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Recommendation for a piano for learner.


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#1 drummingman

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 20:38

I'm wanting to buy a piano to help me on a composition course and learn some piano.. Aiming to get to grade 5(I play percussion to diploma).. Can anyone recommend a piano. I notice some of the cheaper pianos don't have a sustain pedal.. Should I avoid those?? Many thanks
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#2 tulip21

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 21:03

Yes, you need a damper pedal. Many pieces use it. Do you want a digital or acoustic piano?
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#3 drummingman

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 21:57

Digital
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#4 zwhe

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 06:40

For grade 5 you will need a full-size keyboard with touch-sensitive and weighted keys. Many of the cheap ones are only suitable for up to around grade 1 as they don't have enough notes and it is difficult to develop technique. You can save money by buying second hand (make sure you check it thoroughly first!) or getting a discontinued model. If you aren't absolutely certain, go for the cheapest possible and save for a better one when you need it.

You can buy a pedal separately for most keyboards - they just plug in at the back.

I would also think about extra features carefully if you will be composing. Do you need drum beats, sound effects etc. It would also be useful if it can be connected to computer equipment for music notation software.


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#5 agricola

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 08:03

I bought a Yamaha P 125 stage piano for a second home and it performs well up to about Grade 6 standard.  It's portable and comes with a plug-in pedal.  You can use it with a basic X frame or buy a more permanent stand and a pedal block.  It cost about £600 with a stand.  

 

It would be worth doing some further research on what features you need on a piano if you are going to use it for composition -- for example the one I bought records but only one item at a time and the cheaper P45 doesn't record at all.  


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#6 Sylvette

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 10:22

I bought a new digital piano a couple of years ago (a Roland RP401R).  As well as looking at the features you want, I would recommend trying as many different brands as possible, as they can both sound and feel very different.  My local music shop was very helpful in letting me play the ones in the shop to my heart's content (I was around G1 at the time) and I definitely preferred the tone and the feel of the Roland to the Casios or the Yamahas.


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#7 ejw21

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 12:33

The best your budget can afford, fully weighted and 88 keys - and go to a shop and try all the different brands. There have been quite a few digital piano threads on the forum so you may wish to search the forum for the responses. FYI I have a Yamaha Clavinova CLP535 though there are newer models.


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#8 Saxwarbler

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 16:26

I bought a Yamaha P 125 stage piano for a second home and it performs well up to about Grade 6 standard.  It's portable and comes with a plug-in pedal.  You can use it with a basic X frame or buy a more permanent stand and a pedal block.  It cost about £600 with a stand.  

It would be worth doing some further research on what features you need on a piano if you are going to use it for composition -- for example the one I bought records but only one item at a time and the cheaper P45 doesn't record at all.  

I have the P45 and I must admit, recording ability is one thing I'm going to be looking for when I upgrade - times I could do with a recording of the right hand so that I can practice the left or vice-versa. Right now I've got hubby looking out for a small combo amp for it - 6W per side isn't much and I need to have the confidence to play louder. Despite that, though, I like it, for the money (about £450 three years ago) and it does have a lovely tone.

It came with a sustain pedal but not a very useable one, so for around £40 I treated myself to a 'proper' one from Thomann, which works a treat. That's another down side to this model - it can only accomodate a single pedal rather than the two or three pedal setup that more expensive models have.


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#9 Gran'piano

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 18:45

I bought myself, on advice from a musician friend who tested it for me as I couldn't play at all at the time, a Yamaha P255. I cannot judge the sound compared with other models but I appreciate being able to record two tracks separately. Also useful is the feature which enables me to record one track, speed it up or slow it down and then fit a second part to it. The keyboard can be 'split' to enable me to play two different 'voices' with the right and left hand (split point can be adjusted) or record two voices at once. More than anything, these things allow me to add variety to my practice. 

I have a 'proper' stand which makes it look more a piece of furniture and added the three pedals instead of the single one which is in the basic pack. Two headphone sockets mean that, even when attempting to play four hands with a friend (poor Bach) no-one has to listen to us. Mr G bought me an iPad to connect to it.  The screen showing the settings is very small and remembering which detail is where is beyond my mental capacity these days.

 

I've never regretted my purchase and another friend, a pianist with a concert diploma, played some things on it for me without cringing so I guess the touch and the sound are not too bad for a beginner's instrument.


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#10 Dr. Rogers

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 15:44

I've had good success with the P-255.  I bought it five years ago to replace a sweet little Steinway M that I foolishly sold (well, selling it made sense at the time, but I wish I'd kept it in the long run).  The P-255 was my only piano for a few years, then I bought an upright and then a grand.  I do my scale and arpeggio practice on the P-255 rather than the grand - the action is easier on my hands, and when I put on headphones it doesn't drive my poor wife batty.  (Imagine an hour a day of scales and arpeggios played on a nine foot concert grand - I'm lucky she didn't leave me!)  I also use it for teaching beginners, until they've developed enough technique to approach the much heavier action on the grand.

 

Yamaha has release a replacement model, the P-515, that I would consider if I were in the market for a new digital. 


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#11 adultpianist

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 20:37

only get a piano with a fixed pedal.  The pedals you plug in are rubbish and move about when you pedal


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#12 musicalmalc

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 10:58

only get a piano with a fixed pedal.  The pedals you plug in are rubbish and move about when you pedal

no use if you are need to move it around, you are lumbered with a plug-in pedal then but I use a non-slip mat which works on most surfaces (carpet is the worst but fortunately most place I need to use it have hard floors)

 

Also a lot of 'portable' pianos have the option of purchasing a fixed stand with pedal unit


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#13 musicalmalc

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 11:03

I'm wanting to buy a piano to help me on a composition course and learn some piano.. Aiming to get to grade 5(I play percussion to diploma).. Can anyone recommend a piano. I notice some of the cheaper pianos don't have a sustain pedal.. Should I avoid those?? Many thanks

A search on a well known auction site may well yield a bargain, especially if you are near a large urban conurbation since that will give you a bigger range of sellers and most will want you to collect. Having a friend with an estate car is the easiest option but try to avoid the all singing all dancing models with lots of voices/rhythms etc. like the Yamaha CVP range as they weigh a LOT.


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