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#693823 - 07/11/06 09:12 PM Please help with unique keyboard concerns
WTnow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 3
Loc: SF now ,soon Europe & beyond
I am hoping you can help as I have a very musical child ( asked for and enjoyed Opera at a year old,started violin at 23m & is very advanced now at 5.5yo ,started piano at 3, reads music ,plays well & loves to compose etc,etc) and I am not very musical ( nor is her father).

We are about to set off on a many years long trip around the world with much of the first 2 1/2 yrs in Europe via small RV & will homeschool as we go. ( She also taught herself to read at 2 and was reading Harry Potter by 4 ,so not a great fit for schools & part of our reason for the travel route).She is a joyous normal,active 5yo kiddo ,just learns very quickly & has always had a great ear & interest in music,performance and books.

Continuing her music education as we travel will be one of the great challenges with this lifestyle,but we want to continue to support her & have been encouraged by people who have found unique ways to answer such challeges.We have found a wonderful Jazz piano teacher that teaches via internet VOIP & we are hoping this will work on the road while we travel.I think she will really love the freedom in his method that seems to be chord based.We are hoping to winter in Spain for the next several winters ,so hopefully will find some hands on help there with a great teacher as well.( We hope to continue with her violin teacher here as well via internet & find local help in Spain).

So now I need to find the right keyboard ( & ofcourse I am clueless in my ignorance) so hoping some here can advise me.I have heard its best to have the very best piano from the start if one can afford it ( like a Steinway) so am assuming thats true with the digital piano.So I am probably looking for the best sound & feel that is closest to a real superior piano.Ofcourse portability and sturdiness will be important and we would like it to last for years and be useful for her as she grows.Headphones for practice will be a necessity sometimes.

I am clueless but think these might be good??
Yamaha 88note touch sensitive DGX505

I would also like to send it over to Amsterdam where we will pick up our camper or buy it in Europe & have them send it ( if thats cheaper)as I have money already in Euros and GBPs.( We are already carrying on lots of carryon and a violin.I could conceivably check it if its much cheaper,tho the safety makes me nervous.)

We need to make the decision soon as we leave on Sept 2nd and are overwhelmed at the moment with all the preparation.Thank you so much in advance for any help or input that you can offer as its clear there are some very wise ones here.

( Sorry about the cross post for those who also read music player network as I am desperate to find an answer & am open to all informed opinions).

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#693824 - 07/11/06 09:50 PM Re: Please help with unique keyboard concerns
Copper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 1062
Loc: Virginia
You have enough to keep you busy, find the piano in Spain.

I believe the Roland RD-700sx will cost around $2,000 and the DGX505 will cost around $500. So there will be a big difference in the capabilities of these two keyboards.

Depending on what you buy there may be a problem with the different electrical system, or import duties or excess luggage charges.

Also, a normal 5 year old may decide she doesn't like the piano any more by the time you get there.

Find a teacher in Spain and ask for advice.

#693825 - 07/11/06 09:52 PM Re: Please help with unique keyboard concerns
dhalbert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 53
Loc: Massachusetts
Wow, good luck in your travels!

Yamaha 88note touch sensitive DGX505
The DGX505 definitely does not have a great keyboard feel. Given your space constraints in an RV, you might look at the Casio PX-110, PX-310, Yamaha P70, P140, and that Roland. If you can, spend some time in some place like a Guitar Center or Sam Ash.

You might consider whether the depth of the piano is an issue given your limited space. Some of the above are deeper (front-to-back) than others. Also consider weight, since you'll probably want to put it away.

At www.muziekinstrumenten.com I see a PX-110 is 549 euros. There'd be tax, but you wouldn't have to ship. Visiting music stores in Amsterdam sounds like a good initial adventure!

#693826 - 07/11/06 11:26 PM Re: Please help with unique keyboard concerns
WTnow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 3
Loc: SF now ,soon Europe & beyond
Thanks dhalbert & copper!

I love the idea of just getting it in Amsterdam as somehow I hadn't thought of that & it would make sure it was on European voltage style.We won't be into our winter rental white village house in rural Andalucia Spain until Nov,so I want it before then as she is use to daily practice after breakfast as just part of her routine and would miss it.We usually take a cheapo yamaha keyboard for trips,but she needs something more significant now as she is really good for her age.We will look at all you listed ( and more).

I will send hubby ( he works with her on it and plays a little piano himself) to Guitar center tomorrow ( when we are in a nearby city) to check them all out.He definately likes the 500 dollar price much better than the 2000. ;\) But I do want it as close to sound and feel of a good piano as possible ,so we will try and find one that fits that and all our needs at the best budget we can get.I saw the RD700sx for 1500 bucks so I was figuring our budget was somewhere between 500 and 1500.

A normal 5yo might indeed give up on piano before we get there,but little of what my child has done since birth has been normal,so I don't expect that to change at this point.She's played it ( and the violin) every day for years and has had many concerts & recitals already under her belt and loves it ,so I doubt that will change now as she has a strong personality and knows what she wants and how to get it.At some point she may pick one instrument over the other ,but at this point I have to keep her from starting any more instruments formally.In many ways she has just never been her age,even when she was a tiny baby.Its been an interesting ride,trust me. ;\)

But you are certainly right,we have much to keep us busy before we take off! \:\) Thanks for the wish of luck too.

#693827 - 07/11/06 11:57 PM Re: Please help with unique keyboard concerns
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
you probably don't want to consider DGX505 which doesn't have the weighted key action like a piano's. i would consider at least (Yamaha) P70 or even YPG625 and anything above models.

#693828 - 07/12/06 02:07 AM Re: Please help with unique keyboard concerns
TheVibeRAIDER Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/02
Posts: 80
Loc: SF Bay Area
If you do consider the DGX505, your daughter will have to deal with the constraints. She may be able to, or she may not. But I know she will, but up to a certain point.

If you're just staying at home, the DGX505 is not a good choice at this stage of your daughter's developement. However...

Since you're going on a "many years long trip around the world," yes, the DGX505 seems just right, but only for the time being. You must be fair to your daughter and be aware if it becomes a hindrance to her musical developement. This would be an indication that a new, better keyboard is in order.

You say you're not musical. Well, I think you know more than you realize, if you listen carefully and realistically.

Good luck!
1973 Baldwin Acrosonic (TRADED)
Kurzweil PC88-MX (SOLD)
Yamaha P-120
2013 Charles Walter 1520 QA.

#693829 - 07/12/06 03:12 AM Re: Please help with unique keyboard concerns
Pumucky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/06
Posts: 30
Loc: UK
Hi WTnow,

If you’re going to stay regularly at one place (winters in Spain) then I would consider having a higher-end digital at that place and maybe a portable one for the shorter trips (I’m not sure how your travel plan looks like).

BTW, I live in Andalucia myself (in Málaga). If I can be of any help don’t hesitate to ask.

And do they do.

#693830 - 07/12/06 03:38 AM Re: Please help with unique keyboard concerns
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1637
As a piano teacher I feel that the Kawai ES4 (45 lbs.) or the heavier MP8 (74 lbs.) have the most realistic key action and response. I feel that those considerations trump folk's ratings on "tone". Tone is always quite artificial on digital pianos.
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

#693831 - 07/12/06 03:40 AM Re: Please help with unique keyboard concerns
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1637
You will be traveling with it? The Casio PX-310 is 28 lbs and has a fully weighted 88 key action with built in stereo speakers.
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

#693832 - 07/12/06 09:54 AM Re: Please help with unique keyboard concerns
WTnow Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 3
Loc: SF now ,soon Europe & beyond
Thanks all ,this is really a big help!I think I will eliminate the DG505 from my choices as I do want her to have something that supports her musical development & technique ,not a hindrance.

Pumucky, I am thrilled to find someone in Spain!We will be in Frigiliana ,near Nerja and I think about an hour away from Malaga.We will be there from Nov 1st til April 1st and I would like to find a good piano teacher while there ( & don't mind traveling to Malaga if that is what is needed as we drive an hour each way to her piano lessons here for the right teacher).

Obviously its easiest if its closest,but we have found the teacher makes such a difference.( She has a spectacular violin teacher ,so we have become a little spoiled on wanting a good fit).We had an OK teacher to start with at 3 for piano,then had a fabulous piano teacher who was a pianist herself in the local orchestra plus had a son who was very talented so started him early on piano,so had great ability with working with a young one who learns quickly & likes to have fun.Alas ,she moved away.So we went briefly to another teacher who many like,but was horrible for us ( she was probably a good teacher for a 12 yo and up,but very,very dull).Thus we end up driving an hour away for a teacher who was trained in the same way for kids as the one we loved.So we have found having the right teacher for your child really makes a difference.

I am thinking ( and hoping ) that she will like the Jazz teacher that teaches VOIP via laptop and hoping I can find a good teacher in Spain.I would LOVE any help you could give & we would definately travel for a good teacher.

I like the idea of one each for travel & stay,but not sure that would work for us,so I hope to get just one to handle everything.( I am not sure where I would put it while we travel for 7months a year,but if there is a way perhaps I will consider it).We have never been to Andalucia & just picked our location & village from the internet as it looked nice ( we wanted white village) for the winter and near enough to Malaga in case we needed a city & its ammenities and we like more authentic country living near the beach). My child and husband speak Spanish ( as a second language so not as fluent as English of course,but we hope to get better while there)& I have registered her in the local school where she can immerse in her 2nd language & the culture of some of her ancestors.

If it works out well we will come back to that village again next winter ( only we will be in a larger camper the second winter instead of a village rental).We hope to use it as our home away from home base where my child will have friends that she connects with thru the school & we will get a certain level of comfort by knowing people & where things are.

A bilingual teacher would be a great "plus", since we understand English much better.We will be most likely spending 2 or 3 winters there ,so finding a good teacher for consistancy would be wonderful.


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