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Joined: Jun 2009
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My daughter shows musical promise. She wants to take up piano. I don't have room for a "real" piano and was looking at some weighted key electric pianos. I know next to nothing about pianos. Also am on a budget.

Thanks for your input.

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You should consider any of the Casio Priva models, they're ideal for any beginner.

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If you're on a budget, try the Casio PX-120. It's better than I expected it to be.

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Bestbuy(.com) offers a full package (Casio PX-120+stand+pedals(3)) for $599.
Just get a bench for about $40 (craigslist or Guitar Center) and you are all set for years

Last edited by Vincent L.; 06/16/09 08:50 AM.
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A person can learn piano on anything with keys. For example,
any good organist can switch to the piano and play it well.
Furthermore, since the striking bars on a xylophone are
laid out the same as the keys on a piano, a good xylophonist,
who has never played anything but the xylophone, can sit
down cold at the piano and play it quite well without
instruction.

Therefore any weighted-key digital piano would be more
than adequate for learning piano. A person could
get into Juilliard with nothing but a digital piano
at home for practicing. You can get good weighted-key
digital pianos for less than $1000. Two that stick out
in my mind are the Casio PX 800 and the M-Audio
DCP 200, both $900 online. But there are many others.
The full-console type of digital with built-in pedals is
advantageous, because the pedals don't slip around
on the floor, and the stand gives the standard height
from the floor to the top surface of the white keys
of 28 to 29 inches; and it looks more like an acoustic
upright piano.

One thing you should probably get is record and playback.
This is not absolutely necessary, because even a concert
grand doesn't have it, but it can be a useful tool
when learning. Not all digital pianos have this. If
buying sight-unseen online, you need to see the
words "recorder" or "song recorder" or "song memory."
If you don't see this, it doesn't have one.

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Again and again and again you come and copy and paste the same controversial piece.
I am trained as an organist (I started when I was 9 years old) and I am now for the last 3 years learning to play the Piano.
They both have keys but they are not the same size, there is no need for sustain for organs (it's an effect but you can maintain the sound virtually for ever), Organs keyboards are not gradually weighted keys like on a piano.
Result: quite different technique to play these instruments.

Gyro please consider that not everybody is like you - some try to play an instrument to play music, not just emit sounds.

Last edited by Vincent L.; 06/16/09 01:21 PM.
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Gyros advice is funny, according to him you can learn to play Piano on a computer keyboard!

Dont listen to his advice on Pianos, I have practiced on a keyboard most of my life and failed my Piano auditions at university. It took me a long time to adjust to the Piano, it is much more difficult than keyboards are.

The YGP 635 / DGX 630 is a nice and suitable instrument for your needs as well as the earlier casio recommendations.


'Its too rare to break a hand from playing the piano ... But playing Hanon as written will break your hand'

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Vincent I don't hang around French forums because
my broken French would be offensive. Do us the same
courtesy.

Bhav if you're a quitter and don't want to work, you'll
fail every audition even if you have a concert grand to practice
on.

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To the original poster, I believe this is right up your alley:
http://www.keyboardmag.com/article/starter-piano/jun-09/96747

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Originally Posted by Gyro
Vincent I don't hang around French forums because
my broken French would be offensive. Do us the same
courtesy.

...


With such argumentation, your reputation is right where it belongs and that gives a perfect picture of your character.
I will keep posting - even if it bothers you - and challenge any post that provides, imho, harmful recommendation.

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Gyro is right...if your name is J.S. Bach. For the rest of us, get a digital piano that is as close to an acoustic piano as possible, because the touch is critical to be able to play piano and forte when performing on the pianoforte. And why learn how to play if not to perform?

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I certainly don't agree with everything Gyro posted, but his recommendation of a Casion PX-800 is reasonable. However, in this case, the original poster wants a keyboard which she can use on a table or X-stand and then put away. So the Casio PX-120 (which is cheaper anyway) would probably be better for her, as serveral other posters have suggested.

All of the Casio PX (Privia) series have weighted keys and would be fine for introductory piano study, up through a fairly advanced level.

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I were playing on a 'keyboard' from the age of 5 up to 19 with no breaks, working continuosly at the least every 2-3 days if not daily and also got reports saying 'star pupil in music' and awards for being the best music student at both my primary and secondary schools.

When I got to university to audition on a large grand Piano for the first time in my life, I did nothing but make a full mockery of myself in front of the tutors and other auditionees in the same room.

From my experience, my recommendations are so that no one else makes the same mistakes that I did. Get yourself a decent digital Piano, which I didnt have untill I were 24, and also a good Piano teacher if you ever want yourself or your child to be able to study Piano performance at university level.

The same advice that you keep on giving here that an unweighted keyboard is fine to learn to play the 'Piano' on is completely false and has never worked for most of the people that have actutally tried it.

A Digital Piano + Piano teacher from age 5 upwards is the only correct proffesional advice that works if either you or your children want to be able to study Piano performance by age 18 at university.

Last edited by Bhav; 06/18/09 01:12 PM.

'Its too rare to break a hand from playing the piano ... But playing Hanon as written will break your hand'

- Self proclaimed 'piano teachers' on the internet.
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I have found a like new Yamaha YDP-S30 w/ stand and seat for $575 locally. I'm leaning towards getting it but welcome last minute "do it!!" and "Dont' do it!" suggestions.

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note that YDP-S30 is now being replaced by YDP-S31, and the major improvement on the S31 is fully implemented half-pedal functionality while on S30 it's only a 3-step sustain pedal. but the new model costs more and you'd better off with a same level model YDP140 instead.

S30 is selling much cheaper because it's discontinued now.

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I understand that the YPD140 is likely better. It's also $500 more. To rephrase the question, if one has a $600 budget, is a very gently used YPD-S30 a good option.

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if you can only spend $600, then YDP-S30 is ok. within that range, you have only a few choices, either that or some Casio PX models.

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If your child is just starting, buy the cheapest keyboard you can get, with a decent sound. Weighted keys are not important, however the right sized keys are important... A child doesn't even need to have 88 keys...

So if you want to save more money just look for a cheaper one. A new keyboard that could work is the Yamaha NP30. It is only about $250. Sounds decent is light and small, and has internal speakers.

I have taught piano for years and people always ask me what to get. For young children I always recommend to spend the least possible, if your child really wants to learn and has been taking lessons for a number of years you can then upgrade to something better.

ps, it is only $799 USD new... $550 is high to be selling for a used electronic instrument. I would offer no more than half of the new price for a used keyboard. They are like computers and depreciate very fast.


Last edited by Picolitre; 07/08/09 04:10 AM.

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It's amazing to me to see a piano teacher offering this advice. I know some teachers that don't even like to see students practicing on high-quality digitals, and strongly prefer acoustics.

No student, no matter how young, can learn proper dynamics and gain finger strength on an unweighted keyboard. A short keyboard (less than 88 keys) will also cause problems in orienting to the keyboard and playing some music.

If the difference were thousands of dollars, than it might be advisable to make this sacrifice anyway. But it's not--a Casio PX-120 or Yamaha P85 is only a couple of hundred more than a toy-like keyboard (that you'd need to replace soon anyway).

Buying an unweighted, short-keyboard instrument for piano study is like buying a tin whistle to study flute. It makes no sense.

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I have the PX-410R - It is fine. In the UK it cost £450 and I can't complain - it will see me through grade 3-4 easily. And beyond - because saving for an acoustic piano will take an age.


I told my wife I wanted a grand piano she said - no way - £500 maximum.
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