You might have chose to buy a digital piano as opposed to an acoustic piano for a lot of reasons, including accessibility of multiple tones, headphone playing capability, discounted price, etc. But before getting one, be sure you like the feel of the keyboard action. This is the way the keys feel when being played. It all is related to what sort of weighted keys the keyboard uses.
If you wish the feel of your acoustic piano, you will need a weighted keyboard. Many digital pianos will emulate the feel of digital baby grand piano by utilizing keyboard weighted keys. They can do this in multiple ways. Before we look at a number of the different keyboard weighted types, let’s obtain a quick knowledge of how an acoustic piano gets its “feel”
An acoustic piano utilizes a hammer striking mechanism. Once you press the keyboard keys it presses a lever. The lever creates a hammer to strike the strings. The hammer then bounces from the string. The real key returns to the resting position from the weight in the hammer and levers. It’s very natural feeling without any springs. It just uses the weight from the hammer and also the momentum from bouncing off the string.
This sort of feel is exactly what digital pianos attempt to recreate. So let’s consider the three varieties of keyboard actions.
Non-weighted keys are very light feeling. They may be what organs and synthesizers use. Obviously, they do not possess the heavy, weighted feel that you get from an acoustic piano. While there is little weight and no hammers using momentum from bouncing off a string, these non-weighted keyboards must use springs to take the keys back to the resting position. The upside to this is that the keys are simpler to press allowing quick movement on the keyboard. The down-side is it feels nothing like 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 intention of playing, building a noticeable mistake in your performance.
These keys possess a weight in them to give them some substance. The load means they are harder to press down, much like you’d expect on an acoustic piano. They are available near to feeling like an acoustic piano. However, they do not have any type of hammer mechanism inside them, so because aspect they will not think that an acoustic piano. The good news is that for any cheaper price this type of weighted keyboard comes near approximating the feel of an acoustic piano. The negative news is that you will always be lacking that “momentum” feel on the keys of the acoustic if the momentum from 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 closest to emulating the feel of home digital piano. Keyboards using this feature use a hammer simulating mechanism to give you the feel of a moving hammer. Some digital pianos even use actual hammers, not simply a simulating mechanism. The big one you think of is Kawai’s AHAIV keyboard action. With these weighted keys you not only have the weight and resistance on the keys, however, you get the feel of the hammer’s momentum. Both features you receive with an acoustic piano keyboard.
Other Keyboard Descriptions
Before buying a digital piano, you will find other phrases that describe the keyboard action. The most typical one will be Weighted Scaled Hammer Action. What exactly does the term “Scaled” mean? It means that qqkxic keys emulate the feel of an acoustic grand piano when you are heavier on the lower notes and lighter on the higher notes.
Upon an acoustic grand piano, the reduced notes really are a little harder to press than the higher notes. To emulate that feel, digital piano manufacturers is likely to make their lower notes heavier. Other phrases you will find that describe this same thing are “Graded Hammer Action” and “Progressive Hammer Action.” Also, try to find the words “weight gradation” to indicate keys are heavier in the lower end and lighter in the high end.
Each manufacturer of digital pianos seeks to make their keyboard feel as near with an acoustic piano as possible. They are going to each do it in a different way based upon their technologies and patents. Every piano player will have their opinion about which digital piano feels “the best.” If you would like the feel of the acoustic piano at this point you know to narrow your list of best keyboard piano to those with weighted hammer action. But the only method to find out if you prefer the feel of the particular digital piano is to listen to it.