Have you ever wondered: Is it sufficient to have a keyboard on which one can start taking piano lessons? If you are starting on mastering the art of playing the piano, this question would have definitely crossed your mind! The answer, more often than not, is yes. An electric keyboard can serve as a substitute for an acoustic piano.
However, if you are looking for a more comprehensive answer, you need to do some analysis on how you plan to go about the lessons and also the kind of keyboard you think will be suitable for your needs.
What keyboard features do you need to look into?
It probably goes without saying that no two keyboards are ever created equal. If you intend to take piano lessons with your keyboard, you need to run certain feature tests to ensure that it will actually work in your favor.
- Touch sensitivity:
The first thing that you need to check is whether you have a “touch sensitive” keyboard. How do you figure that out? One that is sensitive to touch will make a louder sound when you press down the key harder than normal. First softly press a key and then make a harder press. Can you make out a distinct difference between the soft and loud sounds? If yes, then it indicates you have a touch-sensitive keyboard which is pretty good news to start with.
- Size of the keyboard – Opt for the full size:
Do you know how many keys are typically there on a piano? The answer is 88 – 36 black keys and 52 white keys. However, when it comes to electric keyboards, the sizes tend to vary with an option to choose from 44, 61, 76, or 88 key versions. Buying anything other than a keyboard with 88 keys would not be ideal because a time will come when it will not be sufficient for playing the kind of music you have in hand.
However, what do you do if you are already in possession of a smaller keyboard? Does that mean that you cannot start your piano lessons?
You don’t have anything to worry about for your preliminary use will be limited to only 61 keys. Only after you master the keyboard will you need the full-size device. Also, note that most of the music you play will happen in the middle section of the keyboard.
- Weighted keys:
You need to have an understanding of the workings of an acoustic piano in order to appreciate the need for weighted keys truly. Upon pressing a key, you will feel a definite weight to it which will give you better control over playing a note as soft, loud, or somewhere in between. Ask some of the best pianists in the world, and they will tell you how much time they spend on working with this weight to ensure the most beautiful sound comes out when they sit at the piano.
With an electric keyboard, though, this feeling of weight does not always happen. Are you wondering why? It’s simply because pressing a key does not lead to a hammer movement but tells the installed software to playback a recording of the corresponding note. An obvious flaw with electric keyboards, you might say! To counter this issue, electric keyboard manufacturers have found a solution they refer to as “weighted keys”.
Such a keyboard makes an attempt at artificially replicating what it feels like to play on a real acoustic piano. There can be both sides to how a manufacturer goes about doing this replication work. Although it is not mandatory to have weighted keys while taking piano lessons, this is an important factor that, when taking into consideration, can make your learning more fruitful.
When is the best time to go for purchasing a real piano?
You may have experienced it already – there is something very different about the feel of keyboards. Keyboards that are from the top draw do a good mimicry of the piano, but at that price, you may just as well go in for purchasing an acoustic piano.
Once you are past the point of playing the beginner pieces, it is advisable that you take the jump and invest in purchasing a piano. Just like the keyboards, not every piano is created equal. A grand piano will offer certain benefits over an upright piano just as the latter does when compared to keyboards.
It is not necessary that you have to own a grand piano in order to practice because space and money can prove to be significant constraints. If you can make arrangements wherein you can practice regularly, that will be sufficient in helping you complete your lessons.
An average upright piano is just not enough for fine-tuning some of the more nuanced parts associated with playing this instrument while things just get a lot worse when done on an average keyboard.
If you are just taking baby steps with your piano lessons or are an intermediate learner, don’t allow your learning to be dictated by the type of piano in your possession. Not having a piano does not mean that you will miss out on a great deal. On the other hand, if you have progressed to an advanced level, then an upgrade should be on the cards. Piano learning enthusiasts can check out PianoLessonsNYC.org to find professional piano teachers for all genders and ages for advanced upgrades.
At the very least, you should look for a suitable location where you can practice regularly on a proper piano. Is there a friend who can possibly help you out or maybe the local church you visit has some way of coming to an arrangement? Take advantage of the available opportunity, if one comes by, and practice playing the piano as often as you possibly can.