Guide To Buying A Piano Keyboard
Buying an electronic keyboard is a great way to sharpen your piano skills without spending a lot of money on a new piano. If you’ve ever been shopping for a keyboard, you may have noticed that there are hundreds of different kinds of keyboards in any given music shop and this can be overwhelming. Instead of stepping into a music store and testing out a number of keyboards, know what to look for before you make that music shop trip.
What Should I Look For?
Stick To The Basics: Keyboards can come with thousands of different sound effects. However, if you’re just starting to learn to play, you don’t need a keyboard that comes with a boatload of fancy features. Sure, features can be fun, but the point of a keyboard is to learn how to play the piano on a basic level. Thus, the most important type of keyboard to look for is not one that has many different sound effects.
Look For Keys: Instead, look for a keyboard that has a lot of keys. It may seem silly to look for a keyboard that has a lot of keys (after all, every keyboard comes with keys, right?), but some keyboards only come with a small set of keys while others have almost an entire set of keys. A standard piano has eighty-eight keys, so buying a keyboard that has eighty-eight keys is a wise idea. Using a keyboard that has the full range of keys will help you sharpen your skills best, since these instruments replicate a piano better than smaller keyboards. Although keyboards that come with a full set of keys are often more expensive than their smaller counterparts, they are certainly worth the extra expense.
Weighted Or Not Weighted?
Go For Weighted Keys: Keyboards can either be weighted or not weighted. When a keyboard is weighted, the keys are easy to push. Weighted keys resemble a real piano while keyboards that are not weighted tend to have a very different feel. For the sake of your fingers, a weighted keyboard is a better option (this is especially true if you plan on playing often). When shopping for a keyboard, you’ll notice that there are full-weighted keys, semi-weighted keys and keys that are not weighted at all.
If you have to choose between a keyboard that comes with a lot of sounds and a weighted keyboard, it’s always better to select a keyboard that comes with weighted keys. Cost-wise, a weighted keyboard is often more expensive than a keyboard that is not weighted. If cost is an issue, try to purchase a keyboard that is semi-weighted over one that’s not weighted.
What Brand Should I Purchase?
Disregard Brand Names: A variety of keyboard brands exist. Most of the time, basic music shops will carry Yamaha or Casio brand keyboards, since these two brands tend to dominate the keyboard market. However, buying a keyboard based solely upon brand names is not the best course of action.
Instead, choose one that has the aforementioned criteria. Since keyboards tend to be very personal, it’s best to test out a keyboard in-store. As with anything else, you can purchase a keyboard online after playing a few in a music shop. This way, you will be able to get a great price for the keyboard that suits your needs best.
How Much Should I Pay?
$500 Should Be Enough: Keyboards can be priced from $100 to more than $5,000. The most expensive keyboards on the market are weighted, have eighty-eight keys and come with thousands of features and sounds. As mentioned, you don’t need a keyboard that comes with many different sounds if you are just starting out.
If you do want a keyboard with a myriad of sound options, expect to spend more than $1,000 for a weighted, eighty-eight key keyboard that has lots of sounds. Otherwise, you can purchase a great keyboard for around $500.
Whether you are a serious pianist or someone who just wants to learn to play, a keyboard can get you where you want to go quickly. While there’s no real substitute for the weight and feel of a piano, there are plenty of keyboards on the market that are close to the real thing. Remember to buy a keyboard that has as many keys as you can afford. A solidly built keyboard will last for years to come and your piano skills will increase in no time!