How to Fix Digital Piano Keys: Multiple Options With Instructions

Written by: Leslie Carmichael

It can be exasperating – if not downright impossible- to practice or perform on your digital piano if it has a key or keys that don’t work right. Although this is pretty frustrating, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to run out and buy a brand-new digital piano! Instead, there are a few things you can try to fix the problem.

In this article, we will look at a few ways to fix keys that don’t work on a digital piano or keyboard. We’ll look at how to fix a loose cable bus, clean inside your digital piano, and fix an individual key. First, though, let’s talk about the warranty on your digital piano.


How To Fix Digital Piano Keys 


If your digital piano is under warranty, you’ll want to have it serviced by an approved professional. This way, you don’t void the warranty if the problem is something you can’t fix. 

Your local music store should be able to help you find a repair person that works with your digital piano company. If your digital piano is older, out of warranty, or there isn’t a way to get the digital piano repaired, there are a few things you can check yourself to fix the problem. 

If you are going to attempt to fix your digital piano yourself, keep in mind that these instructions will give you a basic idea of how to do so. However, every digital piano or keyboard model is different, and you may need to consult your owner’s manual or call the company for more specific information. 

For most of these repairs, you’re only going to need a few screwdrivers, some cleaning supplies such as a dry cloth, a small vacuum, cotton swabs, and possibly, new keys. You can consult your owner’s manual for the specific location of the screws you need to loosen to access the inside of your digital piano. 

Loose Cable Bus

A common issue with digital pianos and keyboards is that a cable bus can come loose from playing hard on the keys, moving the piano around, or even just from the vibrations created by the keyboard. As a result, you’ll notice that some or even all keys aren’t working. If you know it isn’t a specific key that is broken, this is probably the first thing you need to check. 

  1. Unplug the digital piano. 
  2. Unscrew the screws on the underside of the digital piano. If it is a console-style, you may need to unscrew the top board or backpiece instead. 
  3. Gently lift off the top of the piano and lean it back. You’ll see two cables going from under the keys to the control panel. Make sure these cables are firmly attached. 
  4. If that doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to unscrew the unit holding the keys on the inside of the digital piano. Then, lift up the entire rack of keys. You’ll see the other ends of the cables on the underside of the keys. Make sure those cables are firmly attached. Hopefully, this easy fix is enough to solve your issue. 
  5. Put the digital piano back together and reinstall the screws. 

You can see a video demonstration of checking the cable buses here. 

Dirty Key Connections 

Over time, dirt and dust can make their way into your digital piano. If too much dirt gets in between the sensitive sensors, it can keep the digital piano from playing or working correctly. However, cleaning it up is a pretty easy fix. 

  1. Unplug the digital piano.
  2. Unscrew the screws on the underside of the digital piano. For console-style pianos, this might be the topboard or back piece or even the control panel. Carefully lift the control panel out of the way and look for signs of dirt and dust. 
  3. Next, you’ll need to unscrew the screws located on the plate at the top of the keys. Depending on your model, this should allow you to take out sections of the keys at a time. It’s essential to notice how the keys are installed because you’ll need to reassemble them later. For many keyboards, the keys overlay each other. 
  4. The inside of the keys was lubricated at the factory to make sure they move smoothly, but this grease can also attract dust. You can clean the dust off of the keys and off of the sensors with a paper towel or cotton swab. If you are going to use a vacuum, you need to be careful you don’t vacuum up any small or loose parts. Also, make sure you are careful not to damage the delicate sensors in the process. 
  5. Once everything is clean, replace the keys and the screws. 
  6. Put the back or topboard back onto the piano and replace the screws. 
  7. Once everything is back where it should be, plug the digital piano in and test it out. 

If the problem isn’t fixed, there may be other issues to consider. 

Check out this video for a quick demonstration of how to clean your keyboard or digital piano. 

Also, if you need to clean up the outside of your keyboard or digital piano, you can find out how to do so here.

Something Fell Inside the Keys 

Another common problem is when something falls between the keys on your digital piano. A coin, gum wrapper, or other small thin items can slide in between and get stuck. Follow the process you would for cleaning your digital piano keys (it’s a great idea to clean it while you’ve got the digital piano opened up anyway). And look for anything that might be stuck in the keys. Gentle remove it and put the digital piano back together. 

How to Replace a Broken Key 

If one of your keys is broken, cracked, or chipped, you’re going to need to replace it. Use masking tape to mark which key is broken or not working correctly. 

  1. Unplug the digital piano. 
  2. Unscrew the screws that hold the control panel onto the digital piano, then gently remove it.
  3. The keys will most likely be installed in small sections. So first, figure out which section needs to be replaced, then call the manufacturer to order a new one. 
  4. Once the new keys come in, you can swap out the broken section with the new set of keys. To do this, unscrew the keys and take out the damaged sections, noting how they are installed. 
  5. Replace the old keys with the new ones. 
  6. Replace the key screws.
  7. Put the digital piano back together and replace the screws. 
  8. Plug it in and try it.

Final Thoughts on Fixing Broken Digital Piano Keys

When in doubt, call a professional repair person. They can quickly and easily fix or repair your digital piano for you. 

On the other hand, if you’re doing it yourself, never risk your safety when attempting a digital piano repair. This means you absolutely must unplug the digital piano before fixing it. You could easily get shocked if you try to repair your digital piano while it is still plugged in. 

Remember the basic steps to fixing keys that don’t work:

  • Unplug the digital piano
  • Open the case either by loosening the screws on the underside of the digital piano or the control piano 
  • Carefully lift the cover 
  • Clean or replace keys as needed 
  • Replace the cover 
  • Replace the screws 
  • Test your work

Your digital piano should last you for years with the right care, so make sure you read these tips, too, so you can continue enjoying your digital piano.

Written By:
If anyone knows a thing or two about pianos, it's Leslie. Having played piano for the past 25 years and teaching for the past 15 years, she has vast experience compared to most. She loves to share her honest opinions about the brands and manufacturers in the industry. In her free time, Leslie loves to play with her dogs and go on hikes.

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