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Re: Better piano/pianissimo [Re: phantomFive] #2228866
02/10/14 08:10 AM
02/10/14 08:10 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 877
DanS Offline
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DanS  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 877
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by DanS

Originally Posted by phantomFive
If you have access to an unweighted keyboard, playing on that can increase your sensitivity a lot.


I don't think learning to play softly on an unweighted keyboard translates to the piano.

I'm interested in understanding why you don't think that, since I've seen it translate amazingly well to the piano.


I don't think it would work because on a keyboard, the note is going to sound no matter how softly the key is pushed down. Even if you play the key so slowly that it takes an hour for the key to descend, there's going to be a point where the electric connection is made and the note will sound.

This is not so on a piano. In fact, the main problem is playing softly and making sure all the notes sound. I don't see how playing a keyboard, in which the notes will sound no matter how you play them, will help you make sure all the notes sound on a piano.

Of course, you said you've seen it work, so who knows..

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Re: Better piano/pianissimo [Re: TwoSnowflakes] #2228896
02/10/14 09:18 AM
02/10/14 09:18 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 169
Providence, RI
slava_richter Offline
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slava_richter  Offline
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Posts: 169
Providence, RI
The guaranteed remedy is a combination of what was stated by BruceD and pianoloverus.

1) Make sure you play the key all the way to the bottom.
2) Make sure your fingers are firm enough but not tense. What this means is that you shouldn't let the fingers buckle as they press the key - just keep the same curvature throughout the key stroke.

I guarantee that these 2 points will solve your problem.

Re: Better piano/pianissimo [Re: DanS] #2228953
02/10/14 11:48 AM
02/10/14 11:48 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
California
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phantomFive Offline
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phantomFive  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by DanS
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by DanS

Originally Posted by phantomFive
If you have access to an unweighted keyboard, playing on that can increase your sensitivity a lot.


I don't think learning to play softly on an unweighted keyboard translates to the piano.

I'm interested in understanding why you don't think that, since I've seen it translate amazingly well to the piano.


I don't think it would work because on a keyboard, the note is going to sound no matter how softly the key is pushed down. Even if you play the key so slowly that it takes an hour for the key to descend, there's going to be a point where the electric connection is made and the note will sound.
......
Of course, you said you've seen it work, so who knows..

Yeap, it does work smile

I suspect if you only ever played on an unweighted keyboard, then you would be right and have troubles you mentioned. But if you're used to the heavier action of a real piano, then the difference between forte and piano on an unweighted is so small that you MUST develop greater sensitivity at the soft end to get any difference in volume at all.

Another interesting idea is to play on a weighted keyboard with the sound turned off. Kalkbrenner advocated a method similar to this. Of course, it also shouldn't be your only practice method. Mainly I just say keep trying different things until you find something that works.


Poetry is rhythm
Re: Better piano/pianissimo [Re: phantomFive] #2228985
02/10/14 12:32 PM
02/10/14 12:32 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,048
New York City
pianoloverus Offline
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pianoloverus  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,048
New York City
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by DanS
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by DanS

Originally Posted by phantomFive
If you have access to an unweighted keyboard, playing on that can increase your sensitivity a lot.


I don't think learning to play softly on an unweighted keyboard translates to the piano.

I'm interested in understanding why you don't think that, since I've seen it translate amazingly well to the piano.


I don't think it would work because on a keyboard, the note is going to sound no matter how softly the key is pushed down. Even if you play the key so slowly that it takes an hour for the key to descend, there's going to be a point where the electric connection is made and the note will sound.
......
Of course, you said you've seen it work, so who knows..

Yeap, it does work smile

I suspect if you only ever played on an unweighted keyboard, then you would be right and have troubles you mentioned. But if you're used to the heavier action of a real piano, then the difference between forte and piano on an unweighted is so small that you MUST develop greater sensitivity at the soft end to get any difference in volume at all.

Another interesting idea is to play on a weighted keyboard with the sound turned off. Kalkbrenner advocated a method similar to this. Of course, it also shouldn't be your only practice method. Mainly I just say keep trying different things until you find something that works.
It might work but I think it's very inefficient. Practice on the real thing to get used to how an acoustic action feels and the feel of the hammer lifting and then being released at the point of let off. Practice the technique that works on an acoustic.

Re: Better piano/pianissimo [Re: TwoSnowflakes] #2228998
02/10/14 01:16 PM
02/10/14 01:16 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,090
TwoSnowflakes Offline OP
2000 Post Club Member
TwoSnowflakes  Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,090
Well, the whole idea is somewhat moot since I don't have an unweighted keyboard at my disposal, anyway!

I'm working super slowly and just trying to find the limits of everything.

Re: Better piano/pianissimo [Re: pianoloverus] #2229037
02/10/14 02:42 PM
02/10/14 02:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
California
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phantomFive Offline
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phantomFive  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2014
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California
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
It might work but I think it's very inefficient.

That's a nice, but incorrect, guess. smile


Poetry is rhythm
Re: Better piano/pianissimo [Re: phantomFive] #2229047
02/10/14 03:00 PM
02/10/14 03:00 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,048
New York City
pianoloverus Offline
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pianoloverus  Offline
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Posts: 24,048
New York City
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
It might work but I think it's very inefficient.

That's a nice, but incorrect, guess. smile
Well at least I gave some reasons why I thought it was inefficient. Are you saying that because it worked for you this means it's an efficient way of learning to play softly? How do you know some other way isn't far more efficient(like learning the proper technique for playing softly on an acoustic and practicing it on an acoustic)?

Re: Better piano/pianissimo [Re: pianoloverus] #2229115
02/10/14 05:00 PM
02/10/14 05:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
California
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phantomFive Offline
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phantomFive  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2014
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California
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
It might work but I think it's very inefficient.

That's a nice, but incorrect, guess. smile
Well at least I gave some reasons why I thought it was inefficient. Are you saying that because it worked for you this means it's an efficient way of learning to play softly? How do you know some other way isn't far more efficient(like learning the proper technique for playing softly on an acoustic and practicing it on an acoustic)?

The only way to be sure with a question like this is with data. We can argue for days, or years about the best way to do it (and truly some arguments about the 'best way' to teach piano lasted for decades), but unless you actually try, you will never know for sure.

That said, I've seen drastic improvements on this very topic by using an unweighted keyboard. If you have data that says otherwise, then let's see it. Because data will answer the question better than all the guesses anyone can make.



Poetry is rhythm
Re: Better piano/pianissimo [Re: phantomFive] #2229136
02/10/14 05:49 PM
02/10/14 05:49 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,048
New York City
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
pianoloverus  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,048
New York City
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
It might work but I think it's very inefficient.

That's a nice, but incorrect, guess. smile
Well at least I gave some reasons why I thought it was inefficient. Are you saying that because it worked for you this means it's an efficient way of learning to play softly? How do you know some other way isn't far more efficient(like learning the proper technique for playing softly on an acoustic and practicing it on an acoustic)?

The only way to be sure with a question like this is with data. We can argue for days, or years about the best way to do it (and truly some arguments about the 'best way' to teach piano lasted for decades), but unless you actually try, you will never know for sure.

That said, I've seen drastic improvements on this very topic by using an unweighted keyboard. If you have data that says otherwise, then let's see it. Because data will answer the question better than all the guesses anyone can make.
If you've seen drastic improvement but don't know of others who have also seen improvement then the sample space is too small to have any meaning. But far more important, one has to compare the "playing on an unweighted keyboard" to other methods to draw a conclusion about efficiency.

Doing handstands, eating peas with chopsticks, or knitting might help someone learn how to play softly, but that does not mean they are efficient methods.

Most people wouldn't consider learning the correct technique for playing softly and then practicing that technique as a "guess" about how to solve a technical problem.

In the thread I already gave my own example of a technical adjustment which was suggested by an eminent pedagogue (and supported by several other posters)that helped improve my pp playing.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 02/10/14 05:54 PM.
Re: Better piano/pianissimo [Re: pianoloverus] #2229158
02/10/14 06:32 PM
02/10/14 06:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
California
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phantomFive Offline
3000 Post Club Member
phantomFive  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
California
Originally Posted by pianoloverus

In the thread I already gave my own example of a technical adjustment which was suggested by an eminent pedagogue (and supported by several other posters)that helped improve my pp playing.

That's great. I'm glad you found a way that worked.


Poetry is rhythm
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