Tone production?

How do you express your own artistic vision on the piano through your own particular touch? How do you develop “tone”? It can’t be just the way you depress the keys (though I can’t think what else!), since then there would be some uniformity across pianists, I suppose.

This is quite a broad question, but since I’m not a pianist, it has always been incredible to me how this instrument can produce so many different sounds, although the physical connection between the instrument and the player is indirect. Playing the jazz guitar, I can feel the strings in my fingers; still, producing the sound I want is not obvious, and sometimes the electrical aspect helps. I can’t imagine how you fellas do it.

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You can put two competent people at the same instrument, tell them to the same passage with the same dynamics, and yet they may still sound different - even if you ask them to play without any pedal.

I suspect that tone is formed subconsciously: people experiment with different methods of touch, attack speed etc and find their own personal preferences, often without being aware that this is what they’ve done.


Ahahahah truuuu


Every mofo haff hiz own preference re which notez to pivot on durin a moizt melody or a zpeed run

N diz inztinct vil form da baziz fo tone production az well


Also, tone can’t be separated from balance, pedalling

It is more than just speed of attack but also depth… but most of all, tiz formed b4 you zit down n play



Perception of tone, volume vs “projection”

Tiz mostly about balance and quality of tone. Varieties of articulation. Pedalling plays a huge role.

Randomly, I prefer more mellow 88s. Hard to get mo muted colors on an overly bright instrument.
Also, many of da rebuilt Steinways I’ve played haff inferior action regulation (def not always a standard feel) but much better - clear yet mellow tone.

An 88 has itz own timbre, dun get moi wrong, but we zhape it to whut we want, wizin reasonable bounds


hahaha iz it az zimlple az:

1.) dependz on tha 88 itzelf
2.) how u make each zound relativ to evry otha zound (i.e. balanc lyk tha TM zayz)

i really haff no idea but zuzpect thoze :mrgreen:



Da question of dynamics vs tone quality also an important one.

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ahahahaha da tone production iz a complex zheeyat fo zhor

zum wikid pointz in diz thread

but i ztill want to hear

da GAV opinion :sunglasses:

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Da SMASH sound in octs randomly a LEGIT tone


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Daim sum wikid anzahs fo sho. Thanks brethren, if any mo mofos haff ideas plz pozt

Ah, while I’ve realised that different 88s produce different zound, I never thought that pozz mofoz use different 88s to get different zounds. Does each penizt haff like a signature 88 that zey commonly use? I suppose that generally you play what the venue has, but what about recording?

It alzo makez a differenz if u play with yo fingah tipz or da moah flezhy part of da fingahz. Alzo, too much tenzion in any part of da uppah body (wrizt, shouldahz etc) may affect da tone quality in a negativ way. Lack of elasticity in forte octaves will rezult in a moah bangy sound. Though da 88 haz a ratha pre-fab sound in general, cultivating tone-quality iz needed thru a well-coordinated n natural relaxed technique.

Sum elite peniztz like da Ho did.

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hahaha da ROBBAH providez da truly zcientific anzwah :man_scientist: :sunglasses:

This and


I really resent how much tone reveals about you. Your piano teacher can definitely work on it, but the most worthwhile change might very well come from a visit to your doctor, psychiatrist, chiropractor, bank, holiday retreat or gf/bf instead. I don’t have much experience with this but I also think it’s not only about the piano itself but about how well you bond with it. If you’re not friends, the struggle will show up in the tone.

Daim, this answer randomly cryptic and depressing.

Hahaha rezpecfully alzo related to DIZ -


Nooo… what I think it comes down to is 1) awareness and 2) a well functioning nervous system. A teacher can help you listen to yourself and make you aware of how what you’re doing at the keys translates to sound, and fix things like posture, seat height etc which will impact how you sound. But your tone at the piano is also a bit like your voice or the fine facial expressions IRL. If something’s not right - if you’re worried, tired, stressed, annoyed, angry etc - that will affect it as well no matter how hard you try to hide it. What I meant was that sometimes it’s not piano instruction or a shoulder massage you need, but an aspirin - or a holiday.

Alzo, different works demand different tone quality

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