Chasing the right instrument

Posted by: Loga

Chasing the right instrument - 05/08/13 08:53 AM

Dear Teachers!

I am trying to find the right piano to practice. I am 33 yrs old, and applied to a Music College this year. I had an upright piano, but found it too slow in certain pieces and a little light to play on it. I sold it, and bought an old baby grand, and had it renewed by an experienced technician. However, I still find the keys light to press, but not too light. Honestly, it is _differently_ light than my upright I had before.

My technician said that it has the standard 50 gramms weight. Despite I noticed that I can play on it much easier and somehow _better_ than on my upright before. My teacher also has an oldish baby grand but has much heavier touch. And when I play on it, I struggle to play.

Could be a grand with a light (or a light feel, since it has the standard weight of 50 gramms) action good enough to improve my technique, or do I have to countinue my search for a realy heavy touch? Is it a bad sign, if I can play better on this baby grand than usually?

Thank you in advance!

Peter
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Chasing the right instrument - 05/08/13 09:10 AM

The action of a grand piano vs. an upright is very different, so while they both may have light touches, they will not be the same. Even between grands, as you have noticed, the weight varies. I'm not sure there is a "standard" weight for touches on pianos because they are so many different weights out there. If your goal is to play on your teacher's piano better, then by all means search for a grand with a heavier touch. But if you prefer a lighter touch to your piano, then keep what you have.

As far as a heavier touch vs. a lighter touch being better or worse for you as a pianist, I don't think you can say definitively eiher way. I have a very heavy Petrof that I love, but some pieces are not good to play on it. My Yamaha has a much lighter touch and I prefer to play some pieces on that. I have heard of professional classical pianists who prefer light and those that prefer heavy, so it's entirely up to the individual.
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: Chasing the right instrument - 05/08/13 12:05 PM

Even there is no "standard weight", I would suggest you to have the heavier piano at home to practice. My teacher told me that if I practice on heavy piano, I can play on any piano (light and heavy). If I practice on light piano and given a heavy piano, then I will be having hard time to adjust.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Chasing the right instrument - 05/08/13 01:09 PM

Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Even there is no "standard weight", I would suggest you to have the heavier piano at home to practice. My teacher told me that if I practice on heavy piano, I can play on any piano (light and heavy). If I practice on light piano and given a heavy piano, then I will be having hard time to adjust.

Although, sometimes you get used to a heavy weight and then you play light and you end up with a faster tempo than you can control. This isn't as common for an experienced player, but it can be an issue for a student. So, either way there are pros and cons, so the student should go with that they like to play on.
Posted by: Saranoya

Re: Chasing the right instrument - 05/08/13 06:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Although, sometimes you get used to a heavy weight and then you play light and you end up with a faster tempo than you can control.


I have a Boston grand at home with a relatively heavy action compared to the Yamaha grand I play at lessons, and I have exactly this problem. It's part of the reason I messed up one of my Easter exam pieces, despite being pretty well-prepared.

That said, I do think it's easier to switch from heavy to light than the other way around, so I'd recommend keeping the 'heavyweight'. But perhaps it is nothing more than a personal preference.
Posted by: musicpassion

Re: Chasing the right instrument - 05/09/13 05:47 AM

Originally Posted By: Loga
Could be a grand with a light (or a light feel, since it has the standard weight of 50 gramms) action good enough to improve my technique, or do I have to countinue my search for a realy heavy touch? Is it a bad sign, if I can play better on this baby grand than usually?

Just to look at this another way:
You have a grand piano that you can play better than all other pianos, and rather than enjoying that fact you think you might need to keep searching until you find a piano you play terribly?

I don't subscribe to the idea that you need to "lift weights" with your practice piano's action. Dexterity comes with proper diligence and time.