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Help with beginner instrument.
#2431795 06/14/15 07:23 PM
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I am looking for a little help please. Non musical father here trying to help musical daughter who just started piano lessons. I have spent the better part of a week on this forum and a few others. I think i have narrowed down our piano options to the following:

Casio Privia PX-160
Casio Privia PX-150
Yamaha P-45
Yamaha P-115 - about $100 above where we want to be
Yamaha DGX 640W - used - they are asking $650 with foot pedal - perhaps i can negotiate closer to the $500?

Just interested to see if I am on the right track here and would like some input and opinions please.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by rpscuba; 06/14/15 10:57 PM.
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Re: Help with beginner instrument.
rpscuba #2431805 06/14/15 08:00 PM
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The Casio PX 160 would probably be the best choice, but you should take a look at the Kawai ES100 too.

You should go with your daughter to try all those pianos, does she practice on a acoustic piano on her lessons ? Depending on her age, she should be the one deciding which piano suits her best.

Last edited by NighhhT; 06/14/15 08:00 PM.
Re: Help with beginner instrument.
NighhhT #2431815 06/14/15 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by NighhhT
The Casio PX 160 would probably be the best choice, but you should take a look at the Kawai ES100 too.

You should go with your daughter to try all those pianos, does she practice on a acoustic piano on her lessons ? Depending on her age, she should be the one deciding which piano suits her best.


Thanks for the advise. I am hoping to stay down around $500 and will not likely go much, if any, beyond that at this time. The Kawai looks very nice but at $800.00 I would need some compelling evidence to make the $300 jump.




Re: Help with beginner instrument.
rpscuba #2431827 06/14/15 09:55 PM
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This is always an interesting trade off. The cost of the lessons will very quickly overtake the cost of the keyboard, so will spending more on a keyboard enhance the worth of the lessons?


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Re: Help with beginner instrument.
SoundThumb #2431849 06/14/15 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SoundThumb
This is always an interesting trade off. The cost of the lessons will very quickly overtake the cost of the keyboard, so will spending more on a keyboard enhance the worth of the lessons?


That would be a good question for you to answer for me if you can please?

So, with my proposed keyboards in mind, at what skill level would you expect my daughter to stall out because of them and their limitations?

Thanks



Re: Help with beginner instrument.
rpscuba #2431851 06/14/15 11:14 PM
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There's a long, recent thread on a related topic:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2429185/Is_a_good_acoustic_upright_wor.html


My guess:

. . . She'll be OK with a PX-160 until somewhere past the point that she can play Mozart _really well_. Several years, if she's talented and works hard.

I don't know if it'll get her past Beethoven. But I'd say the same about any inexpensive upright.





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Re: Help with beginner instrument.
SoundThumb #2431926 06/15/15 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SoundThumb
This is always an interesting trade off. The cost of the lessons will very quickly overtake the cost of the keyboard, so will spending more on a keyboard enhance the worth of the lessons?


I like that view/question very much. Very much to the point. I currently believe that anything with a graded hammer action is good enough to start and will get you through a few years.

I also believe that a kid has a feeling for what is reasonable. So if you go and say: this is the most we want to invest, plus the lessons, then that will be ok. Given, of course, the kid wants to learn/play piano. If it does not want to learn piano, any excuse will be good enough :-)


What I find a _lot_ harder to assess, though, is the question if a better instrument will increase motivation. I have seen my kids motivation increase by a order of magnitude when confronted with something "real" compared to something "reduced" (training bike vs real bike). However, to understand whats going on in a kids mind is hard. I took my daugther to a DP shop first, to make sure she would accept a DP as "real".

It might be a little thing. For example, a bike with training wheels was "not a real bike". The absolutely same bike, with training wheels removed, was a real bike. At four years, the daughter did not realize that training wheels can be removed in seconds.

To translate this to digital pianos: a slab piano may not be accepted as a "real piano", but the same slab piano on a console might.

Best of luck!

Last edited by Hendrik42; 06/15/15 04:01 AM.

Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Help with beginner instrument.
rpscuba #2431942 06/15/15 06:04 AM
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The question "is this good enough for now" and "what will we need in the future" is easy to answer, based on your position here ...
Originally Posted by rpscuba
I am hoping to stay down around $500 and will not likely go much, if any, beyond that at this time. The Kawai looks very nice but at $800 I would need some compelling evidence to make the $300 jump.
A $500 piano will serve a beginner well enough. The $800 piano will offer nothing extra. And if the student decides to abandon, that's $300 not lost in this adventure.

If, instead, your daughter builds a strong interest, the next step is a much better piano. The $800 digital piano won't offer much. A proper acoustic piano would be best. But if you find yourself leaning digital, an upper-range digital piano would suit. Either way, it takes several thousand dollars to get a satisfactory unit. That's a big jump.

Conclusion: Go for the $500 piano, for now. Spending more just now won't deliver value.

Re: Help with beginner instrument.
rpscuba #2431971 06/15/15 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by rpscuba
Originally Posted by SoundThumb
This is always an interesting trade off. The cost of the lessons will very quickly overtake the cost of the keyboard, so will spending more on a keyboard enhance the worth of the lessons?


That would be a good question for you to answer for me if you can please?

So, with my proposed keyboards in mind, at what skill level would you expect my daughter to stall out because of them and their limitations?

Thanks




With the PX-160, I would say that would last her until late intermediate. At this point, she would be working on Classical era sonatinas (Clementi, Kuhlau), and Bach Inventions or Little Preludes. I wouldn't wait until Mozart sonatas, however.

I don't recall if you mention how old she is now, but depending on her practice habits and natural aptitude, this could mean several years.

So I would not be concerned at this point about the piano lasting. Many students quit before they get to this level of playing, and her teacher will be able to suggest when it's best for her to upgrade.


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Re: Help with beginner instrument.
Morodiene #2432132 06/15/15 02:43 PM
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Thanks much to everyone who has taken the time to provide some of your expertise in this arena. To answer a couple of questions, my daughter is 6. She seems quite motivated and very excited about her lessons. It seems that a week between class is too long for her as she orients her week about the lesson, counting down the days. She is very bright and is tops academically in school. At this moment in time we have only what I can describe as a toy Yamaha piano. It has a couple dozen plastic keys and is quite terrible sounding. Prob worth about $10 at best, given its age and such. Even so, she has spent time every day since her lesson reading her book and using this keyboard to do her homework. Of course its too early to predict future desires, but I do not want her to lose interest because we did not provide her with adequate hardware at home.

I have phoned a couple of the area outlets that sell pianos and such. I have been pointed to the Yamaha P-45 on more than 1 occasion and advised that the Casio PX-150 is very nice as well. No one really says much about the PX 160 since they do not have it in stock yet. The 150 and 160 appear to be the same price, however. That being noted, I did get one online retailer to reduce their price on the PX-150 by $50 since it is closeout.

I am guessing that Yamaha/Casio is somewhat like Ford/Chevy...

Again, thanks for all of the input. As several have indicated a good upright will eventually be in order, but in the meantime I am looking for a good space saving alternative (on a budget).


Re: Help with beginner instrument.
rpscuba #2432148 06/15/15 03:34 PM
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From personal experience with Casio and the Yamaha in that price range, I'd put Casio a notch above Yamaha for key action.

I have played the Yamaha P-115 (which is a few notches above the P-45) and the Casio PX-5S (same aciton as the rest of the Privia line) and I would've settled for Casio even if I couldn't afford the PX-5S - I would've gone for the PX-150 also. The PX-160 in and near my country (like say, Germany) the price of the PX-160 is still equal to that of PX-350 which seems ridiculous to me (and perhaps not only me either).


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Re: Help with beginner instrument.
rpscuba #2432172 06/15/15 04:24 PM
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Is this a concern in the Yamaha vs Casio?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA1ccIHtoR4


Re: Help with beginner instrument.
rpscuba #2432187 06/15/15 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rpscuba
Is this a concern in the Yamaha vs Casio?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA1ccIHtoR4

Depends. This particular (Yamaha (GHS) action (to me) seems less substantial than that of Casio and yes it makes noise. It's in fact so substantial that it goes right through the floor to the level below. But I think that happens with any DP being played normally in my current situation.


Casio Privia Pro PX-5S, Focusrite Saffire Pro40, Steinberg UR22, KRK RP6 G2, JBL LSR305
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Re: Help with beginner instrument.
rpscuba #2433128 06/18/15 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rpscuba
I am looking for a little help please. Non musical father here trying to help musical daughter who just started piano lessons. I have spent the better part of a week on this forum and a few others. I think i have narrowed down our piano options to the following:

Casio Privia PX-160
Casio Privia PX-150
Yamaha P-45
Yamaha P-115 - about $100 above where we want to be
Yamaha DGX 640W - used - they are asking $650 with foot pedal - perhaps i can negotiate closer to the $500?

Just interested to see if I am on the right track here and would like some input and opinions please.

Thanks in advance!


Hi,

Sorry, I cannot tell which piano is for your daughter. I'd rather explain what things you should be looking for.

I have started playing piano as an adult about two years ago. I bought Yamaha P105 for about £500 which was rather cheap. As a beginner, I did not need anything more than that. It has full 88 keys range, Grand Piano voice, decent key action (good for beginners), and couple of extra features that have helped me improve my practice sessions.

After two years, I have started feeling the action is too soft and the keys are too short. Whenever I have to take an exam, I struggle to express dynamics correctly, such as piano / forte etc. But this became hard after I gained some experience.

If you are not sure if your daughter is going to practice regularly or practice at all after some time, cheap DP will certainly be all right at the beginning. Try to make sure your DP will be good enough. This is the list of things I think you may want to consider when you buy DP:

- full range of 88 keys
- decent key-action
- quiet keys - sometimes piano keys make significant noise to distract; you may not be able to avoid it in cheap DP
- MIDI connection - for recording pieces into MIDI files or using different piano voices
- line out to mixer / recorder for recording into WAV, MP3 etc.
- at least one tract to record that can be re-played - this helps massively as part of practising should be listening oneself
- if a recording into track feature is there, I'd recommended to choose something that has an extra option to record hand separately
- metronome - it's a MUST; some mobile app are free and can do this

One thing I have noticed since I have started playing on black keys is the pivot point of keys in my DP. It is right at the edge where keys go hidden in a piano frame. The keys are so short that whenever I try to play chords on black keys, I really need to press hard. It is massively inconvenient. This is one of the main reasons why I am going to change my DP. Make sure you will buy piano with long keys. If you try to play on black and white keys on different DP, and one of them has short keys, you should feel the difference.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by Celdor; 06/18/15 07:47 AM.

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Re: Help with beginner instrument.
Celdor #2433131 06/18/15 07:54 AM
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rpscuba Offline OP
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Thanks Celdor - I think that we are going to go with the Casio CP-150 for now. It seems like it is likely the best option at this time for us.

Thanks


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