I had piano lessons as a kid, taught by the local Reverend’s wife.
In my heart, I was a synth kid, but the piano lessons served me well. I learned the theory, scales, the basics, and some tunes which I can still play by heart today.
After years of playing keyboards & guitar, its long been my hope that one of my children also develop a love for playing music. All my kids have had a guitar at some point, but the youngest two have started showing an interest in their Grandparents piano.
For parents, encouraging kids to pursue a hobby or a musical instrument is something we’ll do at some point. It’s therefore important to be armed with advice and information about things like musical instruments before we spend any pennies on what can be a significant purchase.
If your child is musically inclined, then maybe the new school term will mean you have to buy a new instrument, or maybe you’re looking for a productive way to occupy time in the summer holidays. Perhaps that instrument is keyboard, but with so many choices around, what should you be looking for?
Luckily, Casio, one of the world’s most renowned producers of premium, digital hybrid pianos including the premium Celviano Grand Hybrid, have put together a list of six tips to consider when selecting a beginner’s piano (courtesy of digital piano expert Chris Stanbury).
AN AUTHENTIC TOUCH
Today, all digital piano keys are designed to look like those on a traditional piano, but some can feel far superior to others and it’s worth looking closely at how the keys are made. Some instruments, such as Casio’s Grand Hybrid range, have keys that are made from exactly the same materials as acoustic pianos, to make the playing experience as close to a traditional instrument as possible. What’s more, Casio Grand Hybrid keys are connected to real, moving hammers (which is what acoustic pianos have) to ensure that the weighting of the keys is true to the original instrument.
One of the big advantages of a digital piano is that it takes upfar less space than an acoustic one. Portable pianos, those without wooden stands, are great for carrying around or setting up in a spare bedroom. You should consider the maximum practical weight of a portable piano to be about 12kg – anything more and it will be difficult to carry.
WILL YOU BE USING HEADPHONES?
One of the huge benefits of a digital piano is the ability to play with headphones so that you don’t disturb others. The trouble is, many pianists say that using headphones removes the live acoustics that they hear when playing normally. If you’re going to be using headphones frequently, consider buying an instrument with a dedicated Headphone Mode, which will remix the sound and put the natural ambience back.
LOOK OUT FOR FEATURES THAT CAN TAKE YOUR PLAYING IN A NEW DIRECTION
Features such as USB Audio allows you to play audio tracks through the speakers of the digital piano, meaning that you can play along to any song that you have stored on a USB Stick. There are a range of many different features to look out for, such as Casio’s ‘Concert Play’ that allows you to play along to real orchestral recordings of famous classical pieces. There’s even the Hall Simulator – which recreates the acoustics of famous concert venues.
CHECK TO SEE IF IT CONNECTS TO OTHER HOME DEVICES
With the popularity of music learning apps on iPads and online music lesson systems, it’s important to make sure that your chosen instrument will work with a computer or tablet.
ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?
Take time to check out your chosen instrument in a music store, and bring some music with you to try. Make sure that you are happy with the playing height and the position of the music when you play.
The Ultimate Choice
The Celviano Grand Hybrid by Casio, designed in collaboration with esteemed acoustic manufacturer C. Bechstein combines key elements of a grand piano, such as the Natural Grand Hammer Action mechanism that follows the same path as a grand piano, and full-length precision wooden keys – the perfect combination for both new learners and experienced pianists.