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#3210165 04/17/22 04:46 PM
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When playing am i trying to press the keys above the set off point or am i trying to press past the point but not hit the keybed?

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Gentle #3210166 04/17/22 04:57 PM
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You need to follow through - you should always reach the keybed. Just note that when you reach the keybed you should stop pressing almost completely, just leave a fraction to keep the key down. It takes time to get used to it but it will protect your hands.
If you're a beginner I recommend not to think about the escapement at all.

Last edited by Ido; 04/17/22 05:04 PM.

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Gentle #3210186 04/17/22 06:43 PM
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No, no, I have to hold the piano down so the keys don't fly up and hit me in the face! Lots of tension, that's the key!

Just kidding! I had a teacher ask me once if I was trying to keep the keys from flying up - so I am guilty. I don't do that anymore...

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Gentle #3210201 04/17/22 07:52 PM
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I spent two weeks in hospital after getting hit in the face with the key rebounding. Now, jokes aside --- you can always push down as much as you like to begin with - as a test. And then later think about some physical conditions, such as what happens if pushing too hard with the fingers for particular situations --- particular pieces of music, such as fast-enough moving key bits of music, where pushing down too much could mean time-delay, lags, inefficiency etc. Obviously pushing down 'relatively' too softly could mean control issues too. So - after a while, we usually get the picture of calibrating the fingers/body etc to push the key enough to achieve an objective, or a set of objectives.

Ido #3210261 04/18/22 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Ido
You need to follow through - you should always reach the keybed.
For very very soft playing I think it's better to play just past the escapement. Especially very soft and fast playing where you don't have time to follow through. Not that it's something I would conciously think about though.

Originally Posted by Ido
If you're a beginner I recommend not to think about the escapement at all.
Agreed but not just for beginners. I don't think it's useful at all to think about piano playing in such a mechanical way. You should experiment hands on at the piano to find out how to produce the sound you want but theoretical discussions of the piano mechanism will get you nowhere.

Bart K #3210272 04/18/22 06:24 AM
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Reaching the bottom of the key is integral part of playing and correct technique. The bottom of the key serves several purposes:
1. a tactile, physical signal to your hand/finger to cease application of energy to the key
2. a place to rest on in case you linger on the note.
3. a place on which the arm weight rests - even when you play fast, the arm weight is effectively moving from one key bed to the other.
4. it gives more control because it is well defined, rather than 'somewhere along the travel of the key', which varies across different pianos.

Not reaching the bottom of the key will cause your arm to hover over the keys. This means muscles or holding it back and can cause injuries.


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Ido #3210295 04/18/22 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Ido
Reaching the bottom of the key is integral part of playing and correct technique. The bottom of the key serves several purposes:
1. a tactile, physical signal to your hand/finger to cease application of energy to the key
2. a place to rest on in case you linger on the note.
3. a place on which the arm weight rests - even when you play fast, the arm weight is effectively moving from one key bed to the other.
4. it gives more control because it is well defined, rather than 'somewhere along the travel of the key', which varies across different pianos.

Not reaching the bottom of the key will cause your arm to hover over the keys. This means muscles or holding it back and can cause injuries.
Well, I disagree but like I said, it's not really useful to think in mechanical terms like this. It's better to listen to the sound you want to produce and search for a physically comfortable way of achieving that sound.

Gentle #3210353 04/18/22 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Gentle
When playing am i trying to press the keys above the set off point or am i trying to press past the point but not hit the keybed?
This is an interesting question. The reason people go down to the keybed is because it's virtually impossible to get real control and feedback just playing to the point of escapement. You can do it, especially for fast passages. I agree that it does feel somewhat paradoxical that you spend less effort by seemingly spending more effort than necessary (going down to the keybed and having to hold up weight with your fingers).

Gentle #3210432 04/18/22 09:52 PM
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I agree that most of the time you will end up resting on the keybed. But that doesn’t mean that is where you kind of aim to be - it’s just where you tend to come to rest for practical reasons.

I was taught to mentally aim for the “point of sound” which is slightly above the keybed. Sure, your momentum on slower notes usually carries you through to the keybed, but that isn’t the important thing.

I believe Taubman approach teaches this concept.


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scirocco #3210440 04/18/22 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by scirocco
I was taught to mentally aim for the “point of sound” which is slightly above the keybed. Sure, your momentum on slower notes usually carries you through to the keybed, but that isn’t the important thing.
I think this concept is flawed. You want to rest on the keybed, and this is what I've seen many pianists recommend. Aiming for the point of sound will increase fatigue because you will tend to decelerate and suspend the arm more after you reach that point.

ranjit #3210465 04/19/22 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ranjit
I think this concept is flawed. You want to rest on the keybed, and this is what I've seen many pianists recommend. Aiming for the point of sound will increase fatigue because you will tend to decelerate and suspend the arm more after you reach that point.

It’s not that you avoid reaching and resting on the keybed, far from it. The “point of sound” is just a visualisation for those beginners who tend to smash the key into the bed and need to learn to relax just a fraction earlier in the stroke.

When I started out each keystroke was like a wrestler landing on top of another as the key went down. Mentally aiming just that bit higher means I hit the keybed more softly these days.

It might not be a useful visualisation for someone who tends to “float” above the keys.


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Gentle #3210491 04/19/22 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Gentle
When playing am i trying to press the keys above the set off point or am i trying to press past the point but not hit the keybed?
You should be aiming to press the keys all the way until you are able to relax between the let-off and the bedding. This will come with experience.

Once the hammer is released the key goes light. The fingers can feel this and the brain can process it quickly. Whether or not you bed the key doesn't affect the sound after this point but aiming for the key bed may effect how you reach the point of let-off and thus affect the sound.

It is better for beginners to aim for the key bed, especially if they've a light touch and prone to ghosting, but more experienced pianists can go for the point of sound, feeling the let-off and reducing tension immediately so that landing on the key bed is without tension.

The point is not about reaching the key bed but how you reach it - if you reach it.

The initial impetus on the key surface can be enough that the experienced pianist is sure the hammer will hit the strings and can release tension even before the let-off. There's simply no point pressing the key further as it slows down the playing. The key itself will probably bed at this stage but the finger may have already moved on.


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zrtf90 #3210507 04/19/22 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
Originally Posted by Gentle
When playing am i trying to press the keys above the set off point or am i trying to press past the point but not hit the keybed?
You should be aiming to press the keys all the way until you are able to relax between the let-off and the bedding. This will come with experience.

Once the hammer is released the key goes light. The fingers can feel this and the brain can process it quickly. Whether or not you bed the key doesn't affect the sound after this point but aiming for the key bed may effect how you reach the point of let-off and thus affect the sound.

It is better for beginners to aim for the key bed, especially if they've a light touch and prone to ghosting, but more experienced pianists can go for the point of sound, feeling the let-off and reducing tension immediately so that landing on the key bed is without tension.

The point is not about reaching the key bed but how you reach it - if you reach it.

The initial impetus on the key surface can be enough that the experienced pianist is sure the hammer will hit the strings and can release tension even before the let-off. There's simply no point pressing the key further as it slows down the playing. The key itself will probably bed at this stage but the finger may have already moved on.

This.

Where is the like button in this site??


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zrtf90 #3210619 04/19/22 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
Originally Posted by Gentle
When playing am i trying to press the keys above the set off point or am i trying to press past the point but not hit the keybed?
You should be aiming to press the keys all the way until you are able to relax between the let-off and the bedding. This will come with experience.

Once the hammer is released the key goes light. The fingers can feel this and the brain can process it quickly. Whether or not you bed the key doesn't affect the sound after this point but aiming for the key bed may effect how you reach the point of let-off and thus affect the sound.

It is better for beginners to aim for the key bed, especially if they've a light touch and prone to ghosting, but more experienced pianists can go for the point of sound, feeling the let-off and reducing tension immediately so that landing on the key bed is without tension.

The point is not about reaching the key bed but how you reach it - if you reach it.

The initial impetus on the key surface can be enough that the experienced pianist is sure the hammer will hit the strings and can release tension even before the let-off. There's simply no point pressing the key further as it slows down the playing. The key itself will probably bed at this stage but the finger may have already moved on.
There are differing opinions on this from what I've seen. There's the concept of transferring the weight between fingers, and if you let go completely just as soon as you reach the point of actuation, it will make it more difficult to play the next note. What I've seen most pianists do is more akin to a crane and a bridge.

https://aw4piano.info/en/info2/03

However, in some situations I've seen people go to the point of actuation, but this almost inevitably results in less control.

Gentle #3210682 04/20/22 02:44 AM
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Hummel says you can keybed on a Viennese action (about 5mm) but that's about it.


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Gentle #3210708 04/20/22 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ranjit
There are differing opinions on this from what I've seen. There's the concept of transferring the weight between fingers, and if you let go completely just as soon as you reach the point of actuation, it will make it more difficult to play the next note.
My emphasis. You've quoted my whole post so I'm guessing it's last paragraph that's causing confusion.

I suspect you've misunderstood the last paragraph as normal playing. Transferring weight is for normal playing. When using finger action, for example, the turn ornaments in the opening of Haydn's Hob XVI/1 in C, using arm weight and bedding the keys might be too slow. There are better examples of what I have in mind but as I can't think of another right now this should do to make the point.



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Ido #3210745 04/20/22 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Ido
Originally Posted by zrtf90
Originally Posted by Gentle
When playing am i trying to press the keys above the set off point or am i trying to press past the point but not hit the keybed?
You should be aiming to press the keys all the way until you are able to relax between the let-off and the bedding. This will come with experience.

Once the hammer is released the key goes light. The fingers can feel this and the brain can process it quickly. Whether or not you bed the key doesn't affect the sound after this point but aiming for the key bed may effect how you reach the point of let-off and thus affect the sound.

It is better for beginners to aim for the key bed, especially if they've a light touch and prone to ghosting, but more experienced pianists can go for the point of sound, feeling the let-off and reducing tension immediately so that landing on the key bed is without tension.

The point is not about reaching the key bed but how you reach it - if you reach it.

The initial impetus on the key surface can be enough that the experienced pianist is sure the hammer will hit the strings and can release tension even before the let-off. There's simply no point pressing the key further as it slows down the playing. The key itself will probably bed at this stage but the finger may have already moved on.

This.

Where is the like button in this site??

I would second that. I thought this was a well articulated response from which I learned something new. Thank you z90.


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