Re: Keyboard for 13 year old

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Posted by Rod on December 14, 2000 at 01:04:25:

In Reply to: Keyboard for 13 year old posted by Kurt Robertson on December 13, 2000 at 20:45:20:

How much do you want to spend and how 'technically-inclined' are they? My brother could already right computer programs by 14 (did I say geek? :-), I started playing a cover band at that age too and got my first real synth at 15.

If that's the case the complexity of the synth may interest them.. even the most basic sound cards nowadays allows you to control the synth thru midi.. and the analog input allows you to do some basic computer recording... if not, as you're saying the extra sounds may be a distraction. But 12 and 13 maybe a little too young.

Note: even the most basic electronic piano has midi, which allows you to hookup to a computer, and there's many 'computer tutorials nowadays which will play songs thru a keyboard and help you 'play along'per say.

My recommendation is get something with a weighted keyboard, 88 keys and a good piano sound. Both the kurzweil sp88, the roland rd100 and the yamaha p80 are good choices.. the alesis dg8 is quite good too, and has a nice sound system. I personally don't care much for the korg. Decide whether you want to get one with internal speakers or not.. if not, they are left with practicing by headphones or connecting to a stereo. Get them going on piano lessons. I'm still in favor of some formal training first, learning theory and correct playing technique, and suffering thru boring exercises. Others may disagree (hopefully other people will post too and give their opinions). I would maybe talk to a piano teacher to see if there's one they recommend based on the action.. there's nothing worse than having a teacher with a heavy-action piano and your kid gets to practice at home with real light keys. Also get one that you can connect at least two pedals at once... so it can be played like a real piano. I think the dg8 has a stand for instance which puts it in a similar position to an upright with the 3 pedals in the right location.

There's an article in keyboard magazine a couple of months ago on a comparison of 5 pianos in the same price range, including the ones i mentioned above.

I started playing by ear and practicing just what I needed for the band. Boy do I wish I had had a piano and some real lessons. I got a weighted keyboard recently and kind of worked my way backwards.

Plus, I see many 'young players' fooling around with something like a korg triton, coming up with a rhythm, adding a bass line, an arpeggiated lead and call themselves musicians.. ok, not ramming on any style (there's good stuff and there's crap everywhere) but a clear example how technolgoy nowadays can get 'distracting'. He couldn't tell me the difference between a major chord and a minor chord.

My advice would be go for the weighted keys and the piano sounds, and a good solid stand for the keyboard. With modules going for as little as $400 nowadays (which can be hooked up to the keyboard by midi, giving you synth sounds) you can 'upgrade' the sonic capabilities later on depending on their interest.

Sorry for throwing a lot of information at once, but I wanted to get a few points accross.. if have any questions continue posting or email me.


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