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#676015 - 11/14/08 08:49 AM Beginner looking for lightup keys and import midi functions
GlitchBob Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1
Loc: New York
I once took piano lessons when I was a child, sadly they didn't stick. However as of late I've dusted off an old keyboard and through the help of Guitar Pro (I also once attempted to learn guitar and while the program is mainly for guitars has a keyboard display) I've attempted to play a few songs. Now I know this isn't the best method to go about learning, but for the time being I can't afford a tutor, so I figured I'd look for a way to do something similar but without having to look at the screen.

So I found that Yamaha makes keyboards that have light up keys, primarily for learning. I also found that some models have midi functions, along with a USB port.

Now I'm interested in finding a model that isn't too expensive that has light up keys/digital display with finger placement and would allow me to import various midi's of my choosing so that I may play along to the pieces (as I assume I'd be able to set the tempo or use a "learning mode" so that I could slowly follow along and increase my speed as I get better).

Anyone have some recommendations (so far the EZ-200 seems to be the best bet after many hours of googling)?

Thanks \:\)

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#676016 - 11/14/08 11:31 AM Re: Beginner looking for lightup keys and import midi functions
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
IMHO the novelty of the light-up keys wears off very fast.
If you can not afford a tutor, you would be better off with a method book than the light-up feature.

#676017 - 11/14/08 12:30 PM Re: Beginner looking for lightup keys and import midi functions
FormerFF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 476
Loc: Roswell, GA, USA
I wouldn't recommend trying to use light up keys, either. I did that for a while and all it taught me was to look at the keys while playing - very bad. If you're going to self teach, either use a method book or a software package such as Teach Me Piano.

Check out the Adult Beginners forum, there are many folks self teaching there.
Piano self teaching on and off from 2002-2008. Took piano instruction from Nov 2008- Feb 2011. Took guitar instruction Feb 2011-Jul 2013. Can't play either. Living, breathing proof some people aren't cut out to make music.

#676018 - 11/20/08 01:11 PM Re: Beginner looking for lightup keys and import midi functions
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 745
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Below is an excerpt from an email I sent to a list of midi developers...
(My hobby is writing a midi sequencer that I'm adding "practicing help" capability to.)

about those lightsss...

Piano teachers say to look at hands as little as possible.
Your eyes should be on the sheet music 99% of the time.
(or screen in the case of =good= learning software).
So those lights introduce bad habits \:\)
Better to show the notes on screen next to the music.

You want to get used to going from notated notes on screen to "felt"
places on the keyboard. Well... Ideally... I still look at my
hands... But I'm trying hard to spend time "feeling around".

Using your eyes makes your brain coord eye nerves with hand nerves.
Doing it the right way takes out that eye requirement, speeding up the
hands VERY noticably. And eyes can be used for the single purpose of
note input to the brain - not 2 conflicting paths. You should use
your ears instead of eyes to verify fingering. Sooooooooooooo they
say..... \:\)

So the ideal flow is sheetmusic/screennotes => eyes => brain =>
fingers at the correct relative position by feeling or absolute
position by spatial awareness => music => ears => verification

When you look at your hands you're doing that "fingers..." part the
easier way BUT your eyes are now multitasking between music input and
finger verification.
And that finger verification (what was that OOP term?) forces finger
position reading nerves and finger position setting nerves to conflict
with each other often which,
COUPLING? was that it? which slows your fingers down. Quite noticably.
Wait, maybe finger position setting is coupled with eye input.
Probably that coupling adds finger position reading coupling automatically.
So that's bad. Yeah.

Seeing what you hit and if it's right or not on screen RIGHT next to
the input notes in real time is a much better way to practice.

Looking at notes flashing on the keyboard ONLY shows the current notes
you need to hit. You're not seeing the next set of notes coming up
(that your fingers need to move to to "cover") simultaneously like you
do on screen.
You also don't know how long to hold each note down, right?
You're waiting on each light to go out - that's the only way you know
duration, not ahead of time, but after the fact.
You're only looking at a tiny tiny slice of the song and that's bound
to frustrate you once you get to a song more complex than a "twinkle
twinkle little star" melody. Once you get carefully orchestrated
pedaled chords into the picture, those lights are useless.

Wooooooooooooo!! Who had too much caffiene this mornin?? That'd be me!!
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

#676019 - 11/20/08 02:22 PM Re: Beginner looking for lightup keys and import midi functions
dettch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/08
Posts: 55
Loc: Idaho
I agree with the comments above. Get a good, simple self instruction book which will start in a very basic way. The key is to stick with it and OVER LEARN. Try to get as much joy as you can even out of simple little pieces. In no time at all you will feel a sense of accomplishment.

I did it this way when I was six years of age (71 years ago!) and became a very competent sight reader....admittedly with lots of bad habits \:\)


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