In addition to being a private violin teacher, Alecia started writing music-related articles 3 years ago and has been enjoying this experience greatly. Loves quilting and scrapbooking in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and even promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners could enjoy some really good music.
Last updated: May 17, 2021
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One of the reasons many people change their digital pianos after a few years is when the keys start failing and don’t produce sound. This forces you to put it in the cellar and spend a lot on a new model.
When your digital musical piano has some problems with the keys and the warranty offered by the manufacturer has expired, you can ask for help from a specialized tuner or fix it yourself. However, small repairs like key fixing can be accomplished in minutes, with one or two tools. To know how to fix digital piano keys, you have to be sure of the cause of failure.
For a digital piano to function properly, each key must function when pressed. Several problems can cause the keys to stick or not work, ranging from temperature conditions, foreign objects, and even general wear and tear.
Always check your digital piano manual first
The first resource to consult when you have any problem whatsoever with your digital piano is to consult the product manual provided by the manufacturer. Like any other equipment, the manufacturers provide detailed guides on how to install, use, and troubleshoot and repair small problems.
However, having consulted the manual and find the information insufficient for conducting a do-it-yourself repair, then continue with the tutorial.
Tools to use in the repair of a piano
To repair an electric piano of any brand or model, certain tools are necessary to help us make the work more efficient and effective.
These tools can be purchased at any hardware store, musical instrument spare parts warehouse, electronics workshops, etc.
You should have all of the tools them all, to be able to repair it well and quickly. However, the most important tools are the screwdriver, the cleaning solution, and a replacement key, depending on what the problem is.
You will notice that the time it takes to repair a damaged part of an electric piano key is not long.
In case you wonder what brand or model the tools and equipment should be, the brand does not matter. The important thing is that you have the tools.
The tools and equipment that you can use to repair failing keys in an electric piano are:
Tester and Multitester
Lamps or illuminator
A digital piano key cleaning solution
Bolts and nuts
Blade and cutter
Blow spray, foam spray, and sealant spray
How to fix stuck keys: Cleaning instructions
Below are instructions on how to fix sticky keys on a digital piano:
Instructions for an upright piano
If you have a digital upright piano, open the hinged cover at the top. Unscrew the front panel and lift it to access the action and keys. Pushing the hammer forward can release the key. If it doesn’t, unscrew and take out all the action to expose the keys. If some keys rub against each other due to moisture (they’ll look more swollen than other keys). Pull back and sand their sides.
Look inside the top of the piano for any foreign objects that make keys stick. You should be able to reach to grab any object that doesn’t belong.
Grasp the locked key and force it up and down while alternating pushing it to the right and the left. Hold adjacent keys with your other hand to keep them out of the way. Apart from that, you can also use a specialized cleaning solution, such as the Cory/MPS Key-Brite Piano Key Cleaner. Our experts recommend it because it dissolves dust buildup. It can clean all plastic, wooden, ivory, and ivorite keys.
When this is done and the problem is resolved, replace every part removed, close the cover and screw back the panels.
Tip: A keyboard cover will help you protect your keyboard from dust, which is one of the reasons the keys can get sticky.
Instructions for a grand piano
If you have a digital grand piano, remove the card in front of the keys (there are screws underneath; on some brands, it slides up and out).
Remove the keyboard cover and slide action to look for foreign objects. Pencils often fall through the keyboard cover and get stuck. However, some large piano stocks are extremely difficult to remove and may require a piano technician to even remove something as small as a coin.
Check the card directly in front of the white keys to make sure it doesn’t rub against a few of them. The board in front of the white keys may warp. A spacer, like a business card, can be stuck in where the board rubs the keys. Or, the screws securing the card in place may have been over tight or need adjustment; loosen it accordingly.
Bend or gently twist the item if it is stuck in the up position, causing it to fall. A faulty shock absorber is easily mistaken for a stumbling block. You don’t need to remove the action to deal with a shock absorber. However, if you tilt the shock absorber too much, you can easily make the problem much worse. If the damper is not fixed with a bit of bending, call a piano tuner.
How to fix dead or unresponsive keys on a digital piano
If cleaning does not help, do not rush to change the dead key. One of the possible reasons can be electronics beneath the key. You’ll have to take apart your keyboard again and check the silicone pad, which is quite easy and inexpensive to replace in case it is a problem. Check out this video to know how to do that.
How to fix broken keys on a digital piano: repair instructions
Remove all the screws at the bottom that hold the back panel. Remove the small screw in the middle that looks like none of the other screws.
Slowly and carefully pull the whole upper part of the case to the back.
Do not pull it away completely but rather tilt it back and carefully look inside.
The panel is connected to the piano with two cables. Be sure not to rip them off.
Pull up the back of the broken key.
Push the key from the back and lift its front.
Take out the replacement key and push it down and to the front.
You might get a friend to help you slide the panel back on carefully.
Problems with keys you can’t fix on your own
Replacing broken keys of a digital piano or fixing a stuck key is a generally simple process. However, the ease of having this done may vary depending on the brand and model of the piano. If you’ve tried out the instructions on the manufacturer manual and our guide but you can’t still have it done successfully, then you have to call in a skilled technician or the manufacturer whether the equipment is still under warranty or not.
A sticking or broken key can ruin the experience of playing the piano, even when the rest of the piano is in good tune. You have three options: get a new digital piano (which can be expensive), repair it yourself, or call a technician or the manufacturer. Of all options, fixing it yourself is the easiest, less economic, and fast option. However, if you can’t have this fixed successfully, calling in a repairer is the best option. You have to take time off work to be home for the piano tuner. But in any case, it is worth trying to fix it yourself and this article has shown you how to fix digital piano keys in a jiffy.