So, I bought my very first upright piano nearly 3 months ago after the numerous helpful replies I received to my questions here.

I've been playing it a bit now and then. Sometimes, while I was slowly sliding my fingers over the keys instead of entirely lifting them to move across the keyboard, I had this strange impression that I was "hitting something" inbetween some keys (like when you hit a speed bump while driving or something).

Today, out of curiosity, I crouched to look at the keyboard at key level, and I noticed at least one key that looked ever so slightly lower than the others. I didn't check, but I would say it can't be more than 1 millimetre, probably less.

I intend to ask the technician to check it on my first tuning, along with some other details.

In the mean time, I was wondering if it could possibly affect someone trying to learn piano? I don't think I have have the level to be affected by something like that on a noticeable scale yet, but part of me is thinking that your muscle memory will get used to the key being ever so slightly lower upon moving into another piano.

  • 5
    No, you can't use that as an excuse! Get on with your practising! The tech will put it right in no time, but till then, just play and take no notice.
    – Tim
    Aug 21, 2021 at 14:47
  • 2
    Strikes me that pianists so often move from one instrument to another that they have to be used to all kinds of variations in action and feel (unless, like Horowitz, you just ship your Steinway all around with you). Aug 21, 2021 at 16:57

2 Answers 2


As long as the key works, the slight alignment issue might be annoying, but it won't impact your learning, including your muscle memory. You may notice the change once you have it repaired, but your sense of touch will adjust quickly.

Differences in the overall feel between one piano and another — heaviness or lightness of the action, key depths — affects muscle memory for some pianists, but a single key on your own instrument is okay. Just have the repair done as soon as reasonably possible.


It's not ideal. It won't stop you learning to play. Different instruments feel different in much greater ways than one note being a bit low.

Your piano technician can adjust it. Here's what he'll probably do.

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