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Joined: Mar 2017
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ManishP Offline OP
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Hello All,

I have Privia PX 160 and am completely satisfied with its sound and find it generally very playable, but at the same time find the keys to be stiff. If I play those notes where keys do not have to be held down for a long time (press and up) then there is no issue. But I get pain in left hand fingers where keys need to be kept pressed (I am currently practicing the famous piece - Prelude in C by Bach - where first two notes in each measure need to be held down for half the measure).

I am aware that playing a note needs to involve entire arm and shoulders (and not just fingers) along with how one sits and what should be the position relative to the keyboard, so I just wanted to test if the keys are really stiff or my action is wrong? I experimented by just dropping my one finger (allowing gravity to do that) on a key - the key went all the way down without any effort from my side. But when I dropped all fingers together, I noticed that the keys did not go all the way down. I did this test around middle C key. The same result was when I dropped just two fingers (third and first of the left hand). This makes me think that the keys really are stiff.

I think that the pain could still very well be due to my action and am still analyzing to see if I get any improvement if I change either the posture or the way I strike the left hand notes. But I would also like to hear from others if they have faced similar situation on these keyboards? And what could be the way out?

Thanks,
Manish


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I have a Privia PX-560, which has the same key action of the PX-160 and I don't feel that the keys are stiff. But I also have a old Roland HP-7e, which has "buttery" key action, maybe a easier touch but not so close to an acoustic piano. I made the transition from one DP to another very quickly. The only adaptation was the height of the bench, where I felt the need to put the bench in a higher position for the PX-560. In this way it has become easier to use body weight. You can try something like this to see if it helps.

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My guess: If you get pain from holding down keys, then you have a problem with your technique, not with your action.

You should not need any serious force to hold down a key. Not even a "stiff" action should require that. If an action had such a heavy upweight that it could create pain by pressing against your fingers from below, then that action would be more or less unplayable anyway, i.e. you would notice it in your normal playing too, not just when holding down keys.

My guess is that you either have some sort of (unnecessary) tension in your hands while playing and holding down keys, or you are unnecessarily exerting force into the key bed even after the key press (i.e. more force than is necessary to just hold down the key). Or a combination of both.


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Originally Posted by ManishP
Hello All,

I have Privia PX 160 and am completely satisfied with its sound and find it generally very playable, but at the same time find the keys to be stiff. If I play those notes where keys do not have to be held down for a long time (press and up) then there is no issue. But I get pain in left hand fingers where keys need to be kept pressed (I am currently practicing the famous piece - Prelude in C by Bach - where first two notes in each measure need to be held down for half the measure).
Manish


It could be that when you are pressing and holding down the notes on the left hand you are still pushing into the keyboard and whilst you are not exerting a lot of pressure the repeated practice of this way has its toll and eventually fatigues the left hand. As you say, you are aware of playing from the entire arm/wrist then look at whether you are no longer pushing into keybed (which is wasted effort and energy since once you have reached the bottom of the keybed there is no more need to exert any energy since the sound no longer changes...so try to feel the bottom of the keybed and relax the hold of the notes at that point - I was doing that and when I was told that I was doing that it was a massive game changer for me).

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Firstly, it is good to read that there might not be such a problem in PX-160 that I regret buying that.

I mentioned my hand-dropping experiment because I have read\seen-videos on this point that we should let gravity do the job and not exert pressure on our own - this way tension will be least. Shouldn't this technique depress the key completely?

At the same time, I have also felt that I continue to exert pressure in my left hand even after key has reached the bottom and thought that it could be partly to blame for my pain. I will be more focused on this and see what happens when I relax my left hand and play.


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I have a PX-160 and I think I agree with the other commenters; it's that you are continuing to push into the keyboard when it's not really necessary.

See how easy you can push to depress the keys using proper full body technique. I was surprised at how little it takes when I made sure that I was doing this.

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Quote
. . It could be that when you are pressing and holding down the notes on the left hand you are still pushing into the keyboard and whilst you are not exerting a lot of pressure the repeated practice of this way has its toll and eventually fatigues the left hand.


+1. There seems to be general agreement that that's the _first_ thing to check:

. . . As soon as the key hits bottom, you only need enough force to keep it down.

Even if you're playing FF, keys that are held down should be held down _gently_.

Quote
. . . I mentioned my hand-dropping experiment because I have read\seen-videos on this point that we should let gravity do the job and not exert pressure on our own - this way tension will be least. Shouldn't this technique depress the key completely? . . .


If you're holding down one key, or striking one key, "gravity" might be enough. If you're holding down 5 keys, or striking a chord, you might need some assistance from muscles.

Learning "good technique" from written descriptions, and videos, is difficult. If you can arrange some live lessons, to work on the problem, that might be worth doing. There's lots of bones and muscles that have to coordinate among themselves.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq

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