Keyboards come in a variety of sizes with various bells and whistles depending
on your needs. Not surprisingly, this also means they come in a wide price
range, so it's important to weigh up what you need with what you can afford, as
well as ensuring you get the best value for money (who doesn't love a good
deal). Whether it's your first keyboard or you're simply adding to your existing
collection, there are a few key questions to ask before diving in head first and
buying that keyboard.
Firstly, you should ensure your keyboard is a full-sized model. Keyboards range
from around half-sized for kids right up to full sized keys covering a number of
octaves (and keyboards that roll up don't pass for musical instruments around
here mister). It is important that you make sure your keyboard is full size if
you are serious about playing. The smaller sized keyboards will keep you going
if you're learning how to play, but soon enough you will require the full range
of keys as you tackle more complex or involved pieces. Unless you feel like
upgrading in six months, just go for the full monty right away.
The next thing to think about is whether or not your keyboard includes a stand.
If it does include a stand, that's super – gold stars all around. If not, you're
going to have to buy one, so factor this into your budget. Additionally,
consider whether the keyboard is touch-sensitive. A touch sensitive keyboard
allows you to add your own dynamics, i.e. 'louds and softs' as you play, to give
more texture to your piece (kinda like what its bigger cousin does – you may
have heard of it – it's called a piano). Traditionally keyboards are not touch
sensitive, which means that regardless of how hard you press a key, it always
produces the same note at the same volume. Touch sensitivity may come at a
price, but if you are looking for anywhere near performance quality (or you just
like stuff to sound good), you should make sure your keyboard has it.
Finally, you should think about adding a protective case. This will ensure you
can keep the keyboard protected from the elements and external damage during
transit, or when you're not using it. Additionally, this would benefit storage,
making it easier to tuck the keyboard under the bed.
When it comes to buying a keyboard, there is no element more important than
sitting down and tickling the ivories yourself. Ask the salesman if it's ok to
have a go, and try out all the bells and whistles. See if you like the set up,
and see how easy it is to navigate the different effects. This will be the most
influential step in making your decision, and should allow you, in combination
with the above considerations, to figure out which keyboard is best for you.