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Thought about this post several times but really not sure how it should go.
Or where to post it.
So the beginners forum, because that's pretty much what I am.
I enjoy music.
Especially piano.
Mostly classical some jazz.
Some years ago an accident with a table saw damaged my left hand.
My left hand, thumb, fourth, and pinky fingers are fairly functional.
Presently I'm looking at various reviews for an entry level, 88 key, digital keyboard. My hope is to purchase very shortly.
Since it is my present intention to be self taught I am also looking at beginner books.
While I may at some point seek out a teacher, I feel more comfortable learning on my own to start.
Also, I am very rural and there are no music stores around. Not sure about music teachers.
This is where I really need your help.
Which entry level books should I be looking at to purchase?
Many thanks.
March...
 
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Sorry to read of your problems, however as long as you want to play music you will get plenty of support.

Do post a list of what you are considering buying as they do vary considerably in their capabilities.

Just what you want to achieve is also something that we could do with knowing ie, classical, backing, riffs, jazz or a bit of everything.

If you look in the Techniques and Posture section Gary’s two sticky posts contain a massive amount of info.

Have a look on Amazon at Kenneth Baker‘s books, there are piano specific ones and others that are keyboard specific take a look at the content of them and come back to oet us know what you think prior to comitting.
 

happyrat1

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Firstly I second Biggles' suggestion to check out the tutorial threads posted in Technique and Posture.

Secondly, best way to start is playing or attempting to play songs that you know and love.

If you're into stuff from the 60's and 70's you can find huge collections on Amazon for not too much money.

Just do an amazon search on "oldies... 60's... 70's... 80's... etc Piano Songbook"

One of those is a good place to start with the method books.

As for music theory?

There are some good books listed in those sticky threads we mentioned.

Gary ;)
 

Rayblewit

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Hi March. .
I am self taught. I started out knowing ZIP about music roughly 12 years ago.
I am now 3 months shy of 70 yrs old . . so never too young.

First thing I did was borrow some books from the library. I remember one was "Idiots Guide to Keyboarding"
I learnt the basics Accompaniment playing style using left hand for chords and right hand for melody. I was so raw that I started out with letter stickers on my keys.

That book taught me also how to read music. It gave me the option to learn bass cleff too however, sadly I just went for the chord ACMP option. It also prompted me to learn fingered chords rather than single finger. That aspect of learning was valuable now 12 years later. I do regret however not learning PIANO style bass cleff.

In your case wanting to play CLASSICAL . . I would certainly learn to play Bass with you left hand. However, you are handicapped with your injury. That could be a challenge for you.

I do play a lot of JAZZ standards (your other interest) and efficiently can punch out some nice tunes using ACMP.

You need to decide which way to take this before huge financial commitment. 88 Keys would be most suited for CLASSICAL but 61 Keys is adequate for ACMP playing. IMO.

Good Luck
R
 
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Wow! What great support.
Unexpected.
It will take me a day or two to digest and check out.
Biggles:
Thank you so much for your comments and direction. I'll follow them and report back.
Please...not to feel sympathy for my defect.
I feel fortunate. Could have been the whole hand.
Yeah Happyrat1:
I'm from that 60's 70's mentality.
Aretha, Dillon, Beatles, Brubeck, Ahmad Jamal, etc...
Thanks Gary.
Rayblewit:
Many thanks.
I'm 83.
Happily most things still seem to work.
As you say, the left hand will be a challenge so, I'll have to find work arounds.
Yeah, CLASSICAL.
Its a curse.
So 88 keys is a must.
I wonder which of the You Tube vids you can trust and which of them are working for the dealer?
Not looking for a bunch of features, just the 88 keys.
What is ACMP ?
I'm off to check out some of these books.
Thank you thank you thank you...
March..
 
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ACMP is automatic accompaniment which is available in the Arranger class of keyboards and certain keyboards which are based on an 88 hammer action keybed.

With ACMP you basically play a chord with your left hand whilst playing the melody line with the right. Typically the keybed will be split so that one or more instruments sounds to the right of the split point and often a different set of instruments sound to the left. As an example you can have a Grand Piano to the right and a Full Orchestra to the left of the split point.

The plus points of an keyboard with ACMP is that you become a one man band so great for home use, yet with ACMP off you have the full 88 keys as a Grand Piano or whatever you want.

Downside if you want to have ACMP on an 88 key unit is that your choice is limited to:-

Yamaha DGX 670
Korg XE20
Casio S3000

.
.

A straightforward Digital Piano is far simpler but restricted in the onboard sounds available.

Yamaha P125
Roland FP 30X
Kawai ES110


Are probably the three prime contenders imo

There is also a few Korg’s at a similar price point and one the B2N has a light action keybed when compared to the standard Korg B2 and the keyboards listed above.

I have capped my suggestions at up to $1000 US as above this you get a vast number of options available.

Something else to factor in is for a three pedal unit to be added for full Classical use, these are not included as standard you tend to only get a Sustain pedal included and often a cheap one at that but the Kawai does include a pretty good one with their digital piano.
 
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happyrat1

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If he's set on performing classical but also into 60's & 70's R&B then he really should look at a Roland Juno DS88.

Mine is a workhorse and it's only $1299 USD and if he waits til Black Friday he might be able to pick one up for a big discount. Some of the EP sounds are REALLY good and very tweakable.

The Casios and Yamaha arrangers and EPs don't offer a whole lot of options for fine tuning the voices.

I really don't think he's going to use arranger features too much unless he plans to play in nursing homes and on cruise ships. :)


Gary ;)
 
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Thanks very much Biggles And Gary
I have capped my investment for a keyboard at $500 U.S.
That's more or less depending on features that are available, such as weighted keys etc.
Naturally price goes up as features are increased.
Please don't be upset if I don't watch the vids that you both so kindly posted.
It would be like the little kid pressing his nose at the candy store window.
My personal desire is to find a good keyboard that concentrates its features on playability over extra band sounds.
Of course at my price point I'm not sure yet on what is available, or if I'm thinking realistically.
Not yet sure yet what may be available as far as pedals. I do know that most come with one pedal.
Are three pedals an absolute necessity to learn to play classical music ?
As I type this my mind is running "Did Chopin have three pedals, did Beethoven?"
and "Of course they had an acoustic piano".

Sigh....
 
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Many thanks Happyrat.
I may have to revise my cap upwards a bit.
Pressed my nose too hard to the glass. Oh that lovely candy. :rolleyes:
Read a review for the Roland 30x (I think). Has positions for two pedals.
Anyway Sweetwater shows financing.
Thinking of taking advantage of this.
March..
 
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It was a couple of years ago that I was looking for a digital piano up to the equivalent of $800 US.

Now it was the older Roland FP 30 that I tried in direct competition against a Yamaha P125 and a Casio PX S1000.

Subjective yes, but I found that:-

The Roland had the the best keybed action, but changing instrument sounds required a two key press using the keybed. Connectivity was also very limited for audio out.

The Yamaha P125 had a pretty good keybed feel, second to the Roland but the piano sounds were the best of all tested, changing instrument sounds was the easiest and fastest. Connectivity was the best and integration with the iPad I took to the store worked very well.

Casio action, third best as was the instrument sounds but the menu system a bit un user friendly, definitely the manual heeds to be nearby.

I tried a Korg B2 and a D1 but did not like the keybeds nor the sounds.

I did find a Kawai ES110 which in all the reviews came out as the best buy, for keybed feel and for sounds. Sadly the one I found had a very noisy and clunky keybed.

I bought the Yamaha and had it for 18 months, it served me well and helped define the direction I want to proceed. I am a serial keyboard swapper, they only last a couple of years then I move on.

I am not a fan of Yamaha but the P series is well worth considering.

Bonners is one of the top Music Stores here in the UK and their reviews are well worth watching.


Here he demos the Yamaha P125 v Roland FP30 v Kawai ES110


Good luck deciding
 
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Thanks very much Biggles.
Just about all the mid to high end keyboards are on back order at the usual suspects.
Maybe that's a good thing.
Perhaps I should be looking at an entry level keyboard for the time being.
Say, the Alesis concert 88.
This, so that I can see what can be accomplished in a year with my left hand.
If things work out I'll probably have to have an upgrade.
If they don't...well theirs always my harmonica. :rolleyes:
March...
 
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I forgot to add in previous posts that if you have issues with weighted keys take a look at Studiologic’s Numa Compact 2, a digital piano with semi weighted keys.

I have its sister keyboard the 2X which also has semi weighted keys and love it.

Good luck
 
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Thanks Biggles.
I'm not smart enough to have had a problem with semi-weighted keys.
I've watched You-Tube beginner keyboard reviews that say that semi weighted keys are ok.
Then I've seen reviews (i think the same person) that say you must have a fully weighted keyboard, if you want to learn on an 88 key
keyboard.
One can go nuts watching those reviews.
I did check out your suggestion and it starts to price out of my comfort zone.
Happyrat:
Thank you.
I clicked on the link that you gave for the Casio and it brought me to a different keyboard.
In any case I think that I may purchase the Alesis Prestige.
Its $449 and close to my original price point.
I did make up my mind that I would decide this week.
March...
 
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If I can make a suggestion Mr Hare, I strongly recommend you go with a weighted 88 if your budget allows.

I say this because it will make playing classical piano accurately easier and ultimately more satisfying than a synth weighted keyboard.

Also - some classical tunes will require you to use the full range of the keyboard. This is a lot more unusual in rock and pop.
 
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Thanks very much Cowboy.
I am kind of stumbling toward my goal here. So all the advice I'm getting on this forum is precious.
I'm on a fixed income so I kind of watch the out-go.
Will follow your recommendation and put this item in my basket and then sleep on it.
Oh, you can call me March (or Tony).
Cheers!
 
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$500 is not going to get you very much by way of a new keyboard at all.

The models I quoted prior:-

Yamaha P125
Roland FP 30X
Kawai ES110

Should be the ones you have at the top of your wish list but at c$700 they are arguably the best at their price point.

One thing to bear in mind is Polyphony, with many lower priced keyboards having way less than the DP’s at the above price point. As you improve and may then want to layer orchestra sounds under acoustic piano then playing classical the higher the polyphony the better. All the above have a 192 note polyphony

One model that is under your $500 budget is a Casio CDP150, scaled hammer action, 64 note polyphony another is a Korg B2 but really the action on this keyboard sucks big time.

To reiterate, I went through what you are doing and settled on a Yamaha P125 and have no regrets it did exactly what I wanted it to do. BTW if you have an iPad then its App Smart Pianist works well plus there is three months free access to a teaching App called Flowkey. Do checkout what the other DP’s on your short list have by way of Apps if this type of learning aid is of interest to you.

Good luck.
 

happyrat1

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Tony/March >>> If I might make a suggestion.

1) Check out your local Costco, they do have entry level keyboards.

2) Check out any local music stores as many of them have payment plans.

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

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Appreciate it guys.
I spoke with a guy at Sweetwater who was most helpful and seemed to have the right experience. Told him what I was looking for and my price range.
Some of his suggestions pretty much were the same as some of yours.
Seems like the Yamaha P-45 is starting to move best toward my comfort zone.
The Sw. agent liked the action of the Yamaha over the Korg B-2 and the Alesis Prestige.
The Yamaha has weighted keyboard but only 64 polyphony.
Please let me know if this Keyboard still has any love. It is six years old.
Thanks a million.
Tony...
 

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