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#1453929 - 06/10/10 11:01 AM $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner?
cspat64 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 10
Hi
I'm an absolute beginner for piano and I have about $3,000 to buy my first piano. Should I buy the nice one like Roland RD 700GXF or should I go with something like Yamaha P155 to start with? I know once I get on learning I would be commited. So should I buy the real nice one right now and will satisfy me for a long, long time because the digital piano would not get any better than this just different or to buy a cheaper one to start with and change it to the better one later which in total will cost me more than buying the really nice one right now?
Really need some thought.
Thanks.

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#1453955 - 06/10/10 12:02 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: cspat64]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
I think you should try a lot of them out from less expensive to more expensive and see which one you like. Don't assume that the more expensive ones are automatically better for you. You never know, maybe you'll end up liking the less expensive ones better. Or if they don't seem to make a big difference to you, then of course why spend more money, right?

So the bottom line is you should buy the one YOU like the most that fits within your $3K budget. Don't let other people's opinions of which ones they like affect YOUR opinion of which one you like because they may have different taste than you.

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#1454035 - 06/10/10 02:43 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: Volusiano]
arley Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 47
Some on this forum have noted that DP's are a lot like computers. They're constantly improving them. That's a two-edged sword. Sure, you're getting more functionality for less money than you would have a few years ago, but assuming improvements continue to occur (and they will), in a few years what you paid big bucks for today might not be worth as much. (That is to say, in a few years your really hot keyboard is guaranteed to be old tech. Check eBay prices for 5 year old computers--see what I mean?) So making a big investment now--well, do it if you really like the keyboard and you can afford it, but understand that from an 'investment' standpoint it probably won't hold its value--but if you like it and it's worth it to YOU, hey, go for it.

With a $3000 budget you can get a really nice piano or keyboard, but you don't need to spend nearly that much to get a decent one. There are several in the $900-1200 range which are quite good.

A few things you need to ask yourself--do you want a console type piano, or a 'slab' stage piano without speakers? You might consider a stage piano and separate amplification. I personally am saving up for a Kawai MP5 ($1100-1200) because I already have the means to amplify it. More of the money spent on a stage piano goes into the piano itself and not into some built in speakers or cabinetry--but, of course, you need to spend money on a stand and speakers if you don't already have them.

But Volusiano said it well; check all different price ranges, because you might find one well under that $3000 level that suits your needs the best. Trust your fingers and your ears and get the one that you like.

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#1454036 - 06/10/10 02:44 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: Volusiano]
Skieblade Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/09/10
Posts: 12
Hey cspat64 =)

Before I say anything else, I'd have to agree with Volusiano - try them out yourself (if possible) and then decide which keyboard would suit you best. If you're starting out and just want something to practice on, then maybe some of the things other people have/will mention(ed) will not be important to you.

That being said, I find that the opinion of others can still be quite valuable, so I'll give my two cents. I actually owned a Yamaha P-155 for a couple of months, but I traded it in towards the purchase of an RD-700GX + SN Piano Kit (which essentially gives you RD-700GXF). I found the feel of the keys far superior on the Roland, and I preferred the overall feel/action of the Roland over the Yamaha (you'll find people with different opinions on this one). As of now, I find the sound of the Roland somewhat muffled (I'm hoping playing with the settings will help change this a bit), but for someone who hasn't played piano before at all, you might not notice it.

To me, the P-155 actually sounds quite nice - you'll hear people talk about piano note decay, looping, stretching, and how some digital pianos are lousy at it and how some do it pretty well. I've played an acoustic piano since I was 5 (so 20+ years now), and although I could tell the P-155 lacked in some of the aforementioned departments, it wasn't something that bothered me terribly. Given that you're starting out, learning proper technique, fingering and such to me is much more important than the quality of the sound (given that it sounds reasonable, which to me both pianos you mentioned do), and I believe that both pianos will serve you very well in that regard. In fact, you might want to check out the "lower-end" Yamahas/Rolands (ie P-85 for Yamaha) as I think they'll serve you just as well here. For what its worth, the P-155 comes with on-board speakers while the RD700-GX does not, which may or may not matter to you (I got a pair of speakers for my P-155 when I had it because I wasn't enthralled with the built-in speaker quality), but if you're primarily using it to practice, the on-board speakers may be more than adequate. Also, while I'm not questioning your commitment to learning the piano, you might come to the conclusion, for whatever reason, that the instrument just is not right for you.

I have a couple of recordings of myself playing a piece on the P-155 and RD700GX if you would like to see what they both sound like - just let me know. If I were you, I'd probably go for a cheaper piano to start with - technology changes so quickly anyway that in a couple of years, you might be able to buy an awesome digital piano (with technology that isn't out yet) for a decent price. Cheaper doesn't necessarily mean inferior for you, and if you are able to learn proper technique from it, why not? Again, I'd just like to re-iterate what Volusiano said and to play with as many keyboards as possible. At that point you'll be able to tell what you can and can't live with =)

Andrew =)

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#1454037 - 06/10/10 02:48 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: Volusiano]
SoundThumb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 346
Loc: San Diego, CA
There are a couple of factors which you care about. The touch and feel of the keys and the sound quality. If you are truly just beginning, you may not have developed an appreciation for either of these in which case, what you like may evolve over time. That would argue for keeping options open to upgrade after some time according to a your refined taste.

On the other hand, if you are serious about learning, then many people would argue that you should start out with a quality instrument to ensure that you don't become discouraged because of the limitations of a cheap keyboard.

The RD 700GXF is certainly a fine keyboard. Everyone has their opinions. Mine is that the Yamaha sound is generally brighter than the Roland sound. The Roland touch is generally a bit heavier than the Yamaha touch. I prefer Roland, but that is what I am used to having switched from Korg to Roland. I have never owned a Yamaha. What ever you decide, don't worry about it too much. If you are spending over $1000 you can't make a bad decision and you will get so caught up in playing that the keyboard will become secondary.

Good Luck,
-SoundThumb

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#1454047 - 06/10/10 03:11 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: cspat64]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: cspat64
Hi
I'm an absolute beginner for piano and I have about $3,000 to buy my first piano. Should I buy the nice one like Roland RD 700GXF or should I go with something like Yamaha P155 to start with?...



You may have $3K but I don't think you need to spend that much. Half that budget will get you a quality DP. You would be best off to buy something suited to you needs, use that for a few years the later buy something suited whatever your needs are at that time.

I have the P155. Get the matching stand. If you like a bigger sound get some external speakes. But really if you are a complete beginner you don't want the bigger sound and headphone or the built-in speakers will do fine.

The P155 is a good option because it is one of the lowest cost DPs with a very good key action. That is what you want - the best key action you can afford. Everything else is secondary to that.


I think you can learn to play equal illy well on any DP with a decent weighted hammer action. That means the $450 Casio PX130 is OK for your needs. But on the other hand you will practice more and enjoy playing more on an instrument that you like. So do buy what you like. But do NOT buy one thinking that it has features that you will need years down the road. Technology moves to fast for that. Buy what you like and that serves your near term needs.

Learning Piano is hard. You will remain a beginner for a long time. With effort and work some can reach an early intermediate stage in only a year. So you will not "outgrow" a mid-range DP any time soon.

I'd go for the mid range and then later, after you have a feel for what piano sound like, shop for a good external sound system. Buget maybe $400 for that.


Edited by ChrisA (06/10/10 03:12 PM)

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#1454051 - 06/10/10 03:14 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: SoundThumb]
cspat64 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 10
thanks guys for your valuable input.
I was looking at it from the investment point of view. I guess it would not be a good investment at all if the technology is still changing and besides if they discontinue the product in the future because of a new improved technology, I may not be able to find parts for it. I'm leaning toward getting the one that just fits my learning and practicing needs right now which I think the P155 is pretty well received from what I read from forums here. I probably won't need a good speaker for it as I will just use a headphone because the only time I have to learn and practice is at night. By the way is there any other brand or model that is as good as or better than Yamaha P155 even if there is no internal speaker.
Thanks again.


Edited by cspat64 (06/10/10 03:39 PM)

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#1454072 - 06/10/10 03:48 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: cspat64]
cspat64 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 10
thanks ChrisA, I have read your post about the external speaker system for P155. I will save it for future reference. Thanks for sharing.

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#1454073 - 06/10/10 03:51 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: cspat64]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3879
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: cspat64
thanks guys for your valuable input.
I was looking at it from the investment point of view. I guess it would not be a good investment at all if the technology is still changing and besides if they discontinue the product in the future because of a new improved technology, I may not be able to find parts for it. I'm leaning toward getting the one that just fits my learning and practicing needs right now which I think the P155 is pretty well received from what I read from forums here. I probably won't need a good speaker for it as I will just use a headphone because the only time I have to learn and practice is at night. By the way is there any other brand or model that is as good as or better than Yamaha P155 even if there is no internal speaker.
Thanks again.
Don't overestimate the rate of technology change. It changes quite slowly. You can easily expect to get 10 years out of a digital. If you like it today, it's likely you'll still enjoy it in ten years. Don't be afraid to spend $3000.

But price is not the only consideration. As noted above, you might consider trying out a number of different units.

Decide how you'll use the piano. Do you want a console or a slab?

Evaluate the touch and responsiveness ... this varies a lot from low-end to high-end. Much has been said about this subject. But the only one who needs to be satisfied is YOU. I strongly recommend that you them out for yourself and make comparisons.

Evaluate the sound quality. Sound systems on most pianos aren't very good. If you intend to use headphones, it won't matter much. But if you want to listen via speakers ... For pianos in the $500, $1000, $1500, $2000 range, I think an external sound system is needed. Their internal sound systems are mediocre. But the high-priced units have much better sound. Try them for yourself.

As for a piano being an investment ... Much has been said about that, too. My view is that I'm buying a piano for my own use, to be kept until it dies (or until I do) frown or until I tire of playing piano. Regardless of age, resale values are quite low, so I treat the piano as a "sunk cost", completely unrecoverable. Not an investment. I buy what I like because I like it, not because I worry about its resale value. Not sure what your view is. But follow your instincts.

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#1454106 - 06/10/10 04:58 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: MacMacMac]
cspat64 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 10
Hi MacMacMac
Resale value is not on my agenda either. What I meant when I said about the investment was that I wanted to know how far is the DP technology from being at the highest point (as close to the acoustic one as possible.) Take photography as an example, I have bought Nikon D700 recently. And if any of you follow digital camera technology, you will know that the D700 is one of full-frame cameras that are out in the market right now. It is not the top notch one out there but it gives you the quality of the picture that is acceptably close to the film camera which means even when you blow up the picture to a big size, it still look sharp. And when the digital camera comes to its highest, I think there would not be any much improvement after that but the camera companies will fool around with the functions in order to sell a new model. They would come up with newer functions but the main essence which is the quality of the picture is still the same. Just like the film camera, they always use film for a long, long time but each new models came up with different functions. So even though right now the digital camera technology has not reached its highest point, it is good enough for professional and people who demand quality to enjoy it.
My question is "has DP come so far to the point as the full frame digital camera has yet in its technology?"

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#1454132 - 06/10/10 05:48 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: cspat64]
Skieblade Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/09/10
Posts: 12
Hey cspat =)

I don't think digital piano technology has come as far as digital photography technology. As you said, with full frame cameras, you're getting top notch quality, and from a picture standpoint, it probably won't get much better. I haven't played with a full frame camera before, but I assume you can shoot at super high isos without worrying about noise or whatnot. Future improvements will probably occur with lenses, form factor (ie micro four thrids... I think sony even has a tiny camera with APS sensor) and ease of use features. However, with current digital pianos, if you even look at dewster's DPBSD (i think that's what it's called... digital piano BS detector), you'll notice a lot of cons mentioned about today's current technology. I think the main thing is that sampling technology can only go so far - the future seems to lie with piano modeling (where technology is used to emulate a piano rather than play pre-defined recordings) or some sort of modeling-sample hybrid. The V-Piano is probably the first step towards the making of an authentic sounding modeled piano... in the not to distant future we might get a modeled piano that sounds like a yamaha or steinway =P

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#1454144 - 06/10/10 06:04 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: cspat64]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: cspat64
My question is "has DP come so far to the point as the full frame digital camera has yet in its technology?"

My answer is no. Both DPs and digital cameras use computer and memory technology, and both often use custom processors (which perhaps makes sense for a power sensitive application like a camera, but really doesn't anymore for digital pianos). But consumer pressure on the digital camera market is much higher, which makes digital cameras more bleeding edge. I would argue high-end users of digital cameras are more technically competent because the technical aspects of digital cameras are more readily apparent (no offense to anyone reading this).

Since you don't need internal amp / speakers I'd recommend a good stage piano with some good headphones and a good generic stand. That way if you change DPs you can reuse the stand and headphones. Make sure whatever music rest you end up with, either as part of the DP or as part of the stand, is sufficient to hold at least three floppy pages (many aren't).

With your budget, try the Roland RD-700GXF. If the keys don't seem too heavy I think that's the one to get. It has a bunch of other nice voices in there too which can be fun to play with. AKG-240 (MK1) headphones are quite nice for ~$100, and the Quik-Lok W550 stand and BZ-7 bench are nice buys. I'd stay away from X stands as they have limited legroom.

If you can wait another year, it could be interesting to see what new technology emerges from the next winter NAMM. Things are just starting to turn around in the DP field, though I fear they will always lag other technical fields due to their special blend of somewhat low consumer demand and unusually specialized engineering requirements.
_________________________
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1454149 - 06/10/10 06:10 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: dewster]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Since you are a total beginner I have to add my two cents regarding studying the piano. I realize all the piano companies that market digital keyboards are always stating how much like a grand piano action it is.

Well, the truth of the matter is, there's no real substitute of real acoustic grand keyboard action. I only use a digital keyboard when there is no acoustic piano in the venue.

If you are serious about studying the piano, and I assume you have a teacher, right?, then ask your teacher about keyboard actions.
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#1454153 - 06/10/10 06:12 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: cspat64]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: cspat64
Hi MacMacMac
Resale value is not on my agenda either. What I meant when I said about the investment was that I wanted to know how far is the DP technology from being at the highest point ...


DPs have a LONG way to go....

Of the two things a digital piano has to get right, touch and sound. Touch is now "close" and I'd say a decent mid-range DP has key action better then many older upright pianos. The sound is OK, good enough for many uses, live pop music with a band and for studio recording. For those uses DP migh even be a "win" over acoustic. But for live performance of classical solo piano pieces in a concert hall the grand piano is a requirement. For that kind of music anyone can know in a minute a DP from a grand piano. But if you listen to an MP3 of a pop band, there is no way on Earth most experts would know.

Today the best sounding DPs are all using computers and MIDI. Some internal DP sounds are almost as good but mostly the state of the art in in computer software.

I know first hand, when I sit in front of an acoustic grand. The feel and the sound is different. Maybe not even better (the DP is actually easier to play) I've had the chance to sit a few feet away from a grand piano and listen while someone who is good plays. That experience can not yet be duplicated on a digital piano. Some of the difference or maybe most of it is that DPs use speakers. The best we can hope for with a DP is that it will sound like a quality recording of a grand piano played over a good stereo system. Stereo playback can sound good but I've yet top hear one that completely fools me into thinking there is a real piano in my house. Close yes. but never 100%

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#1454219 - 06/10/10 08:01 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: ChrisA]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Touch is the most important consideration, because it can't be changed. (The touch settings on DP's are essentially filters.)

Home or stage? Home pianos have a higher WAF - wife acceptance factor.

No matter which DP you choose, a set of studio-quality headphones will let you experience the true quality of your DP's included sounds. Sennheiser's HD600's - or whatever is the current equivalent - are pricey, but well worth it.

Self-teaching is a competely realistic option for beginners. Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course, Level One, Book/CD combo is a top quality place to start. There's info on correct positioning and theory is introduced in the context of learning a tune. The CD lets your hear how the tune should sound when played properly. The time to get a teacher is when you want help with going outside the limits of the material contained in your instruction book. (At first you'll be slugging slowly thru the basics of sight reading and fingering. IMO at that level, lessons are a waste of time and money.) I've done a fair amount of teaching. Alfred's in solid pedagogy.

Frankly at first the most important thing to learn is whether you really want to play the piano. That'll entail persisting thru the inevitable difficulties and frustrations.

There's a longish thread re Level One on the Adult Beginners Forum.





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#1454232 - 06/10/10 08:35 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: FogVilleLad]
cspat64 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 10
thanks for the sound advice FogVilleLad.

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#1454401 - 06/11/10 01:43 AM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: cspat64]
volunteer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 50
Loc: Full time Rv er ...traveling t...
cspat64,
you sound exactly like me three months ago. There is no doubt that every member here is giving you good advice. I found it amazing that the Natural piano card for the Roland costs nearly what an entire Casio costs (300 vs 450) But here was my thought process. For me I came to the conclusion that DP's have evolved over the past 10 years and have inched there way along to better action and better sounds. They will probably never reach the sound or action of a grand, but they are close and I can live with that for a very long time. That said, the RD700GX (without the natural sound) is being sold right at a discount which makes it in my opinion a great buy. With the expansion boards, you should have some upgrade ability in the future but remember, you get a lot for the money in the Casio, and every thousand dollars above that you spend, you get a little bit closer to perfection. It has been said many times that any DP will be a bad investment, which for me, said then spend the money once for something you are happy with and are likely to be happy with for a long time. I looked at everything, like you I am a beginner, but I played them all, and I bought what I liked and could afford...I think I made the right choice for me but like the others before me....you can't go wrong with something in the +$1000 range.
Good luck and have fun.

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#1454461 - 06/11/10 04:50 AM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: volunteer]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Self-teaching is a competely realistic option for beginners.

Beginners can teach themselves theory and how to read music, no argument there. Unfortunately, learning how to play the keyboard with the least amount of effort takes a teacher. This is just like learning to play golf; you need a pro to show you how to move.

The fact of the matter is, anyone can press down a key on a piano and get a sound, that doesn't mean you are doing it correctly. I had 15 years of bad habits ingrained before I had to undo all those bad habits at the age of 28.

If anyone reading this has tension or pain in their top forearm muscles, you are playing incorrectly, period. I had bad private teachers during high school and even bad teachers at a college level. I only learned to play correctly when I was 28 and took lessons from a concert pianist.

I started a thread at the other forum a very long time ago and will post a link here .... link
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#1454693 - 06/11/10 02:43 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: Dave Horne]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Dave, at first the most important thing for people to learn is whether they really want to play the piano. Alfred's does a fine job of facilitating that inquiry.

Teachers become valuable when people want to develop their skills and repertoire. And, as your post notes, taking lessons from a teacher is not a panacea.



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#1454705 - 06/11/10 03:01 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: Dave Horne]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4437
Loc: San Jose, CA
"So should I buy the real nice one right now and will satisfy me for a long, long time because the digital piano would not get any better than this just different or to buy a cheaper one to start with and change it to the better one later which in total will cost me more than buying the really nice one right now?"

Seems to me you've answered your own question.

My opinion is that beginners need encouragement, including a keyboard they don't have to fight. Since you mentioned the Roland RD 700GXF, I can say that I've had good luck with Roland products and I think you could do a lot worse for a first keyboard.

The thing to consider (and the hard thing to find out) is: do its features meet your needs? Does it feel right and sound right to you? No one else can answer that question for you. It's worth thinking about whether the maker has a good reputation for customer support, is the product well-built and reliable, and serviceable if that's necessary.

Someone asked a famous violinist if it would be better to get a not-so-good teacher for his child's first lessons, then a better one later on. The master replied, "It's the beginner who needs the best teacher. Later on, he can do a lot on his own without so much help. It's absolutely important to learn the good habits from the first--- and to be shown what he could do in the future, and find out about the love for music... what all the work and practice is for. The young player needs the best teacher you can find."

I think it was very wise advice. Of course, finding such a person is not so easy. There's nothing wrong with books like "Alfred's." Some adult learners like it, some find it too boring. At worst, you'd be out a few bucks if you want to give it a try.

Try to find a teacher who's fun, and who has patience. My last teacher was expensive, mean and had a bad temper--- it didn't work for me. My present teacher is a lot better, he's great at taking things step by step (stuff that I can do and then move on from), and also at making me understand how important it is to find the musical statement even in teaching pieces. So, I suggest a nice keyboard and a good teacher.

And, good luck.
_________________________
Clef


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#1454712 - 06/11/10 03:19 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: FogVilleLad]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: FogVilleLad
Dave, at first the most important thing for people to learn is whether they really want to play the piano. Alfred's does a fine job of facilitating that inquiry.

Teachers become valuable when people want to develop their skills and repertoire. And, as your post notes, taking lessons from a teacher is not a panacea.


FogVilleLad, if playing becomes painful because of incorrect technique, some folks might quit just because of that.


Edited by Dave Horne (06/11/10 03:24 PM)
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#1454717 - 06/11/10 03:32 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: Dave Horne]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
I agree with Dave's advice to get a proper teacher asap.

The problem is that depending on where you live you have a greater than 50% chance of winding up with an incompetent teacher who will do as much or more damage to you as you could do on your own.

Search for your piano teacher with great care the way you would search for a psychologist or spouse or family lawyer or personal trainer and look for one that treats piano playing as the physical activity that it is and that can best be built up with a Zen like attention to detail and not rushing things.

What's the hurry anyway? You can play the piano your entire lifetime. So much better to take the steps to learn to play it properly and well and then enjoy it for a lifetime rather than try to go to fast or just mess about and wind up dropping it after a few frustrating months.

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#1454723 - 06/11/10 03:43 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: theJourney]
cspat64 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 10
I'm 45 but I'm still not in a hurry smile
I'm still not sure which direction to go in regards to learning. Whether to self-teaching or a teacher. Given that I am a very very busy person. I run a restaurant which is open basically everyday. My lifestyle and free time is not like most other people. That's why i will only have just late night to practice hopefully 30 mins/day. (given that my wife would agree to that.) Before I go any further to buy a DP, could anybody tell me if 30 min practice everyday would be enough to learn and progress. (Like I said, I'm not in a hurry.) If I go with the teacher, will 30 mins/week enough to make it work?


Edited by cspat64 (06/11/10 03:53 PM)

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#1454746 - 06/11/10 04:48 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: cspat64]
Skieblade Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/09/10
Posts: 12
Hey cspat =)

30 minutes a day should be enough to get started and progress. Obviously more would be better, but I think 30 minutes to begin with is fair. 30 minutes a week with a teacher should also be adequate - when you start doing more advanced stuff, you might want more time, but as a beginner and even to the low-mid grades, 30 minutes should be okay. When I had a teacher, even at grade 10 level, I was basically doing 1 hour a week with my teacher. Others will probably have different opinions, but 30 minutes a day practicing and 30 minutes a week with a teacher is definitely a good start =)

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#1454747 - 06/11/10 04:49 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: cspat64]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: cspat64
I'm 45 but I'm still not in a hurry smile
I'm still not sure which direction to go in regards to learning. Whether to self-teaching or a teacher. Given that I am a very very busy person. I run a restaurant which is open basically everyday. My lifestyle and free time is not like most other people. That's why i will only have just late night to practice hopefully 30 mins/day. (given that my wife would agree to that.) Before I go any further to buy a DP, could anybody tell me if 30 min practice everyday would be enough to learn and progress. (Like I said, I'm not in a hurry.) If I go with the teacher, will 30 mins/week enough to make it work?


Of course 30 minutes a day has worth ... and playing 60 minutes a day doesn't necessarily double that worth. A good teacher can steer you to become more productive by showing what things to practice and what things maybe should have less attention. For what's it's worth I spend 40 minutes a day just warming up.

My advice is to study with someone; it doesn't have to be once a week or even once every two or three weeks, but in the long run a good teacher can save you a lot of time. The trick is finding a good teacher.
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#1454749 - 06/11/10 04:53 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: Dave Horne]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
The trick is finding a good teacher.


Agreed.
_________________________
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#1454752 - 06/11/10 04:59 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: cspat64]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Originally Posted By: cspat64
I run a restaurant which is open basically everyday. My lifestyle and free time is not like most other people. That's why i will only have just late night to practice hopefully 30 mins/day.
At 30 mins/day the only things to be concerned about are being patient and focused, while still permitting yourself to enjoy the learning process. On a good day this will be relatively easy. On many days you'll probably have to work at getting those 30 minutes.

Your progress will be slow, so it's important to not be locked into the learning regimen. For example there will be times when you're trying to play something and end up hitting wrong notes, but for whatever reason you sort of like the result. Or you hear a song or a tune - songs have lyrics - and think that you'd like to be able to play it. Do it! Explore those "wrong" notes. Have fun with them. Same thing with plinking a song/tune.

Making a conscious decision to explore mistakes or sound out things that you'd like to learn goes to the very heart of the question, What is the purpose of making music? IMO the purpose of making music is self-expression. Period. When you explore or plink thru, you're beginning to express you.

A previous post cited the need for searching for the right teacher for you. How much time do you really have to do that? Please notice that, as other posts indicate, teachers are not panaceas. Alfred's All-In-One Course, Level One, Book/CD combo. Alfred's is good pedagogy.

Self-employed people often have to work like the dickens, and restaurants are notorious for being burn out jobs. Your practising and playing should bring enjoyment into your life - and making music really can be enjoyable. If you lock yourself into anything, IMO it'll be a mistake.

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#1454753 - 06/11/10 05:01 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: Dave Horne]
cspat64 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 10
If I find a teacher, should I find one that come to my house so that I can learn from my own DP VS going to the music school where they will use different DP or the acoustic one. Does it matter? Will it mess up my practice because the pianos I learn from may have different action, touch,..etc ?

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#1454756 - 06/11/10 05:12 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: cspat64]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Originally Posted By: scpat64
If I find a teacher, should I find one that come to my house?
Surely thou jesteth. You'll be lucky if you even have enough energy to practice for 30 minutes;-)

Originally Posted By: cspat64
Will it mess up my practice because the pianos I learn from may have different action, touch,..etc ?
Differences in touch or tone between instruments are a problem? Maybe when you get to the point that you can play very difficult pieces at tempo. For now the problem is finding the time to practice at all.

Please don't put obstacles in your way. Just get a DP whose touch you can live with and whose appearance your wife can live with. Open Alfred's and start plinking. (Pay attention to the info re proper posture.) Enjoy your self. Express your self.



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#1454769 - 06/11/10 05:45 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: FogVilleLad]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4437
Loc: San Jose, CA
My teacher comes to my house. It costs a modest amount more than coming to him would and is a great convenience for me.

This just happened to work out; I'm right on his way to another lesson. Don't know what kind of luck you can expect in finding such an arrangement, but over the years I have had a few teachers who were willing to teach in-home. Mostly, I've gone to their studio. In high school, my (private) teacher taught in the school practice room (on a dreadful old beater).

If you practice on a DP and your teacher has an AP, you might benefit by going to their place.
_________________________
Clef


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#1455230 - 06/12/10 04:31 PM Re: $3000 Budget for a Total Beginner? [Re: Jeff Clef]
HFlame7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/10/10
Posts: 4
To the op: If you want to go the self-taught route (while still having an actual "teacher"), then I'd recommend eMedia's "Piano and Keyboard Method V2.0". It's a great piece of software that I've used, and they actually just came out with a version 3, but I've only used version 2. Walks you straight from the basics and shows you what mistakes you made and how to correct them. The person instructing on that software also taught at Juilliard School of Music.

Of course, to use all of the features that the software provides, this is assuming that you still end up with a digital piano. And most nowadays will have these necessary Midi (or built-in midi USB) ports that you need. You may need to buy the cord separately, however.



Edited by HFlame7 (06/12/10 04:32 PM)

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