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#1216490 - 06/12/09 04:29 PM Re: "...play to the sound, not to the key." [Re: Farmer Dan]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,255
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pianoloverus  Online Content
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,255
New York City
Originally Posted by Farmer Dan
I started trying this--to feel "the tactile feedback of my piano." About the same time, my tech taught me about let-off and said, "This is the point at which the piano and the performer communicate." I focused on this. My playing changed.


I'm not at all sure what your tech told you meant what you seem to say. IMO one cannot even feel the moment of let off unless one plays a key extremely slowly. In fact, I would find it very disconcerting if I felt the letoff every time I played a note or even occasionally.

I think your tech simply meant that after the let off there is nothing one can do to control the sound(not the same as saying what one does after let off is not important).

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#1216498 - 06/12/09 04:49 PM Re: "...play to the sound, not to the key." [Re: Gary D.]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
John v.d.Brook Offline
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John v.d.Brook  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
All this noise is being added to the overall sound, and we do here it . . as pounding sounds. Most unpleasant.

John, I'm unclear how we would get a great deal of "pounding sound" unless the pounding is also coming from playing very loud. In other words, the pounding sound comes from depressing the keys very fast, but that also causes the hammers to strike very fast.

The only problem I see is that some people overplay to the point that the strings are already vibrating to the full extent possible and more hammer velocity no longer adds anything except distortion and then hammers and strings that snap.


Gary, I'm sorry I missed your question way back.

The keyboard generates an incredible amount of junk sound. It's masked, but not entirely, by the resonating strings. But if you ever get a chance, press a key like for an mf or f without the strings or without the hammer hitting the strings, and you'll see what I mean. The felt under the key does cut the noise some, but the piano is quite resonant as a whole, so that noise does travel to the soundboard and get amplified. You can approximate it by just rapping your knuckle on the board in front of the keys, especially with the damper pedal depressed. I do this with students just to show them that you really don't want your fingers hitting maximum velocity as the key reaches the bottom. I suppose this is why so many advanced artists use glancing blows/key strokes, so their finger velocity is decelerating as the key reaches the bottom. We cannot eliminate it entirely, but we surely can trim it from the excesses we often hear with many pianists.

Last edited by John v.d.Brook; 06/12/09 07:31 PM. Reason: typo

"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
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#1216501 - 06/12/09 04:53 PM Re: "...play to the sound, not to the key." [Re: Farmer Dan]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member
John v.d.Brook  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted by Farmer Dan
If I very slowly, agonizingly so, depress the key, I can feel the "bump" close to the bottom of the travel. Faster and I feel it closer to 1/4 of the way down.


Dan, although I'm not a technician, it's my understanding that you should feel this release point about half way down. If it's sooner or later than this, your instrument needs adjusting. It shouldn't take a competent technician too much time to adjust the keys properly for you.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#1216537 - 06/12/09 06:13 PM Re: "...play to the sound, not to the key." [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Kreisler Offline
Kreisler  Offline


Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
Had a quick thought - anyone interested in the mechanics of a piano action should go to a piano store and ask if they have a model of the action. Our local Steinway dealer keeps a model out on the display and it's interesting to see all the parts and how they work.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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