The Keyboard or Piano is actually a very easy instrument for you to start with. In fact, you can start this instrument really early on in life, at the age of 8 or so. It’s probably the first instrument that we recommend you learn, especially as a child.
A lot of students also ask this question - “If I learn to play the Keyboard, can I learn to play the Piano and vice versa?” The answer is YES! Of course, you can play both because the layout of the keys are the same. So, what really is the difference?
There are a few differences between the Keyboard and the Piano.
How it Feels - the Piano keys are harder, heavier and keyboard keys are very lightweight.
Playing Style - The way you play and the style of playing differs on the keyboard and the piano. The Piano can be used for more clear, rich tones but it can’t create any other sounds. Whereas, with the Keyboard, you can be your own one-person-band! You can play beats, use different voices (like guitar, piano, violin etc.) and so much more!
Sound Quality - when you are playing a piano you get that rich sound. You can also change the way it sounds by playing in lighter or heavier depending on what you want to achieve. This is something that is very important for a musician when creating music. Many students also love this about the Piano.
Look & Size of the Instrument - Piano is big, made of wood and looks quite majestic. Keyboard on the other hand looks like a poor cousin - small, made of plastic and cheap in comparison.
So, make sure you consider all these different aspects when choosing between the piano and keyboard. Now, once you have made your decision, then the question becomes - what to purchase? Which models?
Below, we are going to discuss the several recommended models for both Piano and Keyboard split by beginner, intermediate and advanced levels so that you can get started on your musical journey.
Purchasing a Keyboard
Main Factor of Consideration: when you're buying a keyboard you have to check if the keyboard has the following features - touch response, beat, metronome, auto accompaniment, digital display and a sustain pedal (or sustain button).
Beginner Keyboard models
For beginners, we would recommend CASIO as the first brand of choice as it is reliable and inexpensive. The basic model we recommend will be the CASIO CTK 3200. Do not go below this model number as it won’t have the features you need to continue learning. The price of these keyboards would be Rs. 7500 and upwards.
If you prefer to purchase YAMAHA, then you can go for the E363 and above. Do not go below this model number. The cost of these keyboards would be Rs. 9000 and upwards. We highly recommend the YAMAHA keyboard, because the overall quality of sound and the features are superior to other brands in the same category.
So, if the budget permits, we highly recommend the Yamaha keyboard.
Intermediate Keyboard models
For intermediate level players, we recommend YAMAHA as the brand of choice. The basic model would be the S500, S670, S770 or the S900. The costs of these keyboards range from Rs. 30,000 upwards. These models are really worth it for the price - they give you a lot of features, sounds and versatility. For instance, you can upgrade the rhythm if you want more choices as you expand your repertoire. You can even upgrade the digital display which is really useful when you are playing LIVE gigs. Finally, there is something called ‘Registration Memory’ that helps change rhythms quickly - this allows you to save your settings so that you can recall it whenever you need to. Finally, the speaker quality of these keyboards are quite superior and you will definitely notice this as you become a better player.
You can also go for the ROLAND keyboards. The basic models are EX30, BK3, BK5 and E09. The costs of these keyboards start from Rs. 25,000 onwards upto about Rs. 80,000.
You can also consider the KORG keyboards. The basic models here you can consider are PA300, PA500, PS600 and finally the PA900.
At this level, all of these keyboard brands and models are comparable however there are some distinguishing factors. For instance, the YAMAHA keyboards have the best sound. The ROLAND keyboards have good computer integrity (technical) and sampling features. The KORG keyboards are good with Rhythms and you can tweak your sound according to your taste - it gives you a lot of options to layer and use split features. However, if we had to pick, our choice would be the YAMAHA X900 or the KORG PA900.
Pro-Level (Advanced) Keyboard models
For advanced or PRO level players, there are several options. For instance, in YAMAHA, you can go for Tyros or Geno. These are a little expensive as they start at Rs. 3 Lakhs upto Rs. 6 lakhs.
You can also consider the ROLAND keyboards, models P8000 or PA 4X PRO. These keyboards are also in a similar price range from between Rs. 3 to 5 lakhs.
One last thing to consider is that, if you want a keyboard which has a feel of a piano but delivers all the features of a keyboard, then you can consider the DGX 66B by YAMAHA. This starts at about Rs. 55,000 and goes up to Rs. 1-1.5 lakhs.
Purchasing a Piano
If you are planning to buy a Piano but your budget is less that Rs. 50,000, you can go for CASIO PREVIA series piano. The sound is quite nice and the feel of the key bed is much better than most of the PRO keyboards.
For a slightly higher budget, of between Rs. 60,000 to 80,000, you can look at the KAWAII piano. This is a good brand and you can consider the model KDP UH 70 series.
If your budget is a little higher, for instance between Rs. 80,000 to 1 lakh, you can consider the YAMAHA CLP series - 645, 545 or 745. They are very similar except for the feel and some features (like metronome or bluetooth) so we would recommend that you try these out before you purchase.
In this range, you can also look at the ROLAND pianos, model RD2000 and above. This series of piano will cost you Rs.1-2 lakhs
One, last piece of advice, if you are planning to purchase a Keyboard or a Piano, try to go to a nearby store that has the products and try it out. Listen to how they sound, see how they feel before you finalise your decision. If you are unable to try the products out, check out reviews online. See videos of the products on YouTube and then take a decision. Make a list of the pros and cons I’ve mentioned and see what your preferences are. This will help you make the right decision in the long run. Your relationship with your instrument won’t be short lived. Some people keep their first instrument with them all their lives. So, make a carefully thought out decision. If you want to see a video about this in detail, please see https://youtu.be/C8N25OMvRYQ
Finally, having an instrument does not mean that you can magically start playing and become a maestro. You need to be guided properly and correctly. You need to develop the right techniques and playing skills. That’s where Music Pandit comes in. Music Pandit is the best place to learn Music online. Why? Because on Music Pandit, it’s not just about lessons. When you learn something in a lesson, then that is applied in a practice routine. Practice Routine is a teacher guided practice session that helps you develop the techniques and skills taught in the lessons. Then, to know how you are doing, you can send your video to Music Pandit and your instructor will evaluate your progress and then respond with personalised details on what you did right and where you can improve. Finally, there are quizzes and certifications. So, it’s a 360 degree learning approach to Music. So, check out https://musicpandit.com to start your musical journey today!
If you want access to detailed guided practice routines, do check out our lessons on musicpandit.com for access to step-by-step lessons that cover a whole lot of topics like vocal projection, improvisation, vocal vibrato and so much more.
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