Imagine you’re having dinner with a friend when they run into a coworker. Your friend and their peer begin discussing a current project. You work in an entirely different industry, and so the jargon they used can be difficult to understand. However, after casually listening for a couple of minutes, you may begin to use context clues to put the pieces together. Although you may be completely confused at first, the more you investigate the better your understanding. This is the same experience many people have when they first begin shopping for a piano.
There are many terms used to describe pianos, and if you are looking to purchase your own you will need to better acquaint yourself with this jargon. One thing you’ll probably hear about a lot is a piano’s action. This refers to the way in which the piano reacts when you play each key or, more specifically, how the inner parts of the piano work.
There are three primary types of actions used for almost all pianos made today:
· Vertical Direct Blow
· Vertical Pull Up
A horizontal action describes the action of a grand piano. As you may have noticed, grand pianos cover much more space horizontally than vertical, upright pianos. This is due to the action inside and the way in which the strings and sounding board are laid out. One of the primary advantages to grand pianos is that they are more responsive than other piano types. When you press down upon one of the keys, the hammer travels upward to strike the underside of the strings. When you release the key, the hammer falls from the string and back into its striking position.
In future posts, I’ll explain the other two types of actions and how these types of pianos work. The more you know about each piano, the more likely you will be to make the right choice for your needs.
Have you ever played a grand piano? What advantages did you find to this type of action?