Easy Piano Keyboard

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
JCJR
KVRAF
2738 posts since 17 Apr, 2005 from S.E. TN

Post Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:37 am

Ya, ergonomics is good compared to the alternatives. I don't want to sound like a nay-sayer. More power to alternate keys that work.

The mod my friend made with his injection molded keytops to my EPS keyboard many years ago would probably be classed a variant of four-row janko. It is easy for a no-talent hack to dismiss thangs he doesn't have talent to use or intelligence to understand, and maybe that's me. I just found that some fingerings hard on piano keyboard were easy on the multi-row wholetone keyboard. But on the other hand some fingerings "relatively easy" on piano keyboard seemed "difficult and un-ergonomic" on the "improved" keyboard.

I'm not thinking real hard on this topic, but POSSIBLY it isn't the best idea to try to retrofit a multi-row design on-top of conventional keyboard key-spacing. Or maybe its a great idea. I haven't a clue.

But that is what happens if we just saw off old keytops and glue on new keytops. Maybe some of the issues I had wouldn't have been so weird if the key spacing could have been made wider or some other modification. Dunno. But in that case a new scanner contact board and other action parts would probably need fabricating, in order to try different horizontal spacings.

Either that or a "clever mechanical mind" somehow fanning wide keys down to actuate the old narrow key spacing. You see the technique in mechanical keyboard instruments, where a key appears to the player in one horizontal position, but inside the instrument the key extends at an angle, actuating a hammer or plectrum at an entirely different horizontal position, where the actual target string resides.

tapper mike
KVRAF
5069 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Easy Piano Keyboard

Post Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:42 am

I can't believe I missed this thread.

There have been more than a few attempts at the Janko keyboard. There is actually a school attached to the Chromatone in Japan.

I had a passing interest in Chromatone instruments a few years ago. Even was tempted to buy one direct from japan. I'm glad I went to grid interfaces. I find that they are the true isophomorphic design. It's much easier for guitarists/bassists to transition to from keyboards. Many already incorporate polyphonic aftertouch and they are already on the market.

adXok
KVRist
38 posts since 14 Nov, 2009

Re: Easy Piano Keyboard

Post Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:17 am

It is coming...

Image



Pashkuly Keyboard
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
Forgotten
KVRAF
3299 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: Easy Piano Keyboard

Post Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:37 am

The biggest problem I would have with this is that I would have to learn every piano piece I know on an entirely new instrument. I get that a piano keyboard is far from optimal, but it pretty much ubiquitous. Being able to play easier is appealing, but I'm used to a piano keyboard so I don't think the trade off is worth it.

Would check out the video on the previous page if I could, but I get an error when I try to view it.

User avatar
BertKoor
KVRAF
11237 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Easy Piano Keyboard

Post Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:14 pm

You need a proper website, not just a collection of images in the cloud. I'd say making a website is far easier than manufacturing something physical, but essential for selling them.
Good luck, again...
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!

User avatar
Forgotten
KVRAF
3299 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: Easy Piano Keyboard

Post Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:39 pm

I agree with BertKoor - it's pretty much essential in this day and age to have a good web presence, not just a website, but a prominent FaceBook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc. presence.

All I see here is a link to a YouTube video that I can't watch.

adXok
KVRist
38 posts since 14 Nov, 2009

Re: Easy Piano Keyboard

Post Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:45 pm

Forgotten wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:37 am
Would check out the video on the previous page if I could, but I get an error when I try to view it.
Do not worry, Forgotten. It was an old video made with the prototype (which was partially functional).
It is not targeting the elderly piano players. Would be pointless.
Things have to progress though... there are many problems with Music nomenclature, Notation, the piano keyboard is just the beginning.

Please, also keep in mind that with Pashkuli keyboard the performer could play impossible before wide (jazzy) chords, crazy fast phrases in any and from any root note with equal easiness.
The widest interval (and I do not have big hands) I can span, is from A to E (in the next "octave") :party: and I can still use the rest three finger to trigger other notes.#
Let me show you a little teaser... and I really am glad that you express your opinions. For a guy who is working alone in his shed, that means a lot! :tu:

I am doing all things on my own - yes web presence is crucial.

*** note that the relative dimensions and sizes between the keyboards are accurate... both having 88 keys each. ;)
Image
Last edited by adXok on Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

JCJR
KVRAF
2738 posts since 17 Apr, 2005 from S.E. TN

Re: Easy Piano Keyboard

Post Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:10 pm

Just about all classes of instruments should be similarly improved.

All horns are very difficult to finger. Some key signatures are merely somewhat difficult to finger wheras other key signatures are incredibly difficult to finger. Woodwind players, playing in "odd keys" sometimes call it "playing on the sides of the horn" because so many side keys in difficult hard-to-reach locations must be simultaneously mashed.

And guitar, bass, or really any of the stringed instruments. The fingers must be forced into incredibly difficult non-ergonomic shapes to play chords, melodies and scales on guitar, bass, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, etc.

Not to mention drums-- The entire practice of drumming is drastically non-ergonomic, difficult and exhausting. You have to learn to make every hand and foot do different things all in cooperation with each other. Old drummers collect an even longer list of RSI work-related ailments than keyboardists, horn players or string-instrument players. Hemorrhoids, lower back problems, upper back problems, neck problems. Wrist, elbow and shoulder problems. Ankle, knee and hip problems. Hearing loss from the loud pounding impulsive sound. The practice of drumming just wears out the whole damn body!

It is apparent that really all musical instruments are near-impossible to learn and play, causing pain and RSI injury if a foolish human persists in the self-destructive practice.

Current musical instruments are all so difficult to play, it is amazing that any human, regardless how masochistic, could ever achieve even mediocre competence. We would be wise to get rid of them all until safe and effective direct brain interfaces have been devised.

adXok
KVRist
38 posts since 14 Nov, 2009

Re: Easy Piano Keyboard

Post Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:20 pm

JCJR wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:10 pm
We would be wise to get rid of them all until safe and effective direct brain interfaces have been devised.
Strange response and somehow... prophetic. In fact I can't play piano (for obvious reason... that is why I have designed one in attempt to eliminate my frustration with the standard one, which I found awful when I was 14). I am a drummer and a little bit of a guitar player. That's it.

tapper mike
KVRAF
5069 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Easy Piano Keyboard

Post Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:23 am

Honestly learning on a new instrument isn't the end of the world if the instrument is thought out well. Some simply aren't like the Axis.


....Though. Roger Linn designed a instrument based on a Janko and gave up on it.

With regards to Hannon... It's crap. It doesn't transfer well to other instruments it doesn't build hand independence (which it claims) It doesn't reflect any grand musical ideas and it doesn't transpose to other instruments. Bach, Beethoven, Paganini, even Slonimsky are better study material for classical, jazz and rock than Hannon.

User avatar
thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
24517 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: Easy Piano Keyboard

Post Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:36 am

adXok wrote:
Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:34 am

Here are the demonstration videos on my YouTube channel. Any criticism, advices, recommendations are more than welcome. Thank you!

Plain Piano Keyboard - YouTube channel
Youtube says "playlist does not exist"

adXok
KVRist
38 posts since 14 Nov, 2009

Re: Easy Piano Keyboard

Post Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:25 am

tapper mike wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:23 am
Honestly learning on a new instrument isn't the end of the world if the instrument is thought out well. Some simply aren't like the Axis.

....Though. Roger Linn designed a instrument based on a Janko and gave up on it.

With regards to Hannon... It's crap. Bach, Beethoven, Paganini, even Slonimsky are better study material for classical, jazz and rock than Hannon.
I had no idea Roger tried an attempt at Janko-like design of his own. Can you give me more info on that?

Axis by C-thru as well as some others like Terpstra, Starr Labs... maybe somehow suitable for microtonal but for "normal" music their design has tremendous flaws.

Sorry, I do not know who Hannon is.

Pashkuli keyboard - non-sync video preview - sorry, I'm learning video editing! :help:

User avatar
BertKoor
KVRAF
11237 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Easy Piano Keyboard

Post Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:03 pm

Charles-Louis Hanon published a book with piano exersizes in 1873: The Virtuoso Pianist
(referenced by JCJR on prev page, 2 years ago)

And I guess the other reference is Linnstrument, which has simular (but not hexagonal) layout.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!

User avatar
JoeCat
KVRian
1305 posts since 19 May, 2011 from North Carolina

Re: Easy Piano Keyboard

Post Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:29 pm

While I can certainly see a use for alternative designs (I'm a classical pianist but enjoy grid layouts like Ableton Push from time to time, especially because it erases muscle memory and inspires new compositions), attempts to mainstream alternate layouts often fail, partly because the body of work for an instrument means most alternate layouts are not entirely compatible.

Piano especially draws on an enormous body of work written for the exiting layout. While some composers were not "pianistic" in their keyboard compositions, most were. I find Beethoven to be particularly "comfortable" to play even when difficult, outside of the occasional passages where the composition naturally dictated ignoring the geography of the keyboard (and biology of the player - the Waldstein trill would argue for a third hand!). Chromatic passage in Chopin naturally flow with wrist and arm movement, something that might be compressed somewhat unaturally in a Jenko layout, where one would have to work against the layout to present what the composer intended.

So a pianist investing in a Jenko-style piano would IMHO be forced to invest simultaneously in a traditional layout to ensure existing compositions are naturally playable even if some are easier. And if the new layout were popular, composers would find new ways to push it to the limit until we were back looking for yet another solution. Back would never have considered torturing his pupils with Islamay!

I think alternate layouts would be better (and less controversially) marketed as co-existing with, rather than replacing, traditional ones. I may purchase a Roli or Linnstrument someday, but will never perform The Goldberg Variations on either.

JCJR
KVRAF
2738 posts since 17 Apr, 2005 from S.E. TN

Re: Easy Piano Keyboard

Post Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:01 pm

I was being somewhat ornery in mentioning Hanon exercises as "something probably easier to do on 88's than any other kind of keyboard". There were also books of scales, but many of the dexterity exercises mainly were intended to improve finger strength and finger-thumb overlapping, up to high rates of speed.

A typical exercise would play some repetitive pattern, all on the white notes, starting on note C. Then the next phrase of the exercise repeats exactly the same finger gymnastics, all on the white notes, but starting on note D. Then the third phrase of the exercise repeats exactly the same finger gymnastics pattern, but starting on note E.

The typical exercise goes on that way, repeating exactly the same pattern on all white keys, but incrementing by one white key, for an octave to two, then turns around and does a repetitive cycle downward, repeating the pattern "down by one white note" for each repetition.

Both left hand and right hand play exactly the same note sequence. Patterns that are easy for the left hand tend to be hard for the right hand and vice-versa, and so different "easiest fingering strategies" are learned for both hands. Left hand uses different fingers and crosses thumb over at different places in the pattern than the right hand.

You can find youtube videos of hanon exercises (and scales) at speed.

Now the issue of left hand vs right hand fingering-- I don't think that any kind of alternate keyboard design will negate the sad fact that because the left and right hands have thumbs on opposite sides, that no matter what kind of keyboard you play, you will need to learn two different "best fingering practices" to play music at-speed. One "best fingering practice" for left hand and another "best fingering practice" for right hand.

The only way to avoid that would be to invent an instrument with dual mirror-image keboards, one keyboard for each hand. One keyboard rises in pitch from left to right and the other keyboard rises in pitch from right to left. That way you could play exactly the same fingering on both hands and get exactly the same result. What is easy for the left-hand to finger on the "Pitch Descending" keyboard would be equally easy for the right-hand to finger on the "Pitch Ascending" mirror image keyboard. You could play both hands in unison using exactly the same fingering on both hands.

HOWEVER, where I was being snarky mentioning Hanon as a test for alternate keyboards-- All those Hanon exercises where after awhile a student can just flash because he is always playing exactly the same pattern on white keys. The only difference is that he keeps moving the pattern up and down the white keys.

On a multi-row alternate keyboard, the note-equivalent of "all the white keys" are not on the same row. So if you duplicate the Hanon excercise with first phrase based on C, all white notes you have to flash your repetitive pattern on at least two rows of keys. Then when the pattern moves up to D you are still on at least two rows but traversing them from D-D rather than C-C.

Some of those hanon patterns go up-and-down 2 or more octaves. Efficiently fingering "all white notes" long-distance repetitive patterns, starting at every possible root white note, I suspect would be a bigger fingering challenge on alternate keyboard than on 88's. Maybe it would be easy to finger the Hanon exercises two-handed identical at fast tempo on alternate-design keyboards, but it is hard for me to believe that. The times I've played with janko-type keyboards, or chromatic button accordion layouts, never could get my fingering anywhere near elegant but I'm not a very good musician and my fingering is hardly elegant on 88's either. :)

Sure hanon is an artificial example. Still, I think it would be easier to do hanon at fast tempo on 88's than most alternate keyboards, for the reasons explained.
Last edited by JCJR on Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Return to “Hardware (Instruments and Effects)”