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  • Adapting to Digital Piano

    OK, OK, I know this is an ORGAN forum, but I know a lot of you guys must play piano as well...

    Finally found a decent deal on a DP that wasn't 15-20 years old. These items sure are a LOT easier to transport and find room for!!

    Of course, having never played piano before, I hate everything about it. haha. The keys are hard to press, and it's impossible to produce notes of a constant volume. Even the extra keys at both ends present problems, as my visual "end of the key bed" reference to the low and high notes I'm used to are now gone.

    But then, all these reasons are why I wanted a piano in the first place... so I could get used to playing on one. The likelihood of encountering a piano during my public meanderings is much more probable than encountering an organ. So, I thought I'd take a shot at adapting to them.

    I've learned a whopping two pieces of music that are meant for piano, but 3-4 of the organ songs I've learned can be successfully played on a piano as well, with only minor adjustments.

    I reckon for the most part I just have to spend time with it to learn to love it.

    One thing I'm highly tempted to do is turn off the touch sensitivity, because that one setting change makes things much easier, but I'm guessing the pianists among you would advise me to just go cold turkey, and just learn from day one to start dealing with everything that makes a piano what it is...
    60' Hammond A-100 (free!) Church duty, certainly not "minty"
    Leslie 710 ($80)

  • #2
    Originally posted by eblues View Post
    I've learned a whopping two pieces of music that are meant for piano, but 3-4 of the organ songs I've learned can be successfully played on a piano as well, with only minor adjustments.
    Eblues,

    Just wait until you have to add those pedal notes to the piano. I'm not sure how flexible you are, but my legs just won't get that high any more! That's how I convinced the Symphony to let me use a real (fake) digital organ.
    Originally posted by eblues View Post
    One thing I'm highly tempted to do is turn off the touch sensitivity, because that one setting change makes things much easier, but I'm guessing the pianists among you would advise me to just go cold turkey, and just learn from day one to start dealing with everything that makes a piano what it is...
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by myorgan View Post
      Eblues,

      Just wait until you have to add those pedal notes to the piano. I'm not sure how flexible you are, but my legs just won't get that high any more! That's how I convinced the Symphony to let me use a real (fake) digital organ.
      I would not recommend turning it off, but not for the reasons you're sharing.

      Michael
      haha... putting my feet up by my ears is a feat I have not been able to accomplish since I was about two. Anyway, I'm only half an organist... I rarely do pedals.

      Pretty much what I expected to hear.

      Cheap Casio is exactly what I wound up with (PX-160). I set a budget limit of $200 for this musical experiment, and had to shop long and hard to find *any* DP at that price, let alone one that was less than 5 yrs old. I knew going into this that the "piano feel" probably wouldn't be great on an entry model, but figured it will still go a long way towards making the transition.

      Don't know that'll I'll ever sit at a Steinway, but the local bowling alley has an old upright of unknown manufacture. Once I've become comfortable with my DP, I'll be anxious to try that out and compare differences. Especially the sensitivity factor, because the DP seems insanely sensitive to me, and I have to play it pretty hard to get decent volume from the keys. I think there are interim sensitivity settings between off and full, perhaps one of those would serve me better.

      Looking forward to this new experience...

      Thanks!
      60' Hammond A-100 (free!) Church duty, certainly not "minty"
      Leslie 710 ($80)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by eblues View Post
        Don't know that'll I'll ever sit at a Steinway, but the local bowling alley has an old upright of unknown manufacture. Once I've become comfortable with my DP, I'll be anxious to try that out and compare differences. Especially the sensitivity factor, because the DP seems insanely sensitive to me, and I have to play it pretty hard to get decent volume from the keys.
        Why wait? Go for it. Or go to the music store in the mall and noodle around on one of the demo's. The results might be instructive. A real piano has an essentially infinite (analog) sensitivity curve. Your keyboard has fixed steps between the various levels of sound. The most expensive DP's can have up to 127 steps of dynamic level (touch) which is a pretty close approximation of 'infinite'. No matter how hard you pound a tiny Spinet piano it won't give you as much volume as a 9' Concert Grand piano even though both have an essentially 'infinite' gradation of 'touch' between the softest they can play and the loudest. On your DP I'm doubting you have more than half to one dozen steps of 'touch'. That is why it seems so sensitive, just a skoosh more finger pressure puts you to the next level of dynamic in one jump, on a much better DP there could be 10 or more levels of volume in between any two levels on yours. BTW, If you need more sound at the top end, turn up the volume knob, nothing much is gained by pounding. I haven't met the Casio DP that didn't have one or two EP sounds along with a 'Strings' patch besides the main 'Piano'. You can have some fun playing with those other sounds, and if you ever get a better DP some day (recommended) there is the making of a multi-keyboard rig and the possibilities that that offers. FWIW.

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        • #5
          I'm a bit shy about sucking in public, so I like to build a little confidence first.

          I'm already beginning to develop some touch control, and I'm pretty happy with my early progress. I actually started out with the volume too loud, which compounds the sensitivity issue. By turning the volume down, I'm sitting more in the middle of the sensitivity zone, rather than trying to tippy-toe at the very soft end of the spectrum.

          Although I still have a long way to go, it no longer feels like an impossible challenge.

          I have been enjoying the combination of Piano and Strings on my organ. This Casio can layer two sounds as well. It has a total of 18 tones, including a decent (but non adjustable) Jazz Organ tone.

          Among the many things I'm learning, one of the most notable is while I have been anticipating it would be the weighted keys that would make the DP feel most foreign to me, it's actually the touch sensitivity that's most difficult to adapt to and control. Turn that off, or select a fixed output tone like organ, and the weighted keys are not that much of a factor.
          60' Hammond A-100 (free!) Church duty, certainly not "minty"
          Leslie 710 ($80)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by eblues View Post
            I'm a bit shy about sucking in public, so I like to build a little confidence first.
            Oh, take a chance! I do it all the time!

            Michael
            Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
            • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
            • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
            • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by eblues View Post
              I'm a bit shy about sucking in public, so I like to build a little confidence first.

              ...
              Then consider bringing along a pair of earbuds (and a 1/8" to 1/4" stereo phono adapter) in your pocket. This way you can plug into the headphone jack available on every digital piano in the store ... and suck in private.

              Enjoy - OneWatt

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                Oh, take a chance! I do it all the time!

                Michael
                Ah.. If only I could get past my unrealistic yet firmly entrenched, self-imposed expectations that the only good performance is one with absolute zero miscues, and the related performance anxiety that mentality generates.

                Originally posted by OneWatt View Post
                Then consider bringing along a pair of earbuds (and a 1/8" to 1/4" stereo phono adapter) in your pocket. This way you can plug into the headphone jack available on every digital piano in the store ... and suck in private.

                Enjoy - OneWatt
                The earbuds approach is good for the local music store, but not an effective strategy for that upright at the local bowling alley I'm trying to muster up the courage to sit at.
                60' Hammond A-100 (free!) Church duty, certainly not "minty"
                Leslie 710 ($80)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by eblues View Post
                  The earbuds approach is good for the local music store, but not an effective strategy for that upright at the local bowling alley I'm trying to muster up the courage to sit at.
                  Those bowlers are unlikely to be sober enough to serve as convincing music critics. Go for it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eblues View Post
                    Ah.. If only I could get past my unrealistic yet firmly entrenched, self-imposed expectations that the only good performance is one with absolute zero miscues, and the related performance anxiety that mentality generates.
                    Guess I'm lucky I don't have THAT affliction. One of our wizened (grizzled?) forum members opined some time ago that it's inexcusable to make a mistake playing a HYMN. (Yeah... maybe for HIM.) My theory is that you can just start by working up something relatively recognizable and refine it from there.
                    -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
                    -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
                    -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
                    -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
                    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OneWatt View Post
                      Those bowlers are unlikely to be sober enough to serve as convincing music critics. Go for it.
                      Well, actually when I am there it's mostly kids, as my son is a youth bowler. And as we are all well aware, kids can be pretty brutal critics.

                      Originally posted by Silken Path View Post
                      Guess I'm lucky I don't have THAT affliction. One of our wizened (grizzled?) forum members opined some time ago that it's inexcusable to make a mistake playing a HYMN. (Yeah... maybe for HIM.) My theory is that you can just start by working up something relatively recognizable and refine it from there.
                      Good strategy, Lamar. My problem is simple math... I'm half as good with an audience as I am without one.
                      60' Hammond A-100 (free!) Church duty, certainly not "minty"
                      Leslie 710 ($80)

                      Comment

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