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  1. #1
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    Musicians: advice on keyboard for 11 year old

    My daughter is 11. When she was 3 we started her in the Suzuki violin program. She was in it for 5 years
    And was getting good but she hated it. Rather than instill a permanent hatred for all things musical but forcing her to continue, we let her quit.

    Fast forward 3 years, and she has glommed onto the tiny Casio keyboard I bought 30 years ago to help with music theory class. She has spend most afternoons holed up in her room teaching herself to play. Last night we had a little duet at the kitchen table with me on guitar playing Korobeiniki.

    I've decided she loves music and wants to play, but it has to be on her terms. I figure buying her a decent keyboard ( I mean seriously, that Casio has like 24 keys and you can't play more than two notes simultaneously) isn't going to seem to her like we are forcing her to play.

    The question is, what's a a good keyboard for a young musician in this stage - someone who may or may not continue to play?


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    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

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  2. #2
    xxl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69 View Post
    My daughter is 11. When she was 3 we started her in the Suzuki violin program. She was in it for 5 years
    And was getting good but she hated it. Rather than instill a permanent hatred for all things musical but forcing her to continue, we let her quit.

    Fast forward 3 years, and she has glommed onto the tiny Casio keyboard I bought 30 years ago to help with music theory class. She has spend most afternoons holed up in her room teaching herself to play. Last night we had a little duet at the kitchen table with me on guitar playing Korobeiniki.

    I've decided she loves music and wants to play, but it has to be on her terms. I figure buying her a decent keyboard ( I mean seriously, that Casio has like 24 keys and you can't play more than two notes simultaneously) isn't going to seem to her like we are forcing her to play.

    The question is, what's a a good keyboard for a young musician in this stage - someone who may or may not continue to play?


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    Look around, you can score a decent Yamaha for just a couple hundred or so. If you can handle used, there are always a fair number available, as a lot of kids start, and then stop, keyboards.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I bought this Yamaha three years ago for my now 12-year-old.

    http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-YPG-235...amaha+keyboard

    It sounds great, is solid and has a lot of cool features that keep her entertained and playing, even when not "seriously" practicing/playing. Like a bunch of different instrument (and other) sounds, the ability to record yourself playing, drum beats, etc.

  4. #4
    Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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    Casio also makes 88-key digital pianos that are pretty well regarded in the low-end range. Some have pretty decent action and touch sensitivity.

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  5. #5
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    For the 200-300 range, the Yamaha YPG-235 is great.
    It is midi-compatible. It has all of the midi voices.
    It has "synthesizer action." The keys are not velocity-sensitive.
    It has headphone jack - so she can play with headphones, or you can run the signal from that headphone jack into an amp.
    The piano sound is good enough.

    For 400-500 range, the Casio Privia PX-130 is great.
    It has piano action - is touch-sensitive and the action feels pretty much like a real piano.
    It has eight sounds - two piano sounds, and I cannot remember all of the remaining but I can recall: harpsichord, electric piano, maybe another elec piano, and a few others.

    Also, you can opt to have any two of those - not split keyboard but just the two voices with the one key press.

    It has midi.

    --My daughter wanted one, along with our regular piano.

    But she has decided she wants to get into lots of things, then sets them aside after the novelty wears off.

    So, I got her the yamaha, and said if she played it regularly, I would get her one with real piano sound and feel - so I got her the Privia.

    She still plays.

    I think there is a better privia for not much more money.

    yamaha and casio duke it out, and we are the winners.

    "Williams" don't seem to measure up.

    I shopped these at local vendors, and ordered online to save money - to make it all up to the local music shops, I buy guitar strings and other smaller stuff there.

    It has headphone jack.

  6. #6
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    I truly loving Dad would get her a Grand piano. Just sayin'

  7. #7
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    That's awesome that you can play together.

    I bought Mrs. 10ae a Casio Celviano a couple-three years ago. Maybe $1200, I can't recall exactly. They have a couple options, portable and less portable.

    The one I got her is a free-standing unit, no metal legs, so it takes up some room, but on the other hand, it doesn't wiggle around, either.

    Weight of keys is nice, sound is reasonable. Pedals work like they should.

    Sustain is just a little weird, but not a deal-breaker. It is no pre-war Steinway, but it isn't the $500 piano from the classifieds, either. The music store I bought it from had new and used pianos as well as keyboard type stuff. I tried a few things, and decided that a used upright piano for twice the money wasn't as nice as the Casio.

    They brought it, set it up, and hauled away the substantial pile of cardboard at the end.

    The fact we don't have to sweat the humidity is nice, there's no need to tune a piano, or a fish either, for that matter.

  8. #8
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    my suggestion is find one with wooden keys. I bought my daughter a YAmaha Keyboard / Midi controller and it has traditional keys. It is better for your child to learn on something the feels like an actual piano. That is my advice that I got from my keyboard player years ago. His main controller was a wooden keyed Kurzweil.
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  9. #9
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie View Post
    my suggestion is find one with wooden keys. I bought my daughter a YAmaha Keyboard / Midi controller and it has traditional keys. It is better for your child to learn on something the feels like an actual piano. That is my advice that I got from my keyboard player years ago. His main controller was a wooden keyed Kurzweil.
    Ended up getting a budget model from the local music store. Full 88 weighted keys, very basic effects. She loves it. It's got output so she can bring it into Garage Band if she wants. She's getting pretty good. I've plugged in the Electromatic a few times for a duet. She hates my singing but that's ok :-)
    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

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  10. #10
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    If you truly believe she has talent, then get her something decent, and something that has broad applications. Nearly every professional musician has to learn keyboards at some time, and the ability to play keyboards well is probably the single most useful talent for actually making money with music. In 7 years, she may need it....
    I'm upping my standards;
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  11. #11
    LWP
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    My daughter has musical talent. She has a good ear and can sing really well. She picked up piano really easily. Most instruments she's attempted, she's done well with. The problem I have with her is long-term focus. She takes up an instrument, works hard at it until she reaches a certain level of proficiency, tires of it and moves on to another. She can now play several instruments and sound like she knows what she's doing but she's not getting really good at any of them. So I never spend big money on her latest interest regardless of what the experts recommend because I know eventually it will join Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Instrument Closet. She does have a really nice flute but I didn't buy it, her aunt gave it to her.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWP View Post
    My daughter has musical talent. She has a good ear and can sing really well. She picked up piano really easily. Most instruments she's attempted, she's done well with. The problem I have with her is long-term focus. She takes up an instrument, works hard at it until she reaches a certain level of proficiency, tires of it and moves on to another. She can now play several instruments and sound like she knows what she's doing but she's not getting really good at any of them. So I never spend big money on her latest interest regardless of what the experts recommend because I know eventually it will join Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Instrument Closet. She does have a really nice flute but I didn't buy it, her aunt gave it to her.
    Sounds like she has the skill set to become a conductor....
    I'm upping my standards;
    Up yours!

  13. #13
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    Musicians: advice on keyboard for 11 year old

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    I truly loving Dad would get her a Grand piano. Just sayin'
    This..

    My daughter is getting a strad viola any day now... kidding

    I just got a Arcus bow that was a little ridiculous ... to me anyways


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69 View Post
    Ended up getting a budget model from the local music store. Full 88 weighted keys, very basic effects. She loves it. It's got output so she can bring it into Garage Band if she wants. She's getting pretty good. I've plugged in the Electromatic a few times for a duet. She hates my singing but that's ok :-)
    Cool. Making music is one of the better ways to fritter away an afternoon.

  15. #15
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    If you truly believe she has talent, then get her something decent, and something that has broad applications. Nearly every professional musician has to learn keyboards at some time, and the ability to play keyboards well is probably the single most useful talent for actually making money with music. In 7 years, she may need it....
    It was still pretty spendy - right around $300. I just decided she needed something better so I took her to the music store one afternoon and got it for her.

    It's no Walmart bike. Sort of like my entry level Breedlove acoustic.

    If she is still playing in 3-4 years and is outgrowing this one in terms of her skill, I'd get her something else


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    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

    SuperAndy's Garage

  16. #16
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    we had my wife parents old piano rebuilt.. old upright. Cost a pretty penny to have it restored (new internals) ..I hope she chooses the Viola in the long run.

  17. #17
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    A Fairlight CMI 30A. Lol.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69 View Post
    It was still pretty spendy - right around $300. I just decided she needed something better so I took her to the music store one afternoon and got it for her.

    It's no Walmart bike. Sort of like my entry level Breedlove acoustic.

    If she is still playing in 3-4 years and is outgrowing this one in terms of her skill, I'd get her something else


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    Good plan. That's awesome. The next step may be to give her time on a genuine piano, so she can figure out the difference. If you can shoehorn a spinet in your home, then she has the choice of keyboard - including with headphones, or the real thing. Keyboard can be connected with midi software or DAW.

    Us old folks are slow on adopting new technology, but if she can figure out the basics of midi or DAW, then with her playing talent she is a band in a box.

  19. #19
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    She knows about Garage Band and has a Mac in her room, but I think she's just more interested in the fun of it more than anything.


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    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

    SuperAndy's Garage

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