Piano World Home Page
Posted By: krauster buying a computer to put near digital piano - 11/26/15 12:07 PM
I am a beginner, having taken music lesson for a year 55 years ago, and not played much since then. I can sort of read music. I just bought a digital piano, Casio CGP700 that I really like. Eventually I will take lessons but I have a pretty demanding work schedule and can't make time to commit to lessons yet. I will. But for now I see so much interesting stuff online on youtube that I want to take that approach for now.

I have the piano set up in my living room along a wall. I have it placed forward a few inches so that the clip on music stand can tilt back a bit to hold sheet music. I want to buy an additional tablet or touch screen notebook or even set up an external monitor, like a 16x9 ratio 20" to watch tutorials.

I have an old slow 7" tablet and that seems too small.
I could go with a bigger 10" tablet, like an ipad or android version.
I could go with a windows surface laptop that allows a touch screen.
Or I could get a 15" win10 notebook, probably with a touch screen, and have it drive an external monitor mounted over the keyboard. Wife says she's okay with a monitor mounted to the wall. The keyboard is on an adjacent wall to our living room TV.

Seems the question is whether to put the tablet or laptop above the music stand, which means it is sitting a little high to clear sheet music that is on the piano's built in stand, or lower to the side of the keyboard? And whether to build a shelf on to the wall or whether a dedicated swing out stand or something. I could get something with a swing out arm positioned at the sheet music height so it simply covers the sheet music when in positioned over the piano.

Anybody here have a setup they like for watching tutorials on youtube?
I'm thinking about getting something like this http://www.amazon.com/Mount--MI-705...sr=8-12&keywords=monitor+floor+stand and clamping it to the keyboard stand. Then you can grab a decent monitor (Or even 2) and position them however you want right in front of you, hook a wireless kb+mouse up and bob's your uncle.

I think you could do a setup like that with 2 monitors, stand and computer for cheaper than an ipad pro but with 4x times the screen real estate.

Haven't done it yet though - just my thinking. =)
I guess that the placement of your screen(s) would depend on their intended use. If you're ONLY going to be watching Youtube videos, having it off to the side will be OK. But, if you want to actually work with an online or software-based training program, I think that you'll want the screen directly in front of you. ...And with that in mind, I find that an iPad or other tablet works great.

My set-up has BOTH a laptop computer (a bit off to the side) AND an iPad Pro (on the keyboards music stand). I use the laptop for running software pianos (VST's) and watching Youtube vids. The iPad is used to display my scores (ForScore) and occasional use of piano/music apps. (BTW - The laptop simply sits on a plain old music stand that is set to horizontal, and placed just behind my digital piano, just to the right of the piano's music stand).

If you're going to play along with anything on a screen, I STRONGLY suggest that it a) be centered in front of you) and b) NOT be mounted to high (since your eyes will be travelling a long distance between the screen and keyboard. Again, for that purpose, I suggest a tablet resting in the keyboard's music stand, just as songbook would be placed.

I hope this helps.
I bought the furniture style keyboard so it has vertical walls. No horizonatal surface to use. I could bolt on a bracket of some sort to have a horizontal surface for attaching the stand.


This takes card of mounting a large external screen. But I still need to place the laptop/tablet.
Yes, newbert, your suggestion to have the screen as close to the keyboard as possible makes a lot of sense to me. So this is the dilemma. If I swing a non touch sensite external monitor in place of the music stand then I don't have a place for the computer/laptop's keyboard to be right in front of me a few inches over the keyboard too. or do it?

Maybe instead a large tablet... 10". There's a Dell out there for pretty cheap running android. I don't see doing a lot of computer/midi stuff in the near future so android probably would be okay for just this purpose of running video tutorials.


You can get the same things that hold a laptop as well like this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00W58D4KI/ref=s9_al_bw_g229_i2
might be a good option?

I really like the idea of having a proper computer hooked up not only because you get tons more screen size but because it would be perfect for recording or using VST's and midi software.
I completely agree that a proper computer hooked up to a bigger monitor is going to be way better for midi stuff and recording tracks. I played around with Cubase and midi at a time when the proper computer was an Atari 2600, and had a lot of fun and it was very satisfying.

This time I want to learn to play better and I simply want to watch piano tutorials and practice some lessons. The midi stuff will come later.
With my mind roaming freely:

. . . This is a good application for a "heads-up" (head-mounted, or eyeglass-mounted) display.

Think of how nice it would be to look down at your hands, and see the video at the same time! It wouldn't take up wall space, or require any support.

I suspect those displays are both clunky and expensive, now. "Google Glass" got some publicity, but it wasn't a general-purpose display -- and it was $1500.

Wow, somebody mentioned the iPad Pro and didn't get bashed to death by our new friend grin

When I play the Celviano, which has a low wooden cabinet, I often put my laptop on top of it to record or watch Youtube videos. But I can't do that on the real piano and now that I have the iPad Pro I don't think I will do that with the digital either, it's a bit awkward to be honest. A tablet that sits on your music stand is the best option, only problem is you might end up wasting time on the Internet instead of practicing! You can read music, watch videos, listen to recordings, read piano magazines (Pianist tablet edition is really great!)... only thing I don't do with the iPad is recording, although there are probably ways and apps available for that too.
I use 'Voice Record Pro' from Dayana Networks on the iPad and iPhone.
You can also use apple's Garageband, or Yamaha's 'Audio Recorder'.
You simply plug the line out of your digital piano into a cheap (£2 on amazon) 3.5mm microphone splitter and away you go.

Quality is not quite as good as the digital pianos direct to wave/mp3 recording, but for simplicity it's really useful.

I like that in Voice Record Pro you can upload to Soundcloud or Dropbox with one click.
Thank you Medden, I will look into it.
© Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums