kawai dealer here isn't one of those friendly "Play as much as you want" type of dealers so I haven't had a chance to get to know their DPs but MP11 does sound like a good option for an upgrade right now although it'd be rather costly especially if we are going to go for an acoustic soon after

- I think my DD would be okay on PX150 for a little longer but the teacher focused quite a bit on touch and technique with me and while I could correct myself on the C7, when I got home, well, my fingers didn't bounce the same way on our DP. I'm nowhere near intermediate level but when I was trying to play pieces I've been practicing for our teacher (Happy Farmer, Arabesque, etc), my fingers weren't strong enough to go fast enough on the C7. I was shocked since I never had this problem as a child (practicing on an upright, taking lessons on a grand and doing recitals & competitions on unfamiliar grands) and I'd have thought that as an adult, my fingers would be a lot stronger. My dilemma here is that although I could use a better DP, I'm not the "main" student and unlike my DD who may one day choose to pursue music as a career, my only goal is to be able to accompany DD when she practices violin at home.

- My impression on C7 when I was trying to briefly learn unwritten assignments for DD was that the touch wasn't all that heavy but when I actually tried to play 1/8th notes on forte over 130BPM, then it felt super heavy really fast. I asked the teacher if it were me or if the piano had a heavy touch and she confirmed that the particular piano has a very heavy touch.

I certainly still have a lot to learn aside from refining my touch. PX150 isn't going to prevent me from learning the cords and songs. smile But I was a bit shocked by how I couldn't play as I wanted because of the difference in key weight. As I only take lessons every other week, it'd be a long while before I could get used to the key weight during lessons and ultimately, I don't want this to be DD's problem down the road. We added on piano as a second instrument but she now loves both instruments equally. The first thing she does when she wakes up in the morning is to run to her piano and practice endlessly so I want to make sure all the work she is putting into learning piano is not being hindered by practicing on a DP that is not a good fit.

#2332686 - Yesterday at 05:28 PM Re: taking lessons on a very heavy grand. is it time to upgrade? [Re: littlebirdblue]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3646
Loc: Northern England.
I played on a light acoustic keyboard for years, the teachers' keyboards were all heavy sluggish clumsy things. Why concern yourself with such matters? Can there ever be any justification for heavy keyboards on pianos which are expected to have a decent capability? And if some are light, why aren't the rest?

I'd find a new teacher who knows the business. The digital's fine. Most acoustics are too.
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe


#2332877 - 33 minutes 6 seconds ago Re: taking lessons on a very heavy grand. is it time to upgrade? [Re: littlebirdblue]
littlebirdblue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/14
Posts: 64
If I made it sound like it's a clumsy piano then I must have expressed myself rather poorly. Her advanced students play beautifully on it, including very challenging Chopin etudes so it's not the piano or the teacher - it's mostly me being frustrated and perhaps feeling a little guilty that DD doesn't get to practice on a grand at home.

It's such a "bourgeoisie" problem that I feel awkward expressing this. We are so fortunate that we can afford private music lessons for two instruments. Having a starter DP for a preschooler who still hasn't learned the full octave scale shouldn't bother me this much.

I do trust that if our teacher feels our home practice on a lower-end DP is hindering DD's progress, she'll let us know. I need to step back and think about why I was feeling as frustrated as I was last night but chances are, a more expensive DP probably will not make me feel less frustrated. I probably need to practice more efficiently.


Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
ad (Casio)
Celviano by Casio Rebate
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler 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
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Interview with Leon Fleisher
by vlhorowitz
18 minutes 35 seconds ago
Interview with Leon Fleisher
by vlhorowitz
19 minutes 21 seconds ago
Interview with Leon Fleisher
by vlhorowitz
19 minutes 57 seconds ago
First sonata
by amt976
Today at 03:38 AM
Is it necessary a classic base to play virtuosic jazz ?
by Nahum
Today at 03:18 AM
Who's Online
70 registered (alexbergauer, Barly, AliAlkhiro, amt976, Anne H, 15 invisible), 1016 Guests and 12 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76384 Members
42 Forums
157911 Topics
2319095 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(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