Introductions, Purpose, and Dilemma

Jul 26, 2011
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Hello, board! First of all, my name is Jay and I look forward to conversing with you about keyboards as I learn more about them. I appreciate any feedback you have to offer and I apologize for the length of my initial thread. :)

A little bit about me and my musical background: I was fortunate enough for my junior high and high school to offer piano class as an elective. So, for 6 years, I learned, practiced, and excelled in classical and modern piano. During that time, I also picked up guitar and self taught myself due to the music theory I had already acquired. After graduating college, I hadn't played piano in a very long time and probably won't look into buying an acoustic upright until I own my first home. Also, I've been playing rhythm guitar and backup vocals in bands off and on for the past 10 years.

About 4 years ago, a band that my cousin was playing lead guitar in suggested me for keyboards to the frontman, however all they had to offer was a beat-up Roland E-28. I played my first gig on that, got the job, and decided to get my first electronic keyboard.

Whether it was luck or fate, I discovered the M-Audio Prokeys 88sx and since I've bought it, I've never been happier. I have a great gigging stage piano with the basic sounds I needed as well as a practice piano at home. While playing live, I would use the Roland as a secondary keyboard for any synthesizer, horn, or strings sound I needed for the song.

The band disbanded about a year ago; but 3 weeks ago the frontman called and said the drummer was back in, along with the bassist we had when I first joined (and had since dropped out). He also told me about the two biggest changes:
1. We've brought in a female singer to share in the lead vocal duties and expand our repetoire; and,
2. We've decided not to invite the lead guitarist (my cousin) back in the band. So, in songs that are not so keyboard-centric, I would play lead guitar whereas he would play lead while I'm on the keys.

I saw this as a challenging opportunity and accepted. And, I also decided I no longer want to play that beat up Roland again. I really just do not like the sounds I get from it. It sounds like a toy. :D

For the past 3 weeks - since I accepted the invitation back in - I have been researching keyboards for what I need. It seems like the more I learn about midi and its uses and features, I keep changing my keyboard of preference. :(

Since I've already written enough (because, believe me, I can go into very much detail how I've started my head spinning), basically in the past 3 weeks I've gone from deciding that I need a synthesizer to a workstation (in addition to my Prokeys 88sx) to a completely new stage piano with everything that I need back to a workstation and back to a synthesizer (both in addition to my Prokeys 88sx). :confused:

In all of the research that I've done, I still do not know if it's time to upgrade to a more robust stage piano or merely add a second keyboard to my arsenal.

All I still know is that in addition to the sounds that my Prokeys 88sx offers I need these extra voices: synth, strings, horns, and some effects such as a reverse cymbal. And this all extends from the songs that we've added to our repetoire such as
Poker Face and Bad Romance by Lady Gaga and Boogie Shoes by KC & the Sunshine Band. Which are really three songs that I'm excited to learn as well as play live. :)

I can honestly keep going with my thoughts and conerns and experience in researching everything, but I won't. I've written enough and the reason I've joined is to get your advice and input on what I should do. And, in turn, I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone else has about either my problem or anything else as well as offer an amatuer review of whatever I decide (from learning it to playing it live).

Once again, I appreciate you taking the time reading my inaugural thread :p and look forward to posting here in the future! - Jay


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