The electric keyboard goes by many names, including a home keyboard, a digital keyboard, or a portable keyboard. It’s a great instrument to play, particularly if you want to learn to play the piano but cannot afford one, or if you don’t have the space, or maybe you need an instrument that can be practiced quietly in the home. An electric keyboard is also a great stand-alone instrument, and something you can happily play solo. Having said that, keyboardists are very much in demand in the music industry.
About Electric Keyboards
The electric keyboard is defined mainly by its black and white keys, which are set out in the same style as piano keys. They are often plastic, and therefore lighter and easier to play than piano keys. As they are pressed, the connection to a switch is made (usually using a matrix circuit) which produces the sound. Whereas the piano only produces variations of the same sound, electric keyboards have software programs which enable to player to choose a variety of musical sounds, such as different instruments. The default setting is the sound of a piano, but other choices usually include the pipe organ, drum sounds, and various wind and string instruments. There are also usually special-effect options, such as echoes, phone rings, and animal noises. Further software included on electric keyboards is the rhythm and chord ability. Just the touch of a button can produce a samba or tango beat for the keyboardist to play along to. There are also speakers on electric keyboards, so the player has control of how loud the sounds are, as well as having the ability to connect headphones.
Playing an Electric Keyboard
The keyboard is often easier to play than the piano because of its auto-accompaniment capabilities. If the player presses a certain note while the auto accompaniment is on, the corresponding chord will be produced. The tempo can also be adjusted to create slower or faster beats. Some keyboards also have recording capabilities, meaning that the player can create and record tracks to play back anytime they want. Most new models can also be connected to laptops and personal computers. This is great if you’re interested in producing music to a more professional standard, and further software can be purchased which will allow you to edit and re-master your recorded tracks. Another useful feature of certain models is the teaching facility. Demo tracks are saved, meaning that the player can play along with them and learn as they go, usually with the help of lights or indicators on the keys. More-expensive models also come with velocity, or touch-sensitive keys. This means that the harder you press on the keys, the louder the sound. Some models have only three settings (being quiet, medium, or loud), but the more you pay, the more levels of sound you might get.
Buying an Electric Keyboard
The two biggest names in electric keyboard production are Casio and Yamaha, but there are a number of other manufacturers. Prices can start from as little as fifty pounds for a cheap and simple model. For better models, you can pay as much as three-thousand pounds. If you’re thinking of starting to play the electric keyboard, opt for the former while you’re still learning.