more and more, i'm beginning to realize that i become attached to the sound of the samples and keys that i practice with.  and when i go to my teacher's place, i get messed up because the acoustic grand behaves completely differently.  something about not hearing the expected sound that makes me adjust, and it completely detaches me from playing.  maybe it's time i got me an upright.

just wondering how everyone adjusts to different pianos / keyboards.  does it become second nature once you're acquired basic skill sets?  meaning, maybe i'm just sensitive because i'm still developing my skills.  it really bugs me when i spend so much time reaching 200bpm in jazz hanon and then barely playing at 168 on a real piano because the piano reacts.
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that is why i hate digital keyboards - i spend most of my brain activity dealing with  feeling frustrated and disappointed in their response which leaves me completely uninspired.  my playing definitely  depends on how the instrument responds.  i can almost always adjust to any acoustic piano and play musically, but not so with digitals.

there was a period at the beginning of my marriage where all i had to play was a dx7 - i got really comfortable with it and made a lot of dough playing it, but completely lost my piano chops.  i later got a little spinet and began revitalizing my technique.

i was lucky enough to stumble upon a roland fp8 that actually had wooden keys.  i used that for gigs, but always practiced on an acoustic.  although, i remember a gig where i played solo on a  grand for an hour, then moved to another room to play solo on the fp8 for and hour, and i actually liked the fp8 better (the hotel grand was in pretty bad condition) so i guess it's not fair to say i hate all digital keyboards.  i am just very picky when it comes to using one.

in my opinion, there are pianists and there are keyboard players.  pianists should have pianos:)
i completely agree with you dr. whack. i'm taking a stand and saying that i will never play on a keyboard or digital piano on a gig and preferably not when i'm alone either. i've never practiced on a digital piano, and i don't intend to. i'm supporting the acoustic piano so that i don't contribute to the digitals takeover.
well, i think (esp going through what i'm going through now) that digital pianos will never replace acoustic in terms of teaching, i'm sure teachers know that and schools know that.  digitals may provide good alternatives for performance tho, because of portability and cheap maintenance.  i wouldn't mind a digital if i had to choose between a beat up acoustic and a modern digital.  theoretical question tho, cuz i won't ever be performing if i'm struggling with my day to day practices!

dr. whack, just wondering what you thought of the spinet.  i'm debating whether i should punch the wallet and get a used upright, or be realistic and get a spinet/console.  i'm sure anything is better than nothing in my situation, but would you look back and think that it was better to shed the extra blood for an upright?
i practice daily on my acoustic piano. feels and sounds the best.
but i regularly play on my roland fp4 to develop a better control on the keyboard and getting used to the response.
it's quite uncomfortable playing on a digital keyboard you don't know.
last new years eve i had to accompany the singer shawn monteiro in dubrovnic. i had to play on a nord stage (which i was not familiar with) and it was on a stage outside in the center of dubrovnic. it was freezing. i could barely move my fingers and had to play a keyboard i wasn't familiar with. luckily we had to play for 30 minutes only. but i think it doesn't hurt to play on as much keyboards as you can to be prepared in all situations.
it takes about 10-20 minutes to adjust to a different piano/keyboard's touch response.
i feel as though the music becomes stale when played on a digital piano, because you can't really achieve the floating kind of quality you can with an acoustic piano. sure it depends what style of music, if it's just straight ahead jazz you could pull it off but you can still hear it's digital and that's a sound i don't appreciate. that's only my opinion though, i'm sure many don't feel this way.
problem with living in a crammed apartment in ny (actually jersey city) is that sound is always in issue.  so, digital actually makes a lot of sense since i only get to practice late at night after work.  so it does offer great alternatives to challenging situations, with minimal amount of sacrifice.  biggest one being that i'd have to give up practising if an acoustic was the only choice.  i know my p-250 isn't the best out there, but the p-250 augmented with a great soft synth sampleset allows me to build stamina, plus enjoy a more robust sound than what most hardware pianos have to offer.

still, i think it's still a horrible platform to learn under.  i think there is a big difference in pianos that cut it for learning, and ones that work for performing.  or more specifically, it's learning, practising, and performing.  you want to learn with a good piano, and then from there on it may be fine to practice on a questionable piano.  for performing i guess it would have to be whatever the venue has to offer, or whatever digital piano you can lug around.
you will always be more comfortable playing your own axe. this is not just true for pianos but for all instruments.

every one of them have slight differences, which are however just big enough to help destroy your concentration and fumble up your fingers.

there are many variations within the world of acoustic pianos as well as the only constant is the width of the white keys. the depth of both white and black keys can vary. as well as the width of the black keys is not fixed as a universal convention.

also the "bevel" of the black keys varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. some black keys are more rounded on top, some are more square.

add into this the varying relative stiffness of the keys and the organic changes that occur to a well played piano over the years and you have an immense number of variables, that while small in and of themselves can add up to make a huge difference!

concert pianists commonly come in in the afternoon of the performance and do a run through of their pieces. not to practice (if they don't have their numbers nailed by the day of the gig they may never), but to familiarize themselves with the idiosyncrasies of that particular instrument. like jazz+ said, it takes a good while to get comfortable with a new instrument.

i distinctly remember nailing tunes on my piano at home, and then when i got to my teacher's place for my lesson falling to pieces. i thought at first that it was some kind of stage fright, it wasn't until years later that i realized that his acoustic piano was so much different from my acoustic.

in the debate of digital vs. real. i have to say that nowadays i prefer the digitals. they're always in tune, they aren't susceptible to the "roller coaster" keybed that older acoustics get because the wood under the keybed compresses over years of beating, and most of all because they're easier to play (mostly because of being only semi-weighted).

i find fully weighted keyboards slow me down, and give me more aches and pains after a hard night of playing.

our job as musicians is to make good music that people will enjoy listening to, yet not to kill ourselves doing it. if there's an easy way to do something and a hard way, you can be sure that the pro is taking the easy way (like the zen example of "the flow of water").

i came to the same conclusion not long ago with saxophone. i was up to a 3 1/2 and it was killing my jaw muscles. first i moved down to a 3 and now i'm right back to a 2 1/2. my logic? "what the hell am i working so hard for?"

the same thing with electric guitar, i had 11s on it for "tone". it turns out they don't sound any better, they're just thicker and harder to bend (which means more wear and tear on the fingers). so i'm back down to 10s.

i have no desire to develop tendonitis, carpal tunnel or any number of the ailments that befall musicians just because i feel i have to prove that i'm some kind of macho badass.

the advantage in my mind of playing on acoustic is things like sympathetic harmonics and stuff that (up until recently) only occurred in the natural world.  

now with software like "ivory" and (one would hope) with advanced keyboards like the roland rd-700gx these issues may soon become a thing of the past.
"you will always be more comfortable playing your own axe. this is not just true for pianos but for all instruments."

well, there are a lot of great steinway, faziola, bosendorfer and even yamaha grands out there that i immediately feel more comfortable on than my mason & hamlin piano or my roland fp4.

there are no absolutes since every piano is different.
the spinet was hardly a substitute for the action of a grand, but because of all the things mentioned in this thread, it was a lot more natural and pleasing to me.

i grew up learning and playing on a exceptionally nice spinet/console (baldwin acrosonic)  with a very smooth but very light action.  i could play anything on it.  the trouble was i couldn't play anything on a grand piano - like senior recitals and stuff like that.  

for me, it's much easier to adjust to a light action when accustomed to a heavier one than it is to go the other way, so ideally, i like to have a heavier action for practice...but i think a heavy digital with crappy response actually does my chops more harm than good...persnickety temperamental artist i suppose:)
i must say that i prefer an acoustic piano. i find that even really good digital pianos lack the ability of touch where you can go from an extreme low soundvolume to extreme high soundvolume.
furthermore i find the sound of a real piano more mellow and warm than a digital.
nihonjin
in response to jazz+'s "comfort" post, i certainly agree that a rolls royce is immediately more comfortable than an old vw.

however, i was going with the idea that you know your instrument's quirks and how to deal with them, whereas the "new" instruments will always require a little getting used to before you can get the best performance from them.
there are no absolutes since every piano is different. they range from horrible (common) to great (rare) and everything in between (common).

there are many awful acoustics pianos that make a digital piano a luxury to play.
of course a good acoustic always trumps a digital simulation.
again, going back to my point tho, would you salute digital as an adequate way to learn?  as compared to an adequate way to perform?

i really don't want this thread to become digital vs acoustic in a general sense, but to be more focused on digital vs acoustic in the context of learning. and by this i mean to differentiate learning from practising and performing.  by learning i mean building the basics.  by practise i mean maintaining and building on top of basics.
i guess you're asking me? heh heh.

sure i salute digital keyboards.  they offer many advantages over acoustic pianos like:

size
weight
tuning
volume control

they can be a great tool for composition.

i'd rather have one over having nothing.  i would just avoid trying to develop technical finesse on them for obvious reasons.
i've got to agree with dr. whack on the roland fp-8. i've used one for years and i'm able to switch between acoustic piano and the fp-8 without noticing much of a difference in the action of the keyboard.

i shopped around for one of the newer digital pianos a few years ago because my fp-8 was falling apart and i couldn't believe how bad the action was on the newer ones. i ended up buying another fp-8 on ebay, luckily you could still find them fairly cheap at the time (that was 2004, i'm not sure if they're as easy to find anymore).
i went for about 10 years only playing digital pianos, and although i understood the romance involved with an acoustic instrument, i believed that as a practical matter, digital was better.  i was recently lucky enough to be given (long story) a relatively new yamaha u3 upright, in perfect condition, and at the same time scored a regular gig with an nice yamaha piano in-house.
it's hard to say why it feels so much nicer to play a good acoustic, but it just does, and it motivates me to practice more and play more.  my family like it too, because i tend to play less with headphones.
i think i have a very deeply ingrained fear of completely alien keyboards. i have had this recurring dream--probably since i learned to play piano where i'm at a gathering of some sort and i detect a piano sitting in the corner. after informing a few other guests that i can play, someone suggests i play-- but when i sit down and am about to bang out a few chords, i notice that all the keys are just straight white keys, or the keyboard is curved in a manner that may look nice, but is arranged so its totally unplayable. i look around and see a few people looking at me with anticipation, but my only feeling is to get the hell out of there in a cold sweat.
also, i'm in a place where there are lots of pianos--usually music store or something, and every piano--often very old but very large and ornate looking i sit has has some similar element of complete unplayability.  
am i nuts, or has anyone else experienced something similar?
wow...that's kinda like those dreams where your teeth start falling out, or you find that you're naked in a public place (both of which have happened to me, although i was not dreaming)
a recurring dream that i used to have was just the opposite of casparus'.

suddenly the piano would turn into a wooden table with no keys at all, yet no matter how i moved my fingers it sounded great.
stranger than truth....

i've also had recurring dreams about playing what started out to be a piano but then ends up being something very unpiano like, but everything i wish to play comes out of that wierd instrument..... and of course, the worst part, is, waking up, aaaaaarrg....
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