Keyboard for Beginner

  • 11 Replies
  • 316 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

jacksimmons

  • *
  • Solo Gig
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
    • Jack Simmons Music Facebook Page
« on: January 21, 2019, 11:06:08 PM »
So one of my NY resolutions is to learn to play the piano/keyboard. Do any of you guys have any recommendations for a good beginner keyboard? I want something that's a good size for learning on, ideally with weighted keys and a MIDI output. I am happy to spend a few hundred quid but don't want to go too far above £200 if I can help it. Any quick go-to beginner keyboards?

Martinswede

  • *
  • Platinum Album
  • ****
  • Posts: 643
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 07:09:50 AM »
Hi Jack!

I checked at andertons.co.uk and Yamaha NP12 Piaggero 61 might be what you're looking for. It doesn't seem to have weighted keys but I'd think you have to double your budget to get that. Anyway you'll need a stand and a sustain pedal (about 40£ I'd guess).

Martin
I love the smell of Donald Sutherland in the morning

Boydie

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Stadium Tour
  • *****
  • Posts: 3610
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 07:55:38 AM »
I would suspect that the second hand market (eBay, gumtree etc.) may be a good place to look

A pretty old keyboard with good weighted keys etc. by a reputable brand is likely to tick all of your boxes - and if you are going the MIDI route it doesn't really matter about the sounds as you could trigger softsynths/samplers with updated sounds

I am not a keyboardist so hopefully someone will be along soon but I would suggest checking out some reviews from about 5 years ago and see what was the top dog then - and then check the eBay prices
To check out my music please visit:

http://soundcloud.com/boydiemusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BoydieMusic

The Portrait Piano

  • *
  • Busker
  • *
  • Posts: 56
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 10:32:12 AM »
Hi Jack,

I bought the Casio CTK-5000 7 years ago when my budget was also a meagre £200.

Before moving to crowded London town, I always had an upright piano and just assumed the quality of an acoustic had to be better than a keyboard. Whilst that still holds true, keyboards have become very good indeed & ideal for smaller homes.

The above mentioned Casio is a full sized keyboard with 88 weighted keys. For the price 7 years ago I couldn't find anything close to beating it. The grandpiano sound is good quality & the weighted keys whilst plasticy does respond sensiviely to touch. The nearest alternative I think were the Yamahas but for the same price the quality was inferior, if you've got £400+ then they're better than the Casio.

If you would like to hear how it sounds, feel free to have a listen to my song below. It's a simple mobile phone recording so will give you an idea of how it sounds coming out of the keyboard speakers.

https://m.soundcloud.com/theportraitpiano/strangest-of-senses

Hope this helps & let us know what you finally choose!

Law

jacksimmons

  • *
  • Solo Gig
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
    • Jack Simmons Music Facebook Page
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 08:23:13 PM »
Thanks guys for your suggestions. Really like the look of both of those. One question for those with the technical know-how; are touch-sensitive/touch-responsive keys the same as weighted keys? I have found a few with weighted keys and a few with touch sensitive/responsive keys - are they two different ways of saying the same thing?

The Portrait Piano

  • *
  • Busker
  • *
  • Posts: 56
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2019, 07:49:20 AM »
Good question & yes there's a big big difference. Touch sensitive just means you can play softly/ loudly whilst weighted keys imitate the hammer action of a real accoustic piano. The biggest difference will be noticed when playing quickly, with weighted keys each note will sound clear & crisp whilst the alternative will sound blurred. Hope this helps.

Ps: a quick google search revealed the newer Casio ctk-5000 is only touch sensitive, really annoying. If you go for Casio, see if they have the 2010 model 2nd hand.

Yodasdad

  • *
  • Stadium Tour
  • *****
  • Posts: 1000
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2019, 06:10:59 PM »
Depends what you want to use the keyboard for as to whether you want weighted keys.

If you're a piano player, you'll want weighted keys.
If you're planning on learning piano, you'll want weighted keys.
If you want it to feel like a piano rather than a keyboard, you'll want weighted keys.

If you want the piano playing you record to sound more realistic, you'll want weighted keys, but only if you're used to playing with weighted keys already.

If you just want the keyboard to act as a midi controller and trigger others sounds, you probably don't need weighted keys.

Weighted keys are great if piano is the primary purpose but can actually get in the way of getting a realist sound/phrasing/articulation from other instruments. For example with things like strings and organ, you often want a smooth and perhaps fast transition between the keys. This can be difficult with weighted keys, especially if your not used to playing with them.

If I'm recoding strings or organ, I'll nearly always switch from my digital piano to the midi keyboard.

Hope this is useful.

Yodasdad.

Martinswede

  • *
  • Platinum Album
  • ****
  • Posts: 643
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2019, 06:26:20 PM »
Like @Yodasdad so articulately said weighted keys are more away of simulating a piano feel.
If you're used to acoustic pianos you might want to be able to rest your hands just slightly on the keys without involuntarily pressing them down. Touch-sensitive on the other hand is a must.

As @Boydie suggested the second hand market is something worth checking out. The best way to find decent quality for a decent price. Also look for a stand that you're comfortable sitting at. I've always found the X versions to be just where I'd want my knees to be.

Martin
I love the smell of Donald Sutherland in the morning

jacksimmons

  • *
  • Solo Gig
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
    • Jack Simmons Music Facebook Page
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2019, 11:29:11 PM »
You guys have been very very helpful so I thank you for that. The weighted key/touch-sensitive thing has been boggling me and you've all cleared it up nicely. I am after weighted keys because I am hoping to actually learn keyboard/piano, rather than just use it as a MIDI controller. I did a bit of looking around and some research and have opted for this from Gear4Music.

https://www.gear4music.com/Keyboards-and-Pianos/SDP-2-Stage-Piano-by-Gear4music/1D57

It's coming tomorrow. I have a 30-Day Returns window so if any of you see this and pull your hair out because I've made a massive mistake, let me know haha

The Portrait Piano

  • *
  • Busker
  • *
  • Posts: 56
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2019, 07:57:19 AM »
Great find Jack 👍

Man the instrumental market's getting pretty cut throat with retailers getting into selling own brand stuff.

I agree with the others that if you were looking for inputting different kind of sounds then a keyboard with weighted keys could impede creating realistic sounds of other instruments.  However for learning actual piano there's no substitute in my opinion.

I think it's great you're gone for a full sized keyboard, you'll be able to move onto more versatile tunes without needing to upgrade.

The only thing I'd say is that you'll do well to try it before buying if possible, otherwise search for a demo on youtube. The quality of the grand piano sound can vary a lot.

Law

dasntn

  • *
  • Open Mic
  • **
  • Posts: 124
  • Nex't'Nothin - my main gig
    • Nex't'Nothin
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2019, 06:26:01 PM »
Hi

I've not tried the Gear4Music piano, but I have various pieces of their own name kit, and it has always proved very acceptable and good value for money.

Good luck with it!

cheers
Dave