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Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? #2922625 12/13/19 03:22 PM
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I’ve played various pianos over many years. I was taught to play quietly because my Mother did dictate that my practice time was not to give her a headache. Whenever I played someone else’s upright the touch was quite different than our Story&Clark upright and I found it harder to quickly adjust to a heavy touch than a medium or light touch. My first upright had a medium to light touch. I loved it. I could vary the dynamics with ease. My GB1 also had a light touch, which I loved. The guy next to me loved that walnut GB1 but found the touch too light so he selected a different one. Yay for me. When I traded for my C3, it’s touch is medium by measured down weight and the action operated smoothly. It was professionally regulated. It kept my fingers in shape to play most any other piano. My Estonia has an incredibly smooth Renner action. It seems somewhat lighter than myYamaha but I wasn’t sure if that was because of the silky feel. One of my piano friends played my piano a few days ago and commented how nice and easy and light the action felt and said that it would be good for my hands although I already have strong hands. It’s weird, but I really feel a tiny bit guilty enjoying a lighter action again. At this stage of the game I’m not doing recitals or classes anymore, so why not spoil my hands? grin


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Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: j&j] #2922632 12/13/19 03:40 PM
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Hmm.... I prefer a touch that is not mushy, and that feels smooth. Even some pianos that have a light touch can lack smoothness.... I also don't like it when it feels like the keys bottom out. I've played some older pianos that felt that way.

So what does "not mushy" mean... Not sure whome
I think it's a sense of responsiveness and control, like you can do both pp and ff and everything in between. So I think I prefer medium. Definitely not light because then it feels like the piano isn't responsive enough....

When I upgraded to a grand, I did have a period of adjustment where I felt like the action was a little heavier than my upright, but in retrospect I don't think it was heaviness actually, I think it was me feeling the action.... It's really hard to describe these things.

Anyway, my C2 would probably be best described as medium. I definitely don't want a piano with heavy action. While piano shopping I played a piano that was very heavy and I felt like if that was my piano, I would end up with an injury quite quickly!

When I was piano shopping, the piano I eventually bought had a touch and feel that I really liked a lot right away. But then I had my C2 regulated when I brought it home and that gave it a wonderful smoothness and evenness that I didn't realize it was missing. It was only after the regulation that I realized that it wasn't there beforehand...

Eventually I imagine I will have the opportunity to have someone else play my piano (besides me and my tuner) so I'll be curious to hear the opinion of others.


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: j&j] #2922649 12/13/19 04:18 PM
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I too like a medium keytouch... not too heavy and not too light. But to be honest, I'd rather have a heavier keytouch than a really light keytouch, for some reason. I like to feel the keys under my fingers.

Both my Yamaha C7 and my Baldwin R have an excellent keytouch. Better than any other pianos I've ever owned. My Howard (Kawai) 550 baby grand, that I gave to my granddaughter when she was 12, and now she's 16, and my son still hasn't found room in his house, but says they still want it, has a heavier keytouch. But it is not so heavy as to impair my playing or fatigue my fingers/hands over time.

The Church I'm a member of used to have a Baldwin 243 studio upright piano that had a keytouch so light, you could almost breath on the keys, and the note would sound. To me, that's too light, and difficult to control well.

Also, and this may sound gross to some, but I like for the keys of my pianos to be slightly sticky, and gripable. Not that I play well anytime, but I do not play well on a piano with a slippery feeling keytop. I read once that a certain famous composer (don't remember his name) didn't want anyone to clean the keytops on his piano, because he too liked that "gripable" feeling and not that "slippery" feeling.

I also like a keytop material that has a texture with a good feel/grip and is not real slippery.

So, in other words, I like a medium keytouch, with a nice grip to it... smile

Rick


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Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: j&j] #2922652 12/13/19 04:21 PM
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It was Horowitz that did not like cleaned keytops. His tech, Mohr, learned to spray them with hairspray as needed, so they were not slippery


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Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: j&j] #2922653 12/13/19 04:23 PM
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I prefer a heavy action maybe only because that's what I'm now used to with my RX-2 and SK-2. Heavy doesn't mean slow and I think you just have to get used to it. I find with a heavy action I have better control mostly because that's what my hand is used to and if it is too light I have a hard time controlling the action because it offers too little resistance for me after too many years of playing a heavy action.


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Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: j&j] #2922657 12/13/19 04:29 PM
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The question is not really clear because:

1. One person's idea of heavy can be another person's idea of medium or even light (and vice versa).
2. Touch weight does not really describe how an action feels. For example, it's possible to have a touch weight that's considered high but the the action feels light and responsive.

That being said I think something in the middle is best in terms of touch. Both very heavy and very light can cause problems.

Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: dogperson] #2922659 12/13/19 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
It was Horowitz that did not like cleaned keytops. His tech, Mohr, learned to spray them with hairspray as needed, so they were not slippery
It was Rubinstein,

Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: j&j] #2922664 12/13/19 04:45 PM
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Medium is best for me. People always say to practice on heavier action so you can get used to other pianos but once I encountered a piano with an action that was so light it completely threw me off, especially as the first movement was presto and I didn't get the chance to try out the instrument beforehand. So I guess it doesn't matter how heavy the action is.. ideally I should practice on the instrument I am going to perform but of course it's not always feasible so a middle ground (medium touch) is best for me.

Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: pianoloverus] #2922670 12/13/19 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The question is not really clear because:

1. One person's idea of heavy can be another person's idea of medium or even light (and vice versa).
2. Touch weight does not really describe how an action feels. For example, it's possible to have a touch weight that's considered high but the the action feels light and responsive.

That being said I think something in the middle is best in terms of touch. Both very heavy and very light can cause problems.

That's true. I'm not so sure if the Millenium action is considered a heavy action, but compared to Yamaha's people have often said the action of the Kawai was on the heavy side.

Last edited by Jethro; 12/13/19 04:56 PM.

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Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Chopin: G Minor Ballade
Schumann/Liszt Widmung

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Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: pianoloverus] #2922673 12/13/19 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by dogperson
It was Horowitz that did not like cleaned keytops. His tech, Mohr, learned to spray them with hairspray as needed, so they were not slippery
It was Rubinstein,

Hairspray on the keyboard?? My mother would be spinning in her grave at that thought!
cry


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Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: Jethro] #2922682 12/13/19 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The question is not really clear because:

1. One person's idea of heavy can be another person's idea of medium or even light (and vice versa).
2. Touch weight does not really describe how an action feels. For example, it's possible to have a touch weight that's considered high but the the action feels light and responsive.

That being said I think something in the middle is best in terms of touch. Both very heavy and very light can cause problems.

That's true. I'm not so sure if the Millenium action is considered a heavy action, but compared to Yamaha's people have often said the action of the Kawai was on the heavy side.


In my limited experience, I would agree that the millennium action is on the medium/heavy side (7/10). I’d say Yamaha U3 was closer to medium (5/10) and Bechstein A124 was light (4/10). Those are my observations. They could be totally different from others.

Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: j&j] #2922684 12/13/19 05:26 PM
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The voicing also effects the perceived touch. A particular piano voiced mellow will generally feel heavier than the same piano voiced bright.

Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: j&j] #2922697 12/13/19 06:53 PM
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The touch on my Sauter is neither heavy nor light .I think it is very responsive ,and that to me is very
important .The double repetition mechanism makes it feel very similar to a grand action and it improves repetition as well. It helps with playing quickly and softly.
I love the touch of Steinway grands and the buttery affect they give . The 2 times I tried Steinway uprights I did not not have a very successful experience when it came to touch or tone.
The one piano I tried was very new from the warehouse so perhaps that was the reason !
My first piano was a Seiler and it had a fairly low key resistance similar to some 80's Yamaha
upright pianos. The Yamaha grands had for me had a far better key resistance. New U1's have
a far better key resistance as well I think than the older ones.
Of course my Kawai grand had a fairly strong key resistance. However for many years it was a
very responsive instrument with a darker mellow tone.As it aged it became tougher and the
technician was always being called in. My Kawai upright(1984) at the moment has fairly good
touch.I have never liked slack touch.I once tried an Irmler upright and I thought it had the lowest
key resistance of any piano I have ever tried ! The tone was not bad .
Also I like some texture on the keys which my Sauter has.It also has wood (perhaps real ebony)
black keys .,This of course makes the keyboard less slippery.

Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: j&j] #2922699 12/13/19 06:58 PM
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I don't know how my preference would be classified, but I definitely like a bit of resistance in the keys because it provides some tactile feedback that allows me to better gauge and control my power. I find some pianos, if the keys are too light, are more difficult for me to play softly and with control over the dynamics; on these pianos everything tends to come out at forte. Too heavy, on the other hand can feel sluggish and laborious. So I guess I'd have to say I prefer pianos whose touch falls into my own personal 'goldilocks' zone.

Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: j&j] #2922718 12/13/19 09:42 PM
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I like the touch firm, smooth, even and not requiring a too slow key speed for soft playing.

I like the touch free and fabulously fast when I hit it hard.

I want the tone warm when soft but be able to still hear all the voices articulated. I want the tone to explode but not hurt the ears when loud and be able to project over any ensemble playing.

And I want to be able to "sing" when I play.


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Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2922726 12/13/19 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I like the touch firm, smooth, even and not requiring a too slow key speed for soft playing.

I like the touch free and fabulously fast when I hit it hard.

I want the tone warm when soft but be able to still hear all the voices articulated. I want the tone to explode but not hurt the ears when loud and be able to project over any ensemble playing.

And I want to be able to "sing" when I play.

Sing when you play ! So true !

Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: j&j] #2922818 12/14/19 10:37 AM
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I find Ed McMorrow's response extraordinary on so many levels. Oh that there were more like him.

As for myself, I rather tend to Arthur Rubinstein's preference for a slightly heavier action, in particular, in a strange, performance situation. Of course, it absolutely MUST have a fast and snappy return. Although I adore vintage Mason & Hamlin pianos, the old WN&G actions tended to be heavy going down and slow coming back. Not a happy combination. Light is nice, very nice for a senior but it really has to be even, as well as fast. Bechstein pianos used to have those qualities.

Just my preferences.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2923094 12/15/19 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I like the touch firm, smooth, even and not requiring a too slow key speed for soft playing.

I like the touch free and fabulously fast when I hit it hard.

I want the tone warm when soft but be able to still hear all the voices articulated. I want the tone to explode but not hurt the ears when loud and be able to project over any ensemble playing.

And I want to be able to "sing" when I play.


I do love that description. If I played acoustic pianos for a living I’d have to be readily adaptable to variety of different actions. As it is, I’m rarely ever asked to play my own home piano for others (there is a fundamental truth not well hidden in that statement which I accept (I still hate to resign myself to that but...)). In any case it’s fun to hear others preferences and reasons for those.


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Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2923108 12/15/19 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I like the touch firm, smooth, even and not requiring a too slow key speed for soft playing.

I like the touch free and fabulously fast when I hit it hard.

I want the tone warm when soft but be able to still hear all the voices articulated. I want the tone to explode but not hurt the ears when loud and be able to project over any ensemble playing.

And I want to be able to "sing" when I play.


I know......get an Estonia. From a very biased Estonia cult member. Sorry, I just could not resist. laugh


J & J
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Pianos - the reason God made trees!
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Re: Heavy, medium, or light touch? What’s your preference + why? [Re: j&j] #2923124 12/15/19 12:20 PM
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I agree there is everything in Ed's description ! We feel it in ourselves when we imagine playing perfectly on a wonderful piano! We are all subjective with our own pianos and our playing.,
Yet if we get near feeling like perfection we know we are OK and so are our pianos !!!
The tone and the action are inseparable.......

(I better stop ,or is it full moon again ? .,it would not matter because it is always so dark in North
Vancouver now so that you cannot see the moon anyway ?)

However .,it is a description of playing that I love !

.




.


Last edited by Lady Bird; 12/15/19 12:24 PM. Reason: Missing word
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