PTM 2020 Convention

David Stanwood

Core Concepts of Touch and Tone

Learn about the relationships of hammer weight to inertia and voicing, touch and tone.

What's in the episode ?

David will share his insights garnered from 42 years in the trade. Learn how the tone of light weight Chopin era hammers inspired the creation of great compositions. The modern day hammer is much heavier and those inspiring qualities are easily lost. Deeper understanding of the unique properties of wool felt lead to voicing
methods that add tone color and expand tonal range into the pianissimo.


As for touch, the underlying and overriding factor is the “Inertia” of the leveraged hammer weights. Leverage Ratio and Hammer Weight levels vary widely and finding the correct match is key to producing a desired playing quality. Learn how to let the action speak for itself to get the right inertia with my straight forward calculation-free approach.



David Stanwood

David draws from a lifetime of experience in diversified fields like
machine tool making, felt making, photography, sailing and
classical piano. While a student at NBSS an unanswered question,
"If the action doesn't feel right what can I do to change it?" led him
down a lifelong path of researching and developing methods for
improving the feel of piano actions. Since then he remains a
pioneer in his field of "Piano Touchweight Technology."


A stellar reputation in the piano industry

"David Stanwood holds a U.S. patent for a mechanism that allows pianists to customize the feel and sound of a piano in a matter of seconds."

From MV Times

"Mr. Stanwood’s experimental action has been praised by pianists including classical star Richard Goode and improviser Keith Jarrett, who used it to record an album after he was too weakened by illness to attack the keyboard with his usual force."

From Vineyard Gazetter

Feedback from this lecture's participants. 

"I was pleasantly surprised to learn so much about felt from David, as I had expected this to be more of a "numbers session.""

Convention Participant

Shared via Survey

"David Stanwood took us on a fabulous journey into the heart of piano tone by starting with a flock of sheep, from shearing, felting, up to the implications for pressing and voicing hammers...and beyond, shedding light on the the many techniques we technicians use to get a hammer to sound good from ppp to fff. Bravo."

Convention Participant

Shared via Survey

"Really liked the in-depth discussion of felt, the electron microscope photographs and discussion of historical construction of hammers. Brilliant."

Convention Participant

Shared via Survey

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