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My wife wants to learn to play the piano/keyboard - help?
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benecol
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:10 pm    Post subject: My wife wants to learn to play the piano/keyboard - help? Reply with quote

Hello. The question's in the thread title; my wife's always wanted to learn to play the piano, and she was all for moving an upright into out house. Now I've lugged my fair share of pianos, and lovely as they are, I don't want one in our house (too heavy, too big, too fiddly). I've said she should get a keyboard of some sort instead - that way, we can hide it away when she's not using it, and we don't have to arse around tuning it or reinforcing our floorboards.
So SS.org hivemind, what should I look out for? Let's say we've got a budget of $350 (we're in the UK, but I can appreciate many of you are not) - I've done a little research myself already; seems that keyboards and electric pianos are different beasts. Do we really need 88 keys? And are weighted keys more important than sensitivity? Is there a keyboard/piano equivalent of a CV Squier so we can pay a little money and get a perfectly serviceable instrument?
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gaybear
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'd absolutely get weighted keys.
you can get studiologic 88 key midi controllers for pretty cheap, and they are fun.

i think if she wants to learn proper piano, she should get 88 keys. kif she just wants to rock some simple pop music, i guess she doesn't need so many.
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gaybear
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i used to have one of these, and it was addictively fun. plus, you can have it set up at home all fancy, but you can also just move the keyboard part around to shows.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/keyboards-midi/williams-overture-88-key-digital-piano
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ekwatts
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't even describe myself as a keyboard player but weighted, touch-sensitive keys make the difference between beep-boop synths and pianos. It's just not like playing a proper piano otherwise. I get along fine with my tiny kiddy Microkorg keys but it's different when you're playing a four-note polyphony synth with one finger. I used to play piano semi-regularly in school and college and there's just no association between the two in my head, other than that they look vaguely similar.
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willlin
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard good things about the M Audio ProKeys88 which I think has weighted keys. My mum uses a Casio Privia which is ok as a relatively cheap gigging piano.

It's worth ponying up and getting a Yamaha Clavinova or a Roland, which actually sound and feel pretty decent.
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othomas2
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

willlin wrote:
I've heard good things about the M Audio ProKeys88


This
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Nick
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I highly recommend Casio. I have an AP24 digital upright in my living room; which while it can still be taken down might be too cumbersome for your needs; but I'm sure their more portable models are of equal quality. The keys just have a really rich feel to them compared to some of the other pianos in that range I've tried, and the sounds aren't half bad. My only complaint with mine is that it only really has 7 sounds (2 pianos, 2 electric pianos, harpsichord, vibrophone, pipe organ, strings), but they all sound good and I can layer two at a time. I paid about double what your budget allows for for my upright, but something like this might fit the bill

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/keyboards-midi/casio-cdp-120-88-weighted-key-digital-piano/h77046000000000?src=3WWRWXGB&ZYXSEM=0
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Fran
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've got an upright piano in the house Tim, my back has never been the same...
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Ben79
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I play piano and synth and I would recommend enlisting some help and getting yourselves a real piano. Once it's in, it's in and all you need to do is get it tuned every 6 months - then she can fill the air with a sound so sweet you'll be dancing gayly on your toes about the house singing my praises.
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stewart
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

to everyone who's mentioned 88 key weighted boards:

350.00 USD = 221.261 GBP*

tim, i reckon you should start with an old yamaha PSR of some sort for a few months til she knows she's going to stick at it, then cough up for a weighted number if she does.

*edit: if you DO want to spend a bit more you can get casio CDP-100s for about 300.
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benecol
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice all - just to reiterate though, fucked if I'm getting an upright. Too big, too heavy and too fussy.
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stewart
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think you should get an upright. an expensive one.
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Fran
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^Lolz.

Let her have an upright Tim, FFS.. Laughing
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gaybear
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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honeyiscool
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a longtime pianist I've always loved Yamaha anything. A used digital piano should be in your budget. Hit the classifieds.

I do not find most weighted actions on cheap keyboards to be particularly remarkable honestly. I'd take my semi weighted Korg over 90% of weighted actions out there below $900.
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honeyiscool
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That said, why not just find a super cheap or free piano on the classifieds and spend the $350 on moving and tuning slash conditioning instead? The worst upright I've played was definitely better than any $350 digital anything. They're not as fussy as you make then sound. Most of them hold tuning for a long time and I've never heard of an upright ruining floors.

There is no such thing as a CV series for a keyboard. Almost all price increases are deserved. A true hammer action even from Casio is quite pricey. Once you get into fake ivory and double escapement you're pretty much buying Roland and batting above $2000.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uprights are free, like.
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James
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wife has a Casio electric piano. She bought it in America and shipped it over with her stuff when she moved. It's one of these, and although I've no idea how much they cost I'd definitely recommend going for something like that.

It feels real enough, you can play it at 2am without disturbing anyone in the house and it can also do convincing other sounds (such as organ) without being at all cheesy. It definitely seems like a quality bit of kit.

A quick search for Casio PX* on ebay seems to suggest you could pick one up for 180-300 though I've no idea what the model numbers mean. I'm not saying that Casio is the way to go but although it's the only one I've any experience with it seems a good deal. A lot of ebay auctions are pick up only so you could probably try to search for one with 25 or 50 miles of your postcode and see if anything interesting comes up.
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benecol
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all of your help. Apart from all you pricks nagging at me to get an upright. If you can show me a handy way I can stash an upright piano under the sofa when it's not in use, maybe we can talk. Otherwise no. And interesting that honeyiscool has also recently become some sort of flooring specialist.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're nice bits of furniture too, are upright pianos.
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