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Disturbed neighbors... #532670
05/06/07 02:08 PM
05/06/07 02:08 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 115
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wisredz Offline OP
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Hi all,

As you have guessed the neighbors are telling me or my family that they are being disturbed by my piano exercises' sounds. While I can practice with the night pedal, I do not wish to use it while working on something other than Hanon exercises, because it introduces extra weight on the keys and when I play accordingly that affects my playing, ie the dynamics...

So my father suggested getting a digital piano for my late practices. I'm actually enthusiastic about that because then I can have a piano in my room as well and still use the acoustic between 12.00 and 21.00. Though this does not happen much, sometimes my sister's practice coincides with mine but this is not so big a problem.

I'm not a fan of digitals. I do not think they can reproduce tone, t hat is color while playing. They are and will never be as good as an acoustic, but I do agree that in this case they can prove quite useful... Well it actually could extend my practice time. But I'm concerned about my technique as well. How good can they imitate the action of a real piano? Could practicing for a looong time on a digital have some bad effects on my playing on a real piano?

I would appreciate it very much if you could help me decide on the matter.

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Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532671
05/06/07 02:29 PM
05/06/07 02:29 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,278
Republic of Macedonia
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ecm Offline
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Republic of Macedonia
I've switched from a digital to an upright with a reason. One day, one year after having changed to an upright, I went to a friend's house that had a digital. I felt that I couldn't play even 1 note!!
It is good sometimes to have a digital but not for technique. I loose the touch all the time with a digital.

Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532672
05/06/07 03:55 PM
05/06/07 03:55 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,726
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Great pianists practiced on silent keyboards before digitals came along. There is always some aspect of your technique that you could work on using a digital.


Semipro Tech
Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532673
05/06/07 04:34 PM
05/06/07 04:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,703
NY-Madrid-Newfoundland (rhymes...
EHpianist Offline
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I bought myself a Yamaha P-80 six years ago, planning only to use it for one summer when I didn't have a piano available. It is one of the best investments I ever made. You won't regret it, especially since you will still have an acoustic available. The weight of the keys and the classical piano sound of the P-80 were amazingly good for a keyboard I can travel with and I found no deterioration of technique. If you can keep it stationary then you have more options.

Elena
www.duoscarbo.com


Schnabel's advie to Horowitz: "When a piece gets difficult, make faces."
Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532674
05/06/07 06:19 PM
05/06/07 06:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,483
Ohio, USA
signa Offline
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Ohio, USA
a lot of professional pianists have digital pianos, my teacher included. if a digital is bad for techniques, wouldn't a pro be the first to discard it? actually, it's easier to play on an acoustic than on a digital for certain pieces (difficult etudes especially), as my teacher mentioned. but if you can play on a digital, you wouldn't have much problem playing on an acoustic.

i'd suggest you go to some music stores to try out some latest digitals and see how they feel for you.

Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532675
05/07/07 02:16 AM
05/07/07 02:16 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,094
England
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swingal Offline
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England
I bought a Kawai ES4 a couple of months ago and for easy fingering and superb action (though not for tone timbre)they are fantastic, I would say however that you are in a different world with a piano keyboard and also that the ease of playing is at least 50% easier than an acoustic piano. It saves greatly on finger strain.

I saw, when on the cruise ship Minerva ll, at Xmas, the dance band used a keyboard on top of the music desk flat, and he played the acoustic bass left hand and the digital right hand. Not on all numbers probably the latin American rhythms.

I cannot say how pleased I am for buying this instrument, because it cannot annoy my wife and she was fed up with my hogging the sitting room where the Bosendorfer lives.

I would advise the stereo headhones too.

Alan

Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532676
05/07/07 05:51 AM
05/07/07 05:51 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,607
Manchester, UK
debrucey Offline
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Manchester, UK
I think it's silly to assume that digitals will never be as good as an acoustic. They used to think that a computer could never beat a man at chess, or that digital music would never replace vinyls. It may be a good number of decades, but at the rate theyre advancing its bound to happen one day.

Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532677
05/07/07 06:34 AM
05/07/07 06:34 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 128
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Witold Offline
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Digital pianos using the sample technology of today will never get that close to acoustic instruments. With the increase of computing power we will see huge developments in the field of physical modeling, which will eventually get closer to acoustic instruments. But I still doubt that we will ever see digital instruments that can perfectly model acoustical. There's too much going on within your piano when you press that key, so many different materials, surfaces and strings shape the sound with their resonant vibrations. Especially the attack, which is of uttermost importance when it comes to creating a realistic feel, will always cause problems for modelers. The chaotic vibrations at the instance when the hammer hits the string, especially if the string is already vibrating, are impossible to simulate with any known equations. Those are of course finesses that won't be recognized by every ear, I expect there to be digital pianos with a sound quality that can fool the random bypasser in the next few years. Then there is of course the problem of weighting the keys...

Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532678
05/07/07 07:19 AM
05/07/07 07:19 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 317
Wellington, New Zealand
bruceee Offline
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Wellington, New Zealand
I also have a digital (Clavinova CVP 301) as well as an acoustic. Great for late night practice, similar touch to the acoustic and some very passable piano imitations (IMHO). There is one-touch recording too, and all the other gizmos add an extra fun factor. Sure it's not exactly the same as the acoustic, but it's close enough.

There's a lot of psychology in digital vs acoustic, so don't rely on the opinions of others (especially mine!). Go try some modern digitals for yourself and then decide.

Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532679
05/07/07 09:53 AM
05/07/07 09:53 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 256
Houston, TX
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tjbsb Offline
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Houston, TX
Digital is perfect for silent practice. A decent digital's action is much better than the action on an acoustic when the mute is used. It will not hurt your acoustic technique assuming you practice on the acoustic a little every week.

Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532680
05/07/07 11:18 AM
05/07/07 11:18 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 373
Mesa, AZ
Mark Purney Offline
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Mesa, AZ
I would suggest trying the Clavinovas that have the Natural Keyboard, because they feel more realistic than the GH3 plastic keyboards. I haven't tried any of the full cabinet Kawai digitals, but they may be worth checking out, too.

If you're looking to get something in a "portable" stage piano format, the Kawai MP8 beats anything else out there. The action is great, but it just doesn't sound as good as a high end Clavinova.

A good digital will not hurt your technique, but can actually help it. By regularly adjusting to two different keyboards, your ability to adapt to other pianos will be improved, giving you more confidence when performing. Extending your practice schedule to all hours will increase your total practice time. Having a silent practice option might encourage you to spend more time doing slow and repetitive practice, knowing that you aren't torturing those around you. A digital will also reduce the wear and tear on your acoustic. Why beat up your nice acoustic just to do Hanon, or when learning new music?

Playing the piano is mostly mental and psychological, so your attitude will often dictate your results. If you really believe a digital piano will hurt your technique, it will probably hurt your technique. If you believe it can be a useful tool, you might discover that having a digital can help you achieve more as a pianist.

Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532681
05/07/07 11:30 AM
05/07/07 11:30 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 128
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Witold Offline
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Has anybody here got any experience of the Yamaha silent pianos? They seem quite ideal to me, being totally acoustic and transformable to digital by pressing the pedal.

Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532682
05/07/07 01:37 PM
05/07/07 01:37 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 450
Oh/Fla
playliszt Offline
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Oh/Fla
I'm away from my acoustic grand piano for 3 months each year at another residence.

It's a God-send to have a digital piano there to play on and practice. There are certainly differences in touch and technique used play each one but adapting between the two instruments has never taken more than a session or two.

A playing technique would seem to suffer far more by having nothing to practice on than even the worst-action piano.

You may prefer getting somewhere in a new Lexus or BMW, but as long as that 10-yr. old Chevy or Toyota runs, it'll get you there too.

Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532683
05/08/07 11:51 AM
05/08/07 11:51 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 115
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wisredz Offline OP
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First of all, thanks a lot for your advices and replies, I really appreciate it.

I have checked out two different digitals today one a Casio and the other a Yamaha, unfortunately I do not remember the model numbers right now. The first thing I noticed was the lack of an acoustic's key weight. The Yamaha offered three degrees of key weight and the hardest was still a bit lighter than my own acoustic, let alone my teacher's piano, which has unusually heavy keys. I then tested the dynamics and was pretty happy with it but the sforzandos were nowhere near that of an acoustic. They both had metronomes, which is something I actually do not need but it would help a lot while practicing late at night when my mechanical metronome's sound would be too much. The Yamaha had a lot of different instrument simulations as well. Altough this is somethin I do not need it could be cool to play Bach and hear it as a harpsichord...

I'm sure there are better ones out there but since I do not wish to spend a lot, these ones are the most adequates price-wise.

Thanks again for your answers.

Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532684
05/08/07 12:04 PM
05/08/07 12:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,726
Oakland
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What I notice is not so much the key weight, but the lack of complexity to the touch. An acoustic piano has various things happening at various points in the keystroke, whereas digitals tend only to be a simple lever.

Just remember that it will not be an exact duplicate of your piano's touch. Concentrate on the things that it can do for you.

The old silent keyboards would have a click at a certain point in the stroke, both going up and coming down. You could practice getting a perfect legato by trying to get the click coming down from one key to coincide with the click going up of the next. These are the sorts of things that you can practice.


Semipro Tech
Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532685
05/08/07 12:20 PM
05/08/07 12:20 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,392
Pacific Northwest, US.
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argerichfan Offline
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Pacific Northwest, US.
Quote
Originally posted by Witold:
Has anybody here got any experience of the Yamaha silent pianos? They seem quite ideal to me, being totally acoustic and transformable to digital by pressing the pedal.
I have a Yamaha MP100. It's hooked up to a cool set of speakers, so in the "silent" mode it sounds considerably better than when in the "acoustic" mode. The piano is often played in the silent mode, as it enables me to practise before work without bothering anyone. And the key action seems much the same to me in either mode...


Jason
Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532686
05/08/07 12:36 PM
05/08/07 12:36 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,285
Posts: 80,372
Eternal Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by wisredz:

I'm sure there are better ones out there but since I do not wish to spend a lot, these ones are the most adequates price-wise.
If you're concerned with price - then go for Casio Privia PX110. It's pretty much the least expensive weighted key piano on the market right now, and gets very decent reviews (I believe you can get it for around $400 if not less now).
If on the other hand you have money to burn - you can spend 6 times that amount, and get an MP8 or something...
As long as you're more or less happy with the touch, you can always upgrade the sound later by using a PC and Ivory, or Pianoteq.

Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532687
05/08/07 01:09 PM
05/08/07 01:09 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 115
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wisredz Offline OP
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I have another question... What is a silent piano? I have seen those on Yamaha's site and did not understand fully what it was. From what I've seen from the pictures of grands, there are strings in the piano but it says silent?

Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532688
05/08/07 01:34 PM
05/08/07 01:34 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 128
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Witold Offline
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The middle pedal moves a felted bar in front of the hammers that prevent them from hitting the strings. Instead the key movements are read by optical sensors and it works as a digital piano, with the touch of a normal piano. When the middle pedal is lifted up, you may use it as a normal acoustic piano. In the silent grand the middle pedal works as in a normal grand, instead the silent function is turned on by pulling a switch.

I found this thread that contains lots of information about how it works and the positive and negative aspects.

Re: Disturbed neighbors... #532689
05/08/07 02:06 PM
05/08/07 02:06 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 373
Mesa, AZ
Mark Purney Offline
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Mark Purney  Offline
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Posts: 373
Mesa, AZ
wisredz, I would suggest skipping those low-cost keyboards with weighted, hollow-plastic keys. Those are not digital pianos. They are just weighted keyboards, and they make poor practice pianos. Try the Kawai MP8 and you'll see what I mean.

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