Whether you’re a piano student, a professional musician, or a piano enthusiast, an electronic keyboard will fill your life with plenty of enjoyable moments and convenience as you hone your music composition skills. However, that’s only if you make the ideal buy. So, to help you find the best keyboard for your needs, the following guide will provide some insights on the things you should take note of before buying a piano keyboard.
Number of Keys: Always Choose an 88 Key Weighted Keyboard
Different keyboards have different number of keys with the general range starting from 25 all the way to 88 keys. Generally, the more the more the number of keys, the better the instrument since having more keys will prepare you for the time when you’ll actually sit down to play at a real grand piano. So, if you can afford it, always go for an 88 key weighted keyboard model as that will offer you the same full range as a piano.
However, if you’re shopping on a budget, then 61 keys and above will offer you the next best option.
Weighted, Semi-Weighted, and Un-Weighted Keys
Although they all have the same shape and black and white look, each keyboard has its own unique feel. Additionally, the keys of each keyboard respond to your fingers in a specific manner. The particular feel and response mechanism of a keyboard is mainly determined by its keyboard action which comes in three basic types: weighted, semi-weighted, and un-weighted key action.
Although keyboards with an un-weighted key action are normally cheaper, they should be avoided as they give off the same loudness regardless of how hard you hit on the keys. Therefore, you should instead go for weighted and semi-weighted keys whenever possible. The keys of these types of keyboards provide you with the same feel as a grand piano. They also feature a resistance mechanism similar to that of grand pianos. As a result, such keys give off different levels of loudness which is what beautiful music is all about.
Keyboards have different sounds with some sounding better than others do. You should have a clear picture of the sounds that are most important to you before you go keyboard shopping. This way, you will be able compare the number of inbuilt sounds, polyphony notes and other sound capabilities of different keyboards to pick the one that best meets your playing needs. You can even test drive different keyboard models to hear how they sound before making a purchase.
Get a Sustain Pedal Along With Your Keyboard
Also known as a damper pedal or loud pedal, a sustain pedal is arguably one of the most important accessories that should be purchased alongside a keyboard. When pressed, the pedal ensures that all played notes will continue to sound even after you’ve removed your finger from a key. This helps you to achieve beautiful sounds by sustaining notes that would otherwise end abruptly the minute you lift your finger from the keyboard. Any keyboard without a sustain pedal is just not worth buying.
When if you’ve already decided on the number of keys, keyboard action, and sound quality that you want your keyboard to possess, finding the ideal one among the tons of options available in the market can be confusing. Hence the reason why it’s highly advisable to take a look at the customer reviews of different options. Seeing what the users of the keyboards are saying can help you make sense of the confusion and come to a more informed decision.
A keyboard offers you the perfect solution when you’re looking for a portable and inexpensive instrument to help you meet your piano playing needs. However, the slightest of purchasing mistakes can leave you stuck with an instrument that does not comply with your needs. So, make sure to keep the above-discussed points in mind when you go keyboard hunting. And to ensure you enjoy your instrument for a long time, you should consider buying a new keyboard instead of a secondhand one.