Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons

Posted by: jake55

Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 09:04 AM

I am new to piano world. I have read some topics here but I still have a few questions. I personally know nothing about playing an instrument. My daughter just started taking piano lessons. I am concerned about spending too much and too little. I have looked at a Kawaii CN33 for 1900 at Schmitt music and an acoustic Kawaii K15 for 3000 and couple yamahas at Guitar Center in the 500 - 600 range. I don't remember the model number right now. They felt good to me too. I am concerned that she will not remain interested.

With my daughter just starting out how long will it take her to get to the level of the Kawaii? Would a Casio PX350 be plenty for her for a while or even a lower model Casio? Will the pedals be an issue for her with the Casios I mentioned? Is there another model that would be better at under 1000?

I have also looked at Craigslist. I would like to list a couple here for your thoughts.

Listed is a yamaha CLP130 for 1500. Yamaha cp33 for 700, Yamaha clavonia CVP59S for 900 and a Casio CDP100 with stand bench and pedal for 430. Thank you in advance for your advice.
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 09:17 AM

Some places, but only a few I think, will rent a digital out. Not sure how cost effective that would be compared to getting an entry level DP. You could go slightly lower with Casio, say CDP120, and still be more than adequate for a year or so. The main thing is hammer action keys, sounds just 'OK', extras would be longer sustain, some variation in tone according to how hard the key is pressed. But I think unless your daughter is a prodigy that will suffice and after a year or so she and you will have a better idea of what to get next.

You could ask your daughters teacher, although she may say an acoustic is needed. Maybe you can rent an acoustic?
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 09:19 AM

The CLP130 is not worth $1500. It's a ten-year-old model. The rough equivalent today is the CLP430, which might cost $2000 or so brand new with a five-year warranty. Skip the CLP130, or bargain it down MUCH lower.

The CVP59 is from 1995. I don't know anything more about it.

I understand your concern that she might lose interest. So a $500 piano might be a good way to limit your risk.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 09:27 AM

Either of the Casios ... PX-150 or PX-350 would be nice instruments for her.
Posted by: jake55

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 10:33 AM

Thank you for everyones quick response. Should I be concerned about the floating foot pedal on the Casio? Does she need three pedals or will one be good enough for now? Her teacher did not have advice on a piano.
Posted by: personne

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 10:38 AM

Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Some places, but only a few I think, will rent a digital out. Not sure how cost effective that would be compared to getting an entry level DP.
Maybe you can rent an acoustic?


I would rent a digital, and not acoustic piano, if you can get a good price for a rental.
At least in my area, you can rent Roland HP-503 for $58+ tax (per month), Roland HP-507 for $100+tax, that is not a bad deal in my opinion. And you can apply the money towards purchase later on.

Against acoustic rental is moving and tuning expense - you can rent it month-by-month as well the issue is that you will need to pay for delivery (around $500) and a two tunings per year, and if you to quit rental early, it is not cost effective. But you can also apply some money paid for rent towards purchase.
Posted by: jake55

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 10:38 AM

The Kawaii CA63 PA looks like a good deal. Nothing like that in MN. At least not right now.
Posted by: Kos

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 10:52 AM

Originally Posted By: jake55
I am concerned that she will not remain interested.

Well, usually in these situations the less you spend, the bigger the chance of her losing interest.
That K15 would be a perfect solution, but I understand your concern of spending too much.
I would definitely not recommend those low-end Yamahas you saw at Guitar center (I'm guessing those were P35/P105). Their action, though technically considered to be "graded hammer", in reality are slightly better than those plastic things Yamaha puts in ther PSR series keyboards. Definitely not suitable for learning.
For some incomprehensible reason Casios get a lot of love at these forums, I played one once and thought it to be the worst thing ever, and not just among digital pianos. So, personally, wouldn't recommend them either.
Things I would recommend for under 1000$: Korg SP250 (oldie but goodie), Yamaha P155/YSP161, Kawai CL36.
Posted by: Tom Fine

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 11:21 AM

I'm going out today to buy a PX-350 for my 11 year old who's had about 3 months of lessons (and for myself who hasn't played in 20 years). You can buy a three pedal unit for it that's designed to go in the optional stand, but it's my understanding that you can remove the pedals from the long bar (voiding any warranty) and use it without the stand.

One of the factors that pushed me this way is that it is fairly new and modern, and hooks up to a computer very easily. In today's world, your kid might not every be a piano prodigy, but might very likely do something where they record their own accompaniment to a school video project, or they just want to share something they've played on Facebook or email it to a relative.

We're going with the 350 rather than the 150 because I like the extra fiddly bits (especially the record-to-thumbdrive feature). But it also raises an interesting question: with kids, are these extra features and buttons a distraction that keeps them from practicing, or a feature that keeps them interested and gets them to spend more time at the keyboard? Certainly the answer will vary from kid to kid, but also I think will depend on the expectations of the parents and teacher.

tom
Posted by: dmd

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 11:28 AM

Originally Posted By: jake55
Thank you for everyones quick response. Should I be concerned about the floating foot pedal on the Casio? Does she need three pedals or will one be good enough for now? Her teacher did not have advice on a piano.


Truth is, she probably will not even use a pedal for quite a long time.

However, I would get the 3-pedal unit just so the piano looks complete.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 11:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Kos
For some incomprehensible reason Casios get a lot of love at these forums, I played one once and thought it to be the worst thing ever


I used to feel that way also ... until I played the PX-350. In my opinion, they have made a big jump in the quality of their instruments with these new ones.
Posted by: jake55

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 11:50 AM

I contacted Schmitt music and they have a Kawai CL26 for 995.00. Is this worth the extra cost for me? As mentioned above by KOS the Kawai CL36 was a good option for under 1000 and better quality than the Casios. The package price of the Casio px350 with bench and stand seem to come close to this price. I am trying to get the best piano for her with the least amount spent and knowing nothing about them makes it very difficult to make a decision. The most important feature to me is the feel of the keys so it is easy for her to transition to a real piano someday if she continues. Thanks again for all the help.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 12:06 PM

Do you not have any aspirations to learn to play piano yourself? If you also learn, then you can justify splashing out on the best piano you can afford straightaway, and your daughter will also be far more likely to continue, than if she's the only one playing in the home.

I have personal experience of this myself - my parents weren't musical, my (older) brother dropped out after two years because our teacher told my parents he wasn't good enough to continue (and they believed her.... mad ), my sister then took it up when she got old enough. But when I left home to go to boarding school, she lost interest because there was no one else interested in music or the piano at home, and stopped playing - even though she is rather more talented than me.

To this day, I still wonder what if.....
Posted by: jake55

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 12:21 PM

Reply to bennevis
I do somewhat and I figured that I would learn along with her.
Posted by: Charles Cohen

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 06:54 PM

Originally Posted By: jake55
Thank you for everyones quick response. Should I be concerned about the floating foot pedal on the Casio? Does she need three pedals or will one be good enough for now? Her teacher did not have advice on a piano.


She's young, and just starting. I think the Yamaha P155 or Casio PX-150/350 would be fine. A "rent-to-own" on one of those would eliminate some uncertainty.

I have the PX-350 on an X-stand. The 3-pedal unit is tied to the X-stand, with some cardboard underneath it. It works fine, including the "half-damper" feature. That pedal assembly doesn't "float" -- it's designed to be tied into the piano stand, and supported by the floor underneath the pedals. [The pedals themselves, I am told, are not built to last forever. We will see . . . ]

My opinion (I'm not a teacher) is that one pedal -- a plain "damper" pedal -- is enough to start with. "Soft" pedal is rarely used for beginners, and "sostenuto" pedal is never used in beginners' music. The pedal included with the Casio PX-150/350 is a joke, but works. The M-Audio "universal" pedal is much better, and costs around $20.

The damper pedal on an acoustic piano can be used more sensitively than any of the low-/middle-end digital pianos allows. But that's not "beginning technique".

. Charles
Posted by: Charles Cohen

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 07:18 PM

Another thought --

You're on a "sliding scale" on quality vs cost. The more you spend, the closer the digipiano will resemble an acoustic piano, in keyboard touch and sound. I just thought:

. . . How much would _I_ have cared, at 6 years old, about subtleties of
. . . touch and tone?

And the answer is:

. . . Not much -- I'd just want to learn to play!

I can't imagine a 6-year-old who says "This GHS action stinks! I want one with the GHE action!"

I just retired a Korg X5D -- a 15-year-old bottom-of-the-line synthesizer with 61 spring-loaded (but touch-sensitive) keys. I wanted to start playing again, and I _knew_ I had to have weighted keys to get my touch back, and 88 keys to play standard repertoire. That was my excuse for the PX-350.

Don't over-think this decision. If your daughter (or her teacher) says "I want a better piano!", sell the old one, and buy another. Maybe a P105 would be a mistake -- but it'll be a $600 mistake, and you can recoup much of that on the used market.

. Charles
Posted by: peterws

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 07:31 PM

Watever you buy, try to get a BASIC piano. Any additions will distract her greatly, she`ll not see the wood for the trees. A good looking (awesome) instrument would conjure up respect; you can get one on `e`bay for a decent price. Like under £500 or $750 or so. Yamaha CLP`s are tough and should take a child`s battering forever. Even the older ones (10 or 12 years ) would be OK . . . Best o` luck, man!
Posted by: jake55

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 09:52 PM

Thanks again everyone. I was at Schmitt Music again looking at the CN33 and the Kawai K15 acoustic. My daughter played on both for a while. After trying those it is difficult to not want them. I have to think a little bit more on it. It probably makes more sense to go with a less costly one for now. And the majority opinion seems to be the less costly ones. I am sure you are right. I need to find a Casio to try. Schmitt is really close by so easy to just pop over and look at them. I will try not to think too much more on it and choose one.
Posted by: ruiomichlet

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 09:59 PM

The CVP59 is from 1995. I don't know anything more about it.
Posted by: personne

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/21/13 11:12 PM

I would disagree about cheap pianos.
They are for hobbyists who know how to play, or for those who does not bother about teachers or technics. Just IMO.
The piano should be fun to play and inspiration to learn - but if $500 piano is Ok , it is probably the right choice.
However the more expensive piano is, the more refined sound you get.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/22/13 07:50 AM

I would suggest that whichever DP you choose ... get a furniture stand with it.

I believe it adds to the aesthetics of the instrument and makes it more stable.
Posted by: TrumpetMan

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/22/13 08:34 AM

Also, make sure you get a comfortable, height adjustable piano stool (bench) for her to sit on. It makes a world of difference as I have recently found out, having bought my first one in 46 years of playing.
Posted by: ZoeCalgary

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 01/22/13 09:59 AM

Jake55, about a year ago I too was shopping for our first piano. It was for my son and me to learn on. We started with a 42 inch upright acoustic I bought second hand. Later on I also bought a digital for night practice. For awhile we had the two pianos side by side. Nine times out of 10 my son (who was 7) chose to play the acoustic. I'm not sure why exactly but maybe it was the sound and feel. I too played on the acoustic more than the digital. For me it was the feel and sound of the acoustic.

My digital (yamaha p155) was around $1000 with the furniture stand as I bought it second hand. It is a well respected dp here with a good action, some variety of sounds and simple to use.

If possible I'd suggest an acoustic piano or a decent digital to start with. If you don't get a decent instrument the child won't want to play on either.

Good luck in your search. In the first year or two it seems many teachers allow digitals. After that they usually suggest an acoustic. At least that has been my experience as well as some friends whose kids are taking lessons.
Posted by: jake55

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 02/16/13 02:13 PM

Not sure if anyone comes back to an old post or not but just wanted to add that I decided on a Casio PX350 and so far I am happy with it. My daughter enjoys playing it and I believe the keys feel similar to a piano. For the price and additional options it seems to make the most sense for us for now. Thanks again for all the help.
Posted by: Miguel Rey

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 02/16/13 02:22 PM

Just caught the tale end of this post so hope everything works out well, but if you see your child progressing and showing interest I would switch to a AP.
Posted by: dmd

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 02/16/13 02:34 PM

Originally Posted By: jake55
Not sure if anyone comes back to an old post or not but just wanted to add that I decided on a Casio PX350 and so far I am happy with it. My daughter enjoys playing it and I believe the keys feel similar to a piano. For the price and additional options it seems to make the most sense for us for now. Thanks again for all the help.


I think you made a very good choice.
Posted by: fizikisto

Re: Digital piano purchase advise for 6 year olds piano lessons - 02/16/13 02:54 PM

Jake55,
Glad you found a choice that both you and your daughter can enjoy. It can be frustrating when there are so many options to choose from. Wishing you and her a great piano journey together. smile