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#677663 - 02/12/08 11:27 PM My experience with YAMAHA CLP-240
W_L Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3
My daughter starts learning piano two years ago when I decided to buy the YAMAHA CLP-240 after some reading in this forum. I had the impression that for a student it doesn't make a difference.

She starts with group lesson, and then private lesson.

Starting from 2nd half of last year we have noticed the she has problem playing the grand piano during her lesson. The major problem is she is not developing the skill for Dynamics especially forte, this is especially clear when she plays the Czerny-Germer's piano study. When I asked what is the difference between different acoustic pianos she had played and the digital piano, she always say that the acoustic key feels light than the digital.

So finally seeing her struggle, we bought our daughter a KAWAI K-3,

And now she practices on the acoustic piano.

She is still struggling with forte, but dynamic is improving. And now she said there is no big difference of K-3 to those real pianos she played including a Steinway concert piano

Comparing those two pianos,
1. key action is much better on K-3
2. My daughter plays significantly faster on K-3 than CLK240
3. It has more dynamic range than CLK-240, To get the same change of level, CLK-240 must be in its full volumn and then forte became a problem on real piano.
4. Sound is actually better, I think the resonance of cabinet is very hard to reproduce.

So I think I may made a mistake in the begining, However it was fun to play with different voices and record the play on CLP-240

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#677664 - 02/13/08 11:12 AM Re: My experience with YAMAHA CLP-240
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
No, weighted-key digital pianos are superior
for developing technique. There may be
several things going on here. First,
piano teachers--without ever having played
one--are notorious for hating digital pianos,
even though we are well into the digital piano
age. Teachers will hound and discriminate
against students who have digitals and
constantly pressure them to get a "real"
piano (and it's not unheard of for teachers
to get a commission on every student they
steer to an acoustic piano dealer). Teachers
seem think digital pianos are somehow
a menace, but this is just plain stupid,
because digital pianos mean more students
for them, more contented students, students
who practice more--all in all, digital pianos
are the best thing that's ever happened in
the piano world.

Another thing may be that many piano teachers
today, even ones with fine credentials, are
incompetent. They spend all their time
stressing "dynamics" and "tone" and "nuances"
and "feeling the music" and "half-pedaling,"
when the number one problem in piano playing
is reading and then hitting the right notes
in the right time.

I hope you didn't get rid of the digital,
because she should be doing 90+% of her
practicing on it, saving the acoustic
for Sunday playing, after she's worked
out all the problems on the digital.

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#677665 - 02/13/08 11:23 AM Re: My experience with YAMAHA CLP-240
J. Mark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1323
Good grief. Sometimes I think "gyro" is some sort of joke. Sometimes I think he is really just posting these absurdities to get a rise out of people. Sadly, though, there are people who may read this nonsense and think it has some validity.

To impugn practically the entire universe of piano teachers is cheap and irresponsible.

To suggest that digital pianos are as good as acoustic pianos is ignorant.

To suggest that there is something wrong with stressing dynamics, tone, nuance, feeling, pedaling...is so stupid it's laughable.

Digital pianos are useful for certain limited things, like silent practice when it is necessary. They can also be useful for people who cannot afford an acoustic, or don't have room for one. Beyond that, they are a negative. I've owned several (and currently own a Yamaha CLP220). I also own an acoustic grand. I spent a year doing lessons on the digital. When I got the acoustic, I realized exactly what the original post says -- learning on a digital can hamper development, and it certainly, in virtually all cases, limits the player and the learning experience. There is a good reason that teachers dislike digitals.

If your understanding of playing the piano excludes things like dynamics, tone, nuance, feeling, pedaling...fine. You could be happy on a toy Casio, perhaps. But then, you are not playing the piano. You are doing something else.

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#677666 - 02/13/08 12:46 PM Re: My experience with YAMAHA CLP-240
Dubba Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/07
Posts: 61
Loc: TN
If she is having trouble playing forte on an acoustic, try changing the touch setting on the Yamaha to a heavier setting (assuming it has one). That will make her have to push the keys a little harder jon the digital which should make playing the acoustic easier when it is time. Just a thought.

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#677667 - 02/13/08 01:34 PM Re: My experience with YAMAHA CLP-240
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i also think it might be the setting or volume setting problem. if you turn the volume to the max and play it 'loudly' with the force level equals to the force level of a mf or p on an acoustic with the same loudness, then you'd definitely have trouble control dynamics on an acoustic. but such a thing can be easily fixed, even though it could still be without subtlety of dynamic level on an acoustic.

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#677668 - 02/13/08 02:16 PM Re: My experience with YAMAHA CLP-240
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
In case you have any doubts, you should disregard the post of Gyro.

If all you want to do is endless, pointless, extended, motionless sight reading of repertoire over your head, a serious student will really need a quality acoustic piano. It will take a long time before technology changes that situation.

My living situation forces me to use a digital piano for much of my practice, but I try to limit it to doing the initial study and learning of the required coordination and always finish my pieces on my grand piano.

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#677669 - 02/13/08 04:22 PM Re: My experience with YAMAHA CLP-240
W_L Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3
Thanks for all the suggestions,

Here are a few things to clear:

1. The piano teacher is not against digital piano, actually she said for those experienced player that has developed all the right skills, she feels that there is no major difference, but for beginner, when they haven't developed proper way to hitting the keyboard, Digital piano will have problem.

2. For the Yamaha CLP-240 setting to heavy or light setting doesn't change the feel of key, they are exactly the same, I assume they just load different recorded waves.

3. The key of CLP-240 is heavier than acoustic, and I think it is more linear, that is the resistance is the same as you push the key, while acoustic piano is different. Thus when to put in more force can be different.

4. My Daughter can play reasonable forte with good dynamic on CLP-240 when the volumn is set to full scale (Signa is absolutely right), with the volumn set to lower, I just feel that it is the piano not her skill that reduce the dynamic, and thus some of the piece is less enjoyable. The method she developed on the digital piano doesn't apply to acoustic piano, and she played really poor in cresc. to forte on any type of acoustics.

5. I am still owning the Yamaha CLP-240, anyway it has features that K-3 doesn't have

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#677670 - 02/13/08 04:59 PM Re: My experience with YAMAHA CLP-240
turandot Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7192
Loc: torrance, CA
 Quote:
Starting from 2nd half of last year we have noticed the she has problem playing the grand piano during her lesson. The major problem is she is not developing the skill for Dynamics especially forte, this is especially clear when she plays the Czerny-Germer's piano study. When I asked what is the difference between different acoustic pianos she had played and the digital piano, she always say that the acoustic key feels light than the digital.
This is a little confusing. Forte is as much a matter of developing strength as it is of controlling strength and leverage. The latter would be skill. If your daughter felt that the teacher's acoustic pianos felt lighter than her digital, she should not struggle with forte on her teacher's pianos. Logically, she should be struggling with the piano to pianissimo dynamic range. That would be because her accustomed touch brings too much leverage to a light action.

Any pianist who plays any piano (acoustic or digital) that requires more leverage on the keys and plays it over a protracted time will need an adjustment period to function correctly on a different piano with a lighter touch. This adjustment may take only a matter of seconds for a professional pianist, but considerably longer for a young student. Think about it. If she practices hours on a piano with a heavy touch over a week's time and then is asked to instantaneously show the results of her practice on a piano with a feathery touch (with her teacher sitting in judgment), her control of the dynamic range will suffer. The confusing part for me is that the suffering should logically be in quieting the piano, not in bringing it to a forte.

I don't know the digital model you are citing well enough to comment on it specifically, but it is true that many digitals will produce only a small range of difference in sound volume even while the player is applying a great range of leverage in attacking the keys. This would be a somewhat different problem in that the piano would not be doing its job to demonstrate the player's ability to exploit the full dynamic range. A pianist of any level needs good feedback from the instrument's sound to monitor progress.
 Quote:
So finally seeing her struggle, we bought our daughter a KAWAI K-3, And now she practices on the acoustic piano. She is still struggling with forte, but dynamic is improving.
Do you mean that she is struggling with her stength (the ability to produce a forte) or with her control of the dynamic range?
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#677671 - 02/14/08 10:24 PM Re: My experience with YAMAHA CLP-240
W_L Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3
The problem was that she was not hitting the keys in the correct way. She is weak in strength, but this might not be the reason.

For CLP-240 I think my daughter developed her own method of pressing down the keys, but that same method doesn't apply well to the acoustic piano -- could be because of in group lesson teachers wouldn't pay any attention to how they first hit the keys, and group lessons were on digital as well.
On acoustic pianos although she said the keyboard feel much lighter, but the sound she made for forte is no difference than pianissimo unless she really put in more force into it -- An then can not play in the same way as she practice.

There is one difference that I can easily tell: digital piano there is a constant resistance when you press down the keys, while on acoustic you will have a transition of resistance before and after the hammer hit the string.
Also there could be a very small difference in the acoustic when the hammer hit the string, the key is not at the bottom.

However I am not an expect in piano and I might be totally wrong, as this may be a non-issue, that is same will happen even if we started on acoustic as well. Anyway I bought the K-3, and I think it is very nice, and I do think digital piano still need plenty of work --- In the following sense (not as a copy of acoustic)

if everybody plays on digital, then keyboard feeling is a non-issue, as long as the piano can bring out the presentation of music, That is all we need for a perfect instrument. An if digital piano is easier to play, that is even better, more people can enjoy.

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