How to Buy a Keyboard

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In this article, I will discuss keyboard features that are not essential but can ease the learning process and operation of your keyboard.

The first feature you might find useful is the use of memory buttons. These normally range from four memory buttons to eight buttons, in your price range. The memory button remembers the complete setup of the keyboard, which might include the sound you are using plus the rhythm and speed, and volumes of each part. This is especially useful if you have spent hours setting up the keyboard and you want to save your settings. There’s nothing worse than trying to find that perfect setting again when you could have saved it. Also, some keyboards will have a floppy drive which can save the entire settings of the keyboard including memory buttons just in case there is a power cut or your memory buttons get wiped.

The next feature is reverb. This setting on a keyboard can dramatically transform the sound of any instrument sound on your keyboard. An example of natural reverb can be found in a church or a large hall or an underground cavern. If you have visited any of these places then you know the sound created is echo-like. Of course, it is very difficult to describe the sound difference when adding reverb but again this is another advantage to visiting a music shop where you can actually listen to the keyboard sounds. The difference between reverb and no reverb is quite dramatic. If you haven’t heard the difference it is unlikely you will miss it but be warned once you have heard the difference between reverb and no reverb you will want reverb on your keyboard.

The next feature to look for is a recording facility. Recorders are built into a keyboard, they don’t use tape, they use memory chips to record actions made on a keyboard such as playing a piece of music. These recorders are referred to as music sequencers and can create very complex almost orchestral pieces of music although the features on a sequencer at your price range will be limited. As a beginner you will not get a lot of use from this feature however, it can be used as a teaching aid, for example, a teacher can be recorded playing a piece of music and the method used to help the student with the piece of music. The choice of a piece of music is usually up to the teacher and the student must be shown the sequence of the keys that make up the piece of music and which notes make up the transposition or transposing that needs to be practiced. Sometimes playing a piece of music by ear can be more difficult than learning the piece by sight-reading it from the printed music.

Finally, most keyboards made today have two or three “MIDI” connections; these can normally be found on the back of the keyboard and look like five-pin din sockets, and are used to connect up to external gear such as music keyboards and synthesizers.

You will need to ensure that your keyboard has breath control, if it doesn’t then you will need to go back and look at the reasons why. Some come with no pressure controls at all and this means that you will need to set up the keyboard inside your piano.

MIDI cables and leads can be found for less than five dollars each, yours will probably be a bit cheaper at ten dollars. MIDI cables are only a buck and a half long and then your keyboard is ready to go.

If you can’t find MIDI cables, makes sure you stock them in your piano shop. What about digital pianos?

Digital piano manufacturers have realized the value of the MIDI connection. Digital piano keyboards connect up to a computer with a USB MIDI interface. Once your keyboard is connected up to your computer you can use MIDI software to control the piano keyboard from your computer or all your MIDI devices.

Again make sure that your keyboard has MIDI capability before you buy a digital piano keyboard.

One of the most important features to look for is the built-in music lessons. Every piano keyboard sold today will have an integrated music lesson system. These lessons are an important part of your buying decision.

You will exercise patience if you try searching for a digital piano keyboard. You will need to exercise patience and try searching for a keyboard that will fit your budget.

Digital pianos will cost a lot less and there is a wide range of digital pianos on the market. ASC Subject Mattertrack sequencers come in a variety of digital piano keyboards, digital keyboards, and digital keyboards that have different features.

We had a professional piano player test a wide range of digital pianos, from the entry-level Acoustic Piano to the stylish and fashionable P Beauty. The portable nature of digital pianos has made them very popular. The good news is you will be able to produce nearly unlimited musical arrangements on the digital piano.

Here is a quick breakdown of features:

  • Set up music lessons.
  • Play along to the music.