Any information about difference between the two types will be helpful!

  • 1
    Where did you see those terms? Can you provide a link perhaps? – Todd Wilcox Oct 17 '17 at 4:18

I assume that you're talking about the action of the keys. If so, I covered this in a recent answer about MIDI controllers:

The key action is a matter of how hard it is to push the key down before you trigger a note. A real piano key has a bit weight to it and requires more force to push it down than a synth. This is a good thing for dynamics because it makes it easier to play the softer notes which in turn means that it's easier to play a wider dynamic range of volumes.

MIDI controllers that attempt to mimic that piano feel will be marketed as "hammer action", "fully weighted", or something similar. Those with no weight at all might call it "synth action" or avoid mentioning it altogether. In the middle is "semi-weighted".

Again this comes down to if you want to play like a piano player. If you are playing anything non-synth (piano, electric piano, etc) then being able to play dynamically is pretty important and I'd look for something with hammer or at the very least semi-weighted action. Other than that, it's up to taste. Try some out at a music store if you can to see what key feel you like.

So essentially, when a key action has more "weight" it's harder to push down. That might sound bad. But it actually means that it gives you more control over the volume.

  • so, if Im not mistaken, it will be mostly upon the user, and possible to get used to the weight (light/semi/heavy) with practice! right? – Amar Nath Das Oct 17 '17 at 4:25
  • To an extent. But it's really hard to play piano-like dynamics on a keyboard with a light action. My advice is that if you want to use piano sounds—I assume you're talking about a MIDI controller here—lean toward a heavier action at least. If want to actually earn to play piano definitely go for a hammer/heavy action. Switching from playing a non-hammer action keyboard to a real piano will be tough dynamically. – user37496 Oct 17 '17 at 4:36

"Lightweight" and "heavyweight" are not actually differentiating the force you need to apply in order to get a differentiation in loudness, but rather the momentum. A weighted keyboard has inertia on its keys (generated by some lever+weight mechanism that might actually warrant decoupling a digital piano from the floor). This is different from a "semiweighted keyboard" which is not much more than harder springs, but no inertia.

As a result, for a weighted keyboard the accelerating action taken before the key strike is more relevant than with a merely resistive keyboard where more of a distinction is made at the time of striking. Graded loudness and fine-grained articulation is easier to do with weighted keyboards. The release, in contrast, is mushier. For basically percussive sounds (piano, harpsichord, clavichord, celesta), weighted keyboards are the best choice. For continuous-sound instruments where the release is as important as the attack (organ, harmonium, accordion), a weighted keyboard is a distraction.


piano pieces are easier to play on an unweighted board, trills, arpeggios and runs are much easier and less stressful on the muscles in your hands(older musicians typically have arthritis in their hands due to years of stress being put on them as a result of playing weighted keys and therefore typically can't perform as good as they used to), touch sensitivity and a sustain pedal are really all you need for proper dynamics, unweighted keys will take undue stress off of your hand muscles and add years to you being able to effectively play your instrument, piano samples on synths are just as good(sometimes better) than a DP or stage piano anyway and nobody in your audience will be able to tell if your keys are unweighted, I played weighted keys for 16 years and replaced all of my stage pianos with 61 and 76 key synthesizers 7 years ago and never looked back, my playing experiences have been much more enjoyable since

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