If you're wondering how to fix digital piano keys, this article is for you!

Digital pianos offer beautiful sound along with the feel and dynamics of an acoustic piano. Piano keys play an important role in sound reproduction.

But what happens when one or more keys stop working? It can be frustrating and ruin the piano-playing experience, even if the rest of the piano is in good tune.

Luckily, fixing digital piano keys doesn't have to be a daunting task. You can easily troubleshoot and fix sticky and broken piano keys with the right tools, knowledge, and a little effort.

In this article, I'll provide a step-by-step guide on how to fix broken, stuck, and sticky keys on a digital piano. So you can get back to playing your favorite pieces with ease.

Let's dive in and get those keys working again!

What Causes Digital Piano Keys Not To Work?

Before we get into the solution, let's discuss what causes digital piano keys not to work!

There are several reasons why keyboard keys don't work correctly. The following are some of the most common problems we've encountered with broken and stuck keys:

Dust build-up

If the sensors underneath the keys are dirty, it can interfere with the signals sent to the keyboard and cause the keys to malfunction. To fix this, you can try cleaning the sensors with a soft, lint-free cloth slightly dampened with water.

A foreign object inside the key bed

If a foreign object, such as a penny or a coin, has fallen inside the key bed, it can prevent the keys from functioning correctly. In this case, you may need to remove the object or have a technician do it.

Broken key

If part of the key has snapped or the backend of the key is broken, it can cause the key to get stuck in place and stop working. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to replace the key or have it repaired by a technician.

Broken spring

The spring underneath the key helps it to rebound after being pressed. The key may not function properly if the spring is broken or damaged. In this case, you may need to replace the spring.

Moisture or Humidity

In many digital pianos, the keys and actions are made of wood. When keys are exposed to moisture or high humidity, they can swell or stick, making them difficult or impossible to play.

Tools You Need to Repair a Digital Piano Key

To repair a digital piano key, you will need certain tools to make the process more efficient and effective. Here are the essential tools and equipment you'll need to repair failing keys in an electric piano:

  • Screwdriver
  • A tester and multitester
  • Cleaning solution for digital piano keys
  • Replacement key(s) from the manufacturer
  • Blow spray, foam spray, and sealant spray
  • Carpenter's glue
  • Insulating tape

You can buy these tools at a hardware store, instrument spare parts warehouse, electronics workshop, or an online retailer.

How to Fix Digital Piano Keys at Home

In this section, I'm showing you how to fix a stuck piano key and a broken piano key. But it's always best to let the manufacturer fix your musical instrument if it's still under warranty.

Also, I want to let you know that your piano keyboard disassembly procedures, construction, and components can differ depending on the make and model.

Now let's move on to the solution!

How to Fix Sticky Piano Keys: Cleaning Instructions

Instructions for a Digital Upright Piano

Here's a step-by-step guide for fixing stuck keys on an upright piano:

  • Firstly, open the hinged cover at the top of your upright digital piano. Unscrew the front panel using a screwdriver and lift it up to uncover the action and keys. Try pushing the hammer forward to release the key.
  • If it doesn't work, you have to unscrew and remove all the action to expose the keys fully. Due to moisture, some keys rub against each other. You'll notice that they're more swollen than the other keys. Pull these keys back and sand their sides to fix them.
  • Next, look inside the top of the piano for any foreign objects that may be causing the keys to stick. You should be able to reach inside and grab anything that doesn't belong there.
  • If you notice a key is locked, grasp it and force it up and down while alternating pushing it to the right and left. Remember to hold adjacent keys with your other hand to keep them out of the way.
  • Aside from that, you can also use a specialized cleaning solution to dissolve dust buildup and clean your piano keys. We recommend using the Cory/MPS Key-Brite Piano Key Cleaner. This solution dissolves dust buildup and is safe for all types of keys, including plastic, wooden, ivory, and ivorite keys.
  • Once you're done and the problem is resolved, replace every part that you removed, close the cover, and screw back the panels.

That's it!

Important Tip: You should use a keyboard cover to protect your keyboard from dust, which is a common cause of sticky keys.

Instructions for a Digital Grand Piano

If you have a digital grand piano with stuck keys, follow these steps to fix them:

  • First, you must remove the card in front of the keys by unscrewing it. There are screws underneath it. For some brands, you'll need to slide it up and out to remove it.
  • Then, take off the keyboard cover and slide action to check for foreign objects that may be stuck. Pencils are a common culprit that fall through the keyboard cover and get stuck. Some piano stocks are challenging to remove. Call a piano technician to remove any items, such as pencils or a coin.
  • Inspect the card directly in front of the white keys to ensure it is not rubbing against any of them. There's a chance the board in front of the white keys will warp. A spacer, such as a business card, in areas where the board rubs the keys.
  • It is also possible that the screws holding the card in place were too tight or needed to be adjusted. You need to loosen them accordingly.
  • If the item is stuck in the up position, bend or gently twist it to dislodge it. You can easily mistake a faulty shock absorber for a stumbling block. You don't have to remove the action to deal with a shock absorber. However, be careful not to tilt the shock absorber too much, as it can worsen the problem. If the damper isn't fixed by bending, call a piano tuner.

How to Fix Unresponsive or Dead Keys on a Digital Piano

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to fix dead or unresponsive keys on a keyboard:

Step 1: Open up your keyboard

The first step to fixing a dead key on a keyboard is to open up the keyboard itself. To do this, remove the screws on the edge of the keyboard and in the middle of the keyboard to access the top. When you have removed all of the screws, you should be able to flip the keyboard over and remove the top of the keyboard.

Step 2: Access the key modules

Once you've opened the keyboard, you can access the key modules. These are the components that contain the individual keys on the keyboard. Remove the back panel of the keyboard to access the screws holding the key modules.

Step 3: Identify the dead key

Before you start fixing the dead key, it's essential to identify which key is causing the problem. On our keyboard, it was a G key in the mid-range of the keyboard.

Step 4: Replace or swap out the faulty component

Depending on the cause of the dead key, you may need to replace a faulty component to fix the problem. At first, we thought the dead key was dust, but we eventually realized it was a defective component.

Take your keyboard to a professional if you're uncomfortable replacing the component yourself.

In some cases, it may be possible to swap out a faulty component with a working one from another part of the keyboard. Luckily, we swapped out the defective component with one from another part of the keyboard, so we didn't have to replace anything.

Step 5: Reassemble the keyboard

Once you've fixed the dead key, it's time to reassemble the keyboard. Simply reverse the steps you took to disassemble the keyboard, making sure to replace all the screws and connectors.

Finally, test the keyboard to ensure all keys are functioning correctly.

Note: You can also check out this video. This video explains how to fix a dead or unresponsive key at home.

How to Fix Broken Keys on a Digital Piano

If a piano keyboard key is broken, you must repair or replace it.

Here's a step-by-step guide that you can follow to replace a broken key on your digital piano:

Orient the keyboard

First, lay your digital piano keyboard face down, and detach the battery casing from the back plate. After that, remove the batteries from the holder.

Unscrew The Back Plate

Use a screwdriver to remove the screws from the back plate's top, bottom, and sides.

Turn Over The Keyboard

Once you've unscrewed it, carefully turn over the keyboard. Be careful as you do this since, at this point, the keyboard body is not attached to the face plate. The piano keyboard may break if you're not careful.

Lift the Face Plate

Hold both sides of the keyboard and gently lift the face plate from its front and back. While doing this, be careful because the wires under the piano keyboard's face plate are vital for proper function.

Take out the Screws That Hold the Key Block

Now you need to remove the screws that hold the keys together. Identify the key block that needs to be replaced. Depending on the block, there may be three or four screws.

Detach the Blocks of Keys

Once unscrewed, pull the top upwards to remove the block of keys. By doing this, the keys will be more accessible.

Replace the Keys

Press the tab on the back of the key blocks to detach the keys. Remove the broken white and black keys and replace them with new ones.

Reassemble the Keyboard

Once you've fixed the issue, reassemble the keyboard by following the same steps in reverse order. Screw everything back into its original place.

When you're finished, test the key to ensure it is working properly. Play the key and listen to the sound. Make sure there are no unusual sounds or problems with the sound as you play the key. If everything seems to work correctly, you've successfully replaced your broken piano key.

Note: Watch this video to learn how to fix a broken key on your electric piano.

We recommend hiring a professional if you aren't comfortable or experienced with repairing digital pianos.


How to fix Broken Synthesizer Keys?

If you have a broken key on your synthesizer and it's sticking up, you'll likely need to replace the entire key bed.

To do this, contact the manufacturer of your synthesizer for instructions. They will send you a video or manual on how to replace the key bed. It's usually the same process as opening up your keyboard; only you'll have to remove the key bed.

It's essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully to avoid causing further damage to your synthesizer. It may seem daunting, but you can do it if you use the right tools and follow instructions carefully.

Where to buy replacement keys?

You can buy replacement keys from online retailers like Amazon, eBay, and Sweetwater. You can also check with your local music store or contact the manufacturer directly for more information.

How long does it take to replace a digital piano key?

It depends on your experience with repairing digital pianos. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours to replace a digital piano key.

Final Thought

Sticky or unresponsive keys can quickly become frustrating and hinder your playing experience.

Fortunately, digital piano keys aren't too hard to fix. You can fix most stuck or broken keys yourself and save some money. But remember, you don't apply too much force as that might cause further damage.

By following the above steps, you can avoid expensive repairs and get back to playing piano again.

If you find that the problem with your piano keyboard is more complex and you don't see anything unusual when you open it up, contact a professional technician for assistance. They have the expertise to repair your digital piano correctly.

Did this article help you fix your broken or dead piano keyboard keys? Let me know in the comments section!

Related Topics

Harlan Kilstein began playing piano during covid with no piano background at all. He taught himself how to play learning what to do and what not to do.
Today he's an advanced intermediate player and can help you grow in your skills because he learned all this on his own.