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How to make keys less slippery? (Read 16214 times)

Offline xvimbi

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How to make keys less slippery?
« on: April 04, 2004, 12:38:12 AM »
What methods are there to make the keys on a piano less slippery? I heard Horowitz used to put hairspray on them. Any other (crazy) ideas?

Offline G.Fiore

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Re: How to make keys less slippery?
«Reply #1 on: April 04, 2004, 05:23:36 AM »
Your info is incorrect,it was not Horowitz.Artur Rubinstein was the one who complained about the keyboard before a concert.His Tech at the time,Franz Mohr,sprayed hairspray on the keys.Rubinstein loved it.
George Fiore /aka Curry
 Piano Technician serving the central New Jersey area

Offline Joffrey

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Re: How to make keys less slippery?
«Reply #2 on: April 05, 2004, 11:28:21 AM »
I once heard a story told by a piano tech that he once met a concert pianist who rubbed his carefully polished keys with candle wax, leaving him with a couple of hours of work to remove it from the keys again.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: How to make keys less slippery?
«Reply #3 on: April 06, 2004, 10:59:06 AM »
They do have white key polish.  My yammie came with a white key polish that makes it kind of tacky and it does wonders!  My fingers don't slip... until it eventually rubs off.

Application takes some time which is one draw back.  And you can't get it on the black keys because it will turn it white (but can be wiped off.)

You can buy it at any music store (unless they don't stock it.)  It's keyboard polish.  I don't know if there is something for the black keys though.  Maybe black key polish?

Offline allchopin

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Re: How to make keys less slippery?
«Reply #4 on: April 08, 2004, 12:48:31 AM »
I wouldn't attempt any glissandos afterwards.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline tosca1

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Re: How to make keys less slippery?
«Reply #5 on: April 08, 2004, 08:55:56 AM »
Isn't the slipperiness usually caused by the performer's sweaty hands rather than the keys themselves? Candle wax and hairspray sound rather ugly. Why not sprinkle a llttle talcum powder on the palms of the hands and have a clean cotton, absorbent handkerchief handy?

Kind regards,
Robert.  

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: How to make keys less slippery?
«Reply #6 on: April 08, 2004, 11:28:35 AM »
No, the slipperyness is not caused by sweat on the finger tips.  The slipperyness is caused because the keys are smoothe enough so that there is little grip as the fingers apply pressure.

Actually, sweat causes the touch to be less slippery and improves grip.

Try it!
First, wash your hands with soap and then dry them off completely.  Make sure that your fingers are not sweating before they touch the keys.  Second, play the keys.  Notice how it slides around the surface?  Now, make your fingers sweat and try it again.  I do not know how other people coax their sweat glands to sweat at their fingertips but I can do this to some degree though I have to wait about a second before it starts secreting.
Once your fingers sweat, your touch will not be as slippery.

Shagdac

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Re: How to make keys less slippery?
«Reply #7 on: April 13, 2004, 12:16:27 PM »
I agree with faulty,...it's not sweat, it's the smoothness of the keys. I think I'd be afraid to spray anything on the keys themselves, but I have had this problem and found that a "tacky" hand lotion or even a dollop of elmers glue rubbed in your hands will create enough friction to keep your hands from sliding. I have a friend who would actually "spit" a small amount of saliva into her hands before performing (much like some of the gymnasts used to do after chalking before using the uneven parallel bars), so as not to lose their grip! I prefer the lotion or glue. Just an idea.

Shag :)

Offline dj

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Re: How to make keys less slippery?
«Reply #8 on: April 18, 2004, 08:57:10 AM »
i actually would not want my fingers sticking to the keys. i think this would cause me to be a little more accurate than would be good for interpretation purposes....just a thought
rach on!

Offline ayahav

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Re: How to make keys less slippery?
«Reply #9 on: April 18, 2004, 01:15:13 PM »
You're talking out of your ear... You should always play (or aim to play) to 100% accuracy, and impose your interpretation on the notes that the composer has set down.

Offline dj

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Re: How to make keys less slippery?
«Reply #10 on: April 21, 2004, 05:59:26 AM »
naturally naturally, but if you made the keys more sticky, this hitting of all the notes exactly right might actually happen, and just think how much less personality the performances of pianists like horowitz would have had if they hit all the notes right all the time
rach on!

Offline wynnbear

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Re: How to make keys less slippery?
«Reply #11 on: April 22, 2004, 10:46:44 PM »
What about trying rosin (like for athletic apparatus) on the hands?  I'd be sure to remove all excess before playing to keep it from getting into the piano action.
Wynne