Cadillac Amongst Keyboards
88 key keyboard are the Cadillac amongst keyboards (a Rolls Royce, live you come from the UK). There is nothing to compare to this full size keyboard, with the same number of keys as a grand piano (52 white and 36 black keys) and able to play everything ever written for the piano.
Here is a selection of the top rated electronic keyboard you can buy today.
So it goes without saying that 88 keys is preferable to a smaller 61 key keyboard. You’ll have the full range of octaves, the same as a full size piano, available to you and that means no limits of what you’ll be able to play.
Something you should also bear in mind, when choosing an electronic keyboard, is the weight of the keys. This is the quality of how the pressing of the keys compare to a real piano. The reason that this is important, is because it allows the transition from electronic to real to be that much smoother. If the keys are too soft, which tends to be the case on cheaper keyboards, then the switching to a real piano feels very awkward to almost impossible.
So what’s so important about an 88 key weighted keyboard? Well on a real piano you can pay softly or loudly and it’s all quite tactile, it depends how hard or soft your actions are. The better keyboards can detect this and will deliver the same sensation.
On a real grand piano the base keys are heavier than the keys in the treble area and the better keyboards simulate this feature too. The better quality keyboards have been built to simulate their real world counterparts. Part of their development involved pianists providing feedback to the engineers so that the keyboard can get as close to the real piano as is possible.
Learning on a Piano
When you’re learning or just starting out, then it’s all about technique and practice. The most important thing, when you’re learning is to have fun.
And that’s especially important when encouraging youngsters to play. The joy of making music is a life skill and is known to aid children with their cognitive skills in other school subjects. Music is in us all so an appreciation and a love of music at an early age is so beneficial.
If you choose to use a piano teacher and the lessons are at a school. Then you’ll almost certainly be seated at a full size instrument. And that instrument will be a physical piano. So having something equivalent at home makes a lot of sense. There won’t be this constant switching of technique backwards and forwards which will act as a brake on your child’s progress and they’re more likely to give up as a result.
These full size 88 weighted keyboards are sometimes called digital pianos, nowadays. For obvious reasons these behave like their real counterparts and produce a deep and rich sound that’s very close to the real instrument.
Extras from a Digial Piano
Whereas digital keyboards can behave and feel very close to real pianos, they also go beyond them, with extra features. Being electronic, they can be given different voice. Using digital samples to replicate different instruments. Or producing unique electronic sounds which can be created by you or downloaded from hundreds of sites on the Internet.
Some keyboards will even allow you to change the voice between the bottom octaves and the top octaves. So you have a completely unique instrument. This is easier with bigger 88 keyboards than the smaller variety.
Although the electronic piano has abilities not found on the real instrument, its main purpose is to behave like the real instrument. Otherwise you would be better off selecting a synthesizer keyboard in the first place and hooking it through a PC to edit voice wave forms. But that’s not what we want here, we’re looking for a keyboard that allows us to switch between real and simulated at a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the space. But which acts as a quality instrument in it’s own right.
But let us be clear no electronic instrument will every replace the majestic sound of a real grand piano. But that’s never been their aim. The compromise is size, portability and convenience. You must also remember that a real piano has a maintenance costs, as it needs to be tuned on a regular basis and in these days, that doesn’t come cheap.
Another reason to purchasing a more pro version keyboard with the full complement of weighted keys. Is that there seen as serious musical instruments. Why is that so important? Well should you wish to sell the keyboard at a later date and providing it’s in excellent condition, you’ll find it’s resell value is quite high. People that buy these types of instruments tend to be serious and so are perceived to be responsible when it comes to looking after them, hence they retain their value on the second hand market.
Over to You
So what should you do if you’re undecided as to what you should choose? It usually comes down to cost. And if you’re starting out and unsure if the piano is for you then a good quality 61 soft key keyboard will get you started. Once you pass that beginner stage then you should transition to either a real piano or a full 88 key keyboard, which will serve you well and take you to a higher level.
We’re sure that if you’ve discovered a passion for playing piano, for that’s what it becomes. Then for you, an 88 key digital piano will be the best investment. A quality instrument will beg to be played and you’ll love to play it and the whole experience becomes a magical thing as the keyboard rewards you’re perseverance, in ways that can’t be explained.
The piano is truly the king amongst musical instruments. And you’ll see why as time goes by the instrument gets to sound better. You’re be creating the most beautiful of sounds and it becomes intoxicating. You’ve entered that special world of the musician.
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