Any keyboard impresarios here?

  Picklefactory 08:08 11 Nov 2008

I know there are a number of musicians here, anyone know anything about keyboards?
I'm looking to get one for my 11 year old for err, the approaching holiday period (Do I get away with that?). Can see plenty on the web but have no clue about any to specifically avoid or to be recommended. I'm looking at sub £100, as it's his first and he may get bored with it, but he loves music and has wanted one for some time, so I'll give him a go.
Any thoughts on what would be good/bad points to look for in a keyboard.

  €dstowe 09:01 11 Nov 2008

Good as electronic keyboards may be, nothing can give you the "feel" or "touch" of a real piano.

My suggestion would be, especially if this might be a passing phase, to buy a reasonable second hand piano, get it tuned properly and have lessons. You will then get proper playing techniques.

If there is a real enthusiasm, you can get a better instrument and/or an electronic one later. It can sometimes be quite difficult to start with a keyboard and move over to a traditional instrument.

  Picklefactory 09:10 11 Nov 2008

But if you saw the amount of steps leading up to my house (38 and quite steep and narrow) bringing anything large and heavy to my house is a major undertaking. I appreciate your comments but you weren't to know that, it all makes good sense, but I need to stick to something I can carry under my arm.
Thanks again for advice

  dagbladet 09:24 11 Nov 2008

IMHO I wopuld suggest a somewhat different tack to €dstowe. It may well be a passing phase. I had it myself about twenty years ago. Had a burning desire to play a keyboard, so went to a music shop and bought a Casio for £250. Played it for about a week then lost interest. 15 years later and my daughter arrives at the 'keyboard phase'. I've no idea where the Casio is so it's another £200 for a Yamaha, which like all things is quite a bit more advanced than the previous. The phase lasts about a month (she did better than me) and I recently despatched the Yamaha to the loft where lo and behold, I find the Casio! I would imagine that these (full size) keyboards probably go for £69-79 now, or if you were to break into my loft there are two which won't be missed at least until we experience a grandchild 'keyboard phase' in about ten years time.

  dagbladet 09:33 11 Nov 2008

If you want to test the 'phase' theory, Asda are currently advertising a full size one for £25. It's probably not going to be exactly Steinway quality but I wouldn't be surprised if it's comparable to my £200-£250 jobs.

  dagbladet 09:40 11 Nov 2008

Sorry, meant to add. One of the key (geddit) advantages of a keyboard over a piano being the headphone facility. Absolutely vital.

  Picklefactory 09:40 11 Nov 2008

Good point and worth consideration. If I can find a reasonable 'budget' one, it might be suitable for dipping toe in water.

  Picklefactory 09:42 11 Nov 2008

Ooh, yeah. See, that's why I'm here. Never even considered the headphone aspect. Absolutely crucial, good shout. Thanks.

  jtt 13:32 12 Nov 2008

"My suggestion would be, especially if this might be a passing phase, to buy a reasonable second hand piano".

I think you'd be talking well over £1,000 for one. Low priced secondhand ones I've seen are in poor condition, and would require lots of money to re-condition them to an acceptable standard. Many aren't capable of reaching that standard.

  IClaudio 15:28 12 Nov 2008

a Tuner will be anywhere from £50 upwards - and, unless you buy the piano from a dealer, add in the cost of an accredited piano removal van (don't use a Man and a Van :))

  Picklefactory 12:50 13 Nov 2008

.........Yamaha YPT200-K from Amazon. About £80 with heavy duty stand. Should arrive early next week, I'll tick as resolved now and post back with opinion.
Thanks for all the hints.

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