I want to learn to play piano

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It being my birthday in a couple of weeks, I thought learning piano/keyboards would be a nice thing to do. I'd appreciate a little guidance.

I'm not planning on taking lessons or anything. I already play guitar so I kind of know how music works. How to do it on a keyboard is something I'll figure out for myself. I do want to learn to read music though, and would like to learn to play properly as well as have fun messing around.

I've already visited a music shop where I had a go on a Korg X50 synthesiser. It was just about the best fun I've had in my life - so much so that I had to put the headphones down and gtfo the shop after a few minutes lest I blow it all there and then. However, I don't actually know how to play yet, so dont know whether something so swanky is wise. Some kind of plain electric piano had been my first thought.

Basically, when deciding what to buy, I'm not sure what my priorities should be. I'm thinking:

- it should be fun, though I've been happy with plain old acoustic guitar for years so not sure how important whooshy noises are;
- it should be easy to use, not being able to just switch on & play immediately would be a big disincentive;
- weighted keyboard seems like an important thing to get to know how to play properly;
- would like to put things together on computer, but know nothing about that, not even whether I actually need to be able to play piano or not.

Ismael Klata, Sunday, 18 July 2010 16:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

Clavionas are p tight. I want one!

tehresa, Sunday, 18 July 2010 17:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

I just wrote a long post about how you should be making a firm decision about whether you want to learn to play piano or synths, but actually, although the decision is important in terms of the way you learn, there are quite a few synths out there that can work as a reasonable compromise. The x50 looks like quite a good bet, to be honest, although I've not played one myself so can't comment on the patches.

I would say that weighted keyboard is only important if you want to go the more traditional piano route - otherwise I certainly wouldn't pay any extra for it.

If you want to build songs on the computer you will need extra software - depending on what you want to do and what computer you have there are many different options for this. Any digital keyboard these days will have MIDI, so that side of it is simple (note that the Korg x50 specs state that it includes a USB connector and its USB-MIDI Driver works with Mac and PC on specified operating systems).

I'm a firm synth player rather than a piano player (don't expect me to be able to play standards on a piano at a party - if it doesn't have a cut-off knob I'm not interested), so my advice is a bit more vague than it maybe should be. I could recommend a whole host of awesome faux-analogue squelchy synths, but the only digital/electric pianos I really know are the extremely famous (and thus very expensive) ones.

emil.y, Sunday, 18 July 2010 17:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

Thanks. How would it make a difference to the way I learn? I'll still be working out scales and keys and chords, will I not? I'd assumed they'd be completely transferable skills.

Ismael Klata, Sunday, 18 July 2010 19:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

Well, yeah, the basic skills would be similar, I suppose. Although a lot of great old-school synths are monophonic, so chords would be less important. I guess I'm thinking more about the way in which you'd play the thing - for synths, I'd be spending more time on lead lines and learning about oscillators/general sound manipulation, whereas for piano I'd be setting myself up to be able to play full pieces. But your approach may be different, and as I realised previously, a lot of modern synths are not just for full-scale crazy synthdom but rather operate as a general keyboard.

emil.y, Sunday, 18 July 2010 20:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

I also wanna learn! Lotsa stuff on youtube it seems - checking out some now... any ilxor recommendations?

niels, Wednesday, 26 October 2016 17:14 (two years ago) Permalink

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