Keyboard for Musically Challenged Individual?


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Hi Guys ...

I struggle with dyslexia, OCD and ADHD just to name a few learning difficulties. Having said that ... I did teach myself guitar with the aid of a computer program. I believe I can learn the keyboard if it try like I did guitar. Perhaps I may not be able to play from a book, but I do think I could play enough to enjoy the act trying. Music helps to calm me ... I think I am overdue to start playing an instrument once again.

I am prepared to spend about 300 to 500 Australian dollars.

As well as learning how to play guitar, I also learned the harmonica. Sadly, my wife will not let me go back to playing an instrument, UNLESS I can use headphones without disturbing her. LOL ... I was not quite that bad, but I am repetitive.

So as well as being able to hook up the keyboard to a computer and compatible software ... I will also need to be able to use headphones only.
____________________________

I think that's all the info I can pass on. Complete Newbie that is musically (reading music) challenged, needs to be able to play with headphones (not disturb others) and also the ability to hook up to PC with compatible learning software (???) ...

Price Range - 300 - 500 Australian. (Perhaps I will need 100 of that for software and a learning book?)

OH YEA ... Music I would like to play is new age stuff - Relaxation and Inspirational Ambiance Type of Thing.

TIA
Dave.
 

Rayblewit

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Price Range - 300 - 500 Australian. (Perhaps I will need 100 of that for software and a learning book?)
Where in Australia are you located Dave? I am in Melbourne and there are a couple of other Aussies here too.
You are already musically knowlegable having played harmonica and guitar. I don't think you willl need $100 bucks for software and books.

You can buy yourself a decent keyboard with heaps of features for $500.
I would be searching for a workstation keyboard . . Check out the various brands and features they all offer. What kind of music do you want to play? Some brands would be more suited than others to your needs.

I borrowed a book from the library to learn my keyboard. It cost me $0.00 lol :p
 

Fred Coulter

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There are also plenty of free resources available. There's even a thread someone on this site listing resources.
 

happyrat1

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Hi Dave,

I feel your pain and as a keyboard suggestion I'd recommend the Casio WK-6600 or WK-7600. If you shop around, especially around Xmas you should be able to find one for around your price range.

Great starter keyboard with the all the features you require and the ability to serve you well for years to come as you progress and learn. You won't outgrow it too quickly. They've been around a year or two now so possibly a few local deals available on your local craigslist.

As for learning software, take a look at the tutorial links thread I've posted here on keyboardforums.

https://www.keyboardforums.com/threads/good-tutorial-links.24556/

Good luck with your endeavour. Music has wonderful healing properties.

Gary ;)
 
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Thx heaps guys. It was a nice surprise to log in and see the responses. I am in Hervey Bay QLD Australia.

Sadly I bit off more than I could chew with my price range. My wife is still not too keen on the idea. :( bla bla bla (no offense ladies) I'm sure you all know how it is. To her credit, I understood her augment with all the resale keyboards that end up on the market. She wants me to buy second hand and really does not have much faith in my sustainability. (I think it's more the suffering I put her through with my guitar and harminoca) I explained that I did not want to end up buying someone else's poorly chosen keyboard. I also added that if I ended up passing on a keyboard like the many she implied, that I at least wanted one with decent resale potential. Very appropriate response but not good enough. lol

I managed a defense that saw me end up with a $300 budget. Grrrrrrrrrr!!! - BUT - I'm sure it will allow me some kind of toy to wet my whistle with. Sadly the workstation (and extra keys) will have to wait. : ( Only when I have proven myself ... can a peace treaty be sort.


Feeling much better re the free online self learning that seems to be available these days. Very encouraging in fact.

So considering my current predicament ... do you think the:

YAMAHA PSRE353 would suffice? At least it's touch responsive.
Alternatively I found a second hand Casio WK-1800 Workstation for $250 au. Perhaps second hand purchasing would be better than buying new with a limited budget?
 
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LOL hahahahahahahhaaaaaaaa After 25+ years, one would think an upgrade is in order.

I'll keep you posted as to which way I end up going. I'm still leaning towards your recommendations ... just don't let my wife know. :)
 
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Dave, AUD300 is not a lot of cash unfortunately. I'm sorry to say it but anything you get new will be a "toy" at that price.

Scope out Gumtree and Ebay for good second-hand deals and if you're patient you'll probably find something half decent that fits within your price range. Don't just jump at the first thing you see that's $300.

Gary (happyrat1) and Michael (SeaGtGruff) who frequent this forum often are very clever on Casio and Yamaha keyboards respectively, and I'm sure they'd be happy to give their view on anything you trip over.

And don't rule out Gary's advice on upgrading the Mrs.

Way more expensive than a new keyboard though, I suspect.
 

happyrat1

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A Casio CTK-6200 or 5200 would also be a significantly cheaper option. Same voices as the WK line in comparable models only 61 keys instead of 76.

Good enough for someone on a really tight budget.

As for the wife, perhaps you could simply upgrade her compassion chip at the local Cyberdyne facility :D :D :D

Gary ;)
 
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Thx guys - With your permission I may PM later on Gary?

Thinking seriously of getting one of your full size (76keys) recommendations. I have a little table at the right height and can always get a peddle later on.

My wife is buckling under the pressure.

Thx again. :)
 

happyrat1

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You're very welcome Dave.

PM me anytime :)

Gary ;)
 
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She wants me to buy second hand and really does not have much faith in my sustainability.
If I can go out on a limb and way out of my league, also considering your comments about learning and why you want to play, I personally am glad I avoded all training and learning techniques at first and just sat down and started hitting keys and went off with sounds I liked. I did however have some knowledge of 3 note chords but even that could hinder from real freedom to just play for yourself and away from all forms of standardized musical mind control as much as possible.
 
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Not at all. Glad you mentioned. Although I was very good with Tab edit, it took me many practice sessions to master a piece of "TAB" - My OCD combined with perfectionism burned me out with playing guitar. Although I learned to pick very well, I could only play a few songs. I feel my limitation was my inability to understand scales and or music point blank. I was very dedicated to practicing what I could, but I really struggled to come up with my own flow.

Even with the harmonica - I learned very well to suck and blow and I played along well once I got that right ... but it was all memory/muscle memory. Again ... my repertoire was very VERY small and I would get upset that I could not make up very good tunes for myself.

I just figure I need to learn once and for all how music really works. I've harped on about my learning difficulties, but I have developed other ways of learning that have served me well. I'm usually pretty good once I set my mind to learning what I want. I don't want to go back to just memorizing where to sound off the notes this time. Even with a Native American Flute, I would rather has a good grounding in how melodies work and so forth. I really do need structure to work from. I've tried free-styling all my life, but have to say that without any grounding ... my passion often sees me rather limited.

I think I am ready to learn from scratch. Go through all practice runs and what not. I'm actually looking forward to the challenge and in no rush to be making up my own stuff.

I appreciate where you coming from ... Typically I go hell for leather when researching new material/concepts/things. I ware myself down and come back with renewed vigor always doing better the next time around. In this sense I feel taking the plunge to lean music (at my own pace of course) will finally see me understand how music actually flows. Inherently it flows through me - it's very frustrating though to only be able to play from repetitive practice session and memory. (I understand that this is still the case to mastering good form and what not - but I really need to educate myself with how music works - I'm a natural when it comes to repetitive tasks ... just not so with the analytics ... but that was a long time ago ... my desire to now learn is quite strong)

I'm keen to learn music this time around and play whatever kind of music it takes to sink the concept in. From the tuition I am watching online I can see that using a keyboard will help me to better see the notes in my head compared to when I was using a guitar threat board for visuals. Everyone I knew that could play whatever on guitar all had a good concept of scales. I just could never get it. I had everything else going for me, but lacked the knowledge. I'm one of those types that needs to fully understand how it all works. One missing link and I seem to just keep doing laps.

This time ... I'm going to nail the "basic" concept of how it all works. Perhaps after that, I'll be able to then finally gel with whatever comes to mind.


Edit - I still get where your coming from and thank you very much for pointing that out. I think what you say is especially true for poetry and writing ... most certainly for me. However I have made huge ground since educating myself with the basics to such expression. It is in the same way that I finally take the plunge to do the same with the fundamentals of music which I never gave myself a change to learn. Once I get some kind of grasp ... I can't wait to do as you suggest. Very much appreciate your comment. TY :)
 
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Fred Coulter

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I have a little table at the right height and can always get a peddle later on.
The top of the keyboard (white notes, the black notes are taller) should be about 28" to 29" above the floor. There's some variation, with the Steinway being 28 1/8", while others are a little taller. There's an entire discussion at http://music.stackexchange.com/questions/3959/how-high-from-the-ground-should-the-keyboard-from-a-piano-be. Your table might be a bit taller than you think.
 
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Not at all. Glad you mentioned. Although I was very good with Tab edit, it took me many practice sessions to master a piece of "TAB" - My OCD combined with perfectionism burned me out with playing guitar. Although I learned to pick very well, I could only play a few songs. I feel my limitation was my inability to understand scales and or music point blank. I was very dedicated to practicing what I could, but I really struggled to come up with my own flow.

Even with the harmonica - I learned very well to suck and blow and I played along well once I got that right ... but it was all memory/muscle memory. Again ... my repertoire was very VERY small and I would get upset that I could not make up very good tunes for myself.

I just figure I need to learn once and for all how music really works. I've harped on about my learning difficulties, but I have developed other ways of learning that have served me well. I'm usually pretty good once I set my mind to learning what I want. I don't want to go back to just memorizing where to sound off the notes this time. Even with a Native American Flute, I would rather has a good grounding in how melodies work and so forth. I really do need structure to work from. I've tried free-styling all my life, but have to say that without any grounding ... my passion often sees me rather limited.

I think I am ready to learn from scratch. Go through all practice runs and what not. I'm actually looking forward to the challenge and in no rush to be making up my own stuff.

I appreciate where you coming from ... Typically I go hell for leather when researching new material/concepts/things. I ware myself down and come back with renewed vigor always doing better the next time around. In this sense I feel taking the plunge to lean music (at my own pace of course) will finally see me understand how music actually flows. Inherently it flows through me - it's very frustrating though to only be able to play from repetitive practice session and memory. (I understand that this is still the case to mastering good form and what not - but I really need to educate myself with how music works - I'm a natural when it comes to repetitive tasks ... just not so with the analytics ... but that was a long time ago ... my desire to now learn is quite strong)

I'm keen to learn music this time around and play whatever kind of music it takes to sink the concept in. From the tuition I am watching online I can see that using a keyboard will help me to better see the notes in my head compared to when I was using a guitar threat board for visuals. Everyone I knew that could play whatever on guitar all had a good concept of scales. I just could never get it. I had everything else going for me, but lacked the knowledge. I'm one of those types that needs to fully understand how it all works. One missing link and I seem to just keep doing laps.

This time ... I'm going to nail the "basic" concept of how it all works. Perhaps after that, I'll be able to then finally gel with whatever comes to mind.


Edit - I still get where your coming from and thank you very much for pointing that out. I think what you say is especially true for poetry and writing ... most certainly for me. However I have made huge ground since educating myself with the basics to such expression. It is in the same way that I finally take the plunge to do the same with the fundamentals of music which I never gave myself a change to learn. Once I get some kind of grasp ... I can't wait to do as you suggest. Very much appreciate your comment. TY :)
You sound like a "natural alchemist." I just woke up, but reading your comment in a couple of places I thought, "oh wait, I'm reading my own past comment" and looked back up at the name. :)
My life proves that it works yet I never really set out to prove it. It was fate and I can see it looking back. I can be so bold today to say that I know it works in about anything. My success and proof is not in music but I really did get there by ignoring the standard as much as possible, not so much knowingly, but I just always felt a bit guilty when I allowed the worlds standards and flow into my head too much.
As for doing the same in music, which I would really love to do, I might just be too old now to carry it out. I have a vision in music that would revolutionize the world of music. It would be infinitely beyond what the beatles did. I have experimented with music, antimatter, philosophy, and creation, and have found reporducible results on some things that is just flooring. Your example of wooden flutes is right on. I'm not sure there is anything more natural in music and you can even see how nature responds.
I've had a saying that "the hardest thing about inventing is deciding what it is you want to invent." But, if I'm reading you right, wondering how to proceed to build that vision in music is where I'm at now too. I am ready to learn standard techniques and such.
A funny thing just hit me as I was thinking that "syntheisizers are a must for what I want to accomplish.." Classic alchemy is indeed "synthesis" but it's more of a philosphy and being outside of the box in order to do so. Ignore silly modern defintions and those who make it a dark intricate religion and formulas. They don't have a clue and the world always tends to use what little knowledge they were given backwards to their own destruction. That's why the "secrets" are kept secret.
 
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Just wanted to say thanks to Gary and the rest of you for your help.

I just purchased the Casio WK - 6600. I would like to of got the model above it, however needed the money saved for a stand, pedal and a couple of books. I Pretty much went with everything Gary said. I'll just have to use a linen sheet as a dust cover and look into a case for transport later on.

It's good to have a new hobby that I can bounce to-and-fro. Hopefully it will be a steady process.

Thx again. :)
 
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I'll just have to use a linen sheet as a dust cover and look into a case for transport later on.
Congrats on the purchase.

I have three Casio dust covers that I use for my rig, which sits semi-permanently in our rehearsal room. They weren't expensive. I just bought them at my local music shop, I'm sure you could get hold of one pretty easily too. Adjustable with a drawstring so they fit my 88 key stage piano just as nicely as they fit my 61 key synth and workstation.

 

happyrat1

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I concur with Paul. Using a Linen Sheet or a Towel as a dustcover is a bad idea. They actually create dust and lint over time which can ruin the key action of your board.

Best to go with Ripstop Nylon or Vinyl for a dustcover if you want your keyboard to last 20 years.

If you own a sewing machine they're not at all difficult to make and otherwise they can be had premade for around $15-$20 or so and personally I get mine custom made in the US by a guy who sews them up to order for about $25 USD including shipping. He makes them really really well from double backed Ripstop Nylon.

http://lecover.com/

Gary ;)
 

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