Keyboard/Digital piano

Hicky

Veteran
Ok, my son is taking piano lessons at school and has now expressed enough of an interest for it not to be a passing phase(he's 12 in a weeks time).
I'm considering a keyboard/digital piano for him to practice on at home. I understand weighted keys are needed.
Does anyone on here have any recommendations etc??
Thanks
 

deptfordmarmoset

Full time tea drinker
Location
Armonmy Way
My late father had a Yamaha and it was pretty good. However, they're possibly a bit pricey for ''entry level.'' There's an interesting but not too interested article here. http://www.ukpianos.co.uk/digital-pianos-which-brand-should-i-buy
 

stephec

Legendary Member
Location
Bolton
We were in a similar position about eighteen months ago, ended up biting the bullet and getting a second hand piano.
 

Fnaar

Smutmaster General
Location
Thumberland
Our kids' piano teacher said that keyboards are fine for practising and messing about, but better to have proper piano, for the feel of pressing the keys (= different) esp if kids might go on to take exams too. Can play a bit myself (nothing special) and yes, it is different.

Our piano was bought for £100 off a neighbour who carted round pubs and clubs playing gigs. It's old and crappy, but has seen them all through years of piano lessons. It is now in tune with itself, but I am reliably informed that it is a semitone out from all other in-tune musical instruments in the known world.
 

Large

Duty idiot
Location
Leighton Buzzard
I might have a digital piano for sale now my daughter has given up playing. It's a Chase with weighted keys and stool, about 5 years old. Can't remember what we paid for it so I'll ask Mrs L and I'll get back with what she might want for it, if you are looking for a pre-owned one.
 
Space would be a big factor in your choice.

Keyboards are awesone as you can do all sorts of funky stuff when plugged into a computer.
 

JtB

Black Lives Matter
Location
North Hampshire
We purchased a 'real' piano for our children and there are two reasons why I would go for a 'digital' piano if we did it all again. Firstly digital pianos do not require tuning and secondly they work with headphones (very important for absolute beginners). Keyboards are a different instrument all together and they are fine if your children are learning to play the keyboard (Yamaha school of music sort of thing), but they are not appropriate if they are learning to play the piano.

My eldest stopped piano lessons a few years back when his studies became too intensive, but he still gets lots of fun messing around, so I would highly recommend it.

 

Panter

Just call me Chris...
We were in exactly the same boat with my Daughter.
Wanted to get something decent, but without spending too much in case she lost interest a few Months down the line.
Ended up buying this one based on the reviews and the fact I wanted to get a Yamaha. Fantastic sound, and she's still using it (and getting quite good!) some 5 Months later.
 

JtB

Black Lives Matter
Location
North Hampshire
We were in exactly the same boat with my Daughter.
Wanted to get something decent, but without spending too much in case she lost interest a few Months down the line.
Ended up buying this one based on the reviews and the fact I wanted to get a Yamaha. Fantastic sound, and she's still using it (and getting quite good!) some 5 Months later.
That's fine for keyboard lessons, but for piano lessons they will need a full size piano.
 

Ootini

Senior Member
Location
North Wales
I've been playing the piano / keyboard since I was 6, I'm now 34. If it was my son I'd be looking at picking up a relatively cheap digital piano.
Here's a few things to look for:
  • 88 keys that are at least semi-weighted, if not fully weighted.
  • A nice range of voices, most cheap digi pianos will come with 6 or more.
  • A set of MIDI connections, or a USB connector for hooking up to a computer is handy.
  • Decent polyphony (this is the number of notes that can be played at once, I'd say 32 as a bare minimum).
I'd avoid an acoustic piano simply because cheap pianos will always sound cheap, also if you have central heating it will never be in tune for more than a few days. A full refurb on a piano is an expensive job and usually not worth it., however if you do find Bechstein, Steinway or Bossendorffer going cheap, grab it.
As with most things how much you're willing to spend will determine the quality of the board. Some manufacturers to look out for:
  • Yamaha (Clavinova)
  • Roland
  • Technics
  • Kurzweil
Be careful when talking to a salesman and make sure you specify a "digital piano". An Electric piano is a different kettle of fish all together as is a stage piano. To be fair I didn't use a fully weight 88 keybed until I'd been playing for a while, I started with a cheap 61 note keyboard, then a 76, then bought a decent acoustic with 88. (All acoustic pianos will have 88 btw).
61 notes will be enough to learn basic chords, melodies and the fundamentals of pitch etc but will be no good when learning to play "actual" piano compositions, for that you'll need the full 88. Rachmaninoff used 88 notes and he was the best, so y'know... ;-)

*EDIT* just realised I've basically repeated what @JtB said.
 
OP
Hicky

Hicky

Veteran
At a guess I'd spend enough for it to last him until his skill requires something decent. I'd hope not to pay more than £300 if possible...
 
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