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Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
#1925210 07/10/12 08:10 PM
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Hi all,

I'm close to purchasing a new keyboard, and it comes in 76 or 88 key versions (both have the same nice weighted action).

It'll be used by an adult who took 10 years of lessons as a child, as well as another adult and a young child with little experience.

I do see advantages to the 76 key version. Notably, it takes up less space, and is more portable. And the adult who took lessons doesn't feel like she must have 88 keys.

OTOH, we don't want to wind up regretting not having 88.

Can anybody give some examples of why we should get 88 rather than 76?

Thanks very kindly!

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Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1925214 07/10/12 08:37 PM
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I had a Yamaha 76-key electronic cheese board, and it was great... for what it was. Then I found that some of my have classical pieces went off the ends of the 76-key device.

A month later I had an 88-key Yamaha digital piano sitting in my house.

OK, you might not have any pieces that go to the ends of the 88-key standard, but it you ever do, you will feel cheated.


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Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1925221 07/10/12 09:04 PM
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I think you'll have regrets later if you purchase the 76-keyboard.



Carl

Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1925233 07/10/12 09:28 PM
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Welcome to the forum! smile

The main argument in favor of the 88-keyboard is that you will be learning piano in the context of the space/geometry of the full length keyboard, which will make it easier if you ever want to play on an acoustic piano or upgrade down the road. (Hard to put in words, but when you learn various jumps to different locations on the keyboard, you are anchoring them with respect to where they fall on the keyboard, and it can throw you off to perform the same jumps on the longer keyboard if you're not used to it.)

I have played several pieces that used the extreme ends of the keyboard; I suspect that sooner or later you'd come across some that do, too.

Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1925243 07/10/12 09:59 PM
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I would say go for the 88. Like Monica K. says, the switch between the keyboard and piano will be easier.


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Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1925244 07/10/12 09:59 PM
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It's not much fun drumming on top of the instrument and pretending it's music because your instrument doesn't have enough notes. That includes the Fuer Elise that so many people want to learn to play.

Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1925294 07/11/12 12:52 AM
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Someone that studied piano for 10 years will have numerous examples where those extra keys are needed. In this case, the choice is rather clear, 88 keys. The space difference is small, as is the price difference, and the size and weight.

With all that, I play a 61-key Yamaha with semi-weighted keys. I am happy with it for now.

As a bit of trivia, Mozart's piano had five octaves (like my modern digital), and one wire for each note (vs. three on modern pianos). Mozart's small, low quality piano probably did limit him, but he was able to do quite a bit with it. However, he didn't have the same choices that modern day piano buyers do. So I would tell someone that has the space (space is my biggest problem), and the modest amount of money, to go for 88. Especially because three people are going to use it, including one intermediate to advanced pianist.

Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
keystring #1925301 07/11/12 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
It's not much fun drumming on top of the instrument and pretending it's music because your instrument doesn't have enough notes. That includes the Fuer Elise that so many people want to learn to play.


I think a 76 key board would accommodate this, no?

Honestly, I don't think I've ever used the top few notes nor the bottom few - they all sound terrible on the piano, IMHO.


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Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1925304 07/11/12 01:39 AM
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Is this keyboard going to go around places? Are you using it for classical music? I have a friend who is content with a small keyboard as he carry it around with him to gigs and he mainly just play chords to accompany singers. But if you are going to play classical music on it then get the 88 keys.

Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
BenPiano #1925324 07/11/12 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BenPiano
I think a 76 key board would accommodate this, no?

Well, the top notes in Für Elise are the highest D and E - in the run up near the end - on an 88 key keyboard and the lowest one, the second lowest A. In other words, the two top notes are out of reach on the 76 key thing.

Some keyboards allow the possibility to transpose up or down an octave, but in the case of Für Elise that would just make the piece go outside the keyboard at the bottom instead. Besides, it's not good to learn the placements of the notes and find out they're not the same on an 88 key piano, acoustic or digital, making it a bit hard to apply what you've learned to the "real thing" as Monica K. points out.

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Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1925332 07/11/12 05:55 AM
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Beethoven wrote as low as C1 (and up to F7) but only rarely so you might not need the full 88 keys for his music (and never for anyone before him).

Chopin and Liszt had access to the full 88 but I can't think of any examples where it's needed. Brahms frequently makes use of the lower octaves but does restricts himself to F7 at the top. I can't think of any pieces where I play higher.

The main reason for getting a full size keyboard is the peripheral vision and fast glances for leaps where it's difficult to get your bearings on a 76-key keyboard when you're used to 88 keys.



Richard
Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1925338 07/11/12 06:40 AM
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Have you ever tried DIY with a too light hammer, a not so good saw or a not really powerfull drill? Have you tried sewing with a machine that skips stitches or does not have enough power to punch three layers of fabric?
Insufficient tools can be really frustrating, especially when you are starting any kind of activity (= child just starting on piano). You will attribute shortcomings to yourself instead of blaming your tool for it. And you just won't be able to do certain things. Others have given examples in this thread in how far 76 keys might limit playing.
My advice: If you want to learn/play piano, get the device closest to a real piano you can get for your money. And that includes 88 keys. smile

BTW: Welcome to the forums!

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Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
Euphonatrix #1925347 07/11/12 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Euphonatrix
If you want to learn/play piano, get the device closest to a real piano you can get for your money.


fwiw, I wouldn't actually say the goal is to "learn piano" -- rather it's something more like "encourage a lifetime of fun making music." In fact, for my daughter's lessons I also want her to learn how to use the keyboard itself, in addition to learning notes/scales/chords. Meaning, I'm looking at "the instrument" as a "keyboard" rather than as a "piano" so to speak.

Elsewhere a friend made a helpful point: the bigger keyboard is better for two people to play side-by-side, and I think that could be lots of fun for us.

Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1925354 07/11/12 08:14 AM
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I've just read the OP and the latest response, pardon my tardiness.

There are no 76 key keyboards with fully weighted keys that I'm aware of. If the 'same weighted action' is used in both it's not a 'fully' weighted action. Playing piano demands a 'fully' weighted action. Nicely weighted keys are for players of organ and synthesiser.

You can, with prior experience of playing a fully weighted keyboard, use a 'nicely' weighted one but the young child will be very restricted, probably to organ music, and will be very frustrated if they ever move to a properly weighted piano keyboard.

If your daughter is going to take lessons, the keyboard will undo much of what she's learning unless she's actually taking organ lessons - which are very hard to come by with less than a few years of piano under your belt.

She will also be very frustrated at her inability to control her teachers instrument.


Organists do not move to piano as easily as pianists to organ. Pianists sensitively controlled fingers on an organ keyboard still create an even tone. An organists non-sensitive fingers on a piano keyboard sound awfully coarse and are notoriously difficult to re-train.




Richard
Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1925361 07/11/12 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by turnstyle
Hi all,

Can anybody give some examples of why we should get 88 rather than 76?



The Khachaturian Toccata! - you can't play it without all those keys:

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Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
zrtf90 #1925366 07/11/12 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
There are no 76 key keyboards with fully weighted keys that I'm aware of.


My understanding is it has the same action as this Fatar controller:

http://www.fatar.com/studiologic/pages/VMK_176.html

("weighted keys and hammer action")

Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1925370 07/11/12 09:25 AM
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Hmm. The times they are a-changing.

For you it looks good but I would still exercise caution regarding your daughter and piano lessons. It's not just about fingers. Check with a prospective teacher first.




Richard
Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1926231 07/13/12 11:40 AM
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12 more keys!
Never know when you might need them smile


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Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1926348 07/13/12 04:04 PM
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I'm surprised no one else asked this, but what style of music are you interested in playing? If you are learning primarily classical music, then 88 keys is better. If you are playing anything other than classical music, 76 keys are more than enough.
As someone above mentioned, even Mozart didn't have 88 keys, and he did just fine.


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Re: Can you give examples of why we want 88 rather than 76 keys?
turnstyle #1926351 07/13/12 04:13 PM
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I think a good example might be that once you get a 76 key electric piano, you will find yourself wanting a full-sized, 88 key version. If you ever sit down at an acoustic piano, it will have 88 keys. If other folks come over to enjoy your piano, they will be used to an 88 key keyboard. If you ever take lessons, it will be on an 88 key instrument. You mention doing duets with your children...you will instantly be out of room if you use a 76 key platform.

Go for the gold - get an 88 and don't look back - you won't regret it. Have fun with it

Glen


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