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Amateur Students' Guide To Buying A Keyboard

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Buying your first keyboard as an amateur player can seem overwhelming. However, there is a way to take much of the confusion out of the process, and it involves knowing what to look for. Follow this simple buying guide to learn more about some of the factors you should pay attention to. 

Weighted vs. Unweighted

If you've never played a keyboard or piano before, you should choose a keyboard with weighted keys, as unweighted keys make the learning process more difficult. Unweighted keys don't require much force to push down. 

As a result, while you learn about proper hand placement and learn to play, each time your finger brushes over a key, it will play a note. This issue can make it more confusing to accurately recognize note sounds and make the process frustrating. Weighted keys require more force and will typically only push down and play a note when they are intentionally pushed.  

Lessons Format

Choose a keyboard that will be most convenient based on the format of your lessons. For traditional lessons, such as those you take at a music center, you should look for a keyboard that is fairly easy to maneuver. Large and heavy keyboards don't fit into this category, especially when it comes to your younger students. A lightweight keyboard without tons of unnecessary features is the way to go.

If you are taking lessons online, a keyboard that is equipped with the technology for use with composition software or programs is best. This type of connectivity will allow you to record and upload your own compositions or practices so that your instructor can accurately evaluate your progress. 

Accuracy and Format

If you are serious about advancing with your playing skills, it's essential that the keyboard have sound accuracy and the right format. In terms of accuracy, the keyboard should not produce manipulated or electronic sounds. You want a keyboard that mimics the sound of a traditional piano to ensure you learn your keys accurately.

The format of the keys is also important. Traditional keyboards are available with either 61 or 88 keys. Make sure you choose an instrument with 88 keys. Models with 61 keys are typically less expensive, but they don't have the full range of larger keyboards. As you advance, if you've only trained on a smaller keyboard, you will find it more challenging to play a range of different music styles. 

Keep all of these tips in mind as you head out on your search for a new keyboard at your local music equipment store.