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#1346715 - 01/11/10 12:44 PM 61 key vs 76 key :)
clustermagnet Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 2
Purchasing a new keyboard...

For classical piano, will i get away with 61 keys? or 76 keys is a minimum?
When I used to play... i certainly used the entire piano ... I have a feeling that 61 just simply wont cut it.
I've not played in years, and would love to get back into it smile

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#1346752 - 01/11/10 01:15 PM Re: 61 key vs 76 key :) [Re: clustermagnet]
Sam S Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 2056
Loc: Georgia, USA
61 keys is usually listed as the range for early keyboard music (before 1750). Harpsichords, some clavichords, and pipe organs would probably have just 61 keys.

You really need 88 keys for piano music.


#1346793 - 01/11/10 01:48 PM Re: 61 key vs 76 key :) [Re: Sam S]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 14264
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
A point to make is not so much that you'll need the extra keys (76 often is enough for most pieces), but the fact that with an 88 key instrument you will also get a better touch and tone. With 88 keys, they are trying to duplicate an acoustic instrument, whereas 76 or 61 much less so.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#1346802 - 01/11/10 02:02 PM Re: 61 key vs 76 key :) [Re: Morodiene]
hotkeys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 788
Loc: Massapequa, NY
You may want to check out the digital piano forum on this site. I own a Casio Privia digital piano (PX-200) and had no issues with it.

- Mark
...The ultimate joy in music is the joy of playing the piano...

#1346894 - 01/11/10 04:08 PM Re: 61 key vs 76 key :) [Re: hotkeys]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 18067
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky

Even if the music you're playing right now doesn't use the full range of the keyboard, you're relearning keyboard geography, and having a full-size keyboard now will help you transition to piano later, should you go that route. If you do go smaller, make sure that the keyboard you get has weighted keys, for the reasons Morodiene said.

Welcome to the forum, by the way! smile
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

#1346976 - 01/11/10 05:23 PM Re: 61 key vs 76 key :) [Re: clustermagnet]
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 963
Loc: Bulgaria
Get 88 if you can. I'm already frustrated because I have to use the transpose feature because I don't have enough keys. It will be fine in the beginning but you will eventually regret waisting money on a keyboard with 61 keys. Also do make sure it has some sort of touch sensitivity at least if you can't afford grader hammer action.
Music Pedagogy Student


#1347035 - 01/11/10 06:15 PM Re: 61 key vs 76 key :) [Re: clustermagnet]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: clustermagnet
Purchasing a new keyboard...

For classical piano, will i get away with 61 keys? or 76 keys is a minimum?
When I used to play... i certainly used the entire piano ... I have a feeling that 61 just simply wont cut it.
I've not played in years, and would love to get back into it smile

Classical piano absolutely requires all 88. I am guessing your suggestion of 61 or 76 is based on price and not because you prefer fewer keys. Check out the Yamaha P85. It's as affordable as it goes for full weighted keyboard.
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

#1347132 - 01/11/10 07:52 PM Re: 61 key vs 76 key :) [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Rachel J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 337
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Hey there... If you are buying a new keyboard to practice classical and have already done some playing, I highly recommend going for 88 keys. The Yamaha P-85 would be my choice too. I wrote a blog post about this at: http://fundamentalkeys.com/wp/2009/08/12/what-kind-of-instrument-do-i-need/
Rachel Jimenez Piano teacher in Brooklyn, NY / Author of Fundamental Keys method

#1347455 - 01/12/10 07:47 AM Re: 61 key vs 76 key :) [Re: clustermagnet]
appleman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 188
Originally Posted By: clustermagnet
Purchasing a new keyboard...

For classical piano, will i get away with 61 keys? or 76 keys is a minimum?
76 key keyboards start on E instead of A like an acoustic piano. There may be some confusion when you began to play on an acoustic piano.

76 should be able to play the majority of classical music, but unless you have space problems, 88 keys should be your goal.

Edited by appleman (01/12/10 07:48 AM)
Dr. Appleman, former NASA engineer, Empire of Earth and B.S. of Ninjutsu at MIT.

#1347600 - 01/12/10 11:37 AM Re: 61 key vs 76 key :) [Re: appleman]
Evaldas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 147
Loc: Vilnius
Oh, people people people... smile The initial poster hasn't called the thread "76 vs 88 key" smile
So if I had to choose between 61 and 76 I'd definitely go with 76. I, myself, own a Yamaha DGX-230 which has 76 keys, and the good thing is that you can transpose in octave's width to both sides, so that way you can play pretty much everything. I do feel bad that I don't have 88, hammer action keys. When buying finances were not the biggest problem, it was space. I just looked at the measurments and just couldn't find a way to fit in a room I share with my sister (I am 16 FYI...). I'd really love to have a real, 88 key piano, tho...


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