Digital pianos are one of the sturdiest instruments and can run for a long time with proper piano care. Frustrations arise when you encounter a broken key on your digital piano. Digital pianos are occasionally prone to scenarios of broken keys, but you can fix most of them with a bit of handy work. The article aims at teaching you how to fix a stuck key, sticky key, and other keys that are not producing good sound.
Understanding the cause of failure in a digital piano facilitates easy fixing of the keys. You can do it yourself for simple repairs, whereas complex fixing calls for help from a specialized tuner. Without further ado, find out how to fix digital piano keys from the arising key failures.
Why electric piano keys won’t work
A digital piano is said to function correctly whenever the keys pressed produce the real sound. Broken digital piano keys occur due to varying reasons such as temperature conditions, wear and tear, and foreign objects; thus, fixing a digital piano key may vary from one keyboard to another. Problems associated with broken keys include;
- Dust build-up on the sensors
- Part of the key has snapped (stuck keys are a result of a broken backend of the key)
- When a coin/penny/anything similar falls inside the keyboard
- Broken spring below the key
Before fixing a broken key, keep in mind the manufacturer’s warranty. In addition, for any key-related functionality, consult the product manual by the manufacturer. Check on guides regarding installing, using, and troubleshooting to repair small hurdles.
What you’ll need
You don’t need too many tools to fix hurdles associated with digital piano keys. You require a Phillips screwdriver, some glue, a cleaning solution, and a potential replacement key from the manufacturer. Having the tools makes the fixing work more effective and efficient.
Purchase the necessary items at hardware, musical instrument spare parts warehouse, or electronics workshop. Some of the tools needed to fix and repair failing keys in an electric piano include;
- Blade and cutter
- Insulating tape
- Blow spray, sealant spray, and foam spray
- Bolts and nuts
- Tester and multi-tester
- Lamps/ illuminator
- Cleaning solution
How to fix piano keys that don’t work
As you open up the piano, take pictures frequently to ensure you don’t forget the details during closure. Additionally, keep parts that you take out together in place.
- First, identify the opening ports and section for your digital piano. Screws to open up the keyboard are located on the rear side. Use a tape and a sharpie to mark which keys aren’t working.
- Unscrew the screws to get at the keys. Remove the back panel by unscrewing all the screws beneath the piano. Remove the central screw that looks different from the rest.
- Pull the whole upper part slowly and carefully. Tilt it back to look inside.
- Rip off the two cables connecting the panel to the piano.
- Identify the key problem. Either key is stuck, not going down, producing weird noise, or making no sound.
- Clean the sensors gently and get rid of all the dirt and dust, which is likely to be the source of the problem.
- Inspect which keys aren’t producing sound. Then, pull out the keys by pushing down the springs beneath/ backside and lift it out.
- Remove any coin or penny found within the key bed. If your key is broken/ chipped, consider replacing it with a new one.
- Identify the type of key your keyboard uses, and Google search for its specific replacement. Purchase the replacement key to replace the damaged keys.
- Take the replacement key and push it down and to the front. Finally, slide the panel back carefully.
The most common cases of broken keys and what to do
Sticky keys on a digital piano
If you have a digital upright piano, follow the below instructions to fix sticky keys;
- Open the top hinged cover.
- Use a screwdriver to unscrew the front panel. Then, lift it to access the action and keys.
- Push the hammer forward to release the key. Alternatively, unscrew and take out all the action to expose the keys. Keys rubbing against each other seem more swollen than others because of moisture.
- Counter check the opened section of the piano. Eliminate foreign object that may cause a sticky key. Grab and remove anything that doesn’t belong.
- Hold the locked keys and force them up and down. Alternate the sides as you push it from right to left. Use your other hand to grasp the adjacent keys and keep them out of the way.
- Use a specialized cleaning solution to dissolve all the dirt/ dust buildup. The sticky keys are now resolved.
- Replace/ return all the removed parts and close the cover. Screw back the panels in place.
Broken synthesizer keys
The problem occurs as the keys start to stick up. Fix the synthesizers by replacing the entire key-bed. Seek replacement from the manufacturer. Open up your keyboard and remove the key-bed only to replace it.
Dead or unresponsive keys
If cleaning the keys doesn’t trigger functionality, don’t rush to replace the dead key. Dead and unresponsive keys may be a result of electronics below the key.
- Open the screws to disintegrate the keyboard apart.
- Carefully remove the key stop hanging on the front of the board. Inspect the silicone pad functionality. Consider a replacement if it’s the issue.
- Unhook the dead key from the frame by pushing it down
- Clean the bedding of key
- Replace and put the key stop back to reassemble the piano.
No/ uneven volume
Despite varying models and brands of piano producing huge tones and ranges, digital pianos produce sound with the contact of a key with the strip. If keys are damaged, loose, or dirty, the sound will be uneven or don’t play at all.
Key contacts are graphite; thus, examine them and clean them properly using a proper contact cleaner.
Most digital pianos integrate plastic keys. Unstuck keys by wiggling your fingers up and down through them. Press down stuck and adjacent keys to release them. Alternatively, clean the stuck keys using a damp cloth and dry them.
- In small amount of liquid soap dip the damp
- Rub lightly to wipe the dirty keys using the wet cloth
- Rub gently until completely clean and dry fully
- Release stuck keys using a flathead screwdriver. Insert it gently between stuck keys, twist it slightly, and drive them apart.
Measures and solutions to common repairs
Take care of your digital piano regularly. Use a mini vacuum tool to clean difficult areas of your piano instrument.
Opt for an authorized service facility to repair your keyboard instrument. If the digital piano has a significant problem, take it to the nearest musical instrument shop and let a qualified technician repair it. Digital pianos are complex instruments; hence, fixing things on your own can lead to additional problems.
Avoid the use of any chemical cleaning agent for cleaning your digital piano. Bleaching agents could cause permanent damage.
Consider the humidity condition in the room. Humidity causes swelling of keys, thus, leading to sticky keys. In case other repairs fail, check the humidity levels.
Poorly functioning keys in a digital piano ruin the overall experience. Fixing digital piano keys can be resolved by either repairing or getting a new digital piano. Ideally, you can opt to call a technician or fix it yourself. Follow some of the mentioned solutions on how to fix digital piano key and save hundreds of dollars.