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#2298666 - 07/04/14 04:26 PM What to do extra?
ChopinFan66 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 25
I posted this in the DP section, but, since I am an upper Adult beginner, perhaps it is good to post it here to:

I think I may have asked this before, please forgive.

After several years w/o any access to a keyboard,I would like to begin taking lessons and learning again. But, I live in an apartment right now, although, I may move to new rental house or townehome or something.

Anyways, I am very confused. I need to get "something" to practice on. Before, I had a very low end Yamaha keyboard...but, did not care for it. It was under $1,000.00. Anyways, I am willing to spend more than that to get something reliable and can handle regular practice.

Which models would you recommend I try out for Yamaha, Kawai, and Roland. Or, if I end up on 1st floor in new apartment or townhome, should I go the acoustic route?

**Also, what about Alfred Adult Piano Course? Also, I want to learn so much. I want to learn theory. What are some good thorough books that progressive take you through theory so that you reach an intermediate level.

**I want to learn how to use and understand a metronome.



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#2298679 - 07/04/14 04:57 PM Re: What to do extra? [Re: ChopinFan66]
wouter79 Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 4793

What kind of music do you want to play? For classic, and particularly the older classic IMHO you better have a real acoustic. For jazz, pop, rock a DP probably is good (close to the sound you like) and you then have other things you may want (guitar and drum sounds)

Anyway, For me it is really important how the sound quality and response of the piano is. On a good piano even a single note can sound wonderful. On a DP, every single note sounds boring to me.

Therefore I recommend and try playing a good amount of acoustics, both uprights and grands, yes also expensive ones, and DPs. Ask for the dealer to open the lid of the grands if they are closed before testing them. Bring someone along with you who can listen from a little distance.

#2298680 - 07/04/14 05:01 PM Re: What to do extra? [Re: ChopinFan66]
wouter79 Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 4793
Metronome is easy. Set the 'bmp' dial and turn it on. It then clicks at the set beats per minute. Some can give a thud every 2/3/4/etc beats as well to mark the start of the next measure.

A mark above the piece like quarternote=100 tells you where to put the dial. If there is no quarternote time mark above the piece you will need to find an estimate. Easiest is to listen to existing recordings and check how fast they play it.

The time signature on the score tells you how to set this second (thud) speed.

Edited by wouter79 (07/04/14 05:02 PM)

#2298686 - 07/04/14 05:15 PM Re: What to do extra? [Re: ChopinFan66]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1353
Loc: Southern California
The original post is confusing. What model you do you have now? There are plenty of decent beginner pianos under $1000 USD. Look at the prices paid thread near the top of the Digital forum. It gives a good idea of what people are buying after doing research. Many are more than happy with their $500 to $700 digital units.

If you plan on lessons, the cost of weekly lessons can be substantial. If money is an issue, I might suggest buying an entry level digital (again, see the prices paid thread on the Digital forum, and look for the many under $1000 units). If a person is in a major U.S. city, the typical cost of weekly lessons will exceed the cost of these digitals after a year or two.

At that point, a person might know better if they want or need to upgrade or even if piano is for them. Many beginners sail along happily for several years with entry level digital units. Again, a qualified teacher will often tell a person when and if an upgrade is warranted. Some beginners lose interest or find it harder to progress than they imagined and find another hobby.

A typical acoustic can cause problems with neighbors in apartment units. If the walls are thin, I suggest avoiding the problem and going digital. Also if a person plans on moving relatively often (sounds that way), moving the acoustic piano and getting it re-tuned can be non-trivial extra expenses.
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#2298728 - 07/04/14 07:52 PM Re: What to do extra? [Re: ChopinFan66]
JazzyMac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/13
Posts: 242
Loc: World Traveler
I have the Yamaha P155; I'm thinking it can be purchased for way under $1K. Also, "Fundamental Keys" by Rachel Jimenez is a great method book. I'm almost ready to throw away Alfred's. But I'm scared it may become a zombie and haunt me.

#2298740 - 07/04/14 08:56 PM Re: What to do extra? [Re: ChopinFan66]
fizikisto Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 1532
Loc: Hernando, MS

Re: the Alfred's book

You mentioned that you want to start taking lessons. I assume that means you have (or plan to get) a teacher? If so, I would wait and see which method book your teacher uses. They might, in fact, use the Alfred's method. Or, of course, they might use something else.

Also, if you plan to live in an apartment, a digital piano is probably a better choice than an acoustic just because you can put on headphones and play at 2:00 a.m. (or whenever) without disturbing your neighbors.
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#2298741 - 07/04/14 08:59 PM Re: What to do extra? [Re: JazzyMac]
earlofmar Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 3030
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: JazzyMac
I have the Yamaha P155;
I'm almost ready to throw away Alfred's. But I'm scared it may become a zombie and haunt me.

Many have abandoned Alfreds including myself. I was happy with the books for six months or so but it never has upset me to have left it behind. Nowadays I am learning only pieces I like and regret has never been an issue.
Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.


#2298742 - 07/04/14 09:36 PM Re: What to do extra? [Re: ChopinFan66]
earlofmar Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 3030
Loc: Australia
I bought my Yamaha P-105 and began taking lessons 20 months ago, classical music being the only genre I am interested in. The touch and feel of the Yamaha has done me fine and I have no problem recommending it apart from it's basic sound which started to annoy me once I started to listen to better pianos. However for $150 I was able to add a VST (Galaxy Vintage D) and am very happy with the setup of playing through my computer. So much so that when I try expensive digital pianos I am not that impressed.

I would like to have an acoustic but feel it's a luxury not a necessity. The mere fact that so much practice is small sections of works, scales, sight reading, exercises, etc, would for me not be enhanced by having a really good acoustic. You can listen to my piano here

For music theory I would recommend the Eric Taylor "Music Theory In Practice" books. Each book is a grade level of ABRSM so is progressive, reasonably priced, and has lots of exercises. There is of course tons of stuff on the internet to teach as well.

I like many others abandoned Alfred's after a while, book 1 is definitely a useful introduction to piano. However life is too short to be learning pieces that I didn't enjoy so I only did about 20% if books 2 & 3.

As others have said if you plan to take lessons your teacher will have there own thoughts on material that suit you best and how to use a metronome. There isn't too much to say about metronomes though, I thought is was something mysterious as well at first and perhaps there is more to them. But for me it's just a device to set an accurate pulse which will help my playing stay in tempo, help me slow down if I am playing too fast or help me speed up if I want to take something slow and gradually increase the tempo.
Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.


#2298791 - 07/05/14 01:28 AM Re: What to do extra? [Re: ChopinFan66]
wouter79 Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 4793
earlofmar, any piano, even a DP, is a luxury.

But if I could not play acoustic, I would not play piano at all. DP just does not work for me.

#2298895 - 07/05/14 01:19 PM Re: What to do extra? [Re: ChopinFan66]
ChopinFan66 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 25
Thank you all for your comments.

#2298959 - 07/05/14 05:33 PM Re: What to do extra? [Re: ChopinFan66]
Starr Keys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 1010
Loc: california
I tried the Roland in the same price range of my current Kawai VPC1 ($1,849), and returned it to get the latter. Many classical payers think that with the Pianotek software (another $125), its the closest approximation of the feel and dynamic control of an acoustic for the money or more money.


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