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Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano? (Read 4408 times)

Offline winterwind888

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Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
« on: May 31, 2009, 08:18:35 AM »
Had anyone played a chopin etude on a very stiff piano. Well, most of us do play in a light-weighted keys of a piano. But is there anyone who attempted such as Chromatic Etude or Winterwind etude or even my god, the thirds etude, to be played on a very stiff piano, the keys that needs to be pressed by the fingers very hard? Or even liszt, debussy or rachmaninoff etudes? Is there anyone?

How was your experience on this attempt. And by the way, why is still a piano such as a very weighted one created? Any idea?

Sheet music to download and print: Etudes by Chopin



Offline omar_roy

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Re: Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
«Reply #1 on: May 31, 2009, 09:14:33 AM »
I've played on a wide range of pianos from very light to very heavy.  Most of the time it can be remedied by a good piano technician and regulation of the action.  Some people prefer a very light action.  I prefer a slightly heavier action than normal.  Not slow, but one that requires slightly more finger strength.  Ideally you should be able to play anything on any piano.

Offline c4rem

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Re: Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
«Reply #2 on: May 31, 2009, 10:48:50 AM »
in the first place this light and heaviness of the keys within the piano is not even the main issue for pianists...it truly exists but really..hv u guys experienced a point in ur playing where u just forget the weight of the keys and listen to how u played?

why fight against the key who has no intention to fight u? if u happen to experience situations where the keys r 'too heavy', 'too hard to control' etc etc...then perhapss the keys r just 'returning' the amount of 'anti' energies back to u.

the piano will be stiff if u 'visually' perceive it as stiff. we humans hv energies used to swim, run, walk, just as we hv energies to play the piano. 


Offline go12_3

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Re: Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
«Reply #3 on: May 31, 2009, 11:29:30 AM »
I do find that a variety of pianos have different key actions and I don't think it matters what piece you play though.   It is a matter of adjustment of mind and fingers to react accordingly. 

best wishes,

go12_3 
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Offline cloches_de_geneve

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Re: Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
«Reply #4 on: May 31, 2009, 05:01:04 PM »
I think we should just resign ourselves to the fact that the Chopin Etudes are just very difficult regardless of your piano, your mood, your ability, your spouse, your religion, or your golf handicap.
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Offline thierry13

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Re: Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
«Reply #5 on: May 31, 2009, 05:22:35 PM »
Why do heavy pianos are created? Because I find them much easier to control...

Offline richard black

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Re: Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
«Reply #6 on: May 31, 2009, 06:10:08 PM »
I've always assumed that heavy actions were invented to suit pianists whose technique is based on whacking the keys. Less whack = less sound, but that's a much trickier relationship on a light action.
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Offline c4rem

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Re: Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
«Reply #7 on: May 31, 2009, 10:25:43 PM »
that is a very cute assumption u have there lol

in reality, this heavy/light piano action...it does exist in its physical sense...but as pianist, our goal is not to fight with the action (whether to conquer its lightness or fight against itss heaviness)...

but rather to search for another 'alternative' where u can perceive the sounds as much ease (which chopin always loves to say) 'each individual has to find the vibrations that are easily perceivable to themselves. :)

the art of touch my friends....

chopin etudes, r really the gems of piano music. there is so much one can extract from it. let it be in terms of harmony or structure...at some points, it even pushes the pianist to his/her emotional limits. well, chopin was in many ways, a musical genius., a great composer, pianist, musician :)

Offline lau

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Re: Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
«Reply #8 on: June 01, 2009, 03:54:07 AM »
heavy pianos do give you more control, that's good, but then they are only good for the slower peices. But trying to play something virtuosic one those is ridiculous. I don't know it's done, if it is..
i have played a chopin etude for an audience on one of those and as soon as i started i could feel doom overcoming me because it was so weighted, so i had to abort halfway through.
i'm not asian

Offline omar_roy

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Re: Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
«Reply #9 on: June 01, 2009, 02:24:11 PM »
It all boils down to personal preference.  It's rumored that when Horowitz was a younger pianist he favored a very heavy action, but as he got older the action became progressively lighter and lighter.  It's entirely subjective.  Neither heavy nor light is better/worse. 

Offline nearenough

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Re: Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
«Reply #10 on: July 16, 2009, 03:29:21 AM »
This issue must be approached scientifically. Get a measuring device to determine the exact pressure (in grams or ounces) needed to depress the key (with or without sending the hammer to the strings). Write the results down. Go to the next piano.

Anything else is pure subjectivity and is pseudoscience.



Offline hardybar

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Re: Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
«Reply #11 on: September 13, 2009, 04:38:40 PM »
A good piano technician can lighten the touch on your piano very easily by the simple expedient of hardening the hammers! Call your local PTG for a reference. :)

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
«Reply #12 on: September 14, 2009, 01:58:52 AM »
When I was young I learned from a Bechstein grand which had very heavy action. I didn't know that there where any other pianos with lighter actions back then! When I first played a Yamaha when I was in primary school I was so amazed how easy it was to play with a lighter action (although I did find playing softly more difficult although nothing that wasn't corrected from practicing on lighter actioned keyboards).

When practicing on heavy actioned keyboards your endurance is trained a great deal more. It is like baseball players warming up by swinging a heavy bat (or many bats at the same time) as a warm up before going up to bat with a lighter one.

I found when playing more acrobatic movements on heavy actioned keyboards I had to sacrifice volume to produce the movement comfortably otherwise I would lose too much energy. I was plagued with this problem throughout my childhood simply because I physically could not do it. It however did not reduce the rate of my technical improvement, in fact it increased it. When playing on heavy actioned keyboards it takes longer to master a phrase into an effortless touch. If you play lighter action you can achieve this effortless comfort (even with small inefficiencies to your technique) faster. On heavy actioned pianos they are merciless on inefficient technique.

Just play the same pieces on a lighter actioned keyboard to improve your confidence and realize that practicing on heavier actioned is making more changes to your endurance and tehcnical control than the lighter action.
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Offline richard black

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Re: Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
«Reply #13 on: September 14, 2009, 10:45:02 AM »
Further to my light-hearted contribution above, I feel it should be pointed out in this context that 'heavy action' has more than one meaning. Some pianos have keys which are hard to press down at any speed, while others (like the rather lovely old Bechstein I own) have keys which go down easily slowly but need some effort at speed.

But the good news is that the more playing you do, the easier it becomes to transfer to other instruments with more or less resistance in the keys.
Instrumentalists are all wannabe singers. Discuss.

Offline demented cow

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Re: Chopin etude played in a very stiff piano?
«Reply #14 on: October 21, 2009, 02:35:06 PM »
A few points:
a) Simon Barere preferred on pianos with heavy actions, despite the fact that he was known for his exceptional speed (check him out on youtube).
b) A question to advanced players or professionals: Would it be true to say that the amount of resistence from the keys should be irrelevant if you are using arm weight properly?
c) I normally play a piano with a fairly light action, but once I was asked to play on a keyboard. I basically couldn't play anything faster than a dead cow without my fingers going completely out of control. The people at the party probably thought I had been lying about being a pianist...
d) Various pianists have recorded both piano and harpsichord music (e.g. Wanda Landowska, Dimitris Sgouros). I don't know how they managed to adjust between the two instruments