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Does hitting the key to hard damage the acoustic piano? Like smashing the bass notes for example...

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Your post begs the question: Why would anyone want to "hit" or "smash" any keys on any piano?

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Originally Posted by Muz1234
Does hitting the key to hard damage the acoustic piano? Like smashing the bass notes for example...

At times, every great musician asks for the absolute most a piano can give. The piano does not know the difference between that musician or a child pounding on a key with his/her fist. A fine piano is made to take a little abuse.

However, a lot of abuse will damage a piano.

My 2 cents,


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Originally Posted by Muz1234
Does hitting the key to hard damage the acoustic piano? Like smashing the bass notes for example...
What do you think?


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Originally Posted by Muz1234
Does hitting the key to hard damage the acoustic piano? Like smashing the bass notes for example...

Just google this ----- 'broken string piano causes'

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I've wondered about that very same thing myself.

In fact, I thought I was a pounder, until I saw a very well known, world renowned, highly reputable concert piano technician tuning my Yamaha C7. I was astonished at how hard they hit the keys while doing the test blows during the tuning. In fact, I asked if that would damage my piano, and they said no, the hard test blows is how they achieve good tuning stability.

After that, I didn't feel so bad about my hard-pounding oldies rock-n-roll style boogie chops and my boogie-woogie playing on my pianos... smile

Rick


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Muz
It appears that you have decided to troll the forum: one post’ did 9/11 really kill roller boarding’ and now this one about bashing piano keys. Hope I’m
Wrong


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I can damage almost anything with a rageful smash, including pianos.


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Yes it will. Actually even a little abuse can knock out the regulation, the tuning, and the voicing. After one recital where a pianist gets a little over enthusiastic a piano can feel different - not necessary damaged in that a technician can re-set it easily if it's in good shape to begin with.

The way a lot of students practice in institutions is with an extremely heavy touch, slamming into the keys, on the same passage, for hours and hours. These pianos start to fail quickly. They need tuned far more often, and the constant slamming into the strings jars the pin block and bridges over time, the constant tuning weakens the pin torque. The hammers wear down very quickly, the felts compress in other areas of the action, springs become loose and eventually need replaced. A piano that has been in an institution for 10 years is often more worn out than a domestic piano after 50 years. It is beyond me why students practice like this. Yes, there is a place for heavy repetitive practice but what I'm seeing a lot is that for many students, this is the only thing they do, and they make that 90 percent of their work with 10 percent being dedicated to artistry. It's the wrong way around, and they wonder why they all get injured.... with both tendonitis and tinnitus! Just saying....

A child slamming their fists onto a piano is also something to be avoided. Over time this really damages pianos. Yes, a fine piano is designed to take some abuse, but when it keeps happening it really messes things up. Also, I can tell when a piano has been pounded because I'm hyper sensitive to touch (both in pianos and in life, gets tiring actually) and I'm hyper sensitive to the relationship between touch and sound, something else I wish I could dial down, and when a piano isn't in optimum condition I can sense it immediately and I basically start to phase out of what I'm playing and just try to get over it. Yup, I know, I should be more adaptable if I want to function in the real world!

Last edited by Joseph Fleetwood; 06/25/22 03:29 PM. Reason: I hadn't actually finished writing when I clicked send... must have ham hands after all...

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Well, I say I play my pianos hard, but in reality, I've seen Classical pianists rare back and pound the keys like they had a hammer driving a nail. So, maybe I'm not as hard on my pianos as I think. I've seen others play harder, and in person.

On the other hand, if one can't enjoy their piano for fear of it being too delicate, maybe they need a digital piano. Yea, there is a line that can be crossed, I suppose, and damage can occur from hard playing.

Also, FWIW, my grandchildren have indeed taken their little fist and hit my piano pianos keys hard with their fist, and would laugh about it. I would scold them and ask them not to do that again, and I'd show them how to play the keys more properly, and reasonably. But they are children, and need to learn and be taught; they like to explore and have adventure just like everyone else.

I've also caught them running a toy car or truck, or tractor, or dinosaur, across the keys, or hitting the keys with a toy. I tell them not to do that, and I watch them closely when they are around my pianos. My older two grandchildren have outgrown that stage a long while ago, but the two youngest are at that age now.

Pianos are delicate, but they are also durable. But if you want a nice piano as a piece of furniture, they also make a nice piece of furniture. I suppose you can go from one extreme to the other. :-)

Rick


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Joseph,
If one is practicing mostly on the silent piano mode of a Yamaha,
is that spearing most wear and tear and need for regulation and …and there is a somewhat longer time before needed tuning and voicing?
Thx

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Originally Posted by Rickster
Well, I say I play my pianos hard, but in reality, I've seen Classical pianists rare back and pound the keys like they had a hammer driving a nail. So, maybe I'm not as hard on my pianos as I think. I've seen others play harder, and in person.

On the other hand, if one can't enjoy their piano for fear of it being too delicate, maybe they need a digital piano. Yea, there is a line that can be crossed, I suppose, and damage can occur from hard playing.

Also, FWIW, my grandchildren have indeed taken their little fist and hit my piano pianos keys hard with their fist, and would laugh about it. I would scold them and ask them not to do that again, and I'd show them how to play the keys more properly, and reasonably. But they are children, and need to learn and be taught; they like to explore and have adventure just like everyone else.

I've also caught them running a toy car or truck, or tractor, or dinosaur, across the keys, or hitting the keys with a toy. I tell them not to do that, and I watch them closely when they are around my pianos. My older two grandchildren have outgrown that stage a long while ago, but the two youngest are at that age now.

Pianos are delicate, but they are also durable. But if you want a nice piano as a piece of furniture, they also make a nice piece of furniture. I suppose you can go from one extreme to the other. :-)

Rick
Joseph,
If one is practicing mostly on the silent piano mode of a Yamaha,
is that spearing most wear and tear and need for regulation and …and there is a somewhat longer time before needed tuning and voicing?
Thx

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Originally Posted by Rickster
I was astonished at how hard they hit the keys while doing the test blows during the tuning. In fact, I asked if that would damage my piano, and they said no, the hard test blows is how they achieve good tuning stability.
Interesting, I always wondered why some of the things my tuner does are so LOUD. He plays within a normal volume range, but the test patterns are sometimes really loud.


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In silent mode, you spare wear on the strings and hammer felts, but everything else still takes a beating. There have been some rare reports of hammer shanks failing earlier because of striking the stop rail, too.


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Originally Posted by Horowitz67
Joseph,
If one is practicing mostly on the silent piano mode of a Yamaha,
is that spearing most wear and tear and need for regulation and …and there is a somewhat longer time before needed tuning and voicing?
Thx

Well, you can still put the piano out of regulation, and the hammer shanks will be hitting the stopper rail instead of the hammer head hitting the strings so there is still impact. Any machine with heavy use will be subject to decline. The difference with the silent piano is you'll save the tuning and voicing when in silent mode. But perhaps students shouldn't practice with such a high-impact touch all the time.


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Try it and get back to us. I’m very curious,


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Yes, kick it hard.

And fist it.
I mean, punch it.


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Normally, there is not much resistance to the movement of the action parts. Because of that, they can take a lot of stress without damage. However, if parts are weak, the repeated stress that they do undergo can sometimes cause problems. Recently, a Steinway grand that I was. tuning broke glue joints in the jacks, which likely can be attributed as much to weak joints when they were first assembled as to the repeated playing of those notes. Keys occasionally break, due to weak grain or glue joints.

I try to play keys a little bit harder than normal playing, and I do break parts on rare occasions. I would rather it happen when I am there to fix it, than have it happen in the middle of a concert, or when it will take me a while to get back.


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How much abuse a piano can take will vary with the particular instrument. Age, type of piano, and condition all count.

A modern concert grand in top condition can take the kind of punishment necessary for a romantic concerto. An old 1900s with a brass flange rail, flattened hammers, and dry rot in the hammer shanks, not so much. Century-old glue joints can start to fail.

String breakage can depend on the scale design: Yamahas from certain periods (70s?) had high-tension scales that are prone to string breakage.
Flattened hammers are known to break strings.

Some beefy grand lyres/pedals can take abuse, and some can’t.

Recently I had to repair two broken key sticks on a spinet, which were damaged by kids pounding them.
The wood type and design (dogleg instead of straight etc) makes them vulnerable to abuse. A kid probably can’t break a spruce key on a good modern grand or quality vertical.

A 50s spinet with plastic parts (elbows, damper flanges) might be primed to fail with little provocation.

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When I see/hear her playing I sometimes ask myself how much this Bösendorfer can still take? It sounds a bit brutal at times wink Okay, let‘s say powerful smile

However, it doesn't seem to have reached his limits yet wink



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