I have a 2 years old Yamaha YDP 163, and it is very hard to play on it. I did the coin test, and it was around 100g on middle C, around 80g in the higher range, and 120-150g in the lower range. Compared to an acoustic piano it is very strange and nearly impossible to do fast or piano, soft pieces on it.

Are Yamahas really bad like mine, or is it just mine's problem? What should I do?

  • According to this site, "down weight has very little to do with how the piano feels to the pianist when it is played" boddinpianoservice.be/PTDen.htm That said, I tested my Yamaha Silent upright and its initial down weight was around 55 grams around middle C ... are you sure you got those grams right, and there's no error by a factor of 2 or something? – piiperi Reinstate Monica May 26 '19 at 16:14
  • Yes, I'm sure, the weights are right. – Mart May 27 '19 at 4:42

There are several movements which can go into playing a key; forward shifting, forearm rotation, grouping of fingers and arm weight.

Drop your hand on a chord, any three notes. Notice that you are not really playing from the fingers but more the fulcrum of the elbow. You may not really notice it because we all eventually minimize the correct motions for efficiency.

When you play individual notes with your fingers, they should still come from the weight of the arm - the fulcrum of the elbow or gravity. This also requires you to adjust your elbow/forearm so that each finger you are using aligns behind the arm. That is why your two and three are naturally strong because they are right behind the arm. So is the four and five if you make the adjustment.

There are a lot of movements which can rob you of power. If there is a twist in your wrist you will lose power. Likewise if you abduct your fingers, then you lose the alignment of the forearm. Since each finger is a different length, in order to play on the edge of the keys where they are lightest, you need to have in/out motions. Playing black keys, you need to forward shift on top of them so, you need the up/down motion of your arm or, gravity/arm weight. Remember from HS physics, every motion must have an equal and opposite motion. In order to play down on a piano there must first be an up somewhere.

In order to play with power and a relaxed hand, there needs to be a lot of parts actively engaged, just not the ones most of us are taught to use. Your fingers don't have any muscles so the key is learning which muscles we actually need to use to play. If you play from the fingers, you risk straining your long flexor tendons and that ain't good. I know, I had it bad. I had to re-learn how to play and fifteen years later I am still eradicating bad habits from old repertoire.

  • It's not about my playing technique, there is no problem when I play on acoustic piano. – Mart May 27 '19 at 4:43

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