How Do I Know What Type of Piano Keyboard to Buy?
- There are a myriad number of keyboard out there. Everything
from Korg workstations, Yamaha keyboard synthesizers to Casio digital
pianos and everything in between. When you are choosing a keyboard
you need to be very clear how you will use your keyboard. If you
go to buy an instrument without a clear objective and know which
functions you need, it will become very confusing given the endless
variety of features and functions available. You might even end up
buying more keyboard than you need.
- If you are an acoustic
pianist looking for a piano substitute, or you would like to
use your keyboard to learn the piano, then you should be looking
to purchase a digital piano. If you will be using your keyboard
for songwriting, composing and live performances, and if you
want to be using backing tracks and a number of different voices,
an arranger keyboard or what is commonly referred to a workstation
- If you have decided on a digital piano, the first
thing you should look out for is the sound that it makes. Does
it really sound like an acoustic piano? Do the notes resonate
realistically when played. Do the notes respond correspondingly
with the change in applied note pressure?
- Another crucial factor when choosing a digital
piano is the feel of the keyboard. A quality digital piano will
have a weighted keyboard, where the keys will be lighter towards
the treble area and heavier towards the bass area. You should
try to play the piano for a while to test how your hands feel
afterwards. Tired or sore hands may indicate that the keyboard
action is too heavy.
OUT THESE PIANO SPECIALS!
- Finally, you will want to consider where you will be
playing your digital piano. If you will be playing in any performance
venue you might want to consider an instrument with an amplifier
incorporated into it. If you are just using it in your living room
an inbuilt amplifier will not be necessary but you might want to
check for a headphone socket so you can play without disturbing your
- Arranger keyboards can come with many different features
and you need to decide which of these will be necessary on your ideal
instrument. Possible features include a metronome, a built in sequencer,
and a MIDI port, USB, SmartCard or floppy disk to load or download
songs and styles.
- You can purchase arranger keyboards with 61, 76 or
88 keys, depending on the complexity of the music you will be playing.
You should try out the keyboard to be sure you are comfortable with
the feel of the keys and the sound produced.
- The keyboard should have an easy to use interface that
should be clear and well lit. The various controls should be intuitive
and logically placed. You need to make sure they are robust enough
and move smoothly.
Whether you are buying a digital piano or arranger keyboard it is a good idea
to check out some piano keyboard reviews written by other customers. Once you
have decided on the type of instrument, take a look at what is available from
different manufacturers. When you have chosen the manufacturer, it is recommended
that you buy the best keyboard that your budget will permit to ensure the best
possible quality you can afford.
- About the Author; Dan Maynard is a classically
trained pianist, composer and writer. Dan currently has a piano
keyboard review site. You can see some of his keyboard reviews
keyboard synthesizers, Korg
Triton review, Roland
- Choosing the Right Piano
- No piece of furniture is more indicative of taste and
refinement than a piano, with the grand piano making the boldest
- Some piano manufacturers are legendary: Steinway, Yamaha,
and Baldwin. But choosing the right piano for you may not mean buying
the best concert piano made. With top of the line grand pianos costing
$50,000 to $100,000 and stretching up to nine feet in length, they
are usually reserved for concert halls and the spacious homes of
the true pianists. Upright pianos, the much more affordable and space
conscious choice can be excellent music instruments, but they do
lack the image of the grands.
- For those just seeking the keyboard experience and not
a showpiece, there are electronic keyboards which have overtaken
much of the traditional piano sales because keyboards are considerably
less expensive, a lot more portable, and offer more choice of sounds
than a traditional piano. Keyboards make an excellent investment
for a family with a student learning to play.
- Shopping for a piano is like shopping for a painting
or a used car -- even when the piano is new. Each piano has individual
characteristics that affect its sound quality, with some models of
pianos better suited for different types of music. That is, pop,
rock, and modern jazz music tend toward a piano with a crisp action
and bright timbre whereas orchestral music tends toward rich overtones.
- But like buying stereo speakers, the sound you hear
in the showroom may not match that which you hear at home because
of the difference in room dimension and acoustics. Whatever piano
you choose, there are lemons among even the top pianos brands so
avoid pianos that creak or make thuds when playing.
- Lastly, remember that a piano requires care. Keep it
in a room with relatively stable temperatures and 40-45% humidity;
keep the piano away from windows and vent and out of the way of direct
sunlight. You want to avoid all things that might cause the instrument
to frequently or unevenly warm and cool or to warp as these conditions
will effect the musical tuning of the instrument. And periodically,
you will need to have your piano cleaned of dust and tuned to compensate
for the stretching of the strings.
How Many Notes of Polyphony do I
Need on my Keyboard Piano?
- If we take for example the Roland keyboard piano, the keyboard comes
with a standard number of notes of polyphony, either 64 or 128. The
greater the polyphony, the greater the price you will pay. With that
in mind, you should determine your needs regarding notes of polyphony
to ensure you have enough to meet your needs, but that you are not
paying for excess polyphony that you will not use.
- The literal meaning of polyphony is ‘many voices’ and
it means mixing together a number of melodic voices in a way that
is pleasing to the ear. The number of notes of polyphony on a musical
instrument refers to the number of notes that sound simultaneously,
including sustained notes.
- The minimum number of notes of polyphony available is 16, with digital
pianos and keyboards coming in standard 32, 64, 98 and 128 notes
of polyphony. Generally the more notes of polyphony the better as
this will allow you to play complex, dense musical passages without
running out of notes. .
- If you are buying a keyboard with a sequencer you will probably
be using it for complex compositions with several parts playing simultaneously.
In this case you should aim for at least 98 notes of polyphony, if
not 128. Any less and you will find notes are cut off. Fortunately
many popular brands including Yamaha, Roland
keyboard piano and Korg offer mid-priced keyboards with 128 notes
- On the other hand you will not want to pay extra for a high number
of notes of polyphony if you are not going to need them. If you only
intend to use one or two voices together, for example if you are
using the instrument as a substitute for an acoustic piano, 32 or
64 notes of polyphony will meet your needs. You can determine the
level of polyphony you will require by examining the complexity of
your musical arrangements, i.e. the greatest number of notes that
will be played simultaneously at any given moment in time.
- The greater the notes of polyphony required the greater the price.
With that in mind, select the least number of notes of polyphony
that will need.
- About the author: Dan Maynard is a pianist, marketer
and writer. He has a passion for playing the piano and learning about
the latest models of digital pianos. You can visit his web site at: Yamaha
keyboards discount Korg
Triton sample Kurzweil