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#1973122 - 10/14/12 11:16 AM Electric piano for a friend
carolyn227 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 107
My friend is going to start piano lessons soon and wants to get an electric piano to practice on at home. She lives in an apartment, so I'm guessing that's why she's not getting an acoustic piano. Anyway, she was looking into getting this one

But I'm really not sure. I know I'd personally want to play it to figure out what I wanted before I bought, but she has no piano experience so has no idea what to look for.

Would this be a better choice for someone starting up piano lessons, or are they about the same? I don't think she wants to spend much more than $300, but I also don't want her to hate the feel after a few months and give up because she already invested a couple hundred dollars and doesn't want to buy another one.
Pianist and mom to three awesome kids (and budding musicians).


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#1973131 - 10/14/12 11:26 AM Re: Electric piano for a friend [Re: carolyn227]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3928
I don't think they will feel very different from each other, but they won't feel a whole lot like a real piano, either. If at all possible, she should make the jump to at least something with a weighted action, like a Yamaha P-35, Casio CDP-120, or Korg SP-170, all of which should be available for under $450.

#1973142 - 10/14/12 11:47 AM Re: Electric piano for a friend [Re: carolyn227]
ando Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 4851
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
It's worth noting that you are looking for a "digital piano", not an "electric piano". An electric piano is quite a different instrument, although most digital pianos include a few electric piano tones in them. Just thought I'd point that out so you aren't talking at cross purposes with any dealers.

#1973149 - 10/14/12 12:09 PM Re: Electric piano for a friend [Re: carolyn227]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
The thing is there is another factor in this, in that if she decides to keep it up. She might feel limited by the non weighted keys and the lack of a full range. I may well be weird but 6 months in I am experimenting with pieces which are using the full range (and its QUITE HARD!)

If I could go back in time. I would not buy my 61 key keyboard which I let go for a song. I would rather have added it to the monies I spent on the CDP200 (which isn't overall a bad piece of kit but could be better) and bought a PX135.

There is always the CDP100 which you can get for about $300-$350. I could never live with an CDp100 though, I lack the confidence in sight reading. I still need to look at the digital display now and again if something doesn't sound right.

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#1973169 - 10/14/12 12:49 PM Re: Electric piano for a friend [Re: carolyn227]
Mark NM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/06/12
Posts: 24
To play Devil's advocate, there is a small pro with going non weighted, although I too think investing $100 more would be the best choice.
A keyboard would let her gain confidence more easily and focus on the most basic aspects of playing a piano, as a weighted action would probably represent a great challenge for the complete beginner.

I wouldn't care too much about the range, even 61 keys should be enough to start off.

#1973186 - 10/14/12 01:38 PM Re: Electric piano for a friend [Re: carolyn227]
ap55 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/12
Posts: 100
Loc: Germany, Bremen
Sorry that I don't give a recommendation on some instrument, but I guess there is actually no great idea where to go with this decision and
I expect there are some budget constraints. For me it looks that she needs an instrument for the first couple of month which should create fun, so it should be not a too bad piano. May be there might be a dealer which want to step in the business on rental basis, which provides her limited risk and in the case of success the opportunity to buy the instrument without a loss of money after some month. Alternatively, why not a used one for this price with weighted key action.

The other point I see, she should check the loudness of the key action, even without sound on this could make noise in an apartment.

#1973194 - 10/14/12 01:49 PM Re: Electric piano for a friend [Re: Mark NM]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3928
Originally Posted By: Mark NM
To play Devil's advocate, there is a small pro with going non weighted, although I too think investing $100 more would be the best choice.
A keyboard would let her gain confidence more easily and focus on the most basic aspects of playing a piano, as a weighted action would probably represent a great challenge for the complete beginner.

I actually think piano playing is easier on a weighted action. On an unweighted action, it is far easier to hit a bum note by just brushing against it on the way to playing the note you want... your accuracy has to be greater. Also, as soon as you get beyond note recognition, even simple dynamics are much easier to control on a weighted action. Also, once you start using black notes, many unweighted actions are kind of "dead" in the rear section of the black keys, which is yet another impediment.

That said, not all unweighted actions are equally as bad at these things, and if you must play piano on an unweighted action, I think the Yamaha's mentioned are better than most. I'd still prefer any weighted action, though.

#1973214 - 10/14/12 03:09 PM Re: Electric piano for a friend [Re: carolyn227]
MacDan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 91
Loc: Tampa, FL
You don't say where you are located, but if you're in the States, check out the local Craigslist postings for digital pianos.

I am starting my first lesson tomorrow, and I started looking for a good quality weighted keyboard digital piano a few weeks ago. It took some patience, but I was able to find a nice Casio PX-130 for $375.00 that the owner had tired of and just wanted to get rid of.

Everything else I had looked at prior to finding the PX-130 was quite a bit older (64 note polyphony) and cost more. I really wanted a weighted keyboard, and while I seriously considered biting the bullet and buying a new PX-350, when I came across this I figured I would save the money and use some of it to buy the stand and pedal set, which is highly discounted because the PX-130 is a discontinued product.

Also - the seller was into MIDI and other such things, so when we started talking about the MIDI capabilities of this particular model, they also threw in an iPad camera connection kit they had so I can connect the PX-130 to my iPad if I like.

Good luck!


Edited by MacDan (10/14/12 03:11 PM)
Edit Reason: camera connection kit

#1973215 - 10/14/12 03:20 PM Re: Electric piano for a friend [Re: carolyn227]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
Having a read of the description:

30 built-in songs with lessons for each hand and "repeat and learn" feature

This is not a bad thing to have for an absolute beginner. I as always am reminded of my guitar which I could never play more than a few sad chords on it. This made me lose confidence and interest.

While my old Casio LK taught me moonlight sonata (casio's version) in a week which was a huge confidence boost. Without it I may have given up.

#1973221 - 10/14/12 04:01 PM Re: Electric piano for a friend [Re: carolyn227]
Bob M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/09
Posts: 208
Loc: North Carolina

As you can see from my signature below, I have walked the "path" as a piano beginner over the last 3 years. Note that it ends with an acoustic instrument, something that I never considered at first. So I can say that the observations above about learning piano are correct. A good starting point for your friend would be a used, 88-key, Yamaha or Casio digital piano, if she finds one within what she wants to spend.

But, if she wants to just stick one little toe in, consider the Yamaha NP 11 at all of $150. It has the same decent key bed action as the ones mentioned above, 10 voices, and will sit on your knees if you don't want to bother with a stand. Level 3 piano books rarely go beyond the 5 octave range of the board. If she advances quickly in interest and skill, she will soon want an instrument with a weighted action, and be willing to spend more. Even then, she will probably want to keep the NP 11 for its portability. I take mine when I travel and want to have something to play.
Bob M

Charles Walter Model 1520
Yamaha NP 30, NP 11, PSR E333


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