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I am lucky enough to have a real piano but for vocal exercises and learning songs I feel like an electronic keyboard on my desk would be perhaps more convenient. It doesn't need to feel like a real piano, I'd be using it to pick out a melody line or the odd chord (I think).

I'm not sure what I should be looking for - can I literally get the cheapest MIDI keyboard on Amazon or will that be too limited for my simple needs? The only thing I can see I need is a range wide enough I don't have to be switching octaves mid-phrase, but equally something small would be convenient.

Specifically for these purposes, not for playing piano or use as a MIDI controller, what should I look for that I might regret later?

Is everything I'm going to find at the budget end of the keyboard range going to be a MIDI controller that would also be suitable for my needs, or is there a difference between that and a basic keyboard?

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I'm not a trained singer, but the little I can sing I have learned through a simple Casio keyboard. It has 66 keys (I think), it's more than a decade old and I found it in my basement.

Since you don't want to sing anything extravagant, you can use the simplest keyboard, like the one I mentioned above. Heck, a keyboard with two octaves might fit your needs. You can play the chords, play simple melodies and it will fit practically anywhere.

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The average person's vocal range is about a couple of octaves but of course your vocal range will start and end at different notes. So make sure that the keyboard has a transpose function. Failing that, get a two octave MIDI controller and use the software or a MIDI control sequence to transpose. When playing transpose the keyboard to a key that fits your vocal range and the keyboard's key range.

However, if you're reading music and can't sight-read and transpose on the fly, then you're back to a bigger keyboard, in which case you'll need a 3-4 octave spread of keys.

Another consideration is your ability to handle playing mini-keys on a Casio or some such. Mini-keys can be difficult to play if you're sight-reading music.

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