Is a 49 key midi good enough for starters?

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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Is a 49 key midi good enough for starters?

Post by boz »


I want to learn the piano again after a break of more than 20 years.
I have a M-Audio KeyRig 49 midi controller so I was wondering if it would be good enough to start off with before buying a digital piano? How long would it generally take to really need a full-size piano?

I plan to go to a teacher but haven't contacted any yet as I want to sort out an instrument first.

I've been looking at digital pianos but there's a lot to choose from. My budget would be about £500-£600 so what would you recommend if/when the midi isn't good enough? I have been thinking about the Casio AP-245.

My problem is that although my intentions are good I don't want to spend a lot of money on a piano and then find I stop lessons after a while and then be left with an instrument that I can't play.

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Re: Is a 49 key midi good enough for starters?

Post by Gill the Piano »

You'd be better off putting this on the digital keyboard section, really; I can't help as I avoid any keyboard with electrickery in it! I would have moved it for you, but I'm not sure how to do it...sorry!
You can get a real piano for nothing on Freecycle, by the way!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;
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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Is a 49 key midi good enough for starters?

Post by Colin Nicholson »

Maybe some general advice could be offered here, but we can't say if your keyboard is suitable or not as it depends on how you want to be taught, how many lessons, how good a pianist you want to become and things like that.

When I teach a new student/pupil - really they need a similar "like for like" instrument of their own at home.... so the lessons are taught using a proper piano with weighted keys/ full 7 & quarter octaves/ deportment etc. It might be a bit like learning to drive a car - using an instructor's car for the lessons, but then going home & learning in a go kart. Progress would also be slow for the money you are paying.

I would imagine that under normal circumstances, a student would learn using a normal piano first.... then for gigs/ bands/ bit of fun/ doing compositions etc.... the "pocket sized" midi keyboard would be ok for that.... a bit like a sketch pad.

It might be best if you contact a piano teacher, and ask of their requirements/ how they teach/ what piano they have/ techniques etc.... and would the learning aspect be much different. From the very beginning though - if you are a novice, you would be best getting a digital piano to start.... we can't comment on the fact if you lose interest or stop the lessons - thats your call. For example, learning the "geography" of a full sized piano with 88 keys is ALOT different to going home and compressing everything into 4 or 5 octaves?

As a suggestion.... if you go to my website:
and click on "Tuition/Exams" at the top, I give an extensive list of requirements for the beginner syllabus in various key stages, consisting of four main elements.... however, other teachers may be different.

Have a look at Kawai digitals - I have the ES7.... very nice.... but its ok to a point - it looks & plays like a piano.... but nowehere near sounds like my K5 upright. Digital 'pedalling' and certain phrase endings controlled by a volume knob just sound fabricated and false.... ok to about Grade 3 ABRSM standard

so it depends on what level you want your playing to be at?
Knock out a few easy - one note chords & tunes.... stick to the midi for now, and see any limitations later if you start lessons.

Hope that helps....

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Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
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