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#1637817 - 03/09/11 11:15 PM Beginner Keyboard  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
toshiro Offline
Junior Member
toshiro  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
San Diego, CA
Hi,
I'm planning on trying to start taking Jazz Piano lessons sometime soon and I was just wondering what this forum would suggest for a complete beginner first purchase. I'm in college so I would definitely need something portableish, but I do think I should probably get one that most resembles a real piano so the whole 88 keys and weighted dealio. I've been looking at the P155 but I have no idea because I'm a guitar player, so my ability to tell the quality and key weights and sound is a bit limited. I was just wondering what DPs were good for the beginner, but were good enough to last quite a while and maybe jam with some friends once in a while. My budget is probably about $1000 (I'm hoping).

Thanks!

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#1637878 - 03/10/11 12:38 AM Re: Beginner Keyboard [Re: toshiro]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,841
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member
ChrisA  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,841
Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted by toshiro
Hi,
I'm planning on trying to start taking Jazz Piano lessons sometime soon and I was just wondering what this forum would suggest for a complete beginner first purchase. I'm in college so I would definitely need something portableish, but I do think I should probably get one that most resembles a real piano so the whole 88 keys and weighted dealio. I've been looking at the P155 but I have no idea because I'm a guitar player, so my ability to tell the quality and key weights and sound is a bit limited. I was just wondering what DPs were good for the beginner, but were good enough to last quite a while and maybe jam with some friends once in a while. My budget is probably about $1000 (I'm hoping).

Thanks!


I have the P155 and think is is a pretty good pratice piano for home use. If you plan to use it on stage or very frequenty ship it aroud in a case the Yamaha CP series is better suited to that use.

I got it because I could not find anything with better key action at that price and I think for your use the quality of the key action is the #1 feature to shop for. The main piano sound is pretty good, others are "ok" but for learning yu only need the one piano sound.

Now if your interest was in jazz keyboard including organ you might look at other instruments.

If yu had another $1k to spend then the options really open up and it would be hard to decide but there is not a lot right at $1K.

BTW. Do they really start beginners with jazz? I'd really be interested to see some sheet music playable by a beginning student, seriously I have some jazz books but they are above my current level.

Last edited by ChrisA; 03/10/11 12:40 AM.
#1637890 - 03/10/11 01:07 AM Re: Beginner Keyboard [Re: toshiro]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
toshiro Offline
Junior Member
toshiro  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
San Diego, CA
Hmmm thanks for the info. I was debating because of the built in speakers, but I'll definitely check out the CP series. And I'm most likely not going to be starting on jazz. I should have clarified that I was looking into it more for a jazz purpose or maybe blues/r&b type stuff, rather than classical once I started getting into it. Just figured I might as well save up for a bit and invest in something worthwhile rather than get a cheap one that will fall apart.

#1638219 - 03/10/11 02:17 PM Re: Beginner Keyboard [Re: toshiro]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
Gyro Offline
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Gyro  Offline
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Posts: 4,534
There are thousands of good digital pianos under $1000. I use a $600 Williams Overture that I bought sight-unseen online in 2009. I find it satisfactory for any playing, from jazz to concertos.

If you've never played a note before on a piano, it would be rather unusual to start on the piano with a jazz teacher. Jazz teachers would typically expect the student to have had some experience on the piano, which essentially means classical lessons, since almost all piano teachers are classical teachers. Jazz teachers would usually not want to be bothered with teaching a student the basics of playing the piano. Moreover, jazz/pop teachers are difficult to find. There are few of them, while there are classical teachers in every neighborhood in the country.

It might be better to start with classical lessons and play for a time--exactly how long would depend on a number of things. After you've learned the basics of playing, you could then branch out into jazz/pop, either with a jazz teacher, or on your own. Jazz piano is ultimately all by ear, and you can learn simply by sitting down at the keyboard and digging in with both hands and playing completely by ear, with no concern for jazz theory, or doing things the right way, or right or wrong notes, or right or wrong anything. Playing like this is how you really learn about the piano and what you can do on it, and how you train your ear--you can't get this any other way, certainly not in formal piano instruction.

What you want is to get to the point where you know what keys to press in order to get the sound you want. This will take practice, but this can be achieved by anyone. Once you can do that, you can play anything by ear.


Last edited by Gyro; 03/10/11 02:19 PM.
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#1638290 - 03/10/11 04:50 PM Re: Beginner Keyboard [Re: toshiro]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,841
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member
ChrisA  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,841
Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted by toshiro
.....I might as well save up for a bit and invest in something worthwhile rather than get a cheap one that will fall apart.


If you stay with the first tier brands, then even the entry level pianos are not in danger of "falling apart". Build quality is quite good from the "big three" and so is warranty support. Just stay away from the no-name and house brands and you will be fine, (Seems Gyro got lucky, found a house brand piano he likes but that is not a sure deal.) When you move up to the more expensive models you are buying features not better build until you get to very high prices and then mostly it's just better quality case cosmetics.

About Jazz: John Mehegan wrote many books on the subject and his book with the simplest music is "The Jazz Pianist, Book 1" Which has been out of print for decades but still available if you hunt. Check out the link below and then do the "look inside" and you'll see this is easy, just single 1/8 notes, no cords, in 4/4 and "G". Many people here could sight read it. It's suitable for a student after a maybe 6 months.
There is also a book 2 and book 3 that have harder material. But after that Mehegan writes to the level of the advanced pianist. He used to hang out with the likes of Dave Brubeck and I think he writes to that level (and style) of playing. But we do have three Jazz books for beginners
http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/The-Jazz-Pianist-Book-One/4540194#

Last edited by ChrisA; 03/10/11 04:58 PM.
#1638460 - 03/10/11 10:35 PM Re: Beginner Keyboard [Re: toshiro]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
toshiro Offline
Junior Member
toshiro  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
San Diego, CA
Thanks for all the advice. I'm definitely checking out Yamahas right now. Would you say it would be worth it in the long run to get a P155 over the P95s? I figure might as well buy one and never really need to upgrade if possible...

#1638464 - 03/10/11 10:55 PM Re: Beginner Keyboard [Re: toshiro]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 62
drutgat Offline
Full Member
drutgat  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 62
You might find this thread useful
Link to piano thread


"If The Beatles or the '60s had a message it was 'Learn To Swim' - And once you've learnt - Swim".
John Lennon
#1643802 - 03/18/11 10:00 PM Re: Beginner Keyboard [Re: toshiro]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 62
drutgat Offline
Full Member
drutgat  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 62
Originally Posted by toshiro
Thanks for all the advice. I'm definitely checking out Yamahas right now. Would you say it would be worth it in the long run to get a P155 over the P95s? I figure might as well buy one and never really need to upgrade if possible...

Hi toshiro,
Just wondering what you decided, if anything, about whether or not to go with a P155, or if you decided to buy another dp.

As I said in the thread that I posted a link to (see above), I really liked the P155, and for the reasons I posted in that thread, might actually swap my FP4 for a P155.

This is going to be a difficult decision as I really like both instruments, and very much like the FP4, but the sombre 'dark' tone, and speakers positioned on the front (facing outwards towards the audience) really change things for me, despite the 'better' specifications of the FP4 (e.g., both USB and DIN MIDI ports, lighter weight, more on board sounds/voices).

I can't believe how much of the overall tone and presence of the instrument is lost by not having the speakers built in to the keyboard's top plate (i.e., facing upwards): I would think that this problem would be eliminated by the use of a good keyboard amp, but I don't want to spend more money on something like that, and have to make more space for an amp, not to mention the added complications of introducing yet more sound processing technology in order to try to get a simple sound out of the instrument.

I will keep people posted on the other thread about my decision with this, and toshiro, I would appreciate hearing from you about your decisions in this regard.

I can see why people have said that the FP4's tone is good for a solo (particularly a jazz) context, and why this tone is not suited to a rock or pop context (particularly as part of a band situation).

So, I am going to test the P155 again tomorrow, and if it seems to be more suited to my needs, will swap it for the FP4.


"If The Beatles or the '60s had a message it was 'Learn To Swim' - And once you've learnt - Swim".
John Lennon

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