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Hi Forum! Greeting from New Zealand!

So..... I am a sax player! Not a terribly good one. My job is such that I spend a lot of time in places it is impractical to take an expensive musical instrument ( I take a harmonica to keep my lungs in shape... I'm not very good at that either!), and so progress can be slow!

Anyway I have been playing for a few years and now am looking to really get to know some of the music I love listening to, mainly jazz and blues. I made the realisation not so long ago that after practicing for an hour is so, my singing and pitch control improved noticeably ( One minor reason I picked the sax was because I naively thought it did not matter that I could not sing a single note right), and have since found that by practicing singing, or at least warming up like a singer, before paying sax allows me to articulate and voice notes much better....

So what has this to do with keyboards.... Well... Theory is hard for me. I am really trying to get stuck into learning jazz theory ( before the whole business about improvisation etc), and at the same time, get some recordings done on logic X ( which I am simultaneously learning with more in depth music theory)

Everything I read seems to point to having some sort of aptitude with a piano or keyboard, if not just for playing, at least for learning and phrasing and for helping out with the horn.

So here am. A complete noob to buying and playing a keyboard, but hoping to get advice on which models to look at, how to go about setting it up with Logics midi, and any pointers on resources for jazz theory. In return I hope to be able to contribute at least something, if not actual knowledge in the subject, then at least my own experiences which up until this point have been mostly trial and error!

I look forward to being part of the community!

Dan
 
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happyrat1

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Hi Dan,

I started out on a Boehme flute myself. But 40 years of tobacco and laziness have pretty much sabotaged my lungs so I turned to keys 20 years ago.

If your goal is learning jazz piano styles then I'd recommend getting a proper electronic piano from the very start.

You didn't mention a budget number but assuming you can swing about $900 I'd recommend a Casio Privia PX-5S stage piano as a first instrument.

Not only does it have professional quality piano and organ sounds but it also doubles as a pretty amazing synth as well.

Rather than spending $500 on a basic piano that you would eventually outgrow you would find yourself hanging on to the PX-5S for decades to come and it's an instrument that would grow with you.




BTW, as a sax player you should also take a look at the Akai EWI line as well. For about $350 the EWI USB can be used as a breath controller for all manner of MIDI instruments, ranging from soft synths to even the PX-5S.




Hope this helps,

Gary ;)
 
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Hi Gary!

Hey thanks a lot! thats a great reply! That casio sure does look the business! I am definetly not one to cheap out when it comes to buying instruments ( just looking at trading my yamaha student model and upgrading to a tenor 82Z ), so price wise there is no real worries as long as the kits right! ill take a closer look at it and also get a post up in the forums for any other recommendations! The only thing for me is the casio is a little big. I would not want any less than 61 keys I think, as it will be a legacy item that I dont want to outgrow in a few years, but the Casio sure is a contender right now!

Oh and that Akai! I have never seen anything like it except maybe those keytars from the 80's! interesting, I wonder if the music store in town can get one in for a trial! Ill let you know how i get on with that!

What do you play? have you got a genre or various styles?

cheers

Dan
 

happyrat1

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Heya Dan,

Whatever keyboard you get, if you want to learn true jazz piano you're going to want weighted, hammer action keys. Unfortunately this is only a feature available on 88 Key pianos and a few 76 key stage pianos.

AFAIK nobody makes a 61 hammer action keyboard.

As for the EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) Akai also makes the pricier EWI 4000 and EWI 5000. These two are standalone synths with built in sounds as well as the ability to act as MIDI wind controllers.

I actually own an EWI USB myself, but it's been sitting pretty much in its case for the past year. Like I said, old age has taken it's toll and I've lost my chops. Fingering can be programmed to either flute or clarinet or sax or oboe or EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) or a special fingering called EWI Fingering. I plan to drag mine out again sometime soon. I tell ya, it's a bit of a head rush to be able to play kettle drums on a wind instrument :D

As for my style of playing, just visit my soundcloud page in my signature below.

I'm no pro by any means but I really enjoy playing for my own satisfaction.

Anyway, the PX-5S may be a bit large, but it's among the most lightweight of all the stage pianos out there. And the touch is extremely close to a real piano's touch. Honestly told, I'd have to say it's the best keyboard around these days for under a thousand dollars...

Stay loose ;)

Gary ;)
 
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Hi Gary thank again!

I have looked around and found a PX5S at 999 NZ dollars, down from two grand! I'm real tempted and if I do not get many other recommendations here will take the plunge before I miss the opportunity!

I'll definetly check out your music this week! I love sharing music and discovering others!

I'll let you know how I get on! Cheers again!
 
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happyrat1

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Dan, $999 NZD is a spectacular deal. At today's exchange that's $660 USD. That's cheaper than even the American and Canadian prices.

I'd say snap it up while you can before someone else takes it.

Like I said, general consensus is that the PX-5S is the best bang for the buck these days.

Gary ;)
 

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