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Learn To Play Keyboard: An Introductory Guide

Learn To Play Keyboard: An Introductory Guide

Learn To Play KeyboardIn order to learn to play keyboard, its good to have an understanding of the different types of instruments available to you. Keyboards come in a multitude of different shapes, sizes, sounds, and uses. They also have some common features, the most recognizable being the keyboard itself.

We think of keyboards as a group of electronic piano-like instruments that produce unique or interesting sounds through various established synthesis techniques and technologies. These instruments, however, have a different touch than that of a traditional piano, and their ranges can vary substantially from a couple of octaves to the piano’s full seven.

The keyboard itself, that is to say the playing surface, refers to the set of levers used by the player for controlling sound, primarily pitch. It is common to pianos, organs, synthesizers, and some midi controllers. The individual keys come in a pattern of white and black keys that designate different registers or octaves as well as individual notes. Subsidiary controllers allow the player to manipulate various aspects of the sound, choose from a series of preset sounds, or even create new ones.

Many instruments have an internal speaker system that will be fine for learning to play the keyboard. In addition, most keyboards allow you to route their sound to an amplifier or P.A. They may also have midi connectors used for communicating between different types of electronic instruments. Another increasingly common feature on the keyboard is a usb port allowing you to connect it directly to a computer.

If you wish to learn to play keyboard, be aware that like any other tool, different types of instruments are designed to serve particular uses. Generally, keyboard applications falls into three broad categories: electronic replacements for the piano, synthesizers, and midi controllers.

If your plan to use your instrument primarily as a piano, it will need to have a full sized keyboard, complete with weighted keys, and the ability to discern your touch necessary for controlling the loudness and softness of a note. It will also need to have at least a sustain pedal, but it is better if it has all three standard foot pedals. Needless to say, it should also have a very realistic piano sound.

Synthesizers themselves, come in many shapes and forms. They often have a large bank of preset sounds, as well as various percussion tracks or loops that you can use for self-accompaniment. The real power of a synthesizer, however, is that it provides the means for you to create your own sounds. You manipulate these sounds through the keyboard and supplementary controllers.. This practice is called sound design, which is based on well established techniques. Sound design itself is an exciting and rewarding practice that can take years to perfect.

Midi is an acronym that stands for ‘Musical Instrument Digital Interface.’ It is a protocol that was developed in the 1980s and is still very much in use today. A midi controller may have only an octave or two of keys, a few supplementary controls on board, and a midi output connector. Midi controllers do not generate there own sound. Instead, you use them to control other midi devices such as synthesizers, drum machines, sound samplers, and even stage lighting systems.

All of these different types of instruments require at least some rudimentary keyboard technique to be useful to you. To learn to play keyboard instruments, work through the beginning lessons of some of the online courses available up to the point that makes sense for your particular instrument and needs. You could try some of the free lessons at http://rocketpiano.com to get you going. You will probably need to figure out where middle C is on your instrument, a standard reference pitch for all keyboard instruments. Consult your manual or a piano-playing friend.

You should be able to pick up some rudimentary skills fairly quickly. To learn to play the keyboard you will study the basic musical alphabet and how it related to the pattern of keys on the instrument, left and write hand fingerings and basic hand position. As an initial goal, learn to play at least four different two octave scales hands together, and be able to read simple rhythms.

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