Tag Archives: learning piano keyboards

Yamaha YPG-535 Review

Yamaha YPG-535 Review

Yamaha YPG-535 ReviewMy Yamaha YPG-535 review will cover the basics of this keyboard. The Yamaha YPG-535 is a very good starter piano. The reason that this is one of the best midi keyboards that is good for piano players is that it has 88 keys and a Graded Soft Touch keyboard.

The Graded Soft Touch keyboard is a step down from the full weighted keyboard and feels a little different, less like a piano but better than a touch sensitive keyboard. When you get to the ends of the keyboard the keys are a little stiffer but not a big deal to me.

I like the sound of the piano, it is equipped with the Yamaha Live! Grand stereo sample. There are also multiple instrument sounds like clarinet, trumpet, flutes, saxes, electric pianos, organs and orchestral strings.

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With the Yamaha YPG-535 you also get the Yamaha education suite which helps new players to learn with 30 songs internally and 70 more on the CD-ROM that is included when you buy this midi keyboard.

I use the USB connectivity features to connect to my computer. I can then use the Yamaha YPG-535 as a midi keyboard controller. There is also an internal 6-track sequencer so you can compose and record right from the keyboard.

  • Here are some features of the Yamaha YPG535:
  • Piano Centric Features
  • USB Connectivity
  • Lyric, chord and notation display
  • Ease of Operation
  • Yamaha Education Suite
  • 6-track recorder
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Full Keyboard Mode

I hope you enjoyed the Yamaha YPG-535 Review. This is a great midi keyboard for the beginning to advanced player. If you are looking for a real piano feel this would not be the one to get. You should look at something like the Yamaha DGX-530. If you are looking for some great features and a good quality keyboard for a reasonable price then this is a great midi keyboard to consider.

Akai Pro MPK Mini Review

I’ve been looking for a new portable MIDI controller for a while now and was thrilled to find the Akai Pro MPK mini. This small MIDI controller is great!

I need something to use with my Apple Logic system that I run on my laptop and this 25-note keyboard is perfect.

It has 8 back-lit, MPC-style pads and 8 Q-Link knobs that give you tons of input control. I like to use the pads for drum inputs more that the keyboard.

I like that the  MPK mini has velocity-sensitive keys. This will allow me to accurately express dynamics and that saves a lot of fixing time.

You can create cool leads and  great driving bass-lines with various time denominations and patterns with the built-in Arpeggiator. I use the tap tempo buttons a lot!

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Check out the features!

  • Ultra-portable software MIDI controller
  • 25-note, velocity-sensitive mini keyboard
  • Eight backlit, velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads (2 banks, 16 total)
  • Pads can send note information, MIDI CCs and program changes
  • Eight assignable Q-Link knobs to adjust virtually any parameter

Look at what new owners say:

Jason D. Says:

The MPK Mini is a combination of the LPD8 and LPK25, which is a great thing if you’ve been considering both!

This is my first MPC product but I am an experienced keyboardist. I like the pads and how they light up when you hit them, however, they aren’t as sensitive as some might prefer, and I’m inclined to agree. It tends not to register some lighter hits, so I’m having to get used to how hard I have to hit it. The knobs aren’t as nice as professional grade knobs, but they work nicely for such a compact unit. The keyboard has mini keys and they are very sturdy. The keys are fine for their purpose of capturing ideas. I do not consider them performance worthy.

The purpose of this product is portability and to allow you to capture ideas when you don’t feel like lugging around larger equipment. For these reasons, I find it to be an excellent product.

Definitely pick this product up if you’re looking for something extremely portable with acceptable mini keys and very playable MPC pads.

Review paraphrased for length. See the full review here.

If you are looking for a good controller that is portable and easy to use, the Akai Pro MPK Mini is a good choice. Highly recommended for working away from home, not so much as a studio controller.

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Is The Yamaha DGX-630 Worth The Price?

The Yamaha DGX-630 is a full range 88 key MIDI keyboard. This keyboard is designed for intermediate to professional players but still has the learning system of some of the less expensive keyboards. The keys are weighted so it plays like a real piano with the low keys a bit heavier and the top keys lighter, this is a great feature if you play a piano a lot and are used to the feel of a real piano.

You can save over $300 on this keyboard through this link.

If you read music the Yamaha DGX630 can display the sheet music as you play so you don’t need to turn the page.
This keyboard also has a 6-track sequencer which allows you to write and record your own songs. You can also connect it to a computer through the USB port to save MIDI files and run the sequence from your computer.
The Yamaha studio effects are standard Yamaha sounds which are at the top of the recording industry standards and the DGX 630 has more than enough to create some great songs.

Look at the features.

  • 88 Piano style, weighted keys with Graded Soft Touch
  • 6-track recorder
  • DSP effects for more realistic sounding Distortion Guitar and Rotary Organ
  • 503 high-quality tones
  • Stereo Speakers
  • On Sale At Amazon

Here are what some owners have to say:

C. Bodley says:

This keyboard is everything I expected and more. When I play it the notes feel like a standard grand piano because they are weighted and the sound is phenomenal. A customer review I read mentioned that the volume was low for this piano, but I found that it adjusts to a volume that the average person might consider too loud. Aside from the feel and sound, this piano has some useful tools for teaching beginning players such as a (USB) computer to piano interface, a 6-track recorder, and a small LCD screen which will transcribe notes into  a music score as the songs are played. The piano comes with a stabilizer bar which mounts below the keyboard and keeps it steady. Overall, I highly recommend this piano to anyone (beginner or experienced) for the money.

Review paraphrased for length read the full review here.

Maria C. Says:

I absolutely love this keyboard! Don’t think that it’d be better to spend $200 or more on a different keyboard. Believe me, the money is worth it. If you’re looking for a keyboard that sounds very acoustic this one is for you. It comes with bells and whistles, which is great for whatever you need. But if you’re like me, then perhaps you just want a full-sized weighted keyboard that sounds and feels authentic. The keys are almost as sensitive as a piano, maybe more, and will  allow you to gain emphasis in your playing. I’ve tested and played keyboards priced from $400 to $3000 and I specifically chose this one for how it sounded. This one is the cream of the crop. 🙂

Review paraphrased for length read the full review here.

In conclusion: If you are a beginning player and not sure about what you want I would not recommend this one. Save your money and buy one of the less expensive keyboards. But if you are looking for a great full range keyboard this is a great one to buy. The Yamaha quality is there and the price is great. You can get the best deal through this link at Amazon.com

Here is a great demo video.

Casio LK-100: A Good Deal?

Casio LK-100 Review

Casio LK-100 reviewOur Casio LK-100 review. The Casio LK-100 is a great MIDI piano keyboard if you are learning to play because of its 3-step lesson program that is included. The keys light up during the lessons so you can play along easily and you can change the tempo of the song you are learning to make it easier to learn.
You can get a great price through this link at Amazon.com now.
This Casio keyboard is also good for the more advanced player who wants a good accompanying keyboard. It has 50 different rhythms and 100 tones to choose from.
Let’s look at some features:

  • Auto Accompaniment: Simply specify a chord and the keyboard automatically produces the matching rhythm, bass, and chord patters. One-touch fill-ins make accompaniments sound interesting and natural.
  • Easy-to-understand on-screen indicators help to simply keyboard play, even for novices
  • 50 built in auto-accompaniment patterns
  • 100 built-in Song Bank tunes for playback enjoyment or play-along practice
  • Transpose function instantly changes the key of the keyboard
  • Connecting to another MIDI device lets you sound notes on both this keyboard and the connected device by playing on this keyboard
  • Connect a commercially available microphone and you can sing along with Song Bank tunes
  • Great price available at Amazon.com

More Casio LK-100 review posts. Here’s what some current owners have to say.

Mozart “whisperwillow” says:

This is a great package for the price. This is an easy keyboard to learn to play for both children and adults alike. The Casio Key Lighting Keyboard LK-100 is as fun as it is practical.

The keyboard has 61 full-size keys. The lighted keys help beginners become familiar with the timing of the notes that follow one of the 100 built-in tunes from the keyboard’s song bank. A songbook (included) allows kids and adults to view the printed musical notes for each song. The key lighting feature can be turned off as desired. This is particularly important for advanced players who wish to use the instrument as a traditional keyboard.

The keyboard has 100 popular songs stored and they can be heard at the push of a button. Songs include Jingle Bells, as well as Happy Birthday to You and a variety of classical songs. Younger kids will be thrilled to hear a theme song from the Finding Nemo movie.

This feature-rich keyboard includes 50 built-in auto-accompaniment patterns (kids will feel like rock stars!). Advanced players will find it easy to change keys, and a microphone jack makes it a breeze to sing along with tunes. The premium package with the Casio LK100 is a great buy for the money.

This is a well-built musical instrument on which children and adults can really learn to play music.

Only negative thing is that it does have MIDI but in order to use this feature, you will need to couple it with a PC to use, since it doesn’t have a built-in disk drive.
Review paraphrased for length read full review here.

M Morrison says:

I have a 6-yr old who had been taking piano lessons. I initially wasn’t interested in all the “lighted, follow-along” song features, had just wanted a basic keyboard, but I’m so glad it came with all the bells and whistles–far from just playing her lessons, she actually plays with the follow along features, spending much more time on the keyboard than I ever anticipated.

I had been concerned about the comments made about the stand–while the keyboard does not secure to the stand, this is only an issue when you are moving it. Once the keyboard is in place, the weight of it makes it plenty secure.

This is not a full 88 keys and they are not weighted. Overall this a great value for the price especially if you buy the it on Amazon.

The Casio LK-100 is definitely a beginner to intermediate keyboard and not recommended for advanced players. I hope you like our Casio LK-100 review and have a chance to see our other reviews.

The Portable Yamaha YPT-200

The Yamaha YPT220 keyboard is the perfect electronic MIDI keyboard if you want to play anywhere you go. It is powered by either a power adapter or six AA batteries. It has the standard great Yamaha piano sounds as well as drums kits, basses, guitars and a total of 375 great sounding voices and a portable grand button that brings up a great sounding piano without having to search the sound bank for it.

Amazon.com has the best price here.

The YPT-220 has the Yamaha Education Suite that can teach you how to play piano from using both hands at once to one hand at a time if you wish. It comes with 102 songs and 100 preset styles to play along with. This is a great learning tool. Amazon has a great package on sale now that includes the keyboard, stand and headphones.

Here are some features:

  • Number of keys: 61 (organ style)
  • Number of voices: Stereo Grand Piano + 361 XGlite + 13 Drum/SFX/SE Kits
  • Display: Custom LCD
  • Tone generating technology: AWM Stereo Sampling
  • Reverb: 9 types
  • Number of preset styles: 100
  • Number of preset songs: 102
  • Amplifiers: 2.5W + 2.5W
  • Dimensions: 37.2 x 4.6 x 13.7 inches (WxHxD)
  • Weight: 9 pounds, 11 ounces
  • On sale here at Amazon.com

Look at what current owners have to say:


I had a keyboard as a kid and bought this for my boyfriend’s 8 y/o daughter. While most of the features are too advanced for her, she’s catching on!

I did a lot of searching. The price for just the keyboard was somewhat standard for a sale price at at least one store, but I couldn’t find such a reasonable bundle anywhere. Any parent who considers this MUST purchase the headphones, and the stand is a blessing. It keeps it off the floor and makes for a more realistic piano lesson at home.

Good sound; lots of bells and whistles. Sure it doesn’t have 88 keys, but most people don’t use the top or bottom keys very often. I think this keyboard is just perfect!

Review paraphrased for length. Read the complete review here.

Gregory S.

Performs as advertised. My daughter is learning to play songs from the built-in tutor in the keyboard. I can’t say enough about the hours of entertainment she gets out of this. It’s a quality keyboard at a great price. I am a satisfied customer.

You can get a great deal on this keyboard through this link at Amazon.com.

If you are looking for a MIDI keyboard to use with a sequencing system or with external synths I would not recommend this one becuase it is not as advanced and doesn’t have the features you need for composing or sequencing. However, if you are looking for an easy to use portable keyboard the Yamaha YPT-220 is a good choice.