Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Buying Guide for Portable Keyboards

Portable Keyboards come in a variety of sizes and price ranges. They make good beginner keyboards as they usually feature a wide range of features at a reasonable price. Portables are commonly found in 3 sizes: 61-key, 76-key and 88-key. (The standard piano keyboard has 88 keys).

Why different amounts of keys?

The amount of keys merely allows a wider range of notes available at one time. You can learn to play on a 61-note just as well as an 88-note. A smaller size keyboard may be your answer if you have space limitations or need to transport it frequently. Size will also be reflected in the price.

Other Stuff You’re Going to Need

There are certain accessories you will need for your Keyboard. A keyboard stand, gig bag and headphones are just few of the items that will help you to fully enjoy your instrument.

What to Look for in a Portable Keyboard

After you’ve decided on size and price range, there are a number of features you should think about when buying a Portable Keyboard. Here are some of the features considered to be important by the Product Specialists at Musicians Friend
Important Features

* Sounds – Sometimes referred to as “tones”, “voices” or “patches”, the number of sounds in an instrument can vary widely. Obviously, you will spend more for more sounds, but the quality of the sounds can also affect price. While you may find a $149.00 keyboard with 50 sounds you can also spend $399.00 for a unit with only a dozen sounds. Certainly the quality of those dozen sounds will be superior. Your purchasing decision should depend on which features are most important to you.

* Polyphony – This is the number of notes that can be played at one time. A polyphonic synthesizer can play more than one note at a time, while a monophonic synth can only play one note at a time. Most modern synthesizers are polyphonic.

* Action – The way it feels when you push down on a key. Most Portable keyboards have very light “spring” or “organ touch” action, as opposed to the heavier “weighted action” of a digital piano.

* Touch Sensitivity – Sometimes referred to as “Velocity Sensitivity”, this is a feature that allows the degree of loudness in which a note is reproduced, to be relative to the intensity in which the keyboard is struck. In other words, the harder you hit the key, the louder the sound.

* Sustain Pedal - AnElectronic sustain pedal recreates the effect of the mechanical sustain foot pedal found on the traditional piano. When you step on the sustain footswitch, it allows notes to continue to sound after your fingers have left the keyboard.

* Sequencer - A built-in Sequencer records “events” that occur as you play the keyboard. It’s like having a built-in multi-track recorder. The sequencer remembers what keys you pressed and how long and how hard you pressed them. This is a great tool for recording song ideas or playing back lessons to monitor your progress.

* USB Connectivity – Short for “Universal Serial Bus’, USB is that slim little rectangular input on your PC. It is an interface standard for hooking peripherals (in this case, your keyboard) to your computer. This allows your keyboard to interact with educational software, programs for recording, sequencing etc.

Portable Keyboards and Digital pianos are excellent instruments to introduce the uninitiated to the exciting world of music.

Buying Guide for Digital Pianos

Digital Pianos are designed for those who are more serious about playing the piano as opposed to synthesizers. While they will have some features in common with Portable Keyboards, the most important aspects of a Digital Piano are the sound and that the keys feel and respond the way they do on a real piano. Size is also an issue. Digital Pianos can be slim and compact, hardly bigger than the keyboard itself, or they can be built into a decorative solid wood cabinet designed to resemble a 4-6 ft. Baby Grand!

What to look for in a Digital Piano

After you've decided on size and price range, there are a number of features you should think about when buying a Digital Piano. Here are some of the features considered to be important by the Product Specialists at Music123.

Sound - As far as the quality of sound, it stands to reason that the number of sounds is not nearly as important as the quality of the piano sounds. The authenticity of these sounds will also help the serious piano student to explore the expressiveness of the piano.

Action - A decent Digital Piano will have 88-keys and some sort of weighted action, which simulates the feel of a real piano when you press down on a key.

Weighted action pianos are a better way to go for the serious piano student, even a beginner, as it will help them develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between their physical interaction with the keyboard and the sound produced.

Less expensive pianos have Semi-Weighted Action. Higher-end Digital Pianos have a more elaborate system referred to as FullyWeighted Hammer Action or GrandHammer Action. This replicates the true feel of a hammer striking a string, the way it does in a real piano. This is important for developing proper hand strength and technique.

Kurzweil PC161

Kurzweil PC161

"Kurzweil introduced the first Performance Controller keyboard, the PC88, back in 1994, receiving both critical and public acclaim. Now the PC161, Kurzweil's most affordable and lightweight PC model, continues the tradition of excellence. With breathtaking sounds, superior effects and impressive controller capabilities, the PC161 delivers the power of Kurzweil's popular PC1X in a lightweight, elegant 61 note enclosure."

Casio CS 65 Stand

Casio CS 65 Stand

"CS65 Stand for PX110 features a high quality dark wood appearance, to match your PX-110/PX-310 perfectly. Plus, it ensures a genuinely stylish appearance."

Friday, November 25, 2005

Starting November 25th, Music123 will be giving away $1,000.00 worth of merchandise every day through December 12th!

Starting November 25th, Music123 will be giving away $1,000.00 worth of merchandise every day through December 12th!

Starting November 25th, Music123 will be giving away $1,000.00 worth of merchandise every day through December 12th!

Each day there will be two or more Give-Aways, which will total a retail value of over $1,000!!

Enter to win one of the prizes, but come back tomorrow, because we’ll be giving away another whole new batch of FREE gear to celebrate the season!

Enter now…
The next winner could be you!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Ace Products Wooden Keyboard Bench

"High Quality Wooden Keyboard Bench. This furniture quality bench comes with a black finish and a comfortable black padded vinyl seat cushion. Seat measures 22'x13' and bench is 20' tall."

Yamaha AC Adaptor Pack

Keyboard Gear

"STOP - YOU NEED THIS!!! YAMAHA PORTABLE KEYBOARDS DO NOT COME WITH AN AC ADAPTOR (w/o this kit you'll have to use batteries)! This survival kit comes complete with an AC power adaptor, footswitch (sustain pedal), lightweight headphones, and a 2-year extended warranty (standard warranty is 90 days). Essential gear for the DD35, PSR-172, 273, 293, EZ-AG, EZ150, and EZ250i. Bonus!, also includes a Yamaha CD-ROM containing instructions to connect your Yamaha keyboard to your computer, owners manuals, and a variety of software that teaches you to play and use your new keyboard!"

Adesso PS88 Digital Piano

Keyboard Gear

"The PS88 offers big piano features for situations where space and budget are limited! This compact, digital piano has 88-weighted and balanced keys, a 4-speaker internal sound system, and 12 high quality voices! Other features such as Real-Time digital recording, midi-in and out and 64-note polyphony make this the perfect piano for any situation. Includes sustain pedal and matching stand!"

Yamaha DGX305

Keyboard Gear

"The DGX305 is packed with features and functions that let you enjoy music to its fullest, including lyric and score display, SmartMedia storage, USB connectivity for importing new songs and styles, and a plethora of incredible voices including an extra hi-quality piano voice."

Yamaha PSR-E303

Yamaha PSR E303 61-Key Portable Keyboard

Yamaha PSR E303 61-Key Portable Keyboard

"Tired of warmed-over model replacements with few new features and a fresh coat of paint? Yamaha is replacing its two entry-level models with breakthrough instruments. The PSR-E303's strengths are its new tone generation system, which delivers incredibly realistic instrument voices, and a two-track recorder with internal memory for saving your masterpieces."