Pink floyd and Elton Jon songs on Yamaha 61 keyboards

Discussion in 'Yamaha Keyboards' started by Lee wain, May 11, 2018.

  1. Lee wain

    Lee wain

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    Is it possible to play “ The great gig in the Sky’ on any Yamaha PSR keyboard with 61 keys?. Or any of Elton Johns Early material from Yellow Brick road I.e Funeral for a Freind etc.
     
    Lee wain, May 11, 2018
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  2. Lee wain

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    Speaking in general there are two possible issues when playing compositions written for 88 keys on a keyboard that has only 61 keys:

    (1) The left-hand and right-hand parts might be further apart than is possible with only 61 keys. However, keyboards often let you "split" the keys into a left-hand zone and a right-hand zone, with the ability to set the voice, octave, and other parameters for each zone. Thus, you could split the keyboard, assign the same piano voice to each side of the split, but use different octave shifts for each side, such that the keys in the left-hand and right-hand zones are further apart from each other in note value than they physically are.

    (2) Some compositions require you to play back and forth across the keyboard, such as starting down in the lower portion of the bass clef and then playing your way up into the upper portion of the treble clef. In this respect, note that as few as 49 keys are enough to play two octaves below Middle C and two octaves above, which covers all of the notes written on the lines of the bass and treble clefs, plus a few notes that go beyond and must be written with one or two "ledger lines." So that's one of the things you need to look at in the compositions you're interested in-- as far as the notes written with ledger lines, how many ledger lines do they use; and is there any notation to indicate that you're to play the notes which are an octave higher or lower than written? In any case, most keyboards let you shift the keys up or down by one or more octaves, so if you need to play a sequence of notes which spans more than 5 octaves then you could shift the keys up or down an octave or two as needed.

    It might also be necessary to combine these two techniques, as well as modify their settings while playing. For instance, you might need to split the keyboard into left-hand and right-hand sides that have different amounts of octave shift applied to them, then change the amounts of octave shift as you play-- or even change the location of the split point, such as switching back and forth between two octaves on the left and three on the right, and three octaves on the left and two on the right, or something like that. Often you can set up a keyboard in a particular way as far as the voices chosen and all the other settings, and save the setup as a "registration." Then you can recall whichever registration contains the specific setup that you want to use. The keyboard may or may not have multiple buttons which are dedicated to recalling specific registrations with one press of a button, and as you can imagine it's better to have more of such buttons than fewer of them.

    The EW400 lets you save 32 registrations, which are organized as 8 "banks" of 4 registrations. It has 4 buttons that let you recall any of the registrations in a given bank with one press of a button. In contrast, the EW300 lets you save only 9 registrations, and there are no buttons dedicated to recalling specific registrations with one press of a button, because you must select the registration you want to recall using the numeric keypad. So as far as using registrations while you're playing to overcome the limitations of having only 61 keys, the EW400 would be a better choice than the EW300.

    However, keep in mind that splitting the keyboard, shifting the keys up or down an octave or more, and recalling registrations as you play require a different style of playing than if you had 88 keys. In other words, if you learn how to play a particular composition on a keyboard that has 88 keys, then try to play it using one or more of these techniques on a keyboard that has fewer keys, you might almost need to learn how to play the song all over again because of having to retrain your brain as to how far apart to spread your hands, having to reach for a button to recall a different registration in the midst of playing, and so forth. Likewise, if you learn how to play a composition on a keyboard that requires using one or more of these techniques, then you try to play it on a keyboard that has 88 keys, you might find yourself stumbling because of having to spread your hands further apart or not having to punch a button to recall a registration, etc. I'm not suggesting that you won't be able to make the switch from 61 keys to 88 keys, or vice versa; but you might want to consider how easily you're able to adapt to changes. And if you can, do look over the sheet music for the compositions you're most interested in, so you can determine how many octaves they're written for.

    The other major consideration has to do with the types of keys-- both the shape (box or diving board) and the action (unweighted, semi-weighted, or graded weighting). If you're primarily interested in piano compositions, you might be best off with a digital piano rather than an all-purpose arranger-- or possibly an 88-key MIDI controller, assuming you don't mind having to play virtual instruments on a computer, laptop, or tablet.

    ADDENDUM-- I just realized that I keep referring to the EW300 and EW400, which have 76 keys, whereas I probably should have referred to the E363 and E453. But the discussion could still apply to anything less than 88 keys.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
    SeaGtGruff, May 11, 2018
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  3. Lee wain

    Biggles

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    I would be amazed if you could get anywhere near the sound of PF with a PSR or even an EW.

    Low end or even mid range Arranger type keyboards are not the best for having customisable layered instrument voices within different keyboard splits you can do it but it will be difficult.

    Incorporating the sound on sound effect of a guitar with all the string bending the DG does would require even more kit and would be difficult to emulate.

    As far as I am aware most Arranger keyboards have one split so that will not help at all.

    For the type of music you seem to want I would suggest 88 keys and a Korg Kross 2 or Roland Juno DS.

    To give an example I am learning a part of War of the Worlds and have two splits in my Korg Kross set up with three different layered sound patches in each split and even then my 61 keys make it very restrictive and I need to buy a foot control for pitch bend effects
     
    Biggles, May 11, 2018
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  4. Lee wain

    CowboyNQ

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    Yes.
     
    CowboyNQ, May 12, 2018
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  5. Lee wain

    Lee wain

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    Thanks CowboyNQ. I wanted a portable keyboard that can play some of the Pink Floyd songs like Great gig in the sky, the intro to Sheep from Animals. I’m into prog so Camel, Ayreon, Porcupine Tree are my main influences.
    There are so many amazing keyboards out there I’m limited on budget.
     
    Lee wain, May 12, 2018
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  6. Lee wain

    CowboyNQ

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    You could do both on a 61 key 'board, no trouble, provided it has a piano sound (Great Gig) and a tine EP sound (Sheep intro).
     
    CowboyNQ, May 12, 2018
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  7. Lee wain

    Rayblewit Love Music / Love Life

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    Lee, I have a 61 key (5 octaves)
    I play over 300 tunes common ones from all decades and NONE of them need the 5th octave.
    A 76 key (6 octaves) would be wasted with me.
    My biggest problem is playing ACMP. The split does not allow me to play some melody in the low end (second octave) but not too many tunes go that low.
    I do play a couple of floyd and elton songs.
    Cheers ray
     
    Rayblewit, May 12, 2018
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  8. Lee wain

    Lee wain

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    Hi I have just see demos for the new Casio AIX sound chip CTX-3000 keyboard. Really blown away with the versatility of sounds. The piano is better than the Yamaha psr series.I will probably go for this because the voices are amazing and sounds more modern.
     
    Lee wain, May 13, 2018
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  9. Lee wain

    Lee wain

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    Hi Rayblewit

    Wow 300 songs that’s an impressive library you have there. I think that Yamaha likes to hard sell their 88 key P45/
    P115 geared toward the traditional classical student. I’m more progressive in my tastes to that end 61 keys would appear to be more than adequate for my musical arrangements. I aim to learn songs by Camel, Supertramp, Ayreon, Pink Floyd, Jarre, Tangerine Dream ( tiger tiger album). Elton John etc. I’m not into R&B although some of Prince’s music is cool.
     
    Lee wain, May 13, 2018
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  10. Lee wain

    Rayblewit Love Music / Love Life

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    No! It is just a whole lot of sheet music which I collated into folders. I have played some tunes only a few times and then moved on. Some I dig out and play occassionally. Problem is I can only play a few flawlessly. I struggle with most to get through the whole tune without some kind of mistake.

    Anyway I just wanted to make the point that 61 keys is adequate for my purposes. Seems like you are on the same page now.

    Cheers Ray
     
    Rayblewit, May 13, 2018
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