How to choose your first keyboard
This article is primarily for someone who’s planning of learning the piano or the keyboard.
Choosing your very first beginner keyboard can often be a cumbersome process because of lack playing experience and all the technical know-how may seem to cross over your head, having no idea as to which is the most suitable keyboard to get.
However, choosing the perfect beginner’s keyboard plays a huge role in making or breaking the learning process, the passion and the interest in that beginner’s journey.
As a novice, there are some certain questions that may arise in your mind, such as, which is the best keyboard for you as a beginner? Should I go with cheap keyboard ? Or is this keyboard better than the other for a beginner? Is weighted keys keyboard better ?
Therefore, in this article, I shall try to cut through all the marketing hype and the advertising fluff as well as the technical complexities to bring to you the 10 points that I personally believe that you should know.
These pointers play an important role in choosing your first beginner keyboard as well as why are the pointers essential.
It is best to go through the article with utmost attention till the end to get a detailed understanding and to avoid making the very expensive mistake of getting the wrong or the inappropriate keyboard as your first keyboard.
Touch Sensitive Keys
The first feature that you should look out for in a beginner keyboard is the touch-sensitive keys.
If you take a close look at the real-life piano, the harder you hit a key or when you hit it very softly, you derive the expressiveness from an instrument and if we consider about keyboards with different sounds like a saxophone and a flute as well as organ sounds in there, you want to make sure that you learn to express the little nuances in those instruments.
You want to make sure that the keys react to your velocity, how hard or how soft you are pressing the keys should affect the timbre and the volume of the instrument that you are playing.
Therefore, touch-sensitive keys top the priority list, when choosing a beginner keyboard.
Full Size Keys
The second essential feature to search for in your beginner keyboard is full-size keys, that is because you want to make sure that you are learning and practicing on an instrument where you can apply and get used to the size of the keys.
Further, when you try to play on a new keyboard, not as the same one you play on you are bound to face difficulties if you have been playing with tiny mini-sized or toy-like keys. This is because you will not be able to translate those skills to a regular sized keyboard or piano
Sound Of The Digital Piano
The third feature is that the piano should have a very decent sound that is because we cannot deny the fact that most people who learn the keyboard will inevitably start off learning with the piano sounds first.
Since the beginner’s piano is a lot more affordable, you cannot expect extremely ultra-realistic piano sounds, but it needs to be quite decent enough.
The fourth point mentions that the piano must have a socket and a jack for inserting a damper or sustain pedal [pedals] that is because the sustain pedal is critical in how you control the piano sound on the keyboard.
On an actual keyboard, you will have a sustain pedal that you will have to use more often and you want to make sure you acquire those skills using the beginner keyboard itself.
If a keyboard lacks these essentials I would advise you to skip that keyboard because it is really going to be just an expensive piece of toy.
Headphone Connectivity Option
Now, the fifth feature has very much to do with the fact that a learner is going to spend a lot of time practicing on their keyboard and as a learner you want to make sure that you are not disturbing your housemates, family because in the beginning, you are not going to be very good.
So, having headphone jack is extremely important on a beginner keyboard to make sure you are practicing in your own space and that you are able to practice even when someone in your home is watching the T.V. This shall give you the confidence to get better and faster in no time.
Easy To Operate Interface
Sixth and next feature is how user-friendly and intuitive it is to access all the features and functions on the keyboard to a beginner.
If in the beginning, itself you go for advanced models, it will only discourage and demotivate you
The seventh and critical feature in a beginner keyboard is an easy to set and easy to use metronome from the beginning of learning to play music.
You want to make sure that you can play in time and keep the time because that is the pulse of the music, that keeps music alive.
You want to make sure that you can follow the correct tempo of the music and therefore, having a good metronome, that is easy to set up and dial in is simply awesome.
Number Of Voices
The eighth feature is a nice to have a thing. In addition to having a metronome a met room can be boring sometimes.
If you have a keyboard which has a myriad of different rhythms in there and you will be able to understand a different kind of genres of music.
The Bossa nova beats, the Latin beats, the EDM beats and the student can understand and appreciate as well as learn groove of the different rhythms from different world cultures and different genres of music.
The ninth feature that I look out for in a beginner’s keyboard is a keyboard that has a good set of pretty realistic, acoustic instrument sounds.
The fact that we are learning the keyboard and we are using the keyboard is because we have available to us through technology different kinds of sounds and not just one single sound is found on a regular acoustic piano.
The advantage of having different kinds of sounds in a keyboard is that a student starts to understand the sounds having different ranges and different timbre qualities.
Price Of The Digital Piano
The tenth and final feature of a beginner’s keyboard is that it has to be affordable as possible while containing all these features. Check this post about why budget is one of the most important factor while choosing a digital piano.
The thing is that the quit rate among people who learn music especially keyboard can be pretty high because you are talking about having to use both hands, coordinating with the rhythm understanding courts and all this kind of different kinds of stuff that are going on at the same time.
So very often a lot of students do not understand that just listening and enjoying music is quite different from trying to play it.
There is a certain degree of effort and skill and commitment to try and learn an instrument and if you buy a too expensive instrument and they quit, they shall lose a massive sum of money.
My Final Thoughts On How To Choose your first digital piano
At last, it is advisable to have a small, compact, light-weight keyboard with the resale value, preferably battery-operated.
The advantage of having such a slim piano is that you can carry it around easily and make it a part of your lifestyle. Three best models that matches all these parameters are:
Hopefully, the article shall help you to decide your first keyboard and make you fall in love with your music.