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#688431 - 12/22/04 02:50 AM Electronic Keyboard advise for beginner needed
Neophyte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 25
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I posted this on the Adult Beginner's Forum, but it was suggested I might get more responses here, so I've copied the post over.
I'm an absolute beginner here, new member and this is my first post. Never played a keyboard in my life. Bit of backgroun: I'm 45; been playing guitar for about 10 years and not getting any better so I figure it's time to try another instrument.
I've done a bit of research on keyboards thru this forum over the past week or so, as well as visiting stores and checking out the various models of portable keyboards and pianos. While I'd love to get a quality piano to try to learn on, the truth of the matter is I really don't know if this will work out, so I'm reluctant to spend the dough. So basically, I think these are my options and I'd like to get some opinions from the newcomers and vets on this board.
My first option is a portable keyboard. I've looked at everything from $150 to $500 (all 61 full size keys), although $300 is about the most I'd like to spend. Most have tutorials of some sort and some with pre-programmed songs you can learn along to while the keyboard waits for you. I gather from reading this forum that the cheaper models aren't the best for learning on and at the very least one should go for a higher end model with touch sensitivity. But are even those worth it? And can you really learn from the tutorials?
The other option I have is that I do possess an older Roland E-20 keyboard. I've done nothing more than turn it on and hit a couple of keys for the different sounds, but it does seem to have a decent piano sound and some interesting features. Can I learn on something like this or is this a bit more complex than I need?
Also if anyone has any recommendations on how to get started playing, I would greatly appreciate it. I'd just like to start slow and would be thrilled if I eventually could just somewhat competently play some of my favorite pop songs.
Sorry for the stupidity of the questions, but like I said, this is my first day...

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#688432 - 12/22/04 05:05 PM Re: Electronic Keyboard advise for beginner needed
Full Member

Registered: 09/14/04
Posts: 20
I can only speak from my experience as a very green beginner (I have no idea what "middle C" means just 6 months ago). I bought a $150 keyboard just to see if it's even possible for me to learn to play a musical instrument. The main selling point of this keyboard (Yamaha EZ30) is it has the teaching functions. It displays the fingering of the internal songs, waits for you to hit the note, and even has the guiding lights to show you which note to hit. But in the end it didn't really teach me anything. The built-in songs, while fun to play along with ("Just follow the light", said the keyboard), are often not structured to gradually introduce the more-and-more complex skills. In the end I can play a song without having the skill to play it.

Instead, I found having a structured course book (such as Alfred's adult beginner series) helps the most. Each lessen taught me a little bit of something, without difficult jumps between lessons. I improved much faster following this book, and having a weekly group lesson in the local community college (which put pressure on me to practice) didn't hurt either.

I think if you just want to test the water and see if this will work out, why not just use the Roland you already have? At the very beginning (ie, note-finding) stage any keyboard with correct pitch for each note will do fine. If piano turns out to be your thing you may want to upgrade to a digital or a keyboard with fully weighted keys, plus touch-sensitivity. But that would be a few months down the road and you'll know your possibilities better and make a better decision for yourself then.

Just my $0.02.

#688433 - 12/23/04 08:20 AM Re: Electronic Keyboard advise for beginner needed
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi Neophyte

I am 42...I started playing piano 12 months ago...I bought a midi keyboard controller at first (100 off ebay) ...I joined a piano website on the net and soon got hooked bigstyle!

I then got rid of the controller as i wanted weighted keys and bought a casio privia PX100...which got me even more hooked and I have ended up buying a Yamaha CLP 170 in polished ebony which I absolutely love to bits.

Wish I'd bought a Yammie p90 or p120 instead of the casio from what I've read on here...but, don't forget you can always ebay the keyboards as you go along.

The cheap keyboard got me going and the online course got me addicted. You will know in a short space of time whether its for you or not..and if it is for you...then, there are many posts about which keyboards to buy on here.


Twitter: @Seaside_Lee

#688434 - 12/23/04 12:17 PM Re: Electronic Keyboard advise for beginner needed
Full Member

Registered: 09/14/04
Posts: 20
Hi Lee, what a coincidence. I also end up on a CLP170PE but I skipped the PX100 step. At one point I found the unweighted keys on a keyboard too difficult to work with.

Not only keyboards can be ebayed, I've seen CLP170s through ebay too. \:\)


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#688435 - 12/29/04 09:48 PM Re: Electronic Keyboard advise for beginner needed
RandomThoughts Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/04
Posts: 106
Loc: Canada
FUNNYDOGNV's advice seems spot on. A good course book is way more valuable than blinking lights, and a lot cheaper ;\) And as a kid, I did Alfred's along with Royal Conservatory and the books were great.

I'm unfamiliar with the older keyboard that you have, but it's probably sufficient for learning for a while until you decide whether you want to stick with it. Also, while you're learning, find a friend who has a piano and mooch! Actually, that's what I did my first year until my parents were convinced that I'd stick with it. And all I had was a really crappy hollow-key unweighted piece of junk!

On the one hand, I can't blame them... on the other, I begged for more than a year for the lessons and still play today, 20 years later. /useless meandering

#688436 - 12/30/04 10:39 AM Re: Electronic Keyboard advise for beginner needed
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi Funny Dog

I bet you love your CLP just as much as I do...infact, I just don't have enough hours in the day to play it.

The wifes starting to think I love it more than her...lol...erm, thinking about it?... I love Roland keyboards more than I love her! (joke)

Have a good new year

Twitter: @Seaside_Lee


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