So many different brands
After checking the different brands, you finally purchase your piano keyboard. Are you using the great features to enhance your practice and performance experiences? I could never hope to discuss every single attribute because there are so many variations in brands, and models within each brand, but there are some general features that apply to most, that really make life easier. Let us take a cursory look at models of some well known brands : Roland, Korg, Yamaha for beginners , Yamaha Portable Grand and discuss some of these features.
Keyboards are usually sold in sizes related to the number of keys: 61 keys, 76 keys, and 88 keys (full size). I do not recommend keyboards with less than 61 keys because the buyer outgrows this size very quickly, and will soon be heading back to the music store. In addition, the very small keyboards do not have good resale value.The choice is sometimes determined by cost, but consideration should also be given to intended use, and long term possibilities.
Are you planning to:
- perform on a big stage
- use it for rehearsing a small group
- accompany a congregation
- play for your family and friends
- travel overseas on tour
- play to amuse yourself
- play in a piano bar
- use it for recording ?
This is just a general view as there are people who want a stage piano in their home, even though they live in a small space.
Because of the music I play, I like to have a full 88-key instrument that I can play across several octaves. You have to play what feels and sounds good, and what makes you feel good. If you know that a 76- key is what you want, don’t settle for a 61- key.
Save your money until you can afford to buy the one you like. When you play a large keyboard you will feel like an expert.
The sustain pedal
When you are just learning to find notes, you might not pay much attention to this, but as you advance you are going to need it. Most piano keyboards come with sustain pedal which consist of a connecting cable to insert in the back, and a pedal which you can press, with your foot, at intervals to keep the sound connected. In an acoustic piano, your pedal action moves the damper from the strings which will then vibrate for a short while or until you release your foot. In an electronic keyboard, your pressing sends a signal “on” or “off” to the keyboard and this you will hear as you sustain or release. Some keyboards have a ‘sustain’ button on the panel instead of a pedal. I suggest you use a pedal for better control of the sustain function.
The tempo button
When you are learning, you will likely pause here and there to find your notes. It is best to consider playing in a regular tempo for practice. You can adjust the tempo button to very slow and as you improve your patterns and melodies to increase, using the arrows, until you reach a satisfactory tempo. The use of the tempo helps you to think quickly, and to strike your notes on time which results in you learning the piece quicker. Think of yourself as a member of an orchestra. Based on the tempo indicated by the conductor you will have to count and keep up with other members or they might ask you to leave. When practicing on your own , let your tempo button be your conductor. It is a metronome in action and is usually heard as a click of some sort. Many keyboards give some option as to what type of click you want (drums or other percussion).
No this is not human voices. This is the name given to different instrument sounds which are sampled and stored in the keyboard. Make sure that you have a good piano sound that you like. Most times it is the default (the one that sounds when you power up). There can also be other fancy voices :
- electronic piano
- harpsichord and others
Some keyboards have hundreds of voices and many ways to adjust the sound of each. For instance, you can bend the sound, add reverb, or change the timbre to your liking. Have fun playing around with the voices. Practice “Happy birthday” in different instruments and enjoy finding your favourite sound. Select different combinations of voices and tempo and watch your family dance around the house.
Another feature might be the split voices, where you can split the keyboard to play piano (for example) in the right hand and bass guitar in the left. If you see a button called ‘dual voice‘, it usually means you can build using more than one sounds. Rather than play piano alone, you can add strings and play Moonlight Sonata.The piano and strings will sound simultaneously, maybe with a slight decay on the strings.
The style refers to ‘musical style’ which can be one identifiable genre or a fusion of more than one genre. If you examine the style options you might see’: mambo,samba, reggae, soca, waltz, hip-hop and several others. You should get familiar with these and use them to practice your music. Watch this musician change styles, tempo, voices and light up the place with bossa nova sound of Besame Mucho . He is having a great time !!!!
Some keyboards, also have preset accompaniment. I do not recommend preset accompaniment because to me it feels likeyou are not really playing the music. You are not working left hand and right hand to produce the sounds you hear. What will happen to you when you are required to play other keyboards ?
These descriptions are just some basic functions that can be found on your keyboard. As new models are manufactured there are more options within each of these functions. Gone are the days when you cannot make the time to practice because, deep down, you find practicing and learning new music absolutely boring. Many people have super keyboards with great sound and great rhythms, but they never try them out. Is that you ? If so, start loving your music again. Switch on that keyboard, find some new voice, new tempo, great style and enjoy the experience of quick learning of keyboard piano.
Thank you for stopping by. Please let me have your comments.
For further information visit https://mypianohobby.com