As you set out to buy your first 60 percent keyboard instrument, you will encounter words like keyboards, digital piano, arranger keyboards, synthesizers, workstations etc. and you may not be very sure on how to proceed. Find out what may suit your need.
Why are the keyboard instruments known as home keyboards, arranger keyboards, synthesizers, workstations and so on and why do so many variations exist? To answer this question, you need to understand the growth of a keyboard player, the way he/she progresses.
o Learning Stage – At this level, you will be more concerned about learning to play the instrument. The instrument you are most likely to buy will be one of the Casio CT K series or the lower models in the Yamaha PSR series. These are known as home keyboards because you intend to play them at home. They are also known as arranger keyboards because of the built-in musical styles. These keyboards have lot of features to keep you busy with your learning process for quite some time and are reasonably priced.
o Performing Stage – At this level you will in all probability be playing for an audience and you will need professional sounds in your keyboard. The home keyboard which you had bought earlier will not be enough.
You will need a professional arranger keyboard if you intend to play as a one man band or if you are not going to have any percussionist to accompany you. The professional arranger keyboards have such superior built in accompaniments and sounds that you can do a show all by yourself, if you can sing as well.
If you have a proper band with a drummer, bassist and guitarist then you don’t need an arranger keyboard, a Synthesizer should do the job. Synthesizers do not have built in accompaniments but they have very good sounds. You can tweak most of the sounds and create new ones.
o Composing and Arranging Stage – This is where you need things like workstations, samplers and synthesizers. In this stage you need lots of varied loops, sounds and effects. A single instrument called Workstation, which is a portable studio, may serve all your purpose but once you reach this stage your ears are constantly in the lookout for new sounds. And that is the reason you end up with additional gear called samplers and synthesizers in your studio. Of course, if you are getting paid for your work you should not mind spending on your gear.
Conclusion – So you can see that the various keyboard instruments serve some purpose and they are needed at the various stages in a keyboard player’s career. Further, down the line if you get really serious about Keyboards, you will definitely end up owning multiple keyboards.