Author Topic: Learning Path  (Read 2382 times)

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Offline 3dc

Learning Path
« on: August 10, 2019, 07:35:09 AM »
I wonder what learning path would you guys recommend for a complete newbie.
It seems to me everyone is pushing for portable 88 weighted keys piano and only then move to keyboards. Other are suggesting to go for a cheap keyboard first and then go for piano. In my case the end goal is to make some simple music not to perform professionally on stage. Will I miss something big if I skip piano and go directly for keyboard?

Thanks for help.   
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline SeaGtGruff

Re: Learning Path
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2019, 08:19:05 AM »
It can be a question of one's goals, or it can be a question of one's preferences.

If your goal is to learn to play the piano, then you really need the most piano-like keyboard that you can afford, in terms of the shape of the keys ("box" versus "diving board"), the action of the keys (weighted versus unweighted), and the number of keys (88 versus 76 or 61). In general, it can be more difficult to learn to play on unweighted diving board keys and then try to play an actual piano, because you won't be used to the action of the keys.

If you don't intend to ever play the piano, then it's more a question of which type of keyboard you prefer. If a 61-key instrument with unweighted diving board keys has the sorts of features that you're most interested in, then go for it. :)
Michael Rideout
Current keyboards: Yamaha YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443, PSR-EW400, MX49 BK
Current controllers: M-Audio Axiom 61-II
Previous keyboards: Farfisa Matador 611; Casio CTK-710
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Offline mikf

Re: Learning Path
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2019, 10:02:55 AM »
It’s much easier and quicker to reach the point of making listenable music on an arranger type keyboard. That is the basic attraction of these keyboards for adult learners. They all have lightweight keys.
 A decent entry level arranger will have less features than the top level, and not sound quite as good, but still more than  enough for starters - and maybe  forever. They all have lightweight keys.
Becoming a good musician  is much less to do with the key weight or instrument you learn on and everything to do with the years of learning and practice it takes.
Buy an arranger and see how it goes. The amount you spend is your choice, but any keyboard from about 1000 dollars will be good enough. Spending more will not make learning any easier or harder.
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Offline 3dc

Re: Learning Path
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2019, 11:22:46 AM »
Some people around me told me I should first start learning 88 weighted keys piano like Yamaha P-45B and then use that piano to control my Reaper DAW. Apparently this is the proper way to learn keyboard instrument and then simple music production but I don't like that idea at all. In this case I would have to buy tons of plugins and sounds to use in my DAW not to mention I couldn't play anything other then piano when the PC is off.

As minimalist my idea was to simply buy Yamaha PSR-S670 and combine that with empty Reaper DAW. This is why I am asking if I am missing something so big or essential if I go straight to keyboards. The way I see it the only difference is in 88 weighted keys.

Anyway thanks for help!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 11:23:51 AM by 3dc »
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline EileenL

Re: Learning Path
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2019, 11:23:44 AM »
I would suggest you look at something like the  PSR S770. It is a very nice keyboard to play and has lots of nice sounds and styles to set you off. There is plenty of help hear if required.
  If you only want to play for your own amusement then why put yourself through learning and 88 note piano which you will really have to work at for a long time to perfect the technique. It is much easier to learn Keyboard technique
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 11:28:25 AM by EileenL »

Offline mikf

Re: Learning Path
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2019, 11:42:36 AM »
You can go the route your friends suggested using a cheap controller keyboard as well. Doesn't need a weighted 88 keyboard to do this, at least to begin with and maybe never. My grandson was a commercial producer of  EDM and never owned or needed an 88 key board. The weighted keys mean a lot to a seasoned rained piano player, not really to anyone else. In fact some untrained players prefer the lightweight feel.
I think whether you buy an arranger or go the controller, software, computer route is your first big decision, not whether to choose weighted, or 88 keys versus unweighted or 61 keys.
Frankly, most people buy an arranger because they want to learn to play tunes on a keyboard. People who want to mainly play around with music production rather than play tunes on a keyboard usually go the other route.
That is your big decision, I cannot advise on that.
 What I can tell you is that whether your goal should be to become a good enough player to perform as a pro is not a choice you can make. You choose one of these routes and see how good you can get, depending on your aptitude, dedication, training. Then you may or may not have a choice.

Online panos

Re: Learning Path
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2019, 12:25:18 PM »
If you want a more realistic piano sound even if you connect it with a DAW, yes the digital piano,or a midi keyboard with weighted keys will sound better.
Then again on a DAW you can apply any changes to any note(the pitch of a note is always the same but not the waveform of the sound it's velocity and dynamics) with your "mouse".
So these two options just saving you time but only if you are a good piano player.
The keyboards have a touch response button but is not 100% as good as the response of a better and weighted keybed.(There are 3 kinds of keybeds in piano/keyboard world to handle the waveform of the note accordingly to your playing).

The other reason they have told you to start with weighted keys is for strengthening your fingers more easily.
I thing you could also do it with a soft keybed in a degree if you practice the same techniques.
But, is your intention to play on a real piano at some point?
If it is, will take you some time more to strengthen your fingers on the piano.

Don't go for the s670.Even if you are novice go for the s775.There is a really big difference in how you handle the menus between those two models.
If you don't like it,or quit music, just sell it.People easily buy them as second hand keyboards.

Their 61 keys are a limitation if you want to play some Classical piano pieces in the... original way.(We just push a button to "add' the missing octaves in all other cases)
The styles (accompaniment) will also help you to understand better the connection between the harmonies (The keys,the chords and the notes that suit with the chords or the chords that suit with the melody's notes).
It is easier to realise that you are playing the wrong chord when the whole band is playing it wrong,than if you just play some wrong notes of the left hand harmony with a piano.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 12:26:33 PM by panos »

Offline DrakeM

Re: Learning Path
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2019, 01:19:16 PM »
You are not going to play for anyone but yourself.

You don’t even know if you will stick with the keyboard and really learn how to play.

So, yes purchase a cheap and simple “arranger” keyboard with 61 keys.

Then IF some day you are sitting at your keyboard and say to yourself., “Wow, this is really easy to read this sheet music and I have learned to play 50 songs very well. I am loving this.”

Yea, then you want to go for a Yamaha PSR750, PSR770 or PSR775 arranger keyboard.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 01:22:07 PM by DrakeM »

Offline ekurburski

Re: Learning Path
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2019, 02:40:22 AM »

I agree with Drake 100%!  There are several excellent kbs for $500 or less that you can learn on and sound good well doing it!  If you really get into then sell the beginning kb and move up later.
PSR740, PSR3000, tx7, mt32, mirage, ProTiools 10,11 Sonar,  Reaper, BIAB2019

Offline SciNote

Re: Learning Path
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2019, 01:29:32 PM »
There really is no one right answer here.  I learned to play keyboard on a home organ, which had two manuals (keyboards) of light-touch, synth-style keys as well as a third smaller monophonic (can only play 1 note at a time) synthesizer-type keyboard.  I also learned bass pedals on the organ.  So, no, I did not learn on an 88-key weighted-key instrument, initially.  But what I learned on organ helped and mostly carried over when I did start playing around with real acoustic pianos.

Some of the big differences had less to do with the number and weight of the keys, and more to do with the way the instrument works.  On the organ, I could just hold a chord with my left hand for as long as I wanted while playing a melody with my right hand, and then using the bass pedals for the, well, bass.  On a piano, if you just hold down a chord, the sound will die out in a few seconds, so you have to keep playing something with your left hand to keep the accompaniment sound going.  And of course, without any bass pedals, you have to also be mindful of playing bass notes with your left hand when playing a regular piano.

As for weighted keys versus synthesizer-style, light-touch keys, one is not better than another -- they just have different purposes.  Yes, if you ultimately want to be able to play an acoustic piano, then weighted keys are good to get you used to that key feel.  And there is certainly a certain amount of expressiveness that you get with weighted keys.  On the other hand, with synth-type keys, with a well-designed keyboard, as you get good at playing, you can really whizz through fast, complex melodies and passages.

I strongly disagree with the need to spend $1000 or more on a keyboard to get a good sound, but again, this depends on your goal.  Yes, you will get a better built in sequencer/recorder, more sounds, some higher-quality sounds, more and higher-quality styles, and other features like multi-pads.  But I can tell you that I have been playing keyboard 41 years (though not professionally), and I have owned keyboards like the home organ I mentioned before as well as a Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer, and I had experience with other pro synthesizers (Arp Odyssey and Arp Omni 2) when I took an electronic music class in high school, and yet my main keyboard right now is a Yamaha PSR-E433 that I paid $250 for.  I do multi-track recordings using its built-in rudimentary 6-track sequencer, but then I send that to a computer as audio using Audacity, and then I can add additional audio tracks directly on Audacity.

And, of course, as has been said or implied, another nice thing about learning and playing on an arranger keyboard, versus a standard piano, is the wide number of sounds and styles available to you on the arranger.  Just be careful not to get too distracted by these features as you're learning, because as you first start out, you want to concentrate more on learning scales, chords, reading music, music theory, and simply how to consistently hit the correct notes when you're playing a song, and not get too distracted by playing around with the buttons.  You can experiment with different sounds, of course -- just don't get too engrossed in that aspect of the keyboard too early if your goal is to actually learn how to play keyboard or piano.

A good set of keyboards that, as I understand it (and someone correct me if I'm wrong), combines many of the features of arranger keyboards (dozens of sounds and styles, built-in recording) and has 88 weighted keys, would be the DGX line of Yamaha keyboards, like the DGX-660, and these are usually well under $1000.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 01:34:52 PM by SciNote »
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
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Offline valio7771

Re: Learning Path
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2019, 06:35:00 PM »
A nice 88 weighted keys keyboard is the ultimate bliss for an advanced keyboard player to have in his hands, especially if you don't need to carry it around on gigs. But if you're just starting to play, a cheap 61 keys keyboard is good and easy starting point. But if your goal is to get better on the keys, starting directly on weighted keys will train your technique properly, but as I understood you like to play around and make your own 'jingles' at home with a help of a DAW, 61 keys is the better and cheaper option for you.


Offline Normanfernandez

Re: Learning Path
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2019, 06:50:33 PM »
Here's some Key Points to Remember,

Learn Music Theory,
Learn All the Scales. ( Get a Proper Course Book or a Paid Website)
Learning from YouTube isn't a good place for a serious musician

Learn about Other Instruments.

Since you're going to get a Keyboard,

Style Creator, Song Creator should not be in the first year of learning.
Since Learn DAW, Functions in the Keyboard,
And Music overall is Massive.

Start somewhere,
Learn piano Style on the keyboard, get both the hands working.

And you can always ask us for help. 

Just don't get Distracted with Functions and DAWs VST

Pay good attention to Performance and Ear Training.
Regards Norman!

Offline 3dc

Re: Learning Path
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2019, 06:58:09 PM »
Learn Music Theory,
Learn All the Scales. ( Get a Proper Course Book or a Paid Website) 
Learn piano Style on the keyboard, get both the hands working.
Pay good attention to Performance and Ear Training.

Well that is precisely my attack plan.  :)

Thanks for kind support and advices guys!
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.