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Clavinovas / Digital Keyboards

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Clavinovas / Digital Keyboards

Postby PianistSk8er » 23 Jan 2005, 22:54

Well, my mom seems to refuse to get the piano tuned, the hammers have a damp touch, the notes have horrible action, there are two *very important* notes that have hammers which have been somehow taken off track and thus hit either another note or the soundboard of the piano... and the piano just sounds and feels like crap... and is getting worse with time.

When I think about practicing, I am almost always discouraged now, and I must admit that I practice dramatically less than I used to, back when I could practice on a decent Clavinova quite often. Tonight as I tried to practice, I felt so angry with the music that was being made, it sounded awful and I decided to just stop completely... I hate it!

Therefore, I guess I am going to save up my money (for about 10 months to a year) to buy an okay digital piano so that I can forget about out of tune music and breaking hammers, etc. Plus, the piano we have now isn't even ours, someone let us borrow it out of pity. Our financial situation is also quite bad, so buying a newer (decent) piano is out of the question, as that would result in having no food for a while...

So I guess my ranting does have a point when I ask y'all for some advice and experiences. Have any of you practiced on these digital pianos? If so what is your opinion on them? I've used them before and the only drawback I can quickly see is that it is not a real piano and so you obviously get a different and less great experience, but I don't think anything could be as bad as what I'm using now.

Well, please share some advice or suggestions, because I'm feeling miserable right now, and the way it is going now, I may just quit piano or something, because my love for music is being replaced by a hatred for my piano! :(

PS
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Postby Jeliness2 » 23 Jan 2005, 23:02

Run Away if she won't get it tuned! Just Kidding. Well, I've never actually tried a digital piano, but I heard some aren't too bad. Good Luck Saving up the money.

Are you mad at the piano because of the tuning? Why not just save up money to get it tuned twice a year? Otherwise, I'm sure many of us have much worse piano playing than you.
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Postby PianistSk8er » 23 Jan 2005, 23:09

Haha, nah, I'm mad because of the sound it makes, for example, pulling the pedal results in almost all of the notes of the piano resonating much louder than they should, so it makes a huge long blur of a horrible sound. Therefore I need to change the pedal much more often. Then I need to adjust when I get to a normal piano. I'm also mad because two of the notes are just broken! It's kind of hard to play a Ballade in G minor with two broken Gs! Or any other piece where every time you play the damn note you hear a loud THUNK rather than the correct sound. Also because when you play, it feels like you're pressing on a blanket rather than onto something solid, the sound is really mellow and gross and so paying for tuning wouldn't fix any of these problems.

Meh, maybe my situation isn't that bad, but I know I barely practice anymore, maybe once a week, compared to the several hours a day I used to do during that last few years.

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Postby Jeliness2 » 23 Jan 2005, 23:13

oh, wow, I'm sorry to hear that. It would be a good idea to get something you like to play on. Maybe in the meantime you should play a song in G-flat or D flat so you don't have to play as many g's. :-)
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Postby Goldberg » 23 Jan 2005, 23:20

Hmm, sounds like me a while ago, only the fault was with me and not with my absolutely gorgeous Steinway, lol...


Ok, eh, that probably didn't make you feel any better. To be honest, in the past I've had to practice--for a considerable amount of time--on bad pianos, and have had to play on absolutely horrible pianos. Although I originally despised the idea and was somewhat pompous in my attitude (I would often throw histrionic tirades about the piano just to raise a scene, lol, which didn't get much effect of course--I was just "testing the water", and wasn't really serious cos I desired to play), I now get something of a "thrill" when I perform on disabled pianos. Kind of like, "well, ok, the piano only will get me *so* far: now I'm going to have to make up for its short sides!" And then I get into the mood of the old greats like Horowitz and Cziffra and all those people, most of whom learned on absolutely despicable instruments...I find some sort of excitement in it all, even if it's absolutely crappy. But, then again, I can always come back home and play my M!

Well, ok, THAT didn't make you feel any better either. I'm not trying to say that you SHOULD practice on bad pianos, nor that you necessarily should like playing on them; as a serious student, you deserve the best you can get for yourself, to provide the most fulfilling experience for the practice sessions. If that sounds like a salesman's speech, it is; the guy who sold my parents the Steinway gave them that same little spiel...but, I think that it's quite truthful nevertheless.

In fact, my first instrument--for three or four years--was a Roland digital, comparable to one of the middle-upper models in the Clavinova line (it was one of the Roland KR series, if you'd like to do a little research...*probably* out of your price range, but not outrageously expensive). I sure smashed the hell out of it, too...in fact, I still have it now, and sometimes even perfer playing it to my M, for the reasons I discussed above (and, yes, I'm a real loon sometimes). Some of the keys stick, and the rest of them are excessively light compared to the Steinway, but it's still quite a lot of fun.

If anything, the digital helped me to refine my musical sense of the keyboard. It became apparent to me that if I could shape a phrase on the digital, then I sure as hell could play it well on my teacher's Yamaha grand (and, before anyone starts slagging me off, this was an extraordinarily *good*--yes, good--Yamaha grand. Beautiful). However, I also developed some horrible technical habits which can only be attributable to the somewhat questionable action, as well as pedal action, of the digital piano, and it has taken me a lot of time to try and remedy my technique...a work in progress even today.

Naturally, I wouldn't have had a problem if, like you, I already had a REAL piano to practice on, in order to get the feeling of the touch and everything else in my mind before taking it to the digital--so you probably won't have too many problems in that regard.

Anyhow, that's simply my experience with the digital pianos in general, not the Clavinovas. I think my technique would be much better if I had started on the Steinway, but nothing can be done about that now, and again, as you've already gotten used to the feel of a real, acoustic piano, emulating the motions on a digital shouldn't be a problem at all. And, finally, although I never really practiced on one, I've played many Clavinovas and have to say that I like their piano sounds better than Roland's, and, well, the actions are quite similar; slightly realistic, but will also wear down after about 4 or 5 years after constant use...
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Postby Helling » 24 Jan 2005, 12:36

Digital pianos are mainly problematic because of the action. The sound is seldom great, but for practice, the feel is the main issue - though I have to admit that creating a good tone also requires practice that can be somewhat hampered with a digital.

In my case, I have a real grand (bosendorfer), but for practice sessions at less normal hours I also have a yamaha gt2 (linked to a piano vst for better sound).

The yamaha gt2 is expensive but has the obvious advantage of being a real grand action with optical measuring controlling the sound of the hammers. Otherwise, you can aim for a piano with weighted keys, which is also somewhat close to a real action (though it can give obvious problems with certain things, such as repeated notes). The problem is both these solutions (espectially the grantouch gt2) are expensive.
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Postby Max » 24 Jan 2005, 16:40

Yamaha CLP-9** are great, the action is heavy, and the sound is very good (if I recorded it ambient then you would barely be able to tell the difference) and theyre not too pricey.
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Postby Helling » 24 Jan 2005, 20:13

I second the clp 9 recommendation, if a gt2 is too much of a step in price range. The main problems with anything but a real grand action (either an actual acoustic piano or one with optical reading of a real action like the gt2) are these in my experience:

Difficulty creating a very soft ppp without notes dropping out (some acoustics actually have this problem also, primarily yamaha grands in my experience).

Difficulty reaching great speed on repeated notes, which is an issue if playing primarily virtuosistic pieces such as Liszt's Tarantelle or La Campanella.

Of course there are many other differences, but these are the things that mainly bother me with digital pianos, even the very best ones, when the action is artificial.
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Postby Max » 25 Jan 2005, 11:59

Yeah, I have that problem with repeated notes, but its a pretty minor thing. I think dynamics is difficult to measure, very relative to how loud you have it set. But I would agree.

I would definatly try them out before you buy, in case you dont like it. I wouldn't touch most of the newer low end Yamaha clavinovas, the action is very flimsy (but the sound is great).
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Postby TheRach » 25 Jan 2005, 19:23

I don't think you'll need to get a digital.
Here's a good book.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... 65-0476857
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