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My first keyboard #1227476
07/05/09 05:44 PM
07/05/09 05:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 9
Maryland, USA
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Prok Offline OP
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Prok  Offline OP
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Maryland, USA
**I posted this in the beginner's forum, but someone there said I might get better help posting here, so here it is**

I'm planning on learning piano as a hobby, not to seriously play. I've never played piano, however i did play Trumpet through high school so i have a little background in music.

But anyways to the matter at hand, I am looking to buy a keyboard and seeing as I have a very small budget I am going to have to save up. I've decided on getting the Casio Privia PX-120, however that could take me a month or two to get.

My Question is... Do you think it would be wise to buy a less expensive model until I can play decent and then invest in a better one? or should I start off playing with the weighted keys and what not. So if i buy... say a 61-key for about 100$ will that be good enough to learn on? or should i begin with a quality keyboard?(NOTE: Even if I do buy this cheap keyboard I do plan on eventually buying the PX-120)

Thanks in advance for any help, and a General thank you to the entire forum it's been a lot of help in finding learning material and research for keyboards. smile

Last edited by Prok; 07/05/09 05:48 PM.
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Re: My first keyboard [Re: Prok] #1227480
07/05/09 05:55 PM
07/05/09 05:55 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 225
No. Va.
pianonewb Offline
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If your main focus is piano, buy the PX-120. I'm currently learning on a 61 key keyboard(with access to an acoustic at times, and I can't wait to save the cash for the PX-120). There's miles of difference between nonweighted and weighted keys, the ability for expression chief among them. On my keyboard, I get one tone, one volume, no matter how I strike the keys. It's getting very frustrating, and thank goodness I have access to a real piano, or I'd have quit a long time ago. If you want other sounds besides piano, you won't get a lot of selection with the PX-120, but, if like me, all you want or need is piano,the Casio is pretty much bare minimum.


Mike
Casio Privia PX 120

The only thing nescessary for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.
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Re: My first keyboard [Re: pianonewb] #1227487
07/05/09 06:11 PM
07/05/09 06:11 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 9
Maryland, USA
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Prok Offline OP
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Hey, thanks for the quick response, this forum seems to be good for it.. smile

I'm starting to get the idea I'm gonna be waiting a month or so til i finally start playing then if there is that much of a difference. Thanks for the response, and keep them coming smile

Re: My first keyboard [Re: pianonewb] #1227488
07/05/09 06:17 PM
07/05/09 06:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
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Gyro Offline
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If you don't have the cash right now for a weighted-key digital
piano with 88 keys, then an unweighted 61-key portable keyboard
is okay. A number of forum members have taken several
years of piano lessons on 61-key portables; you can
get these for less than $100. All keyboard instruments
are played essentially the same way--this is why
an organist can switch to the piano with no problem.
In fact, because the striking bars on a xylophone are
laid out the same as the keys on a piano, a good
xylophonist, who has never played any instrument except
the xylophone, can sit down at the piano and play it
without instruction. So a 61-key portable keyboard
would be more than adequate to learn piano on.

One thing, if you buy a 61-key portable online,
make sure it comes with a factory AC adapter included.
Many don't have an adapter, and finding one that
fits can be almost impossible. If you're buying
it in a store, and they try to throw in a univeral
adapter, make them open everything up right there
and show you that everything works, because the
adapter might not fit. If they say that you can
return the adapter if it doesn't fit, that's
worthless, because you won't have an adapter,
and finding one can be almost impossible.



Re: My first keyboard [Re: Gyro] #1227492
07/05/09 06:28 PM
07/05/09 06:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 106
Chicago Area
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derekp Offline
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I forgot to mention before, that if you can afford it you may want to save up for the px-320 instead of the 120. I've got the 120, and it isn't worth it to for me to go out and get the 320 in addition, since I've already sunk my money into the 120. But sometimes I wish I would have waited an additional month to get the 320. Basically they are both the same instrument, but the 320 adds additional instrument sounds, and has the ability to download your own midi songs into it, to add to it's built in 60-song library. This is useful for practicing, since you can have it play one hand while you practice the other, or play both at a slower tempo while you play too. I find it more effective than the metronome. Or, if you can find a good deal on the px-200, it is almost the same as the px-320 (same keyboard mechanism and sound chip as the 120/320).

Re: My first keyboard [Re: derekp] #1227498
07/05/09 07:06 PM
07/05/09 07:06 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 9
Maryland, USA
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Prok Offline OP
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@Gyro: Well I think right there you completely changed my mind smile (years of lessons with 61-keys, people were making it seem like i wouldn't get enough time on the 61-key to make it worth the money) Thanks for the buying advice, I think I'm gonna get mine at a radio shack so I'll make sure the adapter is included wink

@derek: That's a pretty big price jump for the 320 I'm not sure if it'll be worth it for me, It seems I'm gonna be getting a cheap one first, so if I think I'm gonna be wanting to play with those additional features I'll definitely consider that one as an option. smile

Thanks for the replies!

Last edited by Prok; 07/05/09 07:07 PM.
Re: My first keyboard [Re: Gyro] #1227501
07/05/09 07:13 PM
07/05/09 07:13 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 306
Manchester, England, UK.
jpscoey Offline
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Originally Posted by Gyro

..."an unweighted 61-key portable keyboard is okay". *(1)

"All keyboard instruments are played essentially the same way--this is why
an organist can switch to the piano with no problem". *(2)

"In fact, because the striking bars on a xylophone are
laid out the same as the keys on a piano, a good
xylophonist, who has never played any instrument except
the xylophone, can sit down at the piano and play it
without instruction". *(3)

"So a 61-key portable keyboard would be more than adequate to learn piano on".
*(4)


I'm sorry Gyro I don't wish to offend you, but I couldn't disagree more.

#1 - No it's NOT ! - it maybe ok to use an unweighted 61-key instrument with no velocity-sensitivity once you're an accomplished player, but to START learning piano on one is insane!

#2 - The layout of the keys is always in the same order, but the difference in technique of organ playing & piano playing is worlds apart.

#3 - A xylophonist uses 'beaters' to play the notes - with piano (& organ) playing, it is essential to learn the correct fingering.

#4 - NO IT WOULDN'T !!!!!

If I were to advise anyone on how to get a decent start on learning anything
it would be to try to learn using the best equipment available - bad habits when starting off
can take a LONG time to undo.

.


John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
myspace
Re: My first keyboard [Re: jpscoey] #1227504
07/05/09 07:27 PM
07/05/09 07:27 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 9
Maryland, USA
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Prok Offline OP
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Maryland, USA
Are there no cheap keyboards with the velocity-sensitivity? I see Touch sensitivity, but I'm not sure if that's the same thing...

Re: My first keyboard [Re: Prok] #1227513
07/05/09 07:45 PM
07/05/09 07:45 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 151
7even Offline
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7even  Offline
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Originally Posted by Prok
Are there no cheap keyboards with the velocity-sensitivity? I see Touch sensitivity, but I'm not sure if that's the same thing...


Those are the same thing smile


Now: RD-700NX
Someday: Steinway concert grand :|
Re: My first keyboard [Re: Prok] #1227516
07/05/09 07:48 PM
07/05/09 07:48 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 306
Manchester, England, UK.
jpscoey Offline
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jpscoey  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 306
Manchester, England, UK.

Prok, please take my advice - you seem to be genuinely interested

in learning the piano?

As you probably know, the full name for a piano is 'pianoforte'..

'piano' = quiet, 'forte' = loud.

This is the whole point - the way you can express your music on

a piano is all down to these nuances in your playing.

Wait that extra month or two, and get yourself a proper 88-note weighted keybed piano.

How long have you NOT had one???... a short while longer won't harm!

Good luck.



John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
myspace
Re: My first keyboard [Re: jpscoey] #1227525
07/05/09 08:08 PM
07/05/09 08:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 6,467
Phoenix, AZ
Nina Offline
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Nina  Offline
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Posts: 6,467
Phoenix, AZ
I think it's critical to get an 88-key keyboard. No, you probably won't be playing anything on the outer keys for awhile, but you still need to get the visual cues to learn how to locate and move to keys on other octaves, not just the ones right under your fingers.

I tried playing on a shorter keyboard, and was practically crippled. It was really hard to "locate" myself... and I've been playing piano for over 40 years. The only way I could really do it was to play with my eyes closed!

If you want to use a basic keyboard to learn to read notes, you'll probably do fine with a cheaper one. But that will probably take you about 4-5 months, if you're diligent. After that, you will really want to learn to sight read and will need to worry about tone, touch and phrasing. I think a lot of people buy more piano than they need, but I think it's very possible to buy a digital keyboard that you will outgrow in very short order.

If it were me (which it isn't smile ), I'd save my money for an 88-key weighted keyboard. Touch and tone--that's the whole story.

Re: My first keyboard [Re: Nina] #1227544
07/05/09 08:56 PM
07/05/09 08:56 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 306
Manchester, England, UK.
jpscoey Offline
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jpscoey  Offline
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Posts: 306
Manchester, England, UK.
Originally Posted by Nina
I think it's critical to get an 88-key keyboard


I agree - the other thing is, I'm not aware of any manufacturer who makes a 61/73/76-note

keyboard that is properly weighted....

so to get the 'touch' you require, it has to be 88-note.

.


John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
myspace
Re: My first keyboard [Re: Prok] #1227558
07/05/09 09:47 PM
07/05/09 09:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,082
California
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Nikalette Offline
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Nikalette  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
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California
I wouldn't get anything with fewer than 88 keys. I sent my grand piano back and right now I'm practicing on a 61 keyboard, and it's awful. You have to think about WHERE they are taking out the 27 keys. In my case, there are nearly 3 octaves above middle C and only 2 octaves below middle C. Even for blues piano, it's not enough, I'm always running out of space. I have a Casio CTK 591 which has tons of features, even touch sensitivity and a nice big digital screen, educational stuff, but the touch and sound are atrocious. It's just a waste of money to buy something for $100 to $300. There was a Casio PX 575 at Guitar Center today on sale for $539, which was really quite nice, with a full keyboard.

Re: My first keyboard [Re: Nikalette] #1227578
07/05/09 10:48 PM
07/05/09 10:48 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 9
Maryland, USA
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Prok Offline OP
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Prok  Offline OP
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Maryland, USA
Well... It seems majority of people are saying wait... so I think that's what I'll do... Thanks everyone for the help! but Don't let this be the end of the discussion... if you have more to add please do!

@Nickalette: I'll have to keep an eye out for a sale like that... thanks for the input

Last edited by Prok; 07/05/09 10:50 PM.
Re: My first keyboard [Re: Prok] #1227601
07/06/09 12:42 AM
07/06/09 12:42 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,082
California
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Nikalette Offline
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California
I posted this elsewhere, but I decided to get the YPG 635, 88 keys, nice piano sound, lots of other features, educational suite, LCD display, anyway I've been looking everywhere for the best price, and I found it on B&H Photo Video in New York. The keyboard is on sale there for $735 no tax out of NY, free shipping, and including a free piano bench. It comes with a stand and a sustain pedal. It should be here on the 14th, so I'll post how it goes.
Most places sell it for $899 (the list is $1200), but I did find it locally for $799 for the July 4 weekend, without a bench, and with tax, so with B&H I'll be saving another $150. I'll pick up the 3 pedal attachment later, that goes for about $70, and the matching bench goes for about $80.

Re: My first keyboard [Re: Nikalette] #1227747
07/06/09 12:53 PM
07/06/09 12:53 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
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Gyro Offline
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Prok, these people don't know what they're talking about.
A good xylophonist can play the piano without instruction.
And there are those roll-out keyboards on a plastic sheet.
I tried one and it was surprisingly good; this is
no joke. I've even seen them advertised on tv as an
introductory piano learning system. A person can actually
learn to play on one of these. The keys don't move
and are printed on a plastic sheet--and I'm sure
they have no "velocity sensitivity"--but this still
has the feel of a piano.

The thing with the piano is that you need experience
playing--literally on anything with keys. Whether the keys
are printed on a plastic sheet, or are metal bars
that you strike with mallets, etc., makes little
difference. You need to get something with keys
and start pounding away on it. If you don't have
the cash right now for an 88-key weighted digital,
then a 61-key portable will do for now.

These people here are of the mindset that even their
weighted-key digitals are just a stopgap measure until
they get a "real" piano, that is, an expensive acoustic
piano, preferably a big grand, so they can't see
the potential in other instruments with keys for
a pianist.

Re: My first keyboard [Re: Gyro] #1227751
07/06/09 12:58 PM
07/06/09 12:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
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Gyro Offline
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If you're going to buy a 61-key portable from Radio
Shack and it doesn't have the factory AC adapter
included with the keyboard and they try to throw
in a "universal" adapter, don't accept it unless
they open up all the packages right there
in front of you and prove that the adapter works
with the keyboard. These univeral adapters almost
never fit a keyboard.

Re: My first keyboard [Re: Gyro] #1227796
07/06/09 02:48 PM
07/06/09 02:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 744
Denton Texas
LesCharles73 Offline
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Denton Texas
Originally Posted by Gyro

And there are those roll-out keyboards on a plastic sheet.
I tried one and it was surprisingly good; this is
no joke. I've even seen them advertised on tv as an
introductory piano learning system. A person can actually
learn to play on one of these. The keys don't move
and are printed on a plastic sheet--and I'm sure
they have no "velocity sensitivity"--but this still
has the feel of a piano.


Err... I have one that was given to me as a GAG GIFT and it is a joke. First off, since the keys are printed on a rubber mat, you constantly strike the wrong note, and try accurately hitting one of the sharps/flats without sounding the one below it. It's not possible to be consistent with it. When you do hit the correct note, you're lucky if it sounds at all. It depends widely on the surface you're playing on, but even on a hard flat surface it's a shot in the dark.

Chords? Fugedaboudit.

The roll-up piano is currently taking up space in the trunk of my car, awaiting that one day when I will be stranded in the middle of the desert with literally nothing else to do.

The xylophone analogy? Well, I think we're all laughing at that one. I don't feel like I have to go any further with my argument.

I know Gyro is just looking out for you and probably genuinely wants you to be happy. But what satisfies you and what satisfies Gyro are most likely two very different things!

I think you should go with your gut instinct on this one. I feel like a real digital piano is the best thing for you. If you're going to spend $100 on something temporary, you may as well hold out for what you really want. It will build character and minimize buyer's remorse. Otherwise you will be starting from scratch again, and let's face it, you can't sell that Radio Shack keyboard for what you paid. There are thousands of used ones online and you would be lucky to get half of what you paid.

This is no exception to the rule that says it's always safer to go with the popular vote.


Les C Deal




Re: My first keyboard [Re: Gyro] #1227807
07/06/09 03:26 PM
07/06/09 03:26 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 306
Manchester, England, UK.
jpscoey Offline
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jpscoey  Offline
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Manchester, England, UK.
Originally Posted by Gyro
..."these people don't know what they're talking about". *1

A good xylophonist can play the piano without instruction. *2

"And there are those roll-out keyboards on a plastic sheet... A person can actually learn to play on one of these".
The keys don't move and are printed on a plastic sheet--
but this still has the feel of a piano". *3

"These people here are of the mindset that even their
weighted-key digitals are just a stopgap measure until
they get a "real" piano"... *4

#1. I take offence at this - I have played (acoustic) pianos for nearly 35 years
- along with digital pianos, electric organs, and synthesisers.

I have been a professional piano tuner/technician for 27 years - and have advised/
worked with/for pianists in every stage of their development -
from complete novices, to piano teachers, to concert pianists.

I think I know what I'm talking about.

#2. As previously stated, a xylophonist uses beaters/mallets (call them what you will)
to play the bars (notes).

It is a percussion instrument, and the technique used to play it is not dissimilar to that of a drummer.

A xylophonist will know where the notes are situated, but to suggest that he/she miraculously
develops the required fingering skills overnight is, quite simply, nonsense.

It's akin to saying that if you can ride a pushbike, you can automatically ride a motorcycle,
or even drive a car.

#3. WHAT???!!!!! The essence of playing a piano is not simply to know
where the notes are - it's about feel & technique.

If you can't actually press down a physical key, where is that feel going to come from?

#4. Read my answer to point #1.

I reckon if you were to single out one contributer to this post who
doesn't know what they're talking about, there's an obvious candidate!!!
.


John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
myspace
Re: My first keyboard [Re: Gyro] #1227819
07/06/09 04:01 PM
07/06/09 04:01 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 306
Manchester, England, UK.
jpscoey Offline
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jpscoey  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 306
Manchester, England, UK.
Originally Posted by Gyro

"And there are those roll-out keyboards on a plastic sheet...this is
no joke.

I've even seen them advertised on tv as an introductory piano learning system"...


Must be true then - can't argue with that thumb !!!


John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
myspace
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