Total beginner buying first keyboard.

General discussion about digital pianos

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BazC
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Total beginner buying first keyboard.

Post by BazC » 23 Dec 2007, 12:44

I appreciate that this kind of question gets asked over and over, I've read all the posts on this forum about first purchases but I still have some questions so I hope someone can help!

I don't play piano, I know a couple of chords and that's about it. I intend trying to teach myself and maybe get lessons later if I get on OK.

I'm looking to buy a cheap digital portable piano, we don't have room for anything bigger. Since I don't know how I'll get on with keys I'm looking to keep the price down as far as possible while still getting a decent usable instrument.

I've narrowed the choice down to three.

M-Audio 61es midi controller. It's just over £100 has 61 semi weighted keys but no built in sounds, I'd be tied to my computer if I went for this option. It's supposed to be a decent keyboard though.

A cheapish model from Yamaha or Casio with built in sounds and teaching software. Around £200 or so. I could play it anywhere but most of them at this price point have unweighted keyboards.

M-Audio ProKeys 88. A stage piano with 14 good quality sounds a fully weighted 88 key hammer action keyboard. It's more expensive than I wanted to pay but reviews suggest it's an excellent pro quality keyboard with a very realistic action and very cheap for the quality. Around £335

So what should my priorities be as a complete beginner? I suppose what I'm asking is how important is a realistic action when your first start playing? If that's the most important aspect I'll probably try and stretch to the stage piano, if the teaching facilities of the Yamahas/Casios would be more helpful at the moment I'll probably go for one of them.

Thanks for any advice!

cothse
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Post by cothse » 25 Dec 2007, 00:16

Hi,

With your expressed concern of key weight, it seems like you're ultimately planning to make a transition to a real piano some time down the line rather than be an electric keyboardist. If this is your situation, the worst thing you can do is start practicing on a non-weighted keyboard. There is quite a long customer review about this particular issue at epinions you can read here.

http://www1.epinions.com/review/Yamaha_ ... 8848354948

Non-weighted and semi-weighted digital pianos will not give you the finger strength training you'll need to play on a hammer action piano; the real keys will feel so starkly heavy you're going to think there's something wrong with them. I sympathize with your limited budget. Proper hammer action, though, is not optional as far my feelings go, and I strongly advise at least being this sure feature is present.

Try getting these other features as well.
- Half/partial pedaling
- 32+ note polyphony
- Good resonance
- Realistic pedal action
- Una corda pedal port

Good luck!
Pianos are such dignified instruments - they're either upright or grand!
Piano Lessonswith Master Teachers

BazC
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Post by BazC » 25 Dec 2007, 11:03

Thanks Cothse! I think that's the direction I was leaning anyway. That pretty much means the M-Audio stage piano, I don't know of another keyboard with a fully weighted piano action anywhere near my price range.

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