People choose their instrument for a variety of reasons. Some would make a choice because of how it might fit in with the furniture, some consider the most affordable, and some because of special features that sound inviting.
What are the options ?
The term ‘keyboard’, or digital piano is usually used to describe the electronic version of a ‘piano’.
- Has 88 strong keys
- Needs tuning, periodically
- Sometimes changes in tone depending on climate conditions
- Requires no electric power to produce sound
- Requires no tuning by a technician
- Can be made with one of three ‘touch’ options
- Might fit into a small space
- can be packaged and transport easily
Historically, only acoustic pianos were used for learning, practice and performance but with the coming of the electronic keyboards there are many options. So what are the features that would suit someone who intends to play keyboards as a hobby?
Keyboards are available in 3 mains sizes, defined by the number of keys: 88-keys, 76-keys and 61-keys. There are also smaller sizes but those are not recommended. You might wish to start with the most affordable and most useful. The small keyboards would appeal to you. However, as your skills improve, you will likely outgrow the smaller instruments, so an 88-key is ideal for the long term and for its good resale value.
Weight of keys
Keyboards are also available with weighted keys, semi-weighted keys, and light. Weighted keys are the closest to those of the original piano and are highly recommended, especially to preserve the muscles of the hands which are used continuously.
The keyboard is usually designed with a ‘piano’ sound as the default. It is important that this is as close to an authentic piano sound as possible. You can try out other types of instrument sounds and drum patterns, but it is the piano sound that is most important.
- A keyboard stand at the correct height. Each hand should form a right angle at the elbow when the hand rest on the keys
- A stool or chair free of handles
- A dust cover to keep dust away
- A surge protector and electric outlet connection
- An amplifier with speaker, if not designed with the keyboard
- Cables to connect the equipment
Always store in a dry place mounted on the stand for easy access.
Based on the above considerations, the ideal would be a weighted keyboard with 88 keys but constraints of space and affordability might call for a compromise.
Here are some pianos I recommend :
YAMAHA PSR-EW400 for beginners
Practice, practice, practice
KORG LP- 380 Digital Piano for home
Practice your music in a cozy corner
Roland 300NX for great sounds
Ready for performance !
YAMAHA YPG-235 Portable Grand for home
Get ready to play !
I would love to hear from you. Please let me know what features appeal to you when choosing a piano/keyboard.