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arcadesonfire

Keyboard recommendations for an adult beginner???

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Hi crew, I was just asked for recommendations for a keyboard that will be a gift to my company's CFO when he retires this month. According to his wife, he would like to learn how to play (classical) piano, but he probably won't be going pro or anything, so we don't need to spend a ton.

 

We only need piano sound(s), not synth sounds or midi capability.

 

We don't need weighted keys or a full grand piano range.

 

We do need a decent piano sound and enough octaves that many/most classical pieces could be performed. (Think Mozart etudes rather than Lizst.)

 

We've got a Guitar Center and a Sam Ash in walking distance from here. Any recommendations for brands or specific products???

 

Thanks!

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If he’s going to trying to learn classical piano, I do highly recommend weighted keys.

 

as far as brands and models go? There are so many and almost all have decent - to - great piano sounds these days. Any idea of the price range?

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Posted (edited)

I like the idea of a 1-2 generation old Motif. It seems all my good keys playing friends really want weighted keys. I don’t know if they are that much better to play, or just more familiar as they all started as kids on a piano.

 

eta. The MOTIF does not have weighted keys.

Edited by gspointer

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I didn't get a price range unfortunately. I'm listening to some samples now. I took a look at some Williams Legato keyboards under 200... and then I listened to a Yamaha with only 61 keys, and it sounded mucho better.

 

I'll send a few recommendations and describe why that weighted Casio jumps the price up to $400. I would also agree that weighted keys are very important; I just don't know if the company is willing to spend that... Then again, after I heard what kind of money we pay some of our vendors for coding services, it seems like $200 is pennies to our budget. (I only ever deal with hourly fees to copyeditors, which I guess would be farthings.)

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I like the idea of a 1-2 generation old Motif. It seems all my good keys playing friends really want weighted keys. I don’t know if they are that much better to play, or just more familiar as they all started as kids on a piano.

 

eta. The MOTIF does not have weighted keys.

 

Some Motifs do have weighted keys.

 

Weighted keys are essential for proper piano playing. For synth and organ playing, they can be a deterrent

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I'd recommend a Casio Privia PX-160, with the optional stand and optional pedal bar / board. All-in, around $585. I have one in my living room, and I really like it a lot. No extra amp required, nice action, good quality sounds - if you want a digital replacement / substitute for an acoustic piano, it's a very good choice IMO, and a great bargain for the quality level you're getting. IOW, it's not junk...

 

Edit: If you buy the stand and pedal bar as a bundle, you can save a few bucks more... Sweetwater sells the pair for $150... add $400 for the piano, and you're at around $550, all-in. If you get it locally instead of online, add tax on top of those prices.

 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...-board-package

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PS I agree that weighted keys are essential if you're wanting to learn classical piano.

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Posted (edited)

I've been happy with our Yamaha...but I'm not much of a keyboard player.

 

 

I use the "Columbus" playing method. Get lost, then find a Key and land on it.

Edited by SteinbergerHack
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I use the "Columbus" playing method. Get lost, then find a Key and land on it.

 

:lol:

 

I'm going to have to try to remember that one... :lol:

 

 

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I didn't get a price range unfortunately. I'm listening to some samples now. I took a look at some Williams Legato keyboards under 200... and then I listened to a Yamaha with only 61 keys, and it sounded mucho better.

 

I'll send a few recommendations and describe why that weighted Casio jumps the price up to $400. I would also agree that weighted keys are very important; I just don't know if the company is willing to spend that... Then again, after I heard what kind of money we pay some of our vendors for coding services, it seems like $200 is pennies to our budget. (I only ever deal with hourly fees to copyeditors, which I guess would be farthings.)

 

Honestly, I think this is fairly simple. Yamaha, Casio, Williams and others all make good beginning piano keyboards. If all they care about is the piano sound, then I’d suggest just going to the store and finding the one you think sounds/feels best for the budget you have.

 

As a piano player, I’ve not found one I liked much for under $600, but I’m pretty picky about the sound and the feel. Under that price range and they all pretty much seem like toys to me.

 

Especially for classical piano, you really want it to play like a piano. Yamaha has the best keybeds, IMO. And they have all sorts of options across the price ranges.

 

Also, will they need a stand and a bench?

 

i believe Yamahas cheapest weighted piano is the P-45 at about $450. Personally, I wouldn’t go less than that for someone wanting to learn classical.

 

They have another line of non-weighted pianos called the Piaggero that are around $2-300. I have no experience with those.

 

Casio makes a weighted board called the PX-160 that’s pretty good for around $400

 

If the budget is much below $400 I’d serious consider looking at something used with weighted keys.

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One can learn to play classical piano on a non-weighted synth but it’s kinda like learning to play classical guitar on a Strat.

 

Or a ukelele.

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One can learn to play classical piano on a non-weighted synth but it’s kinda like learning to play classical guitar on a Strat.

 

Or a ukelele.

 

Makes sense! I hear ya.

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Thanks everybody! I will share some of these recommendations at different price points and will emphasize the difference between weighted and non-weighted. I'll also discuss the option of getting a good stool and foot pedal (as it seems to me that a sustain pedal is also key).

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Thanks everybody! I will share some of these recommendations at different price points and will emphasize the difference between weighted and non-weighted. I'll also discuss the option of getting a good stool and foot pedal (as it seems to me that a sustain pedal is also key).

 

Yes. The little footswitch pedals that come standard with these boards work, but tend to travel around and become a distraction

 

Best to spend the $20-30 for something like the Yamaha FC-4

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I've been happy with our Yamaha...but I'm not much of a keyboard player.

 

 

I use the "Columbus" playing method. Get lost, then find a Key and land on it.

 

Like Anton put it so well, perfect pitch isn't necessary, but relative pitch is essential.

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Yes. The little footswitch pedals that come standard with these boards work, but tend to travel around and become a distraction

 

Best to spend the $20-30 for something like the Yamaha FC-4

 

Thanks for the tip. I bought a Roland ep9 at a garage sale, and it has a sustain pedal that looks like a single one you would find on a piano. It tends to stay put. The one on my Yamaha dgx620 is more mobile, about the size of a pack and a half of cigarettes. Its weighted keys are more realistic.

 

Erok, another thing to check is if the keys are "waterfall" like an organ with smooth ends or piano-style with an overhang on the tips of the keys. I'm not really in one camp or another, as I don't play that much keys, but a waterfall board could indicate that the instrument is intended more for organ and synth use. Also, you mentioned 61 keys. Nothing wrong there, but true classical music might call for a bigger layout, either 76 or 88 keys.

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Also, the foot switches come in two varieties, depending on whether it's in the open or closed position relative to the keyboard. Some of them have a switch that allows you to change between the two. Not sure why there isn't an industry standard.

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I'd recommend a Casio Privia PX-160' date=' with the optional stand and optional pedal bar / board. All-in, around $585. I have one in my living room, and I really like it a lot. No extra amp required, nice action, good quality sounds - if you want a digital replacement / substitute for an acoustic piano, it's a very good choice IMO, and a great bargain for the quality level you're getting. IOW, it's not junk...

 

Edit: If you buy the stand and pedal bar as a bundle, you can save a few bucks more... Sweetwater sells the pair for $150... add $400 for the piano, and you're at around $550, all-in. If you get it locally instead of online, add tax on top of those prices.

 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...-board-package

 

 

I think decent sounding built in speakers are an important consideration... the convenience of a simple setup - just switch it on and start playing.

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I think decent sounding built in speakers are an important consideration... the convenience of a simple setup - just switch it on and start playing.

 

This is one of things you pay for as the prices increase. On all the various Yamaha pianos, for example, I think they are all using pretty much the same very, very good sample set (until you get up into the REALLY pricey stuff). It’s the built-in speakers and how they built into the cabinet that are the major difference in sound quality.

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I've found sustain is very critical to learning classical music on an electric. Reasons are the the reduced acoustic volume and slower tempi. Some very well sampled keyboards have too punchy a sound and will not provide the rich harmonic/voice leading events vital to classical.

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Posted (edited)

 

 

 

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Edited by nedezero1
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A MIDI controller. There are programs that help you follow along and help teach you, plus it`s an invaluable songwriter piece, don`t care if it`s great or not. As long as the keys are decently velocity stepped you`re good. You`re not going to be playing a grand piano anytime soon so IMO 61 keys, velocity sensitive, preferably USB MIDI or you`re going to need something like a M Audio USB UNO, That`s it.

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