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#2076420 - 05/03/13 04:06 AM Black Notes!  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,170
peterws Offline
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peterws  Offline
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Northern England.
Don`t like playin` em. But now and again it`s unavoidable, so I`ve deliberately been playing stuff with lots of black notes. And it gets easier when you`re familiar with the notes you are supposed to be playing! . . .

Having said that, they do require rather more pressure to operate than the white ones for pretty obvious reasons. They`re not usually long enough particularly on cheaper keyboards such as mine, and they sap the energy quickly out of your fingers. Now, one note you may play stridently. It rings out. But the second? If played in quick succession, it`ll be markedly less loud. Play several with the same finger and the last ones will be almost inaudible.

My experience of high end acoustic pianos is almost non existent outside of listening; it may well be different for them, indeed, for high end digitals too I imagine although I`ve not been too impressed with anything I`ve tried so far.

Which is one of the reasons why I put this other posting on about non weighted keyboards . . .Your comments are most welcome!


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2076436 - 05/03/13 05:19 AM Re: Black Notes! [Re: peterws]  
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dire tonic Offline
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uk south
- well, I think you may well have highlighted one of the shortcomings of the PX150 which I omitted to consider in my overall satisfaction DP rating. It's something I have thought about before.

I notice if I try and play a fast-ish chromatic 5-finger exercise - e.g. C, C#, D, D#, E and back down again - it's a lot more difficult for me to make that sound even than the white-note counterpart C up to G and back. I'd need to compare with another DP to see if it's actually my fingers or the DP that is wanting.

Repeat key speed is another thing that's worth checking.

I had thought of getting an ES7 at one point and might still do so but those are the sort of things I would test.

#2076499 - 05/03/13 08:48 AM Re: Black Notes! [Re: peterws]  
Joined: Feb 2010
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anotherscott Offline
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In general, issues with velocity variation on the black keys (or similarly, further back on the white keys) are more prevalent on unweighted actions than weighed ones, as so many of them are "short hinged" where the fulcrum is pretty close to the playable rear area of the key. Some are better than others, but this is an area where, as a whole, weighted actions tend to be better than unweighted.

#2076577 - 05/03/13 10:49 AM Re: Black Notes! [Re: peterws]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,022
spanishbuddha Online content
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spanishbuddha  Online Content
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UK
April 1 piano lesson. Put some childrens washable black paint on my fingers and under nails. Turned up, kept hands out of sight until at piano. Placed hands above keyboard and said "I've been working on the car this morning, it's OK though I'll just play the black notes".

It was the first joke of the day my teacher had been subjected to, so she didn't get it at first, and I was severely reprimanded and told quite crossly to wash my hands.

Bit of an ice-breaker though!

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#2076599 - 05/03/13 11:25 AM Re: Black Notes! [Re: peterws]  
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Scott Hamlin Offline
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Scott Hamlin  Offline
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ps. all notes are black (expect for the blue ones)
.. it's the KETS that are black and white. grin

#2076675 - 05/03/13 01:41 PM Re: Black Notes! [Re: peterws]  
Joined: Apr 2007
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gvfarns Offline
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gvfarns  Offline
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Texas
Originally Posted by peterws
Don`t like playin` em. But now and again it`s unavoidable, so I`ve deliberately been playing stuff with lots of black notes. And it gets easier when you`re familiar with the notes you are supposed to be playing! . . .

Having said that, they do require rather more pressure to operate than the white ones for pretty obvious reasons. They`re not usually long enough particularly on cheaper keyboards such as mine, and they sap the energy quickly out of your fingers. Now, one note you may play stridently. It rings out. But the second? If played in quick succession, it`ll be markedly less loud. Play several with the same finger and the last ones will be almost inaudible.


Yeah, it can be an issue. Short black keys (measured to the fulcrum) can give you a leverage problem, particularly if you play closer to the back of the key. The difference in difficulty between playing the front of the key and the back is one of the main drivers for long keys in both acoustics and digitals.

If you look at Kawai's action innovations over the last few years they have largely been addressing the issue of leverage on the black keys: RM3 was an improvement over AWA PRO II in that they set the fulcrum on the black keys back (among whatever else they changed) the same way it is done on an acoustic. GH takes it to the next level by making the keys significantly longer overall.

The various actions handle this situation differently, but overall most digital piano actions have effective short keys, which is more problematic on the blacks.

Last edited by gvfarns; 05/03/13 01:41 PM.
#2076746 - 05/03/13 04:27 PM Re: Black Notes! [Re: gvfarns]  
Joined: Sep 2010
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Temperament Offline
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Temperament  Offline
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Hun,EU
Originally Posted by Gvfarns
If you look at Kawai's action innovations over the last few years they have largely been addressing the issue of leverage on the black keys: RM3 was an improvement over AWA PRO II in that they set the fulcrum on the black keys back (among whatever else they changed) the same way it is done on an acoustic. GH takes it to the next level by making the keys significantly longer overall.

The various actions handle this situation differently, but overall most digital piano actions have effective short keys, which is more problematic on the blacks.

1. You mean probably GF ("GrandFeel")
2. Only the front key lever part is longer with GF, the back part is somewhat shorter, it is up to engineering the weighting + geometry as a whole construct in a right way to get the character of the action.

#2076748 - 05/03/13 04:28 PM Re: Black Notes! [Re: peterws]  
Joined: Jan 2011
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RUSS SHETTLE Offline
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RUSS SHETTLE  Offline
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Posts: 316
Brandywine, Maryland
Until you mentioned it I never really noticed it and I still can't say if there's a difference or not.


Russ
Yamaha CP5
Casio PX130
Yamaha AP Upright
#2076755 - 05/03/13 04:40 PM Re: Black Notes! [Re: peterws]  
Joined: Jul 2012
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peterws Offline
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peterws  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,170
Northern England.
I can appreciate work has been done by some DP manufacturers. If you have a longish middle finger, therein lies muich o` the problem. Even with some APs I`ve tried, they still have the same problem. Looking at the breakdown of digital actions, http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1761142/1.html things don`t look too bad with some of the med - top end stuff. But in reality, it`s not all that much better.

I know. I`ll try the most expensive DP in the shop. If it`s a big improvement, the wife may not be happy. . . .

Last edited by peterws; 05/03/13 04:42 PM.

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#2076817 - 05/03/13 07:26 PM Re: Black Notes! [Re: peterws]  
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Kawai James Offline
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Kawai James  Offline
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted by peterws
I`ll try the most expensive DP in the shop.


It's not all about price, Peter. You also need to take the keyboard action technology and specifications into account. Just because a DP is expensive, doesn't necessarily mean that it's any good.

James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

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