I mean on the electric keyboard, does it matter how hard you press? it seems like it will produce the same volume no matter what.

I want to play the dynamic "piano."

  • 1
    Some keyboards can do this, and some can't. Those that can are called "velocity sensitive". Some players might not consider that lightweight plastic keys are ideal for playing dynamics well though. Apr 11, 2017 at 17:22
  • 1
    If you want the feeling of a piano, you need to try some digital piano. You can start looking for the Casio Privia line - they are quite good (for the price) and robust (so buying a used one is an option) For example amazon.com/Casio-PX-330-Digital-Tri-Sensor-Scaled/dp/B002IVI970
    – leonbloy
    Apr 13, 2017 at 14:36

4 Answers 4


It depends on your equipment.

Some keyboards come with what are called "touch-sensitive" keys, where the force by which you press the key changes the resulting volume. Thus if you press the key lightly, you play a quiet volume, but more forceful pressing results in a louder volume.

Without this feature, keyboards will only play a set volume, and you have to adjust the volume manually (which can be done in various ways).

  • Also called "velocity sensitive"
    – Dave
    Apr 16, 2017 at 21:29

It seems to be a matter of how much you spend.

Cheap: light plastic keys that don't feel like a piano and don't react to how hard you press.

Medium: similar keys but they react to pressure. Better but they still don't feel like a real piano.

Expensive: some feel very much like real pianos but they may also cost as much as real pianos.


Many electric keyboards are velocity-sensitive. They keys have two contacts; one closes early during the stroke, and another when the key is full way down. The time gap between these two events depends on how strong (actually how fast) do you press, and controls the loudness.

The ability to control the dynamics also depends on how "heavy" the keys are. If the keys are too easy to press, it may be very difficult to press them faster or slower, you always just get the same. Even if you master somehow, the skill is not transferable to the acoustic piano and may even bind to some specific model of the electric keyboard.

You need a "fully weighted keyboard" to get something comparable to the piano keyboard. Not all of these keyboards are very expensive; cheaper versions cost only hundreds when any piano normally costs thousands.

Very high end models may even have part of the actual piano mechanism (while no strings), aiming for the really precise imitation, but approach a piano in price and more make sense only if you need a silent instrument.


Depends completely on the piano/keyboard at hand - this question would be more answerable if you gave us a link to the keyboard.

Many cheaper electric keyboards have no tactic sensor however most midrange electric (and upwards) pianos/keyboards have a velocity sensor and so it can be played dynamically.

  • Welcome to Music.SE. — Actually, only the very cheapest general-purpose keyboards have no dynamic sensing at all. Most you can get today do have velo sensitivity, including the cheaper ones – it just tends to work not very accurately. Apr 17, 2017 at 16:12
  • @leftaroundabout yes that is true however due to the fact it is usually very inaccurate I decided to not over-complicate the situation. I find that the cheaper ones tend to either play very quietly or very loudly and so there is little room for variation!
    – Ben Hughes
    Apr 17, 2017 at 16:18

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