Moving from synth action to DP action

Posted by: MVshabeer2

Moving from synth action to DP action - 02/01/13 05:04 AM

Dear all

I would like to get advice on this

I have been playing keyboard for 12 years now. Even though I play on a workstation keyboard, Recently noticed that I never used those additional bells & whistles stuff, unless I am composing/arranging a song. I found myself as a pianist rather than keyboardist.

Few months ago I touched a Grand Piano for first time (just 10 mins). I was really impressed by the "natural sound" & some kind of "vibration" that is passing through my fingers from piano's body.

I also realized that I am such a bad pianist that I cant play even simple stuff on the piano which I easily play on the keyboard. I was afraid to call me pianist by then.
I can't do the trills, notes are missed & keys felt heavy.

I have 2 questions for you guys to help with.

1. Is it really hard to transfer your skills from synth action to weighted action? How long it will take in average?

I am planning to buy a DP to use with my current setup.

I don't really care about the piano sound. I will be using my motif piano/ivory/galaxy. I am only concerned about the built quality & action.

And about the action I am not picky, I have 0 experience with AP. So I wont recognize if the action is like AP or not. The intention is I should be able to play AP(in case) by practicing on the DP.

That means I don't need the top of the line DP actions.

Which DP suits for me (both slab/console are welcome)? (I am willing to spend a max of $1500)

My specific needs

1.) Ivory touch(I always slip on my keyboard)
2.) Midi Out
3.) Rock solid built which lasts longer(5 years at least)

Thanks for reading

Double thanks for reply (if any)
Posted by: Wuffski

Re: Moving from synth action to DP action - 02/01/13 07:22 AM

I think this is then the board just made for you:

Here is the most recent thread on it here in the forum:
Kawai VPC
Posted by: zapper

Re: Moving from synth action to DP action - 02/01/13 08:58 AM

Originally Posted By: MVshabeer2

Few months ago I touched a Grand Piano for first time (just 10 mins). I was really impressed by the "natural sound" & some kind of "vibration" that is passing through my fingers from piano's body.

and that's how you fall in love with acoustic instrument, no digital can give such joy. smokin

Usually it is not too good starting playing piano on synth keys but sure transition is possible. How long? all depends how badly did you screw up your technique on synth laugh
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Moving from synth action to DP action - 02/01/13 10:16 AM

To simulate the vibration passing through your fingers, you should get a model with built-in speakers.

If you want the better quality sound of ivory/galaxy whatever, you'd need such a model that has Line Inputs so you can feed an external sound back through its speakers. (On any model I've seen, for that scenario, you'd be able to turn off the piano's built in sounds either with its volume control or a Local Off setting, but it's worth confirming this before purchase.)

You can still get the better quality of external speakers at the same time. You could either split the output from your ivory/galaxy source to go both into the piano and also to external amplification, or you should be able to take the Line Out of the piano to send the sound elsewhere. (If you want to do it that way, be careful about models that only have headphone outs, since connecting to them may shut off the internal speakers, unless perhaps the model has a separate on/off switch for its speakers.)

Based on the background you described, I think you will find the process more satisfying if you choose a model with a lighter feeling action, within the range of fully weighted actions, as you will likely get better results more quickly. You can always transition to a heavier action later, if you find that you like that feel once you've acquired the relevant technique and strength, and I think that transition would not be as difficult to make.

All said, out of current models, I think the best choice would probably be the Casio PX-350.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Moving from synth action to DP action - 02/01/13 10:33 AM

I don't have a ton of experience playing unweighted actions, but I have had to adjust from very heavy actions to very light (but fully weighted) ones. There's definitely an adjustment, but it's not earth shattering. The hardest part about playing piano is having your brain wired up to be able to play the right notes (and read music, of course). That part will transfer over just fine. There's also the muscle memory of using the right muscles in your arms and hands to play--because a synth action requires very little muscle you can easily develop the habit of just lightly pressing, like an organist would. Maybe at the same time as you get your weighted action you can use a piano teacher, even if only for a short time. One of the most important things a teacher can show you is proper muscle technique. Playing a weighted action is, as you noticed, much more exercise and a very different experience.

My sister gives lessons and mentioned that she has a few students who play on synth actions and their problem is that synth keys get pressed so easily that the students tend to kind of hold their fingers off the keys while not playing, which leads to a lot of tension. With a weighted action you can rest your fingers on the keys when not playing without worrying about depressing them.

So I guess what I'm saying is that there's a significant adjustment to be made, but it's not so huge that you would have been better off not starting with the synth.

Grab yourself a VPC and go crazy.
Posted by: MVshabeer2

Re: Moving from synth action to DP action - 02/01/13 02:17 PM

Thanks for the response

Perhaps If I narrow down my models to

Kawai VPC
Kawai CN24
Yamaha CLP 340/440

which is better deal
Posted by: Dommie

Re: Moving from synth action to DP action - 02/01/13 05:57 PM


I've been playing on a non-weighted keyboard for 3 years and sat down at a regular acoustic the other day. It was a fairly cheap spinet, but for the first 15-20 minutes I struggled. After about 45 minutes there was noticeable improvement. I plan to get a hammer action digital soon and expect a adjustment period of 1-2 weeks.