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Recommend first-time electronic keyboard
#2694831 12/06/17 05:10 PM
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We've got an upright acoustic that works really well, but for Christmas we're wanting to give our son an electronic keyboard----digital keyboard, and something that can be plugged into a computer.

Budget is really about $150. I think that's worth the experiment.

Any suggestions? I don't know much about these products.

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Re: Recommend first-time electronic keyboard
Siwash #2694837 12/06/17 05:21 PM
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Post this on the Digital forum. You will receive many suggestions over there


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Re: Recommend first-time electronic keyboard
Siwash #2694858 12/06/17 06:18 PM
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Even buying used, $150 won't get you anything adequate. At a minimum, you need 88 weighted keys and velocity sensitivity. Go into a Guitar Center or Sam Ash and see what they have. You may find a B-stock or demo unit under $1000 if you get lucky.


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Re: Recommend first-time electronic keyboard
Siwash #2694928 12/06/17 11:12 PM
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I expected that the first response would be:
. . . You need 88 weighted keys.

But you _have_ an acoustic piano! So you can get the kid a "synth-action" keyboard, with fewer keys, for not much money.

Take a look at the Yamaha PSR series. I think the PSR 3xx (and certainly the 4xx) models have _touch-sensitive_ (variable loudness) keys. They've been around for a while; you should be able to find something within budget.


. Charles
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Re: Recommend first-time electronic keyboard
Siwash #2695187 12/07/17 08:03 PM
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Did you say something that can be plugged into a computer? Maybe you don't actually need a keyboard, maybe you just need a MIDI controller. A controller is a keyboard that doesn't have any sounds or speakers included. It just sends the notes you play to your computer over the MIDI interface. Then the computer makes the sound with a program such as Garage Band if you have a Mac, or the equivalent if you have a PC. You should be able to get a reasonable controller for your budget.


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Re: Recommend first-time electronic keyboard
Siwash #2695347 12/08/17 01:01 PM
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I have a 61-key Yamaha Piaggero for use as a keyboard controller (there are 76 and 88 key versions which won't fit on my computer desk). It has onboard sounds and speakers for when you're not connected to a computer. One caveat: the keys are slightly more narrow than standard, which might bug some people--for sporadic use, it's not an issue.

(Other caveats: you will need a power supply and a damper pedal, sold separately, which puts the price nearer to $200. This is assuming use on a desk with a desk chair. And to connect to an iPad, oddly enough, you will need an Apple "Lightning to USB Camera Adapter.")



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Re: Recommend first-time electronic keyboard
Siwash #2696446 12/12/17 01:08 PM
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I guess I'd prefer him to play on the acoustic since it sounds great. It looks like a MIDI is the way to go here; I'm not exactly sure how he sees himself using this thing---noodling songs?

To me, it's a hard truth that a good musical instrument is probably twice what you would like to pay for it, and if you don't pay it upfront, you'll always end up regretting the unpaid price difference between what you got and what you need/like.

Re: Recommend first-time electronic keyboard
Siwash #2696573 12/12/17 09:57 PM
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$ 150 unfortunately won't buy you a good digital, not even "keyboard" in today's market. Cosco sells some reasonably decent 88's for around $ 1000.
Same happening on used market. Perhaps look around a bit making sure the instrument's touch and tone will be at least ok for your son's progress for hopefully at least a few years. Bear in mind that when possibly trading up to a real piano in future, you won't be able to get much for your trade. On other hand, you may just enjoy for what it is and will never have the need to do so. Enjoy the musical experience!
Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 12/12/17 10:02 PM.

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Re: Recommend first-time electronic keyboard
Siwash #2696725 12/13/17 01:55 PM
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If you google "music technology lab," you will see a lot of (inexpensive) keyboard controllers used for theory, ear training, and notation programs in music schools. M-Audio kind of stuff, usually with fewer than 88 keys to fit cramped desks. These are (appropriately) input devices, not performance keyboards.

Non-keyboard majors doing class piano will generally be using better, digital pianos. The students studying recording techniques or commercial music (loops, DJ-ing) will be using synths with knobs, sliders, keypads--sometimes good stuff, sometimes cheap gear.


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"

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