I have an electric keyboard (unweighted) and I want to learn how to play it. I don't want to learn piano as the keys are weighted and it would throw me off (as there is no need for muscle strengthening with the keyboard). However, the only teachers in my area are piano teachers!

What are my options, and what would you recommend me doing?

EDIT: My eyes are looking at the seaboard as a main instrument, and I want to develop the skills to play it before I get it. It is known for its very sensitive keys, and I do not want to develop a muscle memory that will make me play it too hard. Also, I wish to play jazz and fusion, not classical, so the keyboard is just a tool with whom I could change the sound to any sound I hear in my head.

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    It isn't obvious to a complete beginner, but the "muscle strength" you need to play a keyboard efficiently doesn't come from "strengthening your fingers" but from your arms and even your shoulders. The thing you have to develop is muscle control, not strength, and that is pretty much the same for all keyboard instruments.
    – user19146
    Oct 24, 2016 at 13:20
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    First, if you plan to do all your at-home practicing on an unweighted keyboard, and just don't want to be thrown off by working with a real piano during lessons, that's something to bring up with prospective teachers. My teacher has a Hammond and a piano in his studio; I'm sure he's not the only one who has an unweighted keyboard handy. Second, you say "I want to learn how to play it": Are you entirely certain that you already have sufficient skill and experience with the instrument to make the judgment that weighted keys are a waste of your time? Oct 24, 2016 at 19:18
  • I have experience with music, and I know what I want from my instrument. That is why I think that the keyboard is better for me than the guitar. I don't want to play classical repertoire, but jazz and fusion. I want to play an electric keyboard for composition and because of the wide array of sounds at hand - which the piano is incapable of. Oct 25, 2016 at 19:34
  • What's wrong with using a weighted keyboard as a motherboard, and MIDI-ing it to get a plethora of sounds? Works for me, although for organ-type playing, ordinary synth feel keys do work better. Probably, you'll need both!
    – Tim
    Oct 26, 2016 at 7:59
  • The instrument I wish to take on later in life, when I have both money and skills, is the seaboard - which is a lot closer to the ordinary electric keyboard than to the piano (but even more sensitive - and a lot more dynamic) Oct 26, 2016 at 16:50

6 Answers 6


The black and white bits do the same sort of job with either. As in they all produce sounds related to where they are situated on the board. And reading the dots will be the same, too. So, you'll need to know what they represent, regardless of how they get pressed. Most piano teachers will have been asked to teach keyboard at some time - although some will not want the job. In the initial stages,though, a piano teacher willing to help will still be a great help. It's hard to understand how much muscle strength you won't have to use by not playing piano. Most modern keyboards have velocity sensitivity, so the faster/harder you press keys, the louder the sound is, so there is still some muscle strength needed to get the most out of it. I reckon keyboard (organ etc.) players find it harder to cross over than vice versa - I play and teach both.


Any accordion teachers in your vicinity? Keys are unweighted and not even velocity-sensitive, and accompaniment is semi-automatic. Also somewhat more portable than a reasonable keyboard.

That being said, the bellows make it a more directly expressive instrument than a keyboard (though an expression pedal might help with that once you are hooked). And you don't have the expedient of using great digital sound samples as a substitute for expressive playing.

So it is only loosely related to keyboard play, but so are pianos. If the teacher situation would be better, it might be worth a try.

  • I don't see how accordion teachers are relevant to my question. I specifically said that the instrument of choice is an electric keyboard, and they are not related at all except for the layout of the keys in the right hand - different position, different ways of making sound. Oct 25, 2016 at 19:38

As a piano teacher myself, I can easily say that it makes no difference whether a student plays on a keyboard or a piano. The basics of learning to play are the same. I recommend going to a piano teacher because I never did, and it took me much longer to learn to play than it would for someone who took lessons. Being self taught is good in its own way, but I still wish I'd taken lessons. If you are worried about wasting time learning about finger strengthening when you do not feel the need, then simply inform your teacher of this. I'm sure they will have no trouble understanding.

Also I would like to mention that muscle strengthening is not something taught but something that will come. Whether you feel it's necessary or not, playing keyboard will build and strengthen muscles that you wouldn't otherwise use. Your fingers will become strong by repeated use on any keyboard, whether the keys are weighted or not. You may even find that learning on a weighted keyed piano will make it easier to play a nonweighted keyboard. I started learning on a keyboard, and once I began to play on a piano with weighted keys, I found it very difficult for a while. Learning both will help you to be more versatile and flexible with styles and composition.

Just some thoughts for you to consider. Hope this helps!

  • Thank you for your answer ^^ However, from playing guitar, I am afraid that it will feel like two guitars with an extreme action difference - resulting in using too much effort on the keyboard. Oct 25, 2016 at 19:40

You're over-thinking this. Go to a piano teacher. Tell them what keyboard you have.

  • Really. It is that simple. You might ask the teacher first if they would be agreeable about your not playing the weighted key instrument. They may even have an electronic keyboard to play for the lessons. There might be a few teachers who wouldn't go for this, but I'm betting most would. Oct 26, 2016 at 1:20

you know, y`d better have an acoustic piano and several digital pianos with heavy real keys of various action and synthesizers and midi keys with light keys, I had experience at learning keyboards using a synthesizer with thin light keys. It is OK, but the key touch should be trained to play on pianos then, especially when you play a difficult virtuoso music like Chopin and Bach... no digital piano and synths in the world, including top-expensive models has a dynamic and sound color range and depth like a good acoustic one like tempered tuned Steinway or Petroff or a good Kawai...

  • If we're going to be specific - the seaboard has a similar dynamic and a lot more sound color range - it's a synthesizer, and sounds pretty damn good. Plus, you can do vibrato on it by just wiggling your finger. Oct 25, 2016 at 19:42

Look for a piano teacher who can teach the style you want to learn on a synthesizer.

However I will point out that great synth players are at their foundation great pianists. And don't worry about your fingers muscle memory, I'm not really sure what you think will happen...I've not experienced anything like that happening nor heard any student say anything about that.

You're right through, we needore people teaching other specific styles, especially for keyboard and synth.

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