How to buy a keyboard

July 12, 2008 at 12:31 pm (Keyboards) (, , , )

As it is already known, the keyboard is one of the most versatile instruments ever made. Instruments ranging from a Rock Drum Kit to the Grand Piano, from the Spanish Guitar to the Vibraphone, I could go on and on. Still, just because there is a wide range of instruments to suit your taste, it doesn’t mean that you can buy any keyboard in the market. Believe me, I know lots of people who waste precious money buying a keyboard they thought was the best for them only to realize that there is a better one available for the same price. So here’s presenting the Keyboard Buying Guide which should suit your needs.
A humble note:
In India, Casio is a brand that is associated with the keyboard. Thus, if a guy plays the keyboard, word will spread that he’s playing the “Casio” and not the keyboard. Please do understand that there are many brands that manufacture this instrument which include Casio (not recommended but is generally for beginners), Yamaha (one of the best brands for amateurs and pros), Roland, Korg (for complete professionals) and many more. So please, from now on, refer to the instrument as the keyboard and not as the “Casio” or any other brand.

For Beginners:

I found the YPT 210 from Yamaha ideal for beginners and kids alike. The feature list includes the Yamaha Educational Suite (Y.E.S),LCD display panel which shows notations, 61 full size keys, 103 styles, 375 voices including drum kits and auto accompaniment; and this is only the tip of the iceberg. This keyboard, in my opinion, is ideal for a beginner.

The Grand Piano is given more emphasis as it is seen with most Yamaha portables, which is good to see as the keyboard is based on the piano. Thus, you can expect stereo sound with the Grand Piano voice.

On the down side, there is no external storage (like a floppy drive), no record function and lack of “Touch” function to bring out the piano effect.

Even so, this is ideal for a beginner (Kids & Adults) as it gives them a feel for the instrument and shows them what the keyboard is capable of. Also, this is an ideal gift for a 6 year old who is just learning to play this instrument as it has got the features to keep him busy for hours on end and yet learn and have fun.

Finally, this is recommended for children (6 to 12 yrs) who are studying music or for Adults who mainly play the keyboard as a hobby and nothing else. (Keyword here is nothing else)

Cost Approx 100$ (will vary as per dealer and location) About Rs. 5000/-

Screenshots:

Yamaha YPT 210 Angle View

For Middle Men (ie. Between Pros and beginners)

Here, I found the PSR 3000 ideal. This is keyboard meant to be used by “amatuer professionals” ie. people who have the qualification ( I mean a degree)in music along with the ability to play and perform but are not yet professional either due to age (like in my case ( ) or financial shortcomings.

This has all the features required to become a performer’s dream. A 320×240 LCD screen for diplaying scores and lyrics, USB out, 240 styles with as much as 3 intros, 3 endings and 4 fill-ins for each style (Whoa!!!), SmartMedia Slot for recording songs, 100 MB of ROM along with the standard features (61 keys, touch sense, Music Finder, 16 track sequencer, etc…etc).

The User Interface of the Keyboard (geeky…I know) is par excellence, ensuring that you have a fair idea of what you are doing and know also what the keyboard is upto ) . The USB connect can also access external HDD, Pen drives, iPods and the likes. Add to it the NewDirect for Internet Access and you have one heck of a device!

As given by the Official Website:

PSR3000 provides affordable alternatives to high end workstations, yet include what most professionals look for—convenience, quality and expandability.

And I must say, this machine lives up to their claim.

My only regret is the design as i find the Front Panel with too many buttons which looks cluttered and confusing. Even the cost is a bit on the higher side, atleast for the Indian Market as keyboards with almost the same functionality are available at lower rates. (keyword here is almost the same)

Otherwise, if you are looking for an alternative to the prestigious Korg synthesizers which is still easy on the pocket, this keyboard is for you

Cost Rs 52,000/-(will vary as per dealer and location)

Screenshots

For Professionals:

Look no further than the Korg M3 series. These beauties comes with all the features you’ll ever need to become a full blown pro. I just cant choose which feature to list down so I’m better off giving you the link to its specifications.( http://www.korg.com/m3/) Please note, by professional, I mean somebody who is going to dive into the music industry as a composer and not a performer.

Cost (will vary as per dealer and location)

Korg M3 M $1,799.97
Korg M3 88 Key Workstation/Sampler $3,499.00
Korg M3 88 $2,999.97

Yes, the prices are hefty but the investment is worth it, especially for aspiring artists and composers.

Screenshots

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