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[For beginners] Keyboard types and how to choose one

2020-09-23

Theme:Keyboards

Hello. This time I would like to introduce the types of keyboards. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced piano player, there are many types of electronic musical instrument keyboards that you may not be familiar with. There are various monikers such as electronic pianos, synths, and keyboards, but I hope I can clear up the differences.

I will introduce them according to their purposes such as:
-For piano solos or playing at home alone
-For stage performances
-For bands
-For carrying, etc.


■ For playing piano solo pieces / For home practice → Electronic piano

If you want to play solo or duet pieces at home, but you cannot afford an acoustic piano or you don’t have enough space to put one, an electronic pianos might be good for you.

Features

  • Most of the models have 88 keys
  • Stands with 3 pedals are often sold separately, but when used together with an electronic piano, you can get a stable feel like that of an upright piano.
  • High-end models are quite close to acoustic pianos in both touch and sound.
  • Generally, they have several tones and a metronome function.
  • Basically designed for home use

PLAYTECH / PDP300S-WH Electronic Piano Stand Set

An electronic piano that is quite cost effective and comes with a stand, in the 40,000 yen range. You can also get purchase just the keyboard, or just the stand.

ROLAND / LX705-DRS Electronic Piano Authentic

An authentic type that looks like an upright piano.


■ To play on stage / Touch and tone are important → Stage piano

Keyboards specialized for use on the stage are called stage pianos.

Features

  • A loud output that can be used in band performances.
  • Many of them have 88 keys and authentic touch and sounds, so that you can play with a feel similar to that of an acoustic piano.
  • There are many variations of keyboard instrument tones such as piano, electric piano, and organ. You can also fine-tune the tone
  • Sophisticated design that looks great on stage
  • As it is assumed that the sound will be produced by connecting the keyboards to the speakers in a studio or on stage, there are some products that do not produce sound with the keyboards alone.

CASIO / Privia PX-5SWE Electronic Piano

Unique stage piano in two-tone black and white. High-quality piano and electric piano sounds, and ivory-like keyboards give you the feeling of playing a full-fledged piano.


■ To play in a band → Synthesizer

If you play keyboards in a band, you will be in charge of not only the sound of the piano but also the sounds of strings (violin, etc.) and brass as well. There are also occasions when you want to fine-tune the tone to match the sound of the band. Synthesizers are keyboard instruments that meet such demands.

Features

  • Abundant preset tones
  • You can create your own tones by editing or layering the tones.
  • You can save the created tone and recall them with a single touch to quickly switch from one tone to another.
  • Abundant lineup of keyboard sizes from 49 to 88 keys
  • Many have a light touch
  • Similar to stage pianos, many of them do not produce sound unless they are connected to external speakers or headphones.

KORG / KROME-61 EX 61-key keyboard synthesizer

A standard synthesizer that is particularly focused on timbre so that it can be used in the modern music scene.

ROLAND / JUNO DS61 stand set

A convenient set with a stand and pedals. The 61 and 76 key units have a keyboard touch, and the 88 key units have a piano touch.


■ To carry around / For children → Portable keyboards

Lightweight, compact keyboards. Many models are recommended for children because of the fun functions they include.

Features

  • Some models cost less than 5,000 yen and are easy on your wallet.
  • Many models have functions that even beginners can enjoy
  • 32 to 61 keys

ROLAND / GO: KEYS GO-61K 61-key keyboard

Equipped with a loop mix function that allows you to layer phrases with the push of a button. Supports Bluetooth audio, and allows you to play music from your smartphone or other devices from the built-in speaker and play together with your favorite songs.

PLAYTECH / PRP-61 61-key roll-up piano

A porrtable type that can be rolled up, stored and carried compactly when not in use. This is also loaded with functions such as automatic accompaniment, a rhythm machine, and a drum kit.


■ For brass band and singing practice → Practice keyboards

When practicing with a brass band or chorus, you may check tones with the keyboard. An ordinary keyboard is good, but there are also keyboards dedicated to practice, and they have various functions that are not intended for playing.

Features

  • One-touch transposition to B♭, E♭, F, C, which are often used in brass band
  • You can switch between equal temperament and just intonation & set your own tuning
  • A metronome function that allows you to set the appropriate time signature
  • It is easy to convey an image of what the instructor wants, by changing the rise and brightness of the tone.

YAMAHA / HD-200 Harmony Director

ROLAND / JUSTY HK-100 Harmony & Rhythm Practice Keyboard

With the Bluetooth function, you can also listen to music played on mobile devices through the HK-100 speakers.


■ Not only playing but also as interior décor → Toy pianos / piano-style keyboards

A stylish keyboard that makes an impression just by placing it in a room. They’re also recommended as gifts or for children to play with.

KORG / microPIANO Red Micro Piano

A stylish keyboard with a red and black color scheme. There is also black version.

KAWAI (Kawai Musical Instruments) / Grand Piano Black (1141)

I was intending to summarize this into 3 types or so, but unexpectedly there were many types making this installment longer. I hope it will be helpful to you when you’re choosing a keyboard.

Kudo Aoi

幼少からクラシックピアノとエレクトーンを習い、大学では軽音楽部でシンセ・キーボードを弾いていました。サウンドハウスでは電子ピアノ担当として日々勉強中です。

PLAYTECH / PDP300S-WH 電子ピアノスタンドセット

PLAYTECH

PDP300S-WH 電子ピアノスタンドセット

¥37,800(excl. tax)¥41,580(incl. tax)

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PLAYTECH / PRP-61 Roll up piano

PLAYTECH

PRP-61 Roll up piano

¥4,580(excl. tax)¥5,038(incl. tax)

Roll-up piano, 61 keys

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CASIO / Privia PX-5SWE 電子ピアノ

CASIO

Privia PX-5SWE 電子ピアノ

¥95,040(excl. tax)¥104,544(incl. tax)

Digital piano, 88-key, 128 sounds, 250 tone, piano stage

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KAWAI / グランドピアノ ブラック(1141)

KAWAI

グランドピアノ ブラック(1141)

¥11,500(excl. tax)¥12,650(incl. tax)

Mini piano, for education, black, 32 key

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KORG / KROME-61 EX 61鍵キーボードシンセサイザー

KORG

KROME-61 EX 61鍵キーボードシンセサイザー

¥99,810(excl. tax)¥109,791(incl. tax)

Synthesizer, 61 keys, AC adapter included

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KORG / microPIANO Red

KORG

microPIANO Red

¥16,280(excl. tax)¥17,908(incl. tax)

Compact piano, 61 mini-keyboard, 5.2kg, Red

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ROLAND / GO:KEYS GO-61K

ROLAND

GO:KEYS GO-61K

¥39,000(excl. tax)¥42,900(incl. tax)

Keyboard, 61 keys

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ROLAND / JUSTY HK-100 for harmony & rhythm practice

ROLAND

JUSTY HK-100 for harmony & rhythm practice

¥46,000(excl. tax)¥50,600(incl. tax)

Keyboard for practice, 61-key

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ROLAND / JUNO DS61 スタンド&ダンパーセット

ROLAND

JUNO DS61 スタンド&ダンパーセット

¥73,000(excl. tax)¥80,300(incl. tax)

Body, case, stand, damper

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ROLAND / LX705-DRS 電子ピアノ 本格派

ROLAND

LX705-DRS 電子ピアノ 本格派

¥220,000(excl. tax)¥242,000(incl. tax)

Electronic piano, 88-key, dark rosewood tone finish

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YAMAHA / HD-200 Harmony director

YAMAHA

HD-200 Harmony director

¥116,800(excl. tax)¥128,480(incl. tax)

Harmony director, 49 keys

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