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Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
facdo #2899810 10/13/19 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by facdo
Just because something is unquantified, difficult to measure or ascertain using a scientific methodology it doesn't mean it isn't real.

That's what people say about the supernatural.

Originally Posted by facdo
But for that case, it isn't that hard to explain, since the action of digital pianos is different from the action of acoustic pianos and the sound volume is discretized into a finite number of possibilities/intensities. That is a limitation that an acoustic instrument doesn't have, theoretically. The sound in a digital piano, in most cases, is sampled from a nice grand piano, but there aren't infinite samples for the infinite range of dynamics that the pianist can play. Usually, they just change the volume, from a limited set of samples. I know that in my DP there are only 3 samples, one for PP, mF and FF, that are selected according to the intensity (which can range from 128 values, as in any MIDI signal). But in reality, the tone of the instrument changes slightly with the intensity, it is not just a change in volume. So if you record a note played PP, you can't reproduce the FFF by just increasing the volume. The way the sound is projected is also different, the various tone nuances that an acoustic instrument has and the way that the different harmonics may interact it is too complex and no DP can accurately replicate that (so far). I am not completely clueless about how that stuff works as I do have a master's degree in electrical engineering, so I am somehow knowledgeable in science and engineering. In reality, there are some very measurable and quantifiable differences between a DP and an acoustic instrument, but I agree that the way we perceive these differences is not clear and it is indeed hard to measure.

You haven't read what I linked about what computerpro3 wrote.


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Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
facdo #2899813 10/13/19 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by facdo
Originally Posted by Morodiene

I practice exclusively on a digital piano for the summer months and play on my acoustic concert grand piano for the rest of the year. There is absolutely no issue with transitioning from pieces that I learned on the digital to the acoustic. It's only like changing from one piano to another, which takes a little of adjustment. I'm able to do the expression that I desire on the DP and that translates well to the AP. I chose a digital that was similar in feel to my acoustic (a heavier action) and the adjustment is negligible.

That is very interesting to hear, but I wonder if you have practiced only in a DP how the concert grand would feel?

There's obviously no way to answer that. But my guess is that anyone who practices on an upright, digital piano, or small grand (under 5'5") and have never had a lot of experience on a large grand would have some issues when switching to a concert grand. I remember when I restarted lessons as an adult, I had an upright and my teacher made a comment that if only I had a grand piano I'd be able to do more. When I was able to get a grand piano, I knew immediately what she meant.

Prior to this, I didn't even know what was possible musically. It opened up many doors, and that was exciting and rejuvenating. In this respect, I don't think digitals are any worse musically than uprights in their limitations.

This does not mean that a person should be forbidden from studying piano with me because they cannot afford the ideal instrument. Nor does it mean that they will be completely inept or have their technique damaged as a result. I just encourage people to buy the best piano they can reasonably afford.


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Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
facdo #2899817 10/13/19 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by facdo


I propose a thought experiment. Take two twin brothers (or sisters), created in the same environment, and start teaching piano to them. They should have the same teacher, learn the same repertoire and practice for the same amount of time. One will only play in a top of the line digital piano and the other will only play in an excellent concert grand piano. After several years they are asked to play for an audience. Which brother/sister do you think will give a better performance? I know that there are many other factors influencing the outcome but let's just assume ideal conditions for a thought experiment. I believe the one that practiced in an acoustic piano will perform much better, but sure, I can't prove that and it may be a matter of personal opinion/believe.

You are comparing top of the line digital to top of the line acoustic, as if people are saying they are both equally good. As far as I can tell, no one has said that, including myself.

So let's compare apples to apples: if one sibling learns on an upright and one learns on a high-end DP, which would give a better performance? My answer to this question would have much more to do with the strengths and weaknesses of each student and less to do with their practice instrument.

Quote
Again, I am just sharing my opinion and I am by no means an authority on this subject. I did a fair amount of research about this before buying my DP and the verdict was that it is totally acceptable to practice in a nice digital piano, and it doesn't even have to be a top of the line instrument. I just think a nice grand piano will always be better (which should be obvious) and I believe a student is able to progress more by practicing in a nice acoustic instrument. I must emphasize the word "nice" in that sentence, meaning new and well maintained/tuned/regulated instruments, manufactured by brands that are committed to delivering high-quality pianos. Unfortunately, that is not accessible to everyone and the DP is an excellent option for those who can't have a nice acoustic. But for those who can and are very demanding about the level of skill they want to reach, I think at some point they should get a grand piano, and the sooner the better.

Also, you are using your experience with an entry-level digital piano and assuming all digitals are similar. You are correct in stating the limitations of your instrument, but there are far better digitals, so it doesn't follow that every digital will respond as yours does.


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Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
Colin Miles #2899821 10/13/19 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by oneilt130

I think you need to qualify what is being compared. I had a impossible to keep in tune 50+ year old Baldwin Spinet. Just about any DP our there was better than that. However when I started looking at replacing the spinet with a newer upright I felt most of the DP's were lacking except for the hybrids. I played the NU1X next too a U1 and regarding the keyboard I didn't feel that there was anything lacking. I've had the NU1X for about 10 months. Recently I was in a situation where I was away from home but did have access to a Steinway upright I had no problem switching to the Steinway, Before when I had the spinet playing any other piano required adjustments.

My point is that these blanket statements about how playing a DP slows development are too broad to mean anything. You need to look at what the skill level of the player is, what their short term / long term goals are, what limitations they may have in terms of finance l, space and do they need a silent option. There is no one cookie cutter solution and not everyone is looking to become a classical concert pianist.


Yeah, I meant nice acoustic pianos (upright or grand, not spinets).

Maybe I wasn't clear enough. I was not trying to make any statement, just sharing my opinion. I think, IMHO, for higher-level students, especially those committed to classical repertoire (and/or some jazz styles), having a nice acoustic piano to practice is very important and if they only practice in a DP their development could be slowed down or limited. I think that it would be very hard to prove or disprove that, so it may be just a matter of belief. But that belief is supported by some logic, considering the differences between the two types of instruments.

Originally Posted by Colin Miles
Originally Posted by facdo

BTW, I have a good upright piano and I also bought a DP (Roland FP-30) to practice at night. Although the DP is supposed to mimic the action of a real piano, it feels much different

You are a beginner. The difference is good for you. Being able to play on different pianos is a vital part of developing your technique. In the 'real' world acoustic actions are not all the same. They can vary widely.


Yes, I know that actions can vary. In fact, last week I traveled to the biggest city in my country with the sole purpose of visiting piano stores to look for a new piano. I must have played on over a hundred different instruments in just a few days and I took detailed notes and made videos of 30 pianos. It is amazing how even the same model can feel different (I think it is mostly a regulation issue, but there are tolerable differences in materials that might affect the sound and touch). It is important to be able to adapt to new instruments, but it is also important to be able to recognize a certain pattern of mechanism and be able to perform consistently when such pattern is met. No wonder why most concert pianists like Steinways, as they regularly play on than in concert halls and are able to quickly adapt to the recognizable action and sound characteristics.

Although I consider myself a beginner, I've become very demanding regarding the quality of the instrument that I want to have. I can spot subtle differences between different piano actions and I am quite sure I could identify some of the main brands (that are common in my country) in a blind test. I know the feel of the type of action and the key material/texture that I like, and I can tell if a piano is regulated to a concert standard (regarding the adjustment of escapement distance) or not. In the same way, I can tell if I am playing in a digital piano or in an acoustic piano, just by the touch (without hearing any sound). I don't think that being able to play in different pianos is vital for developing the technique. In fact, if I could, I would only play in new/tuned/well-maintained concert grands, and I actually think that would be beneficial to the development of my skills.



On a side note, if practicing only in digital pianos wasn't detrimental at all for the development of the musician, maybe the best music schools could be saving a lot of money by offering only high-end DP in their practice rooms for their students. I wonder why these schools keep investing so much money maintaining and buying new grand pianos? In the stage room of concert halls, they usually have a big upright piano for the pianist warm up. I wonder why they don't use DP instead? They are much cheaper and don't require much maintenance. Maybe DPs aren't good enough for concert pianists, or maybe music schools and concert halls are too old fashioned and/or behind the instrument evolution. I don't know, what do you guys think?


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Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
facdo #2899825 10/13/19 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by facdo
I propose a thought experiment. Take two twin brothers (or sisters), created in the same environment, and start teaching piano to them. They should have the same teacher, learn the same repertoire and practice for the same amount of time. One will only play in a top of the line digital piano and the other will only play in an excellent concert grand piano. After several years they are asked to play for an audience. Which brother/sister do you think will give a better performance? I know that there are many other factors influencing the outcome but let's just assume ideal conditions for a thought experiment. I believe the one that practiced in an acoustic piano will perform much better, but sure, I can't prove that and it may be a matter of personal opinion/believe.

I'm always up for a good thought experiment. Yes I think a student that got to only ever play on an excellent concert grand piano would have the edge, I would sure hope so.

Now lets try for another one. Let say we have two identical girls, both 12 years old, and both go to the best teacher in the city and are the best student of their teacher. Surely on track for conservatories, prizes and greatness. But they will need to spend the next 5 years practising at home. Unfortunately their families are not millionaires, they only have a budget of $6,000. The instrument will need to be put in their suburban home with neighbours and if they go with an acoustic instrument they will only be able to practise as much as their two parents and two siblings can stand.

Now tell me, in this scenario, what would give the student the best chance. A high end digital, a decent-ish upright, or a cheap small grand piano?

Because this is the scenario 99% of parents and students find themselves in, not simply a choice between an excellent concert grand and a digital piano.

Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
Tyrone Slothrop #2899841 10/13/19 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

You haven't read what I linked about what computerpro3 wrote.

I am sorry, I didn't notice that there was a link there.
Ok, I think I understand his experience. I have played in a few hybrids and the new ones pretty amazing. Last week I played in a Yamaha CX3 with the silent system and it can really offer the best of both worlds. The older models had an escapement adjustment issue that made the action less precise, compared to a pure acoustic piano. But nowadays they have this new system, which I don't know exactly how it works, that makes the touch identical.

Anyway, maybe in the future, the concert pianists will prefer to perform using a similar setting than the one computerpro3 describes. I think the consistency in sound and touch that can be achieved in such hybrid models might be the thing that made him fell in love with that instrument. But when I said that a digital instrument can't accurately replicate all the nuances of an acoustic piano tone, it also means that they can suppress those nuances that are undesirable, and maybe that is also why computerpro3 ended up preferring the digitally produced sound. There are physical limits to the acoustic instrument tone projection, and when you start reaching those limits you may produce a harsh/unpleasant sound. If you are sampling the sound of an instrument you may want to keep the recordings within those limits.

I think that might be a concrete example of how a DP can harm the development of the technique of producing a nice tone. You can play as hard as you want in DP and the sound quality will not decay, which is not true for an acoustic piano (especially a small acoustic piano, with a limited dynamic range). Also, the way the different materials resonate when different combinations of harmonics are produced may have an unpleasant effect, and it is part of the pianist's job to be able to adapt to those issues and voice different notes accordingly. Regarding touch, the hybrid actually uses essentially the same mechanism than an normal acoustic piano. If it is a fast, precise, well-regulated mechanism, then there is no wonder that one might prefer playing his own instrument than an unknown/unfamiliar concert grand, especially when the sound has been artificially adjusted to one's preference.


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Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
Morodiene #2899852 10/13/19 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by facdo
. . . Usually, they just change the volume, from a limited set of samples.


Take a look at the old "DPBSD" thread, which has spectral measurements of a large number of DP's. It deals with this question at length.

What the makers learned to do:

. . . Sample the original acoustic piano at several velocities,

. . . and then _blend_ the samples during playback, for "intermediate-velocity" key-strikes.

So the sound generator's timbre changes quasi-continuously, as MIDI velocity increases.

If your DP doesn't behave that way, and has sudden transitions in timbre, it has an obsolete sound generator. (I think it's an FP-30, and it should be OK.)

The same technique is used in sample-based VST's.

A similar technique was used (for a long time) in velocity-sensitive synths:

. . . the bandpass of the low-pass filter was increased, as velocity increased.

So loud notes had more high-frequency content than soft notes. Not perfect, but much better than sudden transitions of timbre.


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Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
Morodiene #2899857 10/13/19 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by facdo
. . . You can play as hard as you want in DP and the sound quality will not decay, which is not true for an acoustic piano (especially a small acoustic piano, with a limited dynamic range). . . .


If you mean "the sound quality will not get worse" :

When I've played Roland "SuperNatural" DP's, I found that with the "normal" touch setting, the tone quality became really harsh and metallic during "f"-"ff" playing.

Switching the touch to "hard" moved that transition into the "ff"-"fff" region, closer to an acoustic piano's behavior (IMHO).

If you can't get a nasty sound out of your FP-30, you must have a really gentle touch!

You may mean something else -- in which case, ignore this.


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Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
AndrewJCW #2899863 10/13/19 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene

There's obviously no way to answer that. But my guess is that anyone who practices on an upright, digital piano, or small grand (under 5'5") and have never had a lot of experience on a large grand would have some issues when switching to a concert grand. I remember when I restarted lessons as an adult, I had an upright and my teacher made a comment that if only I had a grand piano I'd be able to do more. When I was able to get a grand piano, I knew immediately what she meant.

Prior to this, I didn't even know what was possible musically. It opened up many doors, and that was exciting and rejuvenating. In this respect, I don't think digitals are any worse musically than uprights in their limitations.

This does not mean that a person should be forbidden from studying piano with me because they cannot afford the ideal instrument. Nor does it mean that they will be completely inept or have their technique damaged as a result. I just encourage people to buy the best piano they can reasonably afford.

It is interesting, my teacher said the same thing, that if I have a grand piano I would be able to do more.

Thanks for your input, I think this is a very interesting topic. I must say I don't really like digital pianos, and I did make some effort to like them, playing in all the models that I could find. I think a good upright can be better than any DP, but that doesn't mean that they don't have their merits. In cases where there are budget, space and/or noise restrictions, sure, DPs are awesome. The fact that even cheaper models can have a nice touch and sound, making the instrument accessible for a larger audience, is a great thing. The discussion was if it can be harmful to the student technique, and I think you answered that very well in your video. But I just think that practicing in a nice acoustic piano is preferable, in most cases.


Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by facdo


I propose a thought experiment. Take two twin brothers (or sisters), created in the same environment, and start teaching piano to them. They should have the same teacher, learn the same repertoire and practice for the same amount of time. One will only play in a top of the line digital piano and the other will only play in an excellent concert grand piano. After several years they are asked to play for an audience. Which brother/sister do you think will give a better performance? I know that there are many other factors influencing the outcome but let's just assume ideal conditions for a thought experiment. I believe the one that practiced in an acoustic piano will perform much better, but sure, I can't prove that and it may be a matter of personal opinion/believe.

You are comparing top of the line digital to top of the line acoustic, as if people are saying they are both equally good. As far as I can tell, no one has said that, including myself.

So let's compare apples to apples: if one sibling learns on an upright and one learns on a high-end DP, which would give a better performance? My answer to this question would have much more to do with the strengths and weaknesses of each student and less to do with their practice instrument.


Hum, yes, I see your point, but I don't know. I still think that learning in an nice acoustic instrument (could be a well-regulated/ tuned upright) would give you an advantage. But if you consider a high-end DP vs a good upright, the difference in the performance wouldn't be as dramatic as in the original thought experiment that I proposed.

Originally Posted by Morodiene

Quote
Again, I am just sharing my opinion and I am by no means an authority on this subject. I did a fair amount of research about this before buying my DP and the verdict was that it is totally acceptable to practice in a nice digital piano, and it doesn't even have to be a top of the line instrument. I just think a nice grand piano will always be better (which should be obvious) and I believe a student is able to progress more by practicing in a nice acoustic instrument. I must emphasize the word "nice" in that sentence, meaning new and well maintained/tuned/regulated instruments, manufactured by brands that are committed to delivering high-quality pianos. Unfortunately, that is not accessible to everyone and the DP is an excellent option for those who can't have a nice acoustic. But for those who can and are very demanding about the level of skill they want to reach, I think at some point they should get a grand piano, and the sooner the better.

Also, you are using your experience with an entry-level digital piano and assuming all digitals are similar. You are correct in stating the limitations of your instrument, but there are far better digitals, so it doesn't follow that every digital will respond as yours does.


Yes, but that is the thing, I did play on several different DP before buying the one I have. Even the high-end models, I don't think they are much better, considering how much more they cost. I would never trade my upright piano for any DP in the market (disregarding hybrids).


Originally Posted by AndrewJCW
Originally Posted by facdo
I propose a thought experiment. Take two twin brothers ...

I'm always up for a good thought experiment. Yes I think a student that got to only ever play on an excellent concert grand piano would have the edge, I would sure hope so.

Now lets try for another one. Let say we have two identical girls, both 12 years old, and both go to the best teacher in the city and are the best student of their teacher. Surely on track for conservatories, prizes and greatness. But they will need to spend the next 5 years practising at home. Unfortunately their families are not millionaires, they only have a budget of $6,000. The instrument will need to be put in their suburban home with neighbours and if they go with an acoustic instrument they will only be able to practise as much as their two parents and two siblings can stand.

Now tell me, in this scenario, what would give the student the best chance. A high end digital, a decent-ish upright, or a cheap small grand piano?

Because this is the scenario 99% of parents and students find themselves in, not simply a choice between an excellent concert grand and a digital piano.


Haha, that is a good one!
It might be possible to buy a hybrid piano with $6000. If so, I think that would yield the best performance. Otherwise, if the girl with the acoustic piano can't practice nearly as much as the one with the DP, then having a high-end DP would be preferable. So, I don't know: Hybrid > High-end DP > good upright piano > sluggish small grand (where I live, with that amount of money you can't find decent grands, even the smaller ones).



Ok, I am done with sharing controversy thoughts for the day. I got to practice and record my weekly piece smile


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Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
Charles Cohen #2899869 10/13/19 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Originally Posted by facdo
. . . Usually, they just change the volume, from a limited set of samples.


Take a look at the old "DPBSD" thread, which has spectral measurements of a large number of DP's. It deals with this question at length.

What the makers learned to do:

. . . Sample the original acoustic piano at several velocities,

. . . and then _blend_ the samples during playback, for "intermediate-velocity" key-strikes.

So the sound generator's timbre changes quasi-continuously, as MIDI velocity increases.

If your DP doesn't behave that way, and has sudden transitions in timbre, it has an obsolete sound generator. (I think it's an FP-30, and it should be OK.)

The same technique is used in sample-based VST's.

A similar technique was used (for a long time) in velocity-sensitive synths:

. . . the bandpass of the low-pass filter was increased, as velocity increased.

So loud notes had more high-frequency content than soft notes. Not perfect, but much better than sudden transitions of timbre.





In my understanding that is only done for high-end models. I am pretty sure my FP-30 only has 3 samples and I think I can hear the sudden transition of timbre (sorry, that is the right word, not tone, right? English is not my native language). I just did a quick test here, it definitely sounds like 3 layers.


Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Originally Posted by facdo
. . . You can play as hard as you want in DP and the sound quality will not decay, which is not true for an acoustic piano (especially a small acoustic piano, with a limited dynamic range). . . .


If you mean "the sound quality will not get worse" :

When I've played Roland "SuperNatural" DP's, I found that with the "normal" touch setting, the tone quality became really harsh and metallic during "f"-"ff" playing.

Switching the touch to "hard" moved that transition into the "ff"-"fff" region, closer to an acoustic piano's behavior (IMHO).

If you can't get a nasty sound out of your FP-30, you must have a really gentle touch!

You may mean something else -- in which case, ignore this.



Actually, I never changed the original setting. I will try to switch the touch to the "hard" mode, thanks for the suggestion. It does have a metallic, slightly unpleasant sound, but I think that is due to the "lower quality" sample, it is not due to acoustic sound degradation. If you press harder that effect won't become worse and the sound won't get louder.


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Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
Morodiene #2899870 10/13/19 04:16 PM
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To my mind, the biggest advantage of acoustics for beginners is the fact that there's only one way to change their sound (volume and tone quality) - with your playing. OK, you can play with the lid up or down, or move the piano around, put padding in the room to deaden the acoustic etc, but essentially, you have to learn to control the sound with the movements of your fingers and every other part of your body that contribute to those movements.

All too often, beginners (and not just beginners) twiddle the knobs and levers on DPs to adjust the sound quality and volume, "touch sensitivity", etc to their liking (or to their parents' liking), and then wonder why they cannot successfully transition to an acoustic. Any acoustic. If my parents had their way, and I was practicing on a digital at home when I was a kid, I'd never have become the pianist I now am (mediocre, but still good enough for my needs wink ) because they'd have turned the volume right down (so that they could listen to the TV in peace) but not given me decent headphones. Luckily, DPs (as we know them today) weren't around then.......

The second biggest advantage of acoustics is that if you bang, their sound goes harsh. Bang as hard as you like on any sampled digital (including the most expensive so-called 'hybrids') and you still get nice sounds. Loud but still inoffensive. And their tonal variation from ppp to fff (assuming they allow such a wide variation in dynamics) is limited to what the manufacturer has chosen to sample.

Experienced pianists have no difficulty adjusting (including practising repetitive stuff at low volume to save their ears, often the biggest advantage of digitals for them), but beginners - unless they have regular access to decent acoustics - may not. Testimonies from experienced classical pianists (all of whom cut their teeth on acoustics, or had plenty of regular access to them when they were students) about the benefits of practicing on digitals need to be seen in that light.

Teachers therefore need to lay down some ground rules for students (and their parents) using DPs and who have no regular access to acoustics to avoid the problems with developing good finger control of tone and dynamics.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
Morodiene #2899890 10/13/19 05:45 PM
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We should learn to play on a digital because sooner or later they will replace acoustic. Ok probably not in university or concert hall but everywhere else.



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Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
bennevis #2899933 10/13/19 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
. . .

Teachers therefore need to lay down some ground rules for students (and their parents) using DPs and who have no regular access to acoustics to avoid the problems with developing good finger control of tone and dynamics.


+1.

The teacher needs to understand the tool, and its dangers, and its correct use.


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Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
Morodiene #2900060 10/14/19 08:31 AM
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The issue I've had with students learning on digitals is that the volume can be turned down. Both students had a parent who would tell them to "turn it down" - which they did, but played "louder" to compensate. When they got to a real piano, they couldn't control their technique.

One of them, once it was explained to them, the parents were understanding that the digital had to sound like a proper piano volume, not a whisper - I lost contact with the other, so I'm not sure how that worked out.

It's a bit like playing a Digital Pipe Organ - I play in 4 different Churches, 3 on Pipe Organs, the other has a very nice Digital (better and bigger than any of the Pipe Organs). But it's played as though it is a Pipe Organ.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
backto_study_piano #2900066 10/14/19 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
The issue I've had with students learning on digitals is that the volume can be turned down. Both students had a parent who would tell them to "turn it down" - which they did, but played "louder" to compensate. When they got to a real piano, they couldn't control their technique.

One of them, once it was explained to them, the parents were understanding that the digital had to sound like a proper piano volume, not a whisper - I lost contact with the other, so I'm not sure how that worked out.

It's a bit like playing a Digital Pipe Organ - I play in 4 different Churches, 3 on Pipe Organs, the other has a very nice Digital (better and bigger than any of the Pipe Organs). But it's played as though it is a Pipe Organ.

Yes, I tell my students that it's better to use the speakers vs headphones all the time, and to have the volume up at around 75-80%. With headphones, one does have to adjust things lower to protect the ears. This is a unique issue that the digital piano presents, for sure.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
Morodiene #2900132 10/14/19 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
The issue I've had with students learning on digitals is that the volume can be turned down. Both students had a parent who would tell them to "turn it down" - which they did, but played "louder" to compensate. When they got to a real piano, they couldn't control their technique.

One of them, once it was explained to them, the parents were understanding that the digital had to sound like a proper piano volume, not a whisper - I lost contact with the other, so I'm not sure how that worked out.

It's a bit like playing a Digital Pipe Organ - I play in 4 different Churches, 3 on Pipe Organs, the other has a very nice Digital (better and bigger than any of the Pipe Organs). But it's played as though it is a Pipe Organ.

Yes, I tell my students that it's better to use the speakers vs headphones all the time, and to have the volume up at around 75-80%. With headphones, one does have to adjust things lower to protect the ears. This is a unique issue that the digital piano presents, for sure.


But, the headphones (along with other things) is a major reason to GET a digital. Never mind the price of an acoustic, and I don't have neighbours, but my marriage would be long over if it wasn't for the headphones! Hours and hours of the same few bars of music, which of course sounds nothing like music when you start out with them... I couldn't handle listening to that either LOL


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I pray, that tomorrow I may strive to be a little better than I am today - and, on behalf of everybody else, I give thanks for headphones.
Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
Morodiene #2900680 10/16/19 05:25 AM
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After seeing the same discussion in the piano forum about key actions and digital pianos, I was going to reply there. But in the end I think the comment more belongs in this thread.

I think we just need to play on a variety of pianos, digital or otherwise, to get use to the fact that they are all different. There is no "acoustic" action a DP can emulate. Even within the same model of acoustic the actions will differ and diverge further once the pianos leave the factory. I just think we are having the wrong discussion. The issue is about learning to be able to adapt from one key action to another. Being able to adjust our play to the instrument that is before us, not about is it a DP or acoustic.

The think DP versus acoustic is a false dichotomy.

Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
KevinM #2900683 10/16/19 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
After seeing the same discussion in the piano forum about key actions and digital pianos, I was going to reply there. But in the end I think the comment more belongs in this thread.

I think we just need to play on a variety of pianos, digital or otherwise, to get use to the fact that they are all different. There is no "acoustic" action a DP can emulate. Even within the same model of acoustic the actions will differ and diverge further once the pianos leave the factory. I just think we are having the wrong discussion. The issue is about learning to be able to adapt from one key action to another. Being able to adjust our play to the instrument that is before us, not about is it a DP or acoustic.

The think DP versus acoustic is a false dichotomy.

I couldn't agree more!


Roland LX706

South Wales, UK
Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
KevinM #2900750 10/16/19 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
After seeing the same discussion in the piano forum about key actions and digital pianos,

Your are talking about this discussion that Jethro and I are having. Jethro is a much more advanced pianist than I am. I will grant he might actually be sensing stuff that is there which I don't sense at my level of piano development. But I would like the arguments to be articulated and supported. Having him repeat in multiple places that digitals are better than acoustics and that beginners should play a beatup acoustic over a digital does not do that. No matter how many times he repeats the assertion without any supporting evidence or what I consider, a cogent argument.


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Re: Myths 7 & 8 are up!
Morodiene #2900759 10/16/19 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
With digital pianos becoming a favorite option for adult beginners will space concerns or they don't want to disturb family members/neighbors, a big question comes up as to whether or not this will harm their technique. Most of you already know what side of this debate I fall on, but let me know what you think about Myth #8. smile


Oh noes, you've been referred to as a video teacher. LOL. But for us beginners over here on this thread, can you answer his last question? Do you believe acoustics are better to develop technique on than digitals, even high end ones, and if so, why?


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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