Discussion Beginners Music Keyboard.

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whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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are you going to be using the software to write sheet music or read it?

as far as the keyboard goes - 61 key is OK, especially if you are just playing around middle C. but once you start playing both hands further apart, 76 keys would be ideal. i know a guy who started to learn piano last year and a 61 unweighted key keyboard wasn't giving him all the keys he needed anymore. but it was a cheap way to see if he was interested in learning, and he recently upgraded to an 88 key weighted.

for learning, i've heard there are a number of good instructional channels on youtube.
I'm just thinking once I get the hang of it, I'll go a bit farther and play around with music software. But it would be learn to read sheet music or use learning software to with the keyboard.

I'm living in a small SRO apartment and a 61 keyboard will fit and I can move it at of way. I'm not so sure with 76 and 88 keys. I get a music keyboard for my birthday coming up.
 
Feb 25, 2011
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Thanks again. But to be clear I don't think I want a digital piano, but a keyboard that I can play modern music like pop, jazz, and piano music as well.
Those are the same thing.

Go sign up for piano lessons and say you are interested in contemporary music.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
12,412
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so much to write, not sure where to start and *if* to start.

you should ... possibly get a weighted kb as said before. they are good. but, you also could not, as .. omg, where to start.

years ago i would have said that there is no such thing as cheap when it comes to pianos; and that is still the opinion of many who are in the world of professional piano playing - they would have everyone start only on a steinway grand or nothing else. Because of the costs, there are acceptable shortcuts, but always in sight of one day having that steinway grand.

Which is really the reason why weighted keyboards exist; the one great issue everyone had in the 80s with keyboards and keyboard players is that "they aren't pianos" because " the keys are soft", so the weighted keyboard was born, which is supposed to replicate the feeling of a piano - at times quite effectively.

And that is all good and well if you want to go around carrying your $4000 piano synth but, spoiler alert, not everyone wants to be a piano player.

In fact the whole weighted kb is BS because if you are into Depeche Mode and all that Kraftwerk synth stuff, a non weighted kb might actually sound better, and most modern synthpop relies on the attack of the note far more than traditional music does, ergo favouring non-weighted keys. And they are easier to play.

So my advice is to find out what you want to do, and then get the thing which allows you to do it as cheap as possible; then you work with it until you think "i cant do this anymore on this piece of garbage" and then you buy that one as-expensive-as-you-can-afford thing that is ideal for whatever it is that you want to do.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
1,566
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so much to write, not sure where to start and *if* to start.

you should ... possibly get a weighted kb as said before. they are good. but, you also could not, as .. omg, where to start.

years ago i would have said that there is no such thing as cheap when it comes to pianos; and that is still the opinion of many who are in the world of professional piano playing - they would have everyone start only on a steinway grand or nothing else. Because of the costs, there are acceptable shortcuts, but always in sight of one day having that steinway grand.

Which is really the reason why weighted keyboards exist; the one great issue everyone had in the 80s with keyboards and keyboard players is that "they aren't pianos" because " the keys are soft", so the weighted keyboard was born, which is supposed to replicate the feeling of a piano - at times quite effectively.

And that is all good and well if you want to go around carrying your $4000 piano synth but, spoiler alert, not everyone wants to be a piano player.

In fact the whole weighted kb is BS because if you are into Depeche Mode and all that Kraftwerk synth stuff, a non weighted kb might actually sound better, and most modern synthpop relies on the attack of the note far more than traditional music does, ergo favouring non-weighted keys. And they are easier to play.

So my advice is to find out what you want to do, and then get the thing which allows you to do it as cheap as possible; then you work with it until you think "i cant do this anymore on this piece of garbage" and then you buy that one as-expensive-as-you-can-afford thing that is ideal for whatever it is that you want to do.
While I like to learn some piano or whatever can be learned with 61 keys, I really want to learn music keyboarding and be able to play a wide range of music.

This seems to be what I'm looking and should last me at least a year or two, or even longer before I need something more high end assuming I do reach advance levels.

https://www.amazon.com/Casio-CTK-3500-Sensitive-Portable-Keyboard/dp/B06XWSCCJM/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_3?_encoding=UTF8&refRID=D16RRX0K5CPNJB0QT1BP&th=1

This should be able to fit in my apartment without getting in the way.

Or maybe this:
https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-YPT-360-Portable-Keyboard-Adapter/dp/B0793R2P2Z/ref=pd_sbs_0_3/147-1772103-9379730?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B0793R2P2Z&pd_rd_r=d21bb66a-53dd-11e9-8938-1f91196fa3b4&pd_rd_w=ZWcb8&pd_rd_wg=dD16m&pf_rd_p=588939de-d3f8-42f1-a3d8-d556eae5797d&pf_rd_r=Z7MFPT2WZFD6JV2W76JE&psc=1&refRID=Z7MFPT2WZFD6JV2W76JE
 

KentState

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2001
8,384
387
126
Which is really the reason why weighted keyboards exist; the one great issue everyone had in the 80s with keyboards and keyboard players is that "they aren't pianos" because " the keys are soft", so the weighted keyboard was born, which is supposed to replicate the feeling of a piano - at times quite effectively.

And that is all good and well if you want to go around carrying your $4000 piano synth but, spoiler alert, not everyone wants to be a piano player.

In fact the whole weighted kb is BS because if you are into Depeche Mode and all that Kraftwerk synth stuff, a non weighted kb might actually sound better, and most modern synthpop relies on the attack of the note far more than traditional music does, ergo favouring non-weighted keys. And they are easier to play.
Weighted keys helped with both feel and dynamics. It was near impossible to play forte or piano without any resistance on the keys. I remember sampling many keyboards when we sold our upright piano and very few had it right in the 80's. We settled on a Korg which at the time was ahead of pretty much everyone even though it was expensive.
 
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ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,793
828
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Almost anything will work for you, but I agree, weighted. It just feels better and adds to the way you play - but that really only applies to..well piano. For anything else (as mentioned above) , it's not really important.

There are tons of youtube videos where people teach you the keys / tricks to remember / chords, and songs.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
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Almost anything will work for you, but I agree, weighted. It just feels better and adds to the way you play - but that really only applies to..well piano. For anything else (as mentioned above) , it's not really important.

There are tons of youtube videos where people teach you the keys / tricks to remember / chords, and songs.
Both the Casio and Yamaha have touch sensitive keys so that is something, and from I'm reading that would enable me to play a wider range of sounds.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
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get the yamaha, you'll be fine.

you can also buy something second-hand for a better deal.
Is the Yamaha YPT 360 a just released model? Yamaha website doesn't even list it and I'm finding this hard to get reviews.
 

dasherHampton

Platinum Member
Jan 19, 2018
2,543
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This seems to really neat but sure is pricey for a beginner at $500:
https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/entertainment/shs/shs-500/index.html
I think if wanted to get something like that, I'll have to reach advanced or semi-professorial levels and be really into music.
That looks like a retro gigging keyboard. The kind that keyboard players in 80's pop synth bands would use to get up and jam with the guitar players.

I really don't think that's what you're looking for.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
12,412
1,426
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Yamaha is a company with many interests, and a wide range of products. The one you showed me is a "consumer electronics" keyboard ... not a "music instruments" keyboard. You cant buy a top tier yamaha kb for $200.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
12,412
1,426
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oouf .. when i get into music threads .. i need to go to sleep, mmk?

The thing here is that keyboard playing is a huge ass world, you got your classical music thing that wants one kind of keyboard, and then you got your synths, 303s, Seaboard, moogs n that.
There's keyboards that do both, and they cost a lot. Where the kb itself is only the interface, and then you add the sound modules. We're nopt there yet. I need you to buy a cheapo kb and play around with it until you can come back and say "hey ive been playing such and such and ive DECIDED that i really want to get into Classical/Pop/Jazz/Techno/Progrock" because until you get there, there is no way to recommend you a keyboard thats under $2k.
 

KillerCharlie

Diamond Member
Aug 21, 2005
3,686
66
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I would start cheap to see if you even like it. Used is preferable, so you can save money and trade up later. When you do eventually have the money for it, get weighted keys. Like the previous poster said, don't put down serious money until you are confident you know what you want.

I worked my way up to a 6'2 grand.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
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Thanks guys either the Casio or the Yamaha should last me a long time before I'll need anything more advanced.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
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What about really decent headphones? I have a pair of Flips Audio and while it is decent enough for my computer in speaker mode, I may want something with better sound later.
 
Feb 25, 2011
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What about really decent headphones? I have a pair of Flips Audio and while it is decent enough for my computer in speaker mode, I may want something with better sound later.
I have a pair of these that I find very comfortable for long periods of use. Sound is good. Pads are replaceable.
 

Fritzo

Lifer
Jan 3, 2001
41,627
1,805
126
Full size, weighted keys are optimal but maybe that's out of reach for what you what right now.
Weighted keys are the main thing here. Keyboards are (supposed to be) an acoustic instrument, and you need to learn pressure and volume. It's hard to learn that after you learn fingering.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
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Weighted keys are the main thing here. Keyboards are (supposed to be) an acoustic instrument, and you need to learn pressure and volume. It's hard to learn that after you learn fingering.
What about touch sensitive keys instead? Both the Casio and Yamaha models I picked out have them.
 

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