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#1217810 - 06/15/09 10:07 PM Please recommend a digital starter piano for a 9YO
wrxplayer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/15/09
Posts: 3
My daughter shows musical promise. She wants to take up piano. I don't have room for a "real" piano and was looking at some weighted key electric pianos. I know next to nothing about pianos. Also am on a budget.

Thanks for your input.

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#1217816 - 06/15/09 10:16 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a 9YO [Re: wrxplayer]
sercretchamberman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 32
Loc: Florida, USA
You should consider any of the Casio Priva models, they're ideal for any beginner.

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#1217861 - 06/16/09 12:41 AM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a 9YO [Re: sercretchamberman]
mah115 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 16
Loc: LA, California
If you're on a budget, try the Casio PX-120. It's better than I expected it to be.

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#1217983 - 06/16/09 08:50 AM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a 9YO [Re: mah115]
Vincent L. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 349
Loc: Austin, TX
Bestbuy(.com) offers a full package (Casio PX-120+stand+pedals(3)) for $599.
Just get a bench for about $40 (craigslist or Guitar Center) and you are all set for years


Edited by Vincent L. (06/16/09 08:50 AM)

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#1218070 - 06/16/09 12:04 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a 9YO [Re: Vincent L.]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
A person can learn piano on anything with keys. For example,
any good organist can switch to the piano and play it well.
Furthermore, since the striking bars on a xylophone are
laid out the same as the keys on a piano, a good xylophonist,
who has never played anything but the xylophone, can sit
down cold at the piano and play it quite well without
instruction.

Therefore any weighted-key digital piano would be more
than adequate for learning piano. A person could
get into Juilliard with nothing but a digital piano
at home for practicing. You can get good weighted-key
digital pianos for less than $1000. Two that stick out
in my mind are the Casio PX 800 and the M-Audio
DCP 200, both $900 online. But there are many others.
The full-console type of digital with built-in pedals is
advantageous, because the pedals don't slip around
on the floor, and the stand gives the standard height
from the floor to the top surface of the white keys
of 28 to 29 inches; and it looks more like an acoustic
upright piano.

One thing you should probably get is record and playback.
This is not absolutely necessary, because even a concert
grand doesn't have it, but it can be a useful tool
when learning. Not all digital pianos have this. If
buying sight-unseen online, you need to see the
words "recorder" or "song recorder" or "song memory."
If you don't see this, it doesn't have one.

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#1218106 - 06/16/09 01:20 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: Gyro]
Vincent L. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 349
Loc: Austin, TX
Again and again and again you come and copy and paste the same controversial piece.
I am trained as an organist (I started when I was 9 years old) and I am now for the last 3 years learning to play the Piano.
They both have keys but they are not the same size, there is no need for sustain for organs (it's an effect but you can maintain the sound virtually for ever), Organs keyboards are not gradually weighted keys like on a piano.
Result: quite different technique to play these instruments.

Gyro please consider that not everybody is like you - some try to play an instrument to play music, not just emit sounds.


Edited by Vincent L. (06/16/09 01:21 PM)

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#1218135 - 06/16/09 02:26 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: Vincent L.]
Bhav Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 275
Gyros advice is funny, according to him you can learn to play Piano on a computer keyboard!

Dont listen to his advice on Pianos, I have practiced on a keyboard most of my life and failed my Piano auditions at university. It took me a long time to adjust to the Piano, it is much more difficult than keyboards are.

The YGP 635 / DGX 630 is a nice and suitable instrument for your needs as well as the earlier casio recommendations.
_________________________
Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.

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#1218150 - 06/16/09 03:04 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: Bhav]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Vincent I don't hang around French forums because
my broken French would be offensive. Do us the same
courtesy.

Bhav if you're a quitter and don't want to work, you'll
fail every audition even if you have a concert grand to practice
on.

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#1218296 - 06/16/09 07:21 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: Gyro]
seanakaforty Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 131
Loc: MD, USA
To the original poster, I believe this is right up your alley:
http://www.keyboardmag.com/article/starter-piano/jun-09/96747

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#1218447 - 06/17/09 12:50 AM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: Gyro]
Vincent L. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 349
Loc: Austin, TX
Originally Posted By: Gyro
Vincent I don't hang around French forums because
my broken French would be offensive. Do us the same
courtesy.

...


With such argumentation, your reputation is right where it belongs and that gives a perfect picture of your character.
I will keep posting - even if it bothers you - and challenge any post that provides, imho, harmful recommendation.

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#1218456 - 06/17/09 01:40 AM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: Vincent L.]
mah115 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 16
Loc: LA, California
Gyro is right...if your name is J.S. Bach. For the rest of us, get a digital piano that is as close to an acoustic piano as possible, because the touch is critical to be able to play piano and forte when performing on the pianoforte. And why learn how to play if not to perform?

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#1218504 - 06/17/09 05:32 AM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: mah115]
Geoffk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 757
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
I certainly don't agree with everything Gyro posted, but his recommendation of a Casion PX-800 is reasonable. However, in this case, the original poster wants a keyboard which she can use on a table or X-stand and then put away. So the Casio PX-120 (which is cheaper anyway) would probably be better for her, as serveral other posters have suggested.

All of the Casio PX (Privia) series have weighted keys and would be fine for introductory piano study, up through a fairly advanced level.

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#1219170 - 06/18/09 01:04 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: Gyro]
Bhav Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/08
Posts: 275
I were playing on a 'keyboard' from the age of 5 up to 19 with no breaks, working continuosly at the least every 2-3 days if not daily and also got reports saying 'star pupil in music' and awards for being the best music student at both my primary and secondary schools.

When I got to university to audition on a large grand Piano for the first time in my life, I did nothing but make a full mockery of myself in front of the tutors and other auditionees in the same room.

From my experience, my recommendations are so that no one else makes the same mistakes that I did. Get yourself a decent digital Piano, which I didnt have untill I were 24, and also a good Piano teacher if you ever want yourself or your child to be able to study Piano performance at university level.

The same advice that you keep on giving here that an unweighted keyboard is fine to learn to play the 'Piano' on is completely false and has never worked for most of the people that have actutally tried it.

A Digital Piano + Piano teacher from age 5 upwards is the only correct proffesional advice that works if either you or your children want to be able to study Piano performance by age 18 at university.


Edited by Bhav (06/18/09 01:12 PM)
_________________________
Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.

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#1220062 - 06/20/09 01:13 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: Bhav]
wrxplayer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/15/09
Posts: 3
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I have found a like new Yamaha YDP-S30 w/ stand and seat for $575 locally. I'm leaning towards getting it but welcome last minute "do it!!" and "Dont' do it!" suggestions.

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#1220167 - 06/20/09 04:28 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: wrxplayer]
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
note that YDP-S30 is now being replaced by YDP-S31, and the major improvement on the S31 is fully implemented half-pedal functionality while on S30 it's only a 3-step sustain pedal. but the new model costs more and you'd better off with a same level model YDP140 instead.

S30 is selling much cheaper because it's discontinued now.

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#1220174 - 06/20/09 04:37 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: signa]
wrxplayer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/15/09
Posts: 3
I understand that the YPD140 is likely better. It's also $500 more. To rephrase the question, if one has a $600 budget, is a very gently used YPD-S30 a good option.

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#1220344 - 06/21/09 12:14 AM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: wrxplayer]
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
if you can only spend $600, then YDP-S30 is ok. within that range, you have only a few choices, either that or some Casio PX models.

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#1228430 - 07/08/09 04:06 AM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: signa]
Picolitre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 29
Loc: Vancouver
If your child is just starting, buy the cheapest keyboard you can get, with a decent sound. Weighted keys are not important, however the right sized keys are important... A child doesn't even need to have 88 keys...

So if you want to save more money just look for a cheaper one. A new keyboard that could work is the Yamaha NP30. It is only about $250. Sounds decent is light and small, and has internal speakers.

I have taught piano for years and people always ask me what to get. For young children I always recommend to spend the least possible, if your child really wants to learn and has been taking lessons for a number of years you can then upgrade to something better.

ps, it is only $799 USD new... $550 is high to be selling for a used electronic instrument. I would offer no more than half of the new price for a used keyboard. They are like computers and depreciate very fast.



Edited by Picolitre (07/08/09 04:10 AM)
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#1228440 - 07/08/09 05:53 AM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: Picolitre]
Geoffk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 757
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
It's amazing to me to see a piano teacher offering this advice. I know some teachers that don't even like to see students practicing on high-quality digitals, and strongly prefer acoustics.

No student, no matter how young, can learn proper dynamics and gain finger strength on an unweighted keyboard. A short keyboard (less than 88 keys) will also cause problems in orienting to the keyboard and playing some music.

If the difference were thousands of dollars, than it might be advisable to make this sacrifice anyway. But it's not--a Casio PX-120 or Yamaha P85 is only a couple of hundred more than a toy-like keyboard (that you'd need to replace soon anyway).

Buying an unweighted, short-keyboard instrument for piano study is like buying a tin whistle to study flute. It makes no sense.

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#1230515 - 07/12/09 05:13 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a 9YO [Re: mah115]
justcallmesir Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 34
Loc: UK
I have the PX-410R - It is fine. In the UK it cost £450 and I can't complain - it will see me through grade 3-4 easily. And beyond - because saving for an acoustic piano will take an age.
_________________________
I told my wife I wanted a grand piano she said - no way - £500 maximum.

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#1230869 - 07/13/09 11:14 AM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: Picolitre]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1785
Loc: Central TX
I think the OP has to think a bit more into the future. His kid is 9yo, an age where progress, if motivated, can be quite fast. Purchasing a cheap unweighted keyboard now can possibly mean another purchase in as little as 6 months. So if the OP is fine with this (and the depreciation hit they'll take), then getting something "cheap" to be "safe" just in case the kids doesn't continue is ok. However, if this is not ok, for whatever reason, then the OP will likely want to stick with a decent keyboard with weighted keys that fits their budget (a few have already been mentioned) that will last a bit longer.

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#1230933 - 07/13/09 01:01 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a 9YO [Re: Gyro]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
As the other posters said, get an 88 key weighted and graded keyboard, like the Casio XPs or the Yamaha YPGs. Since it's for a child, you might get more enthusiasm for the piano if you get a keyboard with some fun voices to add, and yes, a recorder so your chidl can hear himself. Also, even the lower end models often have a split keyboard, so it becomes possible to have the teacher and student play at the same time, although no doubt your child will be taking lessons on an acoustic.

If you check the online sellers like Kraft, Musicians Buy, Mucisians Friend & B&HPhoto, go to some local stores and have your child try out keyboards, and then look for the best deal, you'll have a keyboard that will be good for several years with the above characteristics.

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#1230935 - 07/13/09 01:03 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: Bhav]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Bhav
Gyros advice is funny, according to him you can learn to play Piano on a computer keyboard!

Dont listen to his advice on Pianos, I have practiced on a keyboard most of my life and failed my Piano auditions at university. It took me a long time to adjust to the Piano, it is much more difficult than keyboards are.

The YGP 635 / DGX 630 is a nice and suitable instrument for your needs as well as the earlier casio recommendations.


I'm expecting my YPG 635 today. I'm so excited to FINALLY be able to practice after a MONTH without a real keyboard, only having a 66 key CASIO with many educational features, including a recorder and finding my keys running off the lower end with no notes to play, and I mean OFTEN.

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#1230937 - 07/13/09 01:06 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: wrxplayer]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: wrxplayer
I understand that the YPD140 is likely better. It's also $500 more. To rephrase the question, if one has a $600 budget, is a very gently used YPD-S30 a good option.


I'm no expert, but buying a used digital piano would worry me. I think you'd be better of with the Casio PX 320 which has a really nice sound, although a slightly stiff keyboard, weighs only 24 lbs, and has loads of extra features, including a recorder, fun voices.

I didn't buy it because I like a light action but perhaps a for an enthusiastic 9 year old you'd want a bit more tension in the keys to burn up some energy.

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#1230940 - 07/13/09 01:08 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: Gyro]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Gyro
Vincent I don't hang around French forums because
my broken French would be offensive. Do us the same
courtesy.

Bhav if you're a quitter and don't want to work, you'll
fail every audition even if you have a concert grand to practice
on.


Is Vincent French? Where are these French forums? I'm such a Francophile!

And, BTW Gyro, nothing is sexier than a broken French accent. Haven't you noticed that in your travels to Paris?

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#1284383 - 10/10/09 02:26 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: Nikalette]
Auggiedoggy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/06/09
Posts: 39
Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Ahhhh, je vais visiter la France un jour! grin
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#1284393 - 10/10/09 02:56 PM Re: Please recommend a digital starter piano for a [Re: Auggiedoggy]
Michael Darnton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 243
Loc: Chicago
I was just at the Guitar Center this morning checking pianos for home. I had my eye on the Casio PX130, which seemed to be the minimum to do the job of being just a piano (the similar 330 has more voices and other treats), and a couple of Yamahas. I liked the Casio keys better--the Yamaha's were too sharp on the edges. When I was playing, I didn't notice the difference in actions as much as when I was looking at that, individually. The Yamaha was better, lighter and crisper, but I didn't mind the Casio. GC had the 130 on sale for $450 to the end of October. I really liked the Casio "classical piano" voice, and that's probably what I'm going to get. The Casio is the cheapest piano that will take a 3-pedal set, too, which I thought would eventually be important.


Edited by Michael Darnton (10/10/09 04:49 PM)
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