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EDIT: The keyboard is lighted - as in the keys have lights (LEDs) embedded in them. I know there are weighted keyboards. But those are beyond my budget. Of course the weighted ones feel more authentic - I have played with the keys of a real Grand Piano at my University - and I know why it costs so much.

Level: Absolute beginner
Problem: Stuck at the choice of buying a new piano.
Specific case: Whether or not to go for a piano with lighted keys.

Here I am specifically referring lighted keyboards. I have short-listed the following two keyboards.

The first has lighted keyboards and the manufacturer touts that it will make the learning process easier. Before I go for any kind of keyboard, I would like to know what would suit me the best. Also, what are the other factors that I should include to make an informed decision (e.g. touch-sensitivity is an important feature - or so I have read on numerous forums)? Any advice, esp. from a person who remembers to have passed through this stage, is highly appreciated.

My current objective is just to entertain myself. I am not a particular fan of any artist but I love to listen amazing pieces like "Canon in D", "Rondo alla turca", "Symphony 25", "K 216 #3", "Barber of Seville". Someday I would like to play them.

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Do you mean "light-up" or "lightened" keyboards? –  Widor Apr 30 '12 at 11:33

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I believe you're talking about the keyboards with an LED above or underneath each key. Completely useless. At best, the light-up action is distracting. I started playing on one of these keyboards, and I can say that I completely failed to learn any of those "Hit the lighted key"-type songs.

The main issue is that you need to know which notes to hit before it's time to play them; the lighted keys only give you feedback at the time you play them. While it's possible that they may give you some feedback as to whether you hit a right or wrong note, you're more likely to find this information anyway from your ears. And if you're not completely on rhythm, they'll tell you that you played the note wrong, which is just confusing.

It's possible that the technology has gotten better from when I last used it a decade ago, but I don't think that there is a way around these limitations. IMO you're better off with traditional sheet music and some good recordings of the music you're learning.

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also, in keeping with the crotchety old man advice, get off of my lawn. –  Babu Apr 30 '12 at 12:58
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+1 Relying on lighted keys will develop one of the worst habits possible if it works at all. –  American Luke Apr 30 '12 at 17:30

Don't fool yourself with light-weighted keys. Go for the ones that are good for you to play. Try to play a real piano once in a while to see how that is. Then compare the electronic models in your local music store.

Light-weight keys will not make you learn faster. They will however cheat your fingers in to not developing the right muscles for the tasks and will surprise you once you get to play real pianos regularly.

The titles you mention sound good, but who are their composers?

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The composers are, respectively, Pachelbel, Mozart, Mozart, Mozart, and Rossini. By the way, Canon in D and K 216 are written for string instruments, Symphony 25 and K216 are written for orchestras and the Barber of Seville is written for an opera. Of the five, only Rondo alla Turca was originally written for the piano. –  American Luke Apr 30 '12 at 17:29
    
@Luke Thanks a lot for the information. But I am still confused as to which piano to buy. The ypt-230 or the ez-200. Please recommend. I am a complete novice, but I want to buy one which is closest to a real piano. The closer the instrument is to a grand piano the better. –  Shashank Sawant Apr 30 '12 at 20:21

Lighted keys seems like a very limited way of learning how to play the piano.
Who's going to teach you what technique to use with your hands and fingers?
Who's going to teach you about all aspects of playing a piece on the piano other than that of hitting the right keys at the right time? And what "the right time" is for your interpretation?
What do you do when you want to learn another song that is not in the lighted library? One that you have as sheet music for instance?

I haven't tried the lighted keys-method (if that is valid term for it) so maybe I don't qualify to answer. But if you are aspiring to play the pieces you listed I suggest, if possible, that you get a good keyboard - if not a real piano - with 88 proper full weighted, full sized keys with touch sensitivity; but maybe before that: find yourself a good teacher who can also advise you in getting a keyboard.

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My friend, budget is my primary constraint. The EZ-200 and the YPT-230 are the only things I can buy now. A good keyboard and lessons can wait till I get a job. I think it's better to fiddle with a second rate device than to idly wait for good one. Thanks for you answer though! But please let me know what would you pick EZ-200 or YPT-230? –  Shashank Sawant Apr 30 '12 at 20:27
    
I sorry, but I'm not the right person to help you there. Good luck! –  Ulf Åkerstedt Apr 30 '12 at 22:16
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But make sure to have fun! That is most important! –  Ulf Åkerstedt Apr 30 '12 at 22:29
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If you're just starting out and short on budget, there's nothing wrong with an unweighted keyboard to get the basics, so long as it's touch-sensitive. It's hard to remember back that far, but beginner piano doesn't really require fully weighted keys, and beginners won't appreciate the difference. As @Ulf said, it's all about having fun (preferably without going broke)! –  Babu May 1 '12 at 4:43
    
I'll second Babu. –  Ulf Åkerstedt May 1 '12 at 6:50

I had a keyboard, casio lk-100 I think. It had 100 songs you could learn. I found to be very useful. What I did wad first have the keyboard play by itself so I hear the timing. Then I would play using the lights as a guide. Sure, as another post stated, it lights up when it needs to be played but with practice I was at the key before it lit. I learned a song quite fast. If you do not know how to read music it is way faster than first learning to read music.

My opinion is that I had a great time learning some music on the light up keyboard.

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