You might have made a decision to buy buy digital piano as opposed to an acoustic piano for a lot of reasons, such as accessibility of multiple tones, headphone playing capability, lower price, etc. But prior to getting one, ensure you like the feel of the keyboard action. This is the way the keys feel when being played.It all has to do with what kind of weighted keys the keyboard uses.
If you would like the feel of your acoustic piano, you may need a weighted keyboard. Many digital pianos will emulate the feel of an acoustic piano by making use of keyboard weighted keys. They are able to accomplish this in multiple ways. Before we look at some of the different keyboard weighted types, let’s get a quick knowledge of how an acoustic piano gets its “feel”
An acoustic piano uses a hammer striking mechanism. Whenever you press the keyboard keys it presses a lever. The lever results in a hammer to strike the strings. The hammer then bounces from the string. The real key returns for the resting position from the weight of the hammer and levers. It’s very natural feeling without any springs. It merely uses the weight of the hammer as well as the momentum from bouncing off the string.
This type of feel is exactly what digital pianos make an effort to recreate. So let’s consider the three kinds of keyboard actions.
Non-weighted keys are extremely light feeling. They may be what organs and synthesizers use. Obviously, they do not have the heavy, weighted feel that you get from an acoustic piano. As there is little weight and no hammers using momentum from bouncing off a string, these non-weighted keyboards must use springs to create the keys back to the resting position. The upside to this is the fact that keys are easier to press allowing quick movement on the keyboard. The downside is that this feels nothing as an acoustic piano. Also, when keys so easily press down it is actually easier for the finger to barely graze a key that you had no goal of playing, building a noticeable mistake in your performance.
These keys have a weight in them to offer them some substance. The load makes them harder to press down, just like you’d expect on an acoustic piano. They are offered near feeling like Kawai MP7. However, they do not possess any type of hammer mechanism in them, so because aspect they are going to not feel as if an acoustic piano. The great thing is that for any cheaper price this kind of weighted keyboard comes near approximating the feel of your acoustic piano. The bad news is you will be lacking that “momentum” feel on the keys of the acoustic if the momentum of the hammer bouncing from the string plays a part in bringing the keys back to a resting position.
Weighted Hammer Action Keys
These types of weighted keys come the nearest to emulating the feel of the acoustic piano. Keyboards with this feature use a hammer simulating mechanism to give you the feel of any moving hammer. Some digital pianos even use actual hammers, not only a simulating mechanism. The big one that comes to mind is Kawai’s AHAIV keyboard action. Using these weighted tqbxpt you do not only get the weight and resistance on the keys, however you will also get the feel of any hammer’s momentum. Both features you get with an acoustic piano keyboard.
Other Keyboard Descriptions
Before you buy an electronic digital piano, you will come across other phrases that describe the keyboard action. The most common you might be Weighted Scaled Hammer Action. Just what exactly does the phrase “Scaled” mean? This means the keys emulate the feel of an acoustic grand piano when you are heavier on the lower notes and lighter on the higher notes.
With an acoustic grand piano, the lower notes really are a little harder to press than the higher notes. In order to emulate that feel, full size electric piano manufacturers can make their lower notes heavier. Other phrases you will see that describe this same thing are “Graded Hammer Action” and “Progressive Hammer Action.” Also, look for the saying “weight gradation” to indicate keys are heavier within the lower end and lighter in the high end.
Each manufacturer of digital pianos seeks to create their keyboard feel as near with an acoustic piano as possible. They will likely each do it in a different way according to their technologies and patents. Every piano player may have their opinion about which digital piano feels “the best.” If you would like the feel of the acoustic piano you now know to narrow your listing of digital pianos to the people with weighted hammer action. But the only method to determine whether you prefer the feel of a particular digital piano is always to listen to it.