If you are looking to improve your piano lessons, rehearsing at home is fundamental. Yet, buying a standard piano to rehearse on at home is not only costly, but it requires a great amount of room that you may not have.
Fortunately, quality keyboards with weighted keys can reproduce the vibe of playing a real acoustic piano. These weighted keyboards are small, affordable, and functional for home practice. You won’t need to break a bank to acquire them, and they can fit perfectly into your limited space.
You may also want to know more about what a weighted keyboard is, what types of weighted keys are available, and the difference between hammer action vs weighted keys keyboard. This guide will provide you with all the information you need.
Getting Familiar With Weighted Keys
To understand how a weighted action keyboard works, you should know the main types of weighted keyboards available, the peculiarity of their functions, and how they are different from a traditional keyboard.
First, keyboards with weighted keys can be semi-weighted or fully weighted.
Focusing on semi-weighted keys, the observable distinction is in the keys’ resistance. A Semi-weighted keyboard uses a spring mechanism alongside the weights connected to each key. Despite the use of springs, whenever a musician pushes down the key, it will feel almost effortless, and it is sluggish as it bounces back.
Even though semi-weighted keyboards are appropriate for beginners, they don’t help you build a good endurance level.
They do not flaunt a portion of your proper piano technique, such as a quick repeat. Plus, they don’t have the same rebound that you get with a conventional piano. Though this makes playing more straightforward, you lose a portion of the technique that is common to a traditional piano.
Fully Weighted Keyboards
Fully weighted keys work similarly to semi-weighted, but there is superior resistance with a heavier touch. Fully weighted keyboard pianos are ideally suited for amateurs who are figuring out how to play the instrument.
The extra weight on the keys empowers students to develop strength in their hands as they practice piano playing.
On an acoustic piano, you can experience the counterweight (you feel the hammers move up and down) as you push the keys. A weighted keyboard has a playing style based on spring and weight mechanism, and you hardly feel the counterweight.
The touch response of digital pianos with weighted keys is different from that of acoustic ones, and many piano players may not have the skill to transition their playing from one to another.
Nevertheless, playing piano on fully weighted or semi-weighted keyboards is a far better choice than using an unweighted keyboard.
Size And Weight Of Hammer Action Keyboards
While putting resources into a piano with hammer action, you should know that you will be dealing with a complete keyboard system.
Rather than a small keyboard on a music stand, these keyboards take up a considerable amount of room. They are essentially the size of a standard upright piano at around 5 feet in width and 4 feet above the ground.
Some of these large keyboards weigh as much as 68kg. Generally, it is not up to the size of a grand piano, yet you will need to create a considerable amount of space to keep it.
Benefits Of Weighted Keys Keyboard
- Weighted keys are portable, light, small, and easy to move around your desired places
- They come at affordable prices
- They are easy to work on and can be a good choice for starters
Limitations Of Weighted Keys Keyboard
- The transition from playing a weighted keyboard to a hammer action keyboard or a real piano is more difficult
- Weighted keys do not offer the same resistance as acoustic pianos
Hammer Action Keyboards
Hammer action digital pianos are types of keyboards that simulate a traditional piano. These keyboards give you a more realistic feel and an improved bounce back, just like a real piano.
Though digital pianos with weighted keys are less expensive than hammer action keyboards, hammer action keyboards give a more beautiful playing experience.
One main feature of the hammer action keyboard is its longer keys, which are meant to simulate the counterweight of a conventional piano.
The hammer action keyboards are designed to use a hammer mechanism with small hammers connected to each key at the end. As you push down the key, the hammer goes up, and as you release it, it goes back down.
Alongside the hammer mechanism, weights are added under the keys to increase the resistance and the touch of each key. This helps the piano player develop playing endurance and proper technique. The harder you press the keys, the stronger the sound.
Benefits Of Hammer Action Keyboards
- Replication of the heavier touch, velocity sensitivity, and sound of a traditional piano
- Suitable to improve your piano playing skills and a good choice for experienced players
- There is room for an easy transition to an acoustic piano
- The weights of the keys enable you to build strength in your hands and play endurance
Limitations Of Hammer Action Keyboards
- These keyboards are heavier and difficult to move around
- They might get you exhausted if you are unfamiliar with them
- If you are on a budget, a hammer action keyboard may not be for you
Differences Between Hammer Action Vs Weighted Keys Keyboards
Many weighted touch piano teachers would always suggest you buy a hammer action keyboard instead of one with weighted keys as they will provide you with a better performance.
The distinction between hammer action and weighted keys is how much resistance they offer.
Keyboards with hammer action repeat similar playing styles of conventional pianos. Hammer action keys have heavier bass keys and the high pitch keys are of a lighter touch. On the other hand, weighted keys are harmonious with similar heaviness on every key on the keyboard.
Another difference is the size. Weighted keys are smaller than hammer action keyboards, and they are easy to convey from one place to another with convenient storage.
Why Should You Choose Hammer Action Keyboards Over Weighted Keys?
Piano with hammer action is the ideal substitute if the expensive models of acoustic pianos are beyond your reach. As far as general improvement is concerned, hammer action will genuinely help your muscle growth as a piano player. Hammer action is vital for fostering a realistic playing experience of an acoustic piano.
Learning piano is similar to other skills. The type of equipment you utilize affects the way you improve. Keyboards with hammer action allow you to work on developing an actual sound, playing at a dynamic level, and executing articulations like staccato and legato.
If the keyboard was semi-weighted or fully weighted, utilizing only the key mechanism without the hammer systems, those performance aspects would not be effectively attainable.
A digital piano with hammer action works effectively by accurately portraying all your input with your hands and arms. These keyboards can rapidly compute how much power you play with, give reasonable key depth and provide the right sort of bounce back and resistance to make you feel like it is the real deal.
Difference Between Hammer Action and Graded Hammer Action Keyboards
Graded hammer action, also called progressive hammer action, requires that the keys be designed to offer resistance and feel like those on a piano.
With graded weighting, the keys on the lower end of the keyboard will have a heavier touch, and the keys on the higher end of the keyboard will have a lighter touch.
This model is different from a hammer action keyboard as it better imitates the real resistance that you will experience on a traditional piano than you will find in hammer action keys.
Buying Your Keyboard
Keyboards with weighted keys are definitely worth the hassle for piano beginners. They are essential in your music training and will add to your improvement as a music producer.
A keyboard with weighted keys will cost more than an unweighted keyboard, though the functions surpass the price range. The weighted keyboards will simplify the progress from a keyboard to a real piano, helping you develop fundamental finger dexterity and strength, and figuring out how to control your dynamics.
We hope this article has provided you with a better picture of the differences between hammer action vs weighted keys keyboards to help you choose the one best suits you.
A weighted key keyboard is an absolute necessity, especially one that uses a hammer mechanism. Overall, it is still a matter of personal preference.