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Hi there Jazzwee,

You are right, the fazioli's action is very light. The bosendorfer is also light compared to a steinway. One of the reason I finally settled on the fazioli was it's very light action. It does take some getting used to...but I believe it pays off in the end.

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Hi gpiu, that's interesting isn't it? Here we have most pianists preferring heavy action but the top of the line ($) pianos choose to make them lighter. Of course I haven't sampled a lot of Bosies or Faziolis so it is based on the ones I tried.

I also have found Steinways that were regulated to be very light and some that were heavy. Steinways probably had the most variation from my little experience. My Steinway is middle of the road. Not nearly as heavy as a Kawai RX-A I tried, but not as light as the Bosie, Fazioli, or Yamaha S and C3.

My preference is to lean slightly towards the lighter side because of the typically fast lines in jazz. But I appreciate that most pianists tend to go with heavy. It tempers my preferences.


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Interesting topic. Got a question for u gurus out
there. How do you actually measure the key weight ?
I am very tempted to find out that for my piano.

Thakns

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I prefer heavy keys, but my piano has light keys, maybe it's good for my weak fingers.

I believe that heavy keys could give you a process of emotion that through your fingers pushes.

To measure the key weight, I think it depends on how much strength you using when push a key down, your fingers can feel whether it needs some strength to make the sound, or just easier to touch. We also use "high or low", "lose or tight" to describe.


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Most pianists go for heavy? The answers in this thread cannot be considered a scientific truth.

I wonder which would be the result of a survey including top pianists from many continents.

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soccer_daemon,

Static key weight is measured easily using US coins.

A nickel is 5gms and a penny is 2 gms. So you start with 10 nickels and with your foot on the damper pedal, plop some more coins to arrive at your computed 'downweight'. Then you reduce the coins and when the key goes back up that value is the upweight. You may need to tap on the keybed a little to get the key moving down.

It is true that the 'feel' of a piano is not as easily described as mere downweights and upweights as other issues like inertia come into play. So when I'm discussing this in this thread, I'm referring to just a general feel of heaviness or lightness.

For example, most probably know that a deep key dip contributes to a heavy feeling or early letoff gives a feeling of lightness.

In any case, measurement aside, it ends up to be more of a feeling as described by Sonata.


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Could Varcon please explain more in detail what he means with a 'shallow' tone, and 'fluency but no depth', as a result of a light action?

I an not supertstitious so I believe this has nothing to do with the real tone as experienced by your ear, but is a feeling resulted from the muscular feed back. This psycho-physical phenomenon can explain a lot of otherwise supernatural observation concerning tone and touch.

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Jan,

Not to put words into Varcon's mouth, I may want to clarify what he's saying. One of my piano teachers is from the same "school" as his. My piano teacher always had me play firmly and to the bottom of the keybed.

On a very light action, the keys tend move much easier than on a more firm or heavier action. As a result when playing on a harder action, after using a very light action for a long time, the pianist doesn't develop a full tone that one gets from always going to the bottom of the keys because the pianist is used to going down easy on the keyboard. The tone, as my teacher called it "surfacy" and shallow.

Hope this helps explain this.

John


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Jan-Erik: You can take John's explanation pretty much as tone was paramount in a way to my teachers--a full, carrying, resonant tone, even in soft passages so that people in the gallery heard too. But the effect was not lost. It takes special work to get that.

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Quote
Originally posted by Varcon:
Jan-Erik: You can take John's explanation pretty much as tone was paramount in a way to my teachers--a full, carrying, resonant tone, even in soft passages so that people in the gallery heard too. But the effect was not lost. It takes special work to get that.
Thanks Varcon! When I was typing this in, I had a flashback to the lesson I had with her. She told me that I couldn't play like a wuss (her words) and be heard in the back of Carnegie Hall! Well I never made it to Carnegie, but I sure know how to produce a good solid tone.

John


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Quote
Originally posted by Jan-Erik:
Most pianists go for heavy? The answers in this thread cannot be considered a scientific truth.

I wonder which would be the result of a survey including top pianists from many continents.
Jan-Erik, I missed this response of yours.

I asked this same question in a different forum, mostly musicians of modern music styles, and the majority also chose heavy keys. Mind you there are a few very vocal supporters of light keys, but in actual numbers the "mediums/heavies" were consistently ahead of the "lights".

I certainly don't want to bias the results so if there are large numbers of "light keys" supporters hiding out there, please speak up. wink


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Quote
Originally posted by dnephi:
When practicing, definitely heavy action. When performing, I usually like it a little lighter.
what he said. Far easier to adapt to a light action after playing heavy than the reverse IMHO......

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Originally Posted by jazzwee
Hi gpiu, that's interesting isn't it? Here we have most pianists preferring heavy action but the top of the line ($) pianos choose to make them lighter. Of course I haven't sampled a lot of Bosies or Faziolis so it is based on the ones I tried.

I also have found Steinways that were regulated to be very light and some that were heavy. Steinways probably had the most variation from my little experience. My Steinway is middle of the road. Not nearly as heavy as a Kawai RX-A I tried, but not as light as the Bosie, Fazioli, or Yamaha S and C3.

My preference is to lean slightly towards the lighter side because of the typically fast lines in jazz. But I appreciate that most pianists tend to go with heavy. It tempers my preferences.

Hola,
¿Cómo regula una acción pesada para que pase a ser liviana?
Gracias

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How about we muddy the waters just a bit.

First, before you measure the weight of your keys, engage the damper pedal!

Steinway factory spec is 51 g in bass to 49 in treble +/-.

This is a static measurement that is meaningless as soon as the key is engaged (it is a physics thing).

Regulation really doesn't do a lot to address key weight unless you are dealing with friction issues. Friction can push your down weights into the 80's in a heart beat. Regulation primarily addresses the mechanical efficiency and effectiveness of the action.

Now here is the real proverbial fly in the anointment. Tone. A bright instrument will give you an illusion of a lighter action while a mellow piano will "feel" heavier. You have go work more with a quieter instrument to get more sound, hence it feels "heavy".

Piano technique has very little to do with brute strength, but rather an efficient and effective neuro-muscular activity (just like piano regulation). At least that is my take after nearly 50 years of playing and performing.

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Let's recap what's happened here. A new member has revived a 9-year-old thread by posting in a foreign language that nobody can read, and then the discussion has continued as though the thread was begun yesterday. laugh


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Medium weight.

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Sorry, I didn't notice.

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I prefer light, but have medium.


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Originally Posted by Estilo Ingles
Originally Posted by jazzwee
Hi gpiu, that's interesting isn't it? Here we have most pianists preferring heavy action but the top of the line ($) pianos choose to make them lighter. Of course I haven't sampled a lot of Bosies or Faziolis so it is based on the ones I tried.

I also have found Steinways that were regulated to be very light and some that were heavy. Steinways probably had the most variation from my little experience. My Steinway is middle of the road. Not nearly as heavy as a Kawai RX-A I tried, but not as light as the Bosie, Fazioli, or Yamaha S and C3.

My preference is to lean slightly towards the lighter side because of the typically fast lines in jazz. But I appreciate that most pianists tend to go with heavy. It tempers my preferences.

Hola,
¿Cómo regula una acción pesada para que pase a ser liviana?
Gracias


You can put lead in the keys to reduce their weight and that can help a bit, but in reality you'll probably have to replace a lot of the action; because what you really want is to reduce the inertia.


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Both extremes are problematic and IMO not to be recommended. If a piano's action is very light it can be hard to control. If a piano's action is very heavy it can be tiring or almost impossible to play and even cause injury.

I think somewhere not at either extreme is clearly the most desirable.

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