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#660176 - 05/02/08 01:57 PM Roland FP-7: sore hands
smertens Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 10
Loc: California
I hope there is someone out there who can help me. As part of my recent downsizing into an apartment, I had to, with great sadness, sell my Steinway baby grand which I had been playing for over 30 years.

I devoted a month to shopping for a digital to replace my Steinway. After reading everything on- line and trying out every model I could locate, I identified the Roland FP-7 as the piano for me.

Brought it home and loved playing it - loved the way it performed, the sound, the look. For about 4 days. Then the pain in my hands, especially my left, became overwhelming. I stopped playing a week ago today - thinking I just needed some "recovery" time. When the pain hadn't abated at all by Tuesday, I returned it to the store.

I'm just beside myself, not knowing what to do. Has anyone else run into hand pain when switching from acoustic to electric? How long will it take for this pain in my hands to go away? I hope this is not permanent. By the way, my fingers are just fine.

Meanwhile, the store, Guitar Center, is sort of "holding" it for me - with all of us hoping my pain will go away. (Great Customer Service!)

The immediate plan is for me to buy the Roland again when my pain is gone and bring it home for another 14 day period (during which it can still be returned if the pain returns).

In retrospect, I now know I shouldn't have played it 4 hours the first day I had it. But how should I transition to an digital?

Is my problem related to this particular Roland? OR am I likely to have problems with all digitals?

I never once experienced hand pain in all the years I played the Steinway. My usual pattern was to spend about 45 minutes warming up with scales and exercises. Then I would typically enjoy about 3 hours of playing, mostly classical.

I will appreciate all your suggestions and insights. THanks.


Click Here

#660177 - 05/02/08 02:34 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4534
Note that there have been blind concert
pianists. A blind person cannot even
read sheet music and must struggle with
things that we take for granted. There
have been pianists who've played after losing
an arm. There are people who play
with arthritis.

Digital pianos are the best thing that's
ever happened in the piano world, because
they give pianists an instrument that
has grand piano-like sound and action,
for as little as $500, with volume control,
no maintenance or tuning, and light
weight. What pianist could
ask for anything more? I has been pointed
out on this forum in the past that big-time
concert piansits like Andre Watts and
Valentina Lisitsa use digitals for
practicing. The composer Henry Mancini
uses a digital.

I grew up with many years of classical lessons
and acoustic pianos only. But since 1989
I've been playing only digitals, and they
have enabled me to make great progress,
going from playing four-page salon pieces to
playing big-time concerto movements and
other concert-level pieces. I could not
have made such progress on an acoustic piano.
I would not trade my digital for any grand

#660178 - 05/02/08 02:41 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
NE_Geek_Girl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Boston Suburbs
Hmmm...I'm just wondering if there is something else going on - maybe the bench is the wrong height? Was there a break when you didn't play at all?

#660179 - 05/02/08 03:15 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4683
Loc: San Francisco
There's a comparison of the feel of digitals in another thread. The poster felt that the FP7's keys bottomed hard and wished that it were possible to insert a felt strip on the keybed. Here's a link.

It's possible that the touch setting of your FP7 was set too high. With Yamahas and, I think, Kawais increasing the touch setting cuts off the lower numbered MIDI control change messages - the ones that trigger the samples recorded at the lowest strike velocity. This makes it necessary to press harder, to get any sound at all. If you can play the Roland in the store, try setting touch to its lowest setting.

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#660180 - 05/02/08 04:18 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
BeowulfX Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/24/08
Posts: 267

You mentioned about owning a grand piano for 30 years. I guess its quite logical to think that you played piano a lot (as in you're into music studies/conservatory) or just loved playing the piano (as in a hobby but a serious one at that).

It wouldn't be surprising if, due to your passion in playing the piano, you'd often spend several hours playing...pushing yourself to the limit. Multiply this by several years...add to that any day job that you have which may have aggravated things, it may be possible that you're having either of these (click the links):

CTS - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you want an article dealing with pianists in general (something more related to your line of work or hobby, whichever is applicable) check out these links:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


While it may be possible that the digital piano may be triggering such pain, I'm inclined to think that this symptom is more a "cumulative" effect of years and years of constant playing...the effects of which (other than playing better scales, arpeggios of course) are now starting to manifest clinically.

It's fairly common to encounter symptoms like this...but perhaps the best solution is to do anything in moderation...realizing that for a dedicated serious pianist-performer...his most precious gift and "investment" would be his hands. So it is but fitting and proper that doing things (i.e. practising) should be done IN MODERATION...ESPECIALLY now that a symptom has manifested.

If resting doesn't relieve you of the pain, it's time to consult a physician...depending on the nature, degree of any inflammation or damage (if any), a medication or therapy may be prescribed, a surgery (if needed) may be advised, or certain "wrist support" suggested or possibly limitation of the inciting event/action (i.e. piano-playing) to a just an hour or couple of hours per day may be advised.

Like I've said, if the pain doesn't go away despite resting...it's time to see your doctor.
Keyboards: PX-5S SL-MKII FA-06 PX-320 Graphite 49 VST (PC & laptop): Pianoteq 5.5+Bluethner EWQL-SO AAS GS-2 LL EP4 + other virtual instruments DAW-PC: AMD PhIIx4 16GB DDR3 SSD HDD Delta 1010LT Sonar X3e Studio; ASUS G751J (live): i7 4720 16GB RAM 250GB SSDx2 Forte Scarlett 6i6 TS110A x2

#660181 - 05/02/08 08:00 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
ere Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/05
Posts: 109
Loc: UK
Smertens, I hope that your pain will go away...
On a constructive side (to add to BeowolfsX excellent advice) - I would suggest swapping your fp7 for fp4 or kawaimp5/es4... Their action is lighter (72 grams for fp4) and key bed softer. One user of MusicPlayer forums had similar symptoms to yours after prolonged playing on Yamaha stage piano (their action is stiffer than FP7, but with softer keybed) and was able to get rid of them by switching to fp4.
I spent a couple of hours playing the fp7, and my guess is that your condition was aggravated by the "hard as granite" bottoming out.
All the best, hope your hands will be better!

PS As for changing the touch setting - I am not sure it will make much of a difference: scales, Czerny and non-romantic classical technique require each finger to really "dig" into the key to get firm and crisp sound... Since touch settting doesn't change anything mechanical (ie resistance/hardness), fingers will probably suffer just as much. Even if one would turn touch sensitivity off altogether, fingers would still continue to hit the rock hard key bed...
My gear: Roland FP4 digi-piano, M-audio A192 sound card , Sennheiser HD580 phones , Synthogy Ivory+ Italian Grand , soft-piano Pianoteq (highly recommended)

#660182 - 05/03/08 02:04 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
In your excitement you probably overplayed, more than you usually do on your old Steinway, and you strained and injured your tendons. Once that happens it gets worse every note you play until you lay off and let it heal for a while. Lighten up. Having said that I think the FP7 is a stiffer action than the FP4's action. I like the FP4 action because I get very little strain with it and it still has the Superior Grand 1 samples, same as the FP7. Besides the FP7 action, all the Yamaha digital piano actions somehow irritate my chops.

I get good results taking MSM anti-inflammatory tablets for the tendinitis in my wrists..

Changing the Touch setting does make it easier to get the tone, so you can play with a lighter velocity attack.
Roland FP-4 digital piano, Mason & Hamlin acoustic piano.

#660183 - 05/03/08 04:59 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
smertens Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 10
Loc: California
Thanks everybody. I truly appreciate your interest in my problem. Just hope I can solve this problem cuz' I can't imagine not having a piano to play - especially now that I have real time available to me that I never had before I retired. I'm starting to worry that my dream of starting every day with a little Bach might be in jeopardy.... I'm positive that my current bout with what is probably tendenitis is a direct result of playing the Roland FP-7. (By the way, I had it set at the lowest of the 100 "sensitivity settings.") It's impossible for me to know at this point if it's the FP-7 per se. Or whether it's because I "overplayed" it when I brought it home from the store.... Should I try it out again? But how would/will I know when I have reached the point of "overplaying?" - since at the time I was experiencing no pain, it only set in after several days.... Do I want a piano I have to worry about overplaying? Again, never in my many years of playing my Steinway - for hours at a time - did I ever have pain. (By the way, Steinway, relatively speaking, is known as a hard action piano. My hands were strong and in excellent shape prior to bringing home the Roland).... I appreciate the suggestions that I try pianos with softer keybeds, for example, the Kawai MP5, the Roland FP-4, and 700 GX. The next challenge is finding them in a showroom where I can try them..... Which takes me right back to square one: How long do I have to play these demo pianos to know if I am going to have a problem when I get it home and play it more than a few minutes???? I loved the Roland FP-7 in the showroom. How do I keep from making another mistake like I already made??

#660184 - 05/03/08 05:31 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4683
Loc: San Francisco
I don't have a definitive answer, but do agree that job 1 is to let your hands heal. When you can, do some light stretching several times a day. A little discomfort is Ok, pain is a signal to stop immediately.

When you're pain free, try to audition 'boards, paying particular attention to any feeling of discomfort. I and others have experienced discomfort from long playing - Yamaha DP's in my case. I found that I wanted to stop after c.45 minutes, but that I could continue after resting and stretching.

This is the first time I've read about the severe symptoms that you're experiencing. When you were playing the acoustic, did you play for that long a session?

Acoustic actions transmit a feeling of setting a mass into motion, digital actions transmit a feeling of pressing on the end of a lever. I wonder if this problem could be just a result of your unconsciously tensing while having to adjust to a different feeling.

The touch setting recommendation was a long shot and you already had it covered. The lightest setting is still a good idea, because it will let you experience the full dynamic range of the included sounds.

#660185 - 05/03/08 05:51 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
ere Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/05
Posts: 109
Loc: UK
I've spent literally hours (2-3 at a time) when auditioning DPs. Well, I am a poor student and this was a big investment:) Just bring a decent pair of headphones, some music sheets and nobody in the shop will mind you playing (even for a couple of hours).
If I were you, I would concentrate on trying the pianos that are known to have *lighter* action - Kawai MP5/ES4, Roland FP4. As for 700GX- it has escapement feature which softened its key bed, but it's ACTION is stiffer then the other pianos above. Just wait for your hands to heal first;)
All the best!
My gear: Roland FP4 digi-piano, M-audio A192 sound card , Sennheiser HD580 phones , Synthogy Ivory+ Italian Grand , soft-piano Pianoteq (highly recommended)

#660186 - 05/04/08 12:04 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
chewywater Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/03/08
Posts: 8
Loc: texas
I've cured myself of this problem, maybe some of the things that work for me will work for you.

And Yes. Probably the change in keybed height led to sore hands.

I had SERIOUS problems with nerves and joints (pain soreness numbness) about five years ago after 15 years of heavy playing.
Instead of giving up, I continually experimented with different ways of playing (taking breaks of course to recover from any injuries I sustained). Finally I homed in on a technique that was so safe that all the pain went away no matter how much I played.

So here are the rules i follow:
Assume you've got your right hand over the keyboard like you're going to play:

1. Fingers straight into keys:
Slide a credit card between your ring and middle finger. The card should point straight up. (why? this minimizes torque at the knuckle and thus reduces knuckle joint point)

2. Elbow rotation adjusted to ease wrist tension:
Put your right hand ready to play above the keys, see how far you can rotate your palm to the right (imagine turning a key in a lock counter clockwise). If you can't rotate your palm out much than you already have your forearm maximally rotated counter-clockwise. This causes pain (for me the pain from this comes as pain all over the hand the next day).

Now rotate your elbow so that it is pointing more to the side than down (you will have to rotate your upper arm bone from the shoulder), now with your new elbow position see how far to the right you can rotate your palm again. You should now be able to face it a bit to the right. Now leave your elbow there and rotate your palm back down into playing position (see step 1). Now your fore-arm will not be at maximum rotation, and you have removed a source of pain.

3. Middle finger in line with forearm
Place your right hand over the keys as if to play. straighten your fingers. Is your middle finger pointing the same direction as your forearm (left-right wise, not up/down wise)? Try to make sure it is when you play. This keeps you from wrecking your ulnar nerve (which goes outside the carpal tunnel on the pinky side of the wrist). Here's an example of doing it wrong.

4.Slight valley between wrist and hand:
How bent should your wrist be? Well if you keep it absolutely straight this maximizes the carpal tunnel area which is good. Unfortunately, when your tendons are under tension, this can also squeeze the median nerve between the tendons and the carpal ligament. So I keep the top of my hand and wrist formed into a very slight valley.

5. Seat height right.
At certain seat heights it becomes difficult to follow any of the above rules. So find a height at which you can follow the rules but you feel comfortable too.

6. reduce muscular tension
All of my finger action comes from the knuckle. The two joints on the finger are supple and loose. It also takes SOME wrist tension to keep the meat of the hand still as the fingers do their work. So the trick is to be aware of the tension and minimize it. A rigid claw-like playing style will destroy your hands.

So that's it!
This has made playing extremely safe and painless for me. And I play for hours every day. And I have pretty unforgiving and tight carpal tunnels. Yes it was a long time before I could follow all these rules without conscious thought.

Everyone's anatomy is slightly different but if you really love playing, don't give up. Once the pain goes away try some of these things and see if they help!

good luck!

#660187 - 05/04/08 03:39 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
smertens Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 10
Loc: California

#660188 - 05/04/08 03:52 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
smertens Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 10
Loc: California
Dear Chewywater,

Thank you so much for taking the time to type up the details of how you beat this beast. I don't have any kind of keyboard at this point. So I can't try out your suggestions. But I certainly will as soon as I am able to play again.

On that note: my pain is tremendously reduced today thank goodness. Someone suggested using a heating pad on my hands and that seems to have helped a lot. I'm hopeful I'll be able to play again relatively soon. But think I want to be pain free for a couple of weeks before I get back into shopping for a DP.

Glad to hear you're able to play hours at a time. Based on the posts I was starting to think that most people seem to be happy just playing 45-60 min. It historically has taken me at least 45 min - when playing my acoustic - to get warmed up, in the groove... If I have to limit my total session at on DP to less than an hour, it's not going to be much fun for me.... TRULY HOPE your suggestions work for me.

By the way: do you like your CLP170? SInce you seem to understand my problem, do you have an recommendations as to what DP I should buy?

#660189 - 05/04/08 04:45 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
chewywater Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/03/08
Posts: 8
Loc: texas
I have a clp120 and a clp170 in the house.
The clp170 sounds great. It's action feels realistic but is slightly deep and heavy for my liking, making it more unforgiving safety-wise.

The 120 sounds cheap but I find myself playing on it a lot because the action is lighter, shallower, crisper, and more forgiving safety wise. The action is not very realistic but good enough that the technique developed there will translate to a real piano.

I think I've been out of the market too long to give you much more advice on specific models. Since you're having safety issues I would choose something with action that is not too deep and not too heavy.

As far as sound goes, the 170 was definitely the best sounding dp out there 4 years ago. It is still a pleasure to listen to. It attempts to simulate resonance between strings when the pedal is down. (if you are intending on recording yourself though you still need either a real piano or synthogy ivory)

note: I edited some of my original message to you to make it easier to understand.


#660190 - 05/04/08 08:42 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
SPOFF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 72
Loc: Derry NH
For what it's worth, when I was looking at digital pianos I spent a bit of time with the FP-7. I liked the piano but the action was stiff. Almost like pushing in thumbtacks. I noticed my hands were sore after a hour at the store. I eventually ended up with a Kawai MP8ii. Even with that keyboard, I occaisionally overwork one hand or another and have to take a day off.

Chewywater's advice looks good to me. I'll be cutting and pasting his message for my files to keep my 50 year-old hands in top form.

#660191 - 05/04/08 09:52 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
smertens Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 10
Loc: California
I really appreciate knowing that I'm not the first one who has had a problem with the "action" of digital pianos, specifically the FP-7.... Although the people at Guitar Center have been wonderful in trying to help me solve my problem, I was told they have never had a complaint such as mine which, of course, made me feel very defensive.

#660192 - 05/05/08 12:16 AM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
MontanaJustin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/16/07
Posts: 67
Loc: Redwood City, CA
PM sent...

#660193 - 05/05/08 11:45 AM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
terminaldegree Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 3878
Loc: Georgia, USA
To the original poster,

Sorry to hear about your hand problems. I, too have noticed some overemphasis on heavier weighting in certain digitals (though Roland never was on my list of offenders). My Casio would be among them, though I rarely put in more than an hour of practicing on it in any one sitting. Let us know if you are able to find a solution, because I'm sure it will be helpful to someone else down the road...

Originally posted by Gyro:
The composer Henry Mancini
uses a digital.
Henry Mancini is dead. I believe in 1994.
He endorsed Korg in 1991. Hardly the same generation of hammer actions and super-expressive sound sampling technology as we have now...
Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer

#660194 - 05/06/08 01:43 AM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
Smertens, sorry to hear of your trouble.

I have owned the FP-7 since August last year and have had no trouble with my hands - not even after carpal tunnel. During my lesons I was playing a Zimmerman acoustic baby grand and it caused me all sorts of trouble as it was so heavy.

I have recently started setting the action to LIGHT and using the Piano 2 sound - it is so good.

#660195 - 05/08/08 07:45 AM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
Paddler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Lincoln, MA
I am a older true beginner who has played on an FP-7 for 6 months anywhere from 1-3 hours per day. I would agree that the FP-7 does not have the lightest touch of the DP's but it certainly isn't extraordinarily heavy.

Last night I played on a Yamaha grand and since I had just read this post I focused on the touch. It was heavier than my FP-7. I went to a Clavinova and the touch was lighter. Likewise on another Yamaha model. I tried my friend's Steinway mini-grand and it was about the same as the FP-7.

My point is I see people in the forum being scared away from the FP-7 because of the reputed heavy touch without even trying it. If you want a light touch then go for it (FP-4, etc.) but don't rule out the FP-7 because it is a heavy monster that is going to ruin your tendons.
Yamaha UX 1980, Roland FP-7, Yamaha PSR-E403

So much music...so little time.

#660196 - 05/08/08 06:13 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
Lemon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 14
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally posted by Paddler:
... If you want a light touch then go for it (FP-4, etc.) but don't rule out the FP-7 because it is a heavy monster that is going to ruin your tendons. [/b]
You are so right. Nothing wrong with the touch of the FP-7. I can only compare with my upright (Yamaha). The FP-7 has the lighter touch.

#660197 - 05/10/08 12:50 AM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
diinin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 391
Loc: Indianapolis
Originally posted by Paddler:
My point is I see people in the forum being scared away from the FP-7 because of the reputed heavy touch without even trying it. If you want a light touch then go for it (FP-4, etc.) but don't rule out the FP-7 because it is a heavy monster that is going to ruin your tendons. [/b]
It's not a heavy touch that makes the FP-7 bad. It's the abrupt bottoming out when the keys hit the keybed. No acoustic I've ever played does that, so I don't know what their goal is there, but my dealer says it's intentional.

After just 10 minutes of playing on a FP-7 the other day, my right hand went numb. The touch really would have been nice if the keybed were softer.
Charles Walter Queen Anne 1520 (polished cherry)
Roland fp-4 (black)

#660198 - 05/16/08 09:00 AM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
drierice Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 18
I post here about once a year... I had tendonitis years ago, a direct result of playing on hard bottoming out keybeds on digital keyboards.

A top hand surgeon explained that this causes a lack of blood flow to the tendons and the best solution is to "work it out" on a real piano. You want to increase blood flow to your hands. So it's not about giving your hands a rest, but giving them the proper exercise on a real piano - which is built to absorb the impact of your playing, as opposed to a keyboard that sends the impact back into your hands.

Soaking and massaging your hands in warm water also helps.

The FP7 has good action which makes you want to play it for hours. But the bottoming out is hard, so I suspect this is your problem.

I hope this helps. Only in extreme situations should surgery be considered. A visit to a good hand specialist is still recommended.

#660199 - 05/21/08 07:44 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
smertens Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 10
Loc: California
Thanks to everyone for your helping me understand my problem.

I've certainly learned a few hard lessons, number 1 being do not assume you can play a digital piano for hours at a time like an acoustic without potentially causing yourself significant pain. When I first brought home the Roland FP-7 it just never occurred to me to take it easy.

Since my last post I've discussed my situation with 3 different local professional keyboardists. Without exception they never play more than an hour without taking at least a 15 minute break. And they also try to practice a lot on acoustics to keep themselves "fresh" for performing on their DPs.

Just amazes me that in today's world that there hasn't been an engineering solution to this well-documented problem i.e. PAIN! with electronic keyboards. Rather keyboardists seem to be working around the problem rather than pressuring manufacturers for a solution.

To bring you up-to-date: I returned the FP-7. Guitar Center (amazingly good customer service with empathy!) held it for me for two weeks while I "healed" from my first home trial.. THen I re-purchased it and began another 14 day period during which it can be returned. I'm one week into the second trial.

And, sadly, my FP7 is history. Here's the story. Per my plan to "gradually acclimate myself to a digital keyboard," I played for only 15 minutes the first day after a total rest of 18 days. No problem at all playing. Totally pain free.

But the next morning: YOWIE! Total pain from my knuckles up to my elbows. Even though I had the 18 days off, I must still be totally sensitized from when I played the Roland for about 8 hours over 5 days when I brought it home the first time.

So back it goes. I'm never touching FP7 again. And I don't think I should touch any DP for several months.

I think Drierice's advice, above, about increasing blood flow is right on (because I got the pain to go away in one day by doing a lot of downward dogs). Therefore, I'm going to rent a real piano for a couple of months while I "heal." Have one right here in my little place so when my arms start feeling good again (assuming I haven't caused permanent damage!) I can gradually reorient myself in familiar territory.

Only when I can play pain-free on an acoustic am I going DP shopping again.

Long-term, however, I have to get a DP with a headset - so I can play whenever I like in my rental apartment.

THe fatar studiologic vmk188+ has been recommended to me as a good one for classical pianists who are making the switch to DP. Does anyone have any experience with it?

It's also been suggested that I might do better with a DP that has "escapment" whatever that means... But people seem to like it a lot.....

I'm also wondering whether maybe I should try an unweighted keyboard e.g. synthesizer. I've played both church pipe and a big Hammond. Very different experiences. But I never minded the actions. Just very different from piano. Could play Bach etc. with no problem, painlessly, on all of them.

Oh wellllll. On to the next phase - whatever that is going to be. Hopefully, I can get some forward motion toward getting a relatively happy resolution to my situation. My goal is to have a keyboard I can play whenever I want (in my apartment) for as long as I want - without pain the next day!.

#660200 - 05/24/08 03:23 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
Discotheque Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 81
Loc: Manitoba, Canada
Hello all, I am new and this is my first post. I read about your exploits which is why I registered... anyway I recently (in February) purchased a Roland RD-300sx (the FP-4 and FP-7 were also in the store, but I REALLY liked the organ sounds on this one; in other respects it's similar to the FP-4). I didn't buy the FP-7 due to the weight (54 pounds as opposed to 33), just for some insight.

Now to the tension: my keyboard has a light touch, however I find I get tense on it much quicker than on an acoustic. I think partly this is because I'm used to practicing on a baby grand that has a heavy touch, that I try to produce the brilliant and heavy tone you get from the grand on my digital. This is sub-conscious, of course. Also, the digital piano is still just that... digital, there aren't any acoustic elements that make it a real instrument.

I also find that adjusting to any new piano takes some work. The piano I played for years and years before going to University (an upright)... was what I was used to, but then after going to University, when I'd go home for the holidays, practicing on the upright took some adjusting due to it not being able to play at volumes I'm used to and as such I likely played too hard. It would only take a day though, and then it's fine, as it is with any of the uprights and other grands at the school I practice on.

Also it might be worth considering getting an acoustic upright instead of or as well as a digital. I play at a cafe every now and then that has an acoustic upright... bad tuning, not great action, sticky keys and whatnot, but I still like it in some respects better than the digital. With an acoustic you actually "feel" the sound coming from your fingers, at least I do anyway.

Anyway I'm rambling... good luck and my suggestion is go with an acoustic and get a digital to use with headphones for those occasions where the neighbors complain.

#660201 - 05/25/08 03:45 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
Aidan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/08
Posts: 380
Loc: UK
Discotheque, jeyboards with lighter actions are more difficult to play accurately because it's easier to sound an unintentional note with an unprecise hand movement. This can cause some people to subconciously tense their hand to try and keep this in check, leading to pain.

Smertens, the closest I've come to the feel of a real acoustic piano is the new Roland RD-700GX. It's not cheap, but it may be the answer you've been seeking. It's the only DP I've found which could almost convince me I was sitting at the real thing.
Live: Casio PX-5S | Hammond SK1
Studio: Yamaha CP4 | Hammond SK2 | Kurzweil PC361 | Moog Sub 37

#660202 - 05/28/08 02:05 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
smertens Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 10
Loc: California
Hi Aidan,

Appreciate your interest. However, I really don't think this has anything to do with my technique (Incidentally, I have a lot of experience playing organs, painlessly).

Rather, I truly believe this is an "engineering" situation; the way DPs are engineered is causing these problems across the industry - the only waya to fix it is thru re-engineering.

I found this input on my forum very helpful and I think this is what the explanation is:
"A top hand surgeon explained that this causes a lack of blood flow to the tendons and the best solution is to "work it out" on a real piano. You want to increase blood flow to your hands. So it's not about giving your hands a rest, but giving them the proper exercise on a real piano - which is built to absorb the impact of your playing, as opposed to a keyboard that sends the impact back into your hands."

#660203 - 05/28/08 04:32 PM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
smertens Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 10
Loc: California
Can't believe that I've been almost full-time- involved in trying to find a DP to replace my STeinway baby grand and not until today have I ever heard of "silent pianos." So off I go again - starting with this link which others might also find interesting.


Maybe this is a wild goose chase. But today I'm optimistic that maybe this is the solution for me.

#660204 - 07/22/08 01:07 AM Re: Roland FP-7: sore hands
smertens Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 10
Loc: California

Finally..... I couldn't be happier! The search for a silent piano (see above) eventually led me to the Yamaha Disklavier DGT2A. I've been playing it hard everyday for about a month. Plays like a real piano. In fact, the keyboard is exactly the same keyboard used in the Yamaha acoustic Grand. I've had absolutely no pain. Beautiful action. Excellent sound. Plus, it does just about every electronic trick in the book. Read all about it:


I ended up spending much more than I had expected to pay as I downsized from my STeinway into a digital. But I lucked out and found my nearly-new Disklavier on Craig's List. This saved me a whole lot of money because, like cars, they depreciate quickly.


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