I am about to buy my first keyboard and I have a lot questions about how to get started. A lot of the tutorials seem like they are based in classical music and this isn't really my taste. Should I try and find genre specific tutorials while learning the basics at the same time? Also what keyboard should I get? And how important are weighted keys if I the most serious I'll ever get it is small recordings for enjoyment? Consider a budget less than $250.
Learn the basics and don't worry if it seems geared toward classical just yet because the basics are the same either way. Learn things like:
- the notes
- how to read music
- basic chords
- scales and fingerings
And anything past that, classical-oriented or not, isn't going to hurt you. But, yes, at some point you'll want to also look into genre specific theory and material. I'd start with blues. The progression from blues to jazz is very natural. And while funk is all about the rhythm, much of the theory from jazz and blues will be useful for it.
As for gear, (specific) recommendations are off-topic here. So while asking whether you need weighted keys is fine, this isn't really the place to ask which model to buy.
For jazz, blues, and funk you'll probably want at least semi-weighted keys if not fully weighted. What you get with weighted keys is more control over your dynamics. With more weight you can still play loud by using more force, but the extra weight makes it easier to play softly. And dynamics are definitely important for those genres and, really, anything where you'll be using real piano sounds (and not just synths).