Hi to all music enthusiasts who would like to start playing on keyboard ! Have you already chosen your first keyboard? If you haven't decided yet, that's okay. We are sure that many of you have many questions about different details of keyboards. To help you, this article will explain the 5 most important things to know about keyboards.
Is the keyboard the best choice for me?
You may already know that pianos are divided into three categories: acoustic pianos, digital pianos and keyboards. When choosing a piano, there are three factors to consider: your budget, the space available, and your goals.
It is suitable for small budgets
Acoustic pianos are generally more expensive than the other two categories. The average price of an upright piano is between €3,000 and €6,000. Entry-level grand pianos are usually $7,000 to $30,000. High-end pianos can range from $65,000 to $190,000.
In addition, acoustic pianos, made of wood and metal, can go out of tune relatively quickly due to factors such as the temperature or humidity of the environment. Its maintenance generates many costs.
Digital pianos, designed to simulate acoustic pianos, are also more expensive than keyboards. The price of most digital pianos often starts around 350€, and that of upright digital pianos rather between 500€ and 5000€. A high-quality hybrid digital piano can even reach 15,000€!
Electronic keyboards, are designed for beginners and those who love electronic music, they are the least expensive solution of the three piano categories. On average, the price of a keyboard is 150€. Prices usually start from 50€ and can go up to a few hundred euros for professional models.
It Requires Little Space
Acoustic pianos are large and generally designed to stay in one place. These pianos are generally 150cm wide and 90cm to 130cm high. Because of their imposing size, changing them generally requires the assistance of a professional team.
Digital pianos, and especially console or hybrid digital pianos, are generally larger than keyboards and therefore take up more space. They are usually used at home or in the classroom, without it being necessary to move them too much.
Electronic keyboards are lightweight and easy to carry. If you need to transport your instrument often to rehearsals or concert halls, the keyboard is an ideal choice.
It Meets Multiple Purposes
If your goal is to become a professional and very competent pianist, then it may be better for you to go for an acoustic or digital piano. Digital pianos are designed to simulate the feel of playing an acoustic piano and typically have 88 keys. In addition, they offer a realistic and professional playing experience in acquiring piano skills.
If you like to play the piano often and are more oriented towards electronic music, the keyboard will definitely be your best choice! Electronic keyboards offer a great approach and introduction to the piano for beginners who are just getting started.
So, conquered by the keyboards? If you've decided that an electronic keyboard would be the best choice for you, did you know that it can produce different sounds?
How can keyboards produce different sounds?
Beginners often wonder how a single key can produce so many different sounds. The technology behind it all is called "MIDI linking", it's a digital connection between the keys and the sample library. Still unclear? Let's break down this process.
A sample is an English term for a short, or relatively short, recording of a sound. Every note played by the piano is electronically recorded. This process of recording sound samples into a library is called sampling.
How can keyboards reproduce hundreds of sounds and tones from other instruments? Because sampling is not only used for piano, but also for guitars, violins, percussion, flutes and many more.
Now let us introduce you to the MIDI connection. MIDI is an English abbreviation meaning: digital interface for musical instruments. This technology was developed with the aim of creating an interaction between two instruments, like an instrumental language that would allow the instruments to “talk” to each other via signals.
When a musician plays an instrument in MIDI, every key pressed, every button pressed, and every switch changed is converted into MIDI data. It is these instructions transmitted as data, such as notes and tuning parameters, that tell the MIDI device what note to play and at what volume.
Using digital musical note tuning signals to record music, MIDI can be thought of as a "music player computer." With MIDI technology, a keyboard can accompany itself, which makes you a one-man band!
Apart from the points mentioned above, does a keyboard have other advantages?
The Benefits of a Keyboard
Simulating the tones of hundreds of instruments, it meets all your musical needs and adds great variety to your performance. In addition to its portability and multiple tones, the keyboards have two other notable advantages.
No Need To Be Tuned
Because their notes are recorded on electronic components, the keyboards of course do not need to be tuned. They only need to be cleaned regularly and kept away from temperature changes and extremes.
Do Not Disturb Others
Musicians can play their keyboard anytime, simply by adjusting the volume. And more ! The keyboards are equipped with ports to connect your headphones or earphones! The musicians therefore have no worries, no neighbor will be disturbed!
We've covered all the keyboard essentials, now let's find out which keyboard is right for you!
Which keyboard for beginners?
Type of Keys
There are 3 types of keys on keyboards: unweighted, semi-weighted, and weighted (heavy touch). This characteristic determines the force you will have to invest to press a key. This action seeks in particular to reproduce the feeling of playing on an acoustic piano whose keys are governed by the thrusts of the hammer action.
Unweighted or semi-weighted keyboards require significantly less force and the keys are much lighter than those on an acoustic piano, which may be more accessible for beginners. For children, who have less finger strength, a semi-weighted keyboard will do just fine.
If you want to learn piano on a keyboard, a keyboard with a heavy touch will be the best choice, as it mimics the playing feel and dynamics involved in an acoustic piano.
Type of Keyboards
An acoustic piano has 88 keys, like many electronic keyboards. However, some keyboards have fewer than 88 keys, and some have fewer than 49. A keyboard with 61 touches already covers more octaves than most other instruments and is more than enough for composing.
For beginners oriented towards electronic music, it might be better to turn to a keyboard that has small, non-weighted keys. But if you prefer to learn to play the majority of piano compositions, you better choose an 88-key keyboard with heavy touch.
Once you've decided which keyboard is right for you, let's talk about how to start learning to play to a true virtuoso level.
How to learn to play the keyboard?
In this section, we'll discuss which method of learning the keyboard will work best for you. There are 3 ways to learn to play the keyboard for beginners, including Traditional Lessons, Video Tutorials, and Private Online Lessons.
For beginners or children wishing to learn the piano, traditional step-by-step lessons may be most appropriate. This approach offers personalized lessons and feedback. Practitioners have instant answers to their questions.
For adults, the most practical way to learn to play the keyboard is probably to look for tutorials online. You can choose from a variety of genres and styles that suit you and practice at any time that suits you best. In addition, you can watch a tutorial as many times as necessary.
Private Online Lessons
If you want to receive private and personalized instruction, private online lessons are for you. This method makes it possible in particular not to waste travel time to get to a place of study, you can access it when you have time, and review the content as soon as necessary.
However, whatever your choice of keyboard or learning method, these factors alone will unfortunately not be able to help you more than that in your learning of music. On the path of musical adventure, only the passionate and determined will make their way. An investment is always necessary to make progress, because it is by forging that one becomes a blacksmith.
If your goal is to be able to play the most popular music of the moment, you can achieve it in a few weeks or months. But if your goal is to play a little more complex music, it is advisable to practice at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. The more you practice, the closer you are to your goals!
Now that we have told you all about the keyboards, we hope this little guide has been useful to you. Playing music is proven to make people happier and reduce stress. And more, music improves sleep and exercises your brain. We hope you can achieve your musical dream with your new keyboard. And on to the music!