I just received a Yamaha DGX-660 and was going through the manual when I stumbled on the "Touch Response" setting.

Below are the available options word-for-word from the manual.

  1. Soft
    • With a soft touch, the instrument produces a loud sound. The volume level of tones tends to be consistent.
  2. Medium
    • Standard touch response.
  3. Hard
    • You must hit the key very hard to generate a loud volume. This allows for versatile expression, from pianissimo to fortissimo tones.
  4. Fixed
    • No touch response. The volume level will be the same regardless of how hard you play the keys.

Now obviously I don't want Soft or Fixed for actual learning as I'd probably only ever select those for the fun voices, but I am kind of curious on Medium versus Hard.

I got this to try to properly learn to play piano and my knowledge of standard pianos are zero to none. I imagine I would want to use Hard to help properly develop dynamics, but the fact that it isn't the "standard" has me confused on what I should choose and why.

Which one should I be using? If it is Hard, why wouldn't they just make that the "standard"?

3 Answers 3


You don't need to "hit the keys very hard" to produce a loud volume on most acoustic pianos you are likely to play (unless you get to practise on a Steinway Concert Grand for some reason!)

In fact if you thump most acoustic pianos too hard, you just generate more mechanical noise, not louder notes.

It's worth mentioning that Yamaha acoustic pianos that are marketed specifically for child learners tend to have a very "light" touch - it's easy for a 7 or 8 year old to produce a good "forte" tone, but they are frustrating for more experienced pianists to play. They are a bit like driving a car which has good acceleration up to about 40mph, but then runs out of power! The "soft" setting might be intended to simulate that sort of keyboard response. Don't go there, unless you really are physically weak.

A full size concert grand is an exception - the limit for most pianists who aren't used to playing one is how much stamina you have, not how much punishment the piano will take before it stops playing any louder!

"No touch response" is more appropriate for simulating instruments which are not touch sensitive - harpsichord, organ, etc, but it won't teach you how to play a piano - and it won't teach you how to play real harpsichords or organs either, since their keyboards "feel" very different from a piano keyboard.


Medium. Learn to play with subtlety. And don't turn on a setting that encourages you to hammer the keys. It will wear the bearings and contacts out quicker.


I use medium most of the time, except when I don't want to hear the thumping of the keys or depending on the song

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