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The Digital Piano – An Introduction

The digital piano becomes increasingly popular.

The digital piano becomes increasingly popular in today’s society for some pretty sound reasons. If you haven’t giving this sort a serious look, look again. You may be in for a pleasant surprise.

This type of keyboard is a different breed of the classical stringed piano in that it uses technology to emulate acoustic sounds sent through sound chips.

It’s normally played in bands rather than in orchestras, and the versatility of the sounds that it can produce allows musicians to imitate the music of other instruments (organs, flutes, violins, etc.). Some of the more advanced can record new sounds or even record an entire performance.

Advantages

At first sight, this instrument may seem like a toy to the musician who has studied and played classical piano for numerous years, and many such musicians refuse to appreciate it as a serious instrument. But there are some distinct advantages to playing one that shouldn’t be ignored.

One of those advantages is its relevance to today’s technologically obsessed society. For example, today’s musician can easily connect one of these pianos to a computer and create MIDI sound files.

It never needs tuning, it’s lightweight and portable.

Sounds

Known as the synthesizer of the past, the digital piano can emulate the sounds of almost every kind of classical piano known (upright, grand, tack, etc.) but it’s rarely used to generate the sound of a single instrument. It’s so versatile, musicians imitate the sounds of several different instruments at once to create the sounds of a small quartet or intimate band.

Of course one of the most frequently asked questions about this instrument is, “How did they get the sounds in there??”

Essentially, the sounds that you hear are sounds recorded from actual (non-digital) instruments. The higher quality ones will produce sounds that are more faithful to their natural counterparts, making it nearly impossible for some to distinguish the output from real instruments.

Brands

If you’re interested in playing this kind of piano, you may delight in knowing that some of the world’s best technologists are digital piano manufactures. They include world-class Yamaha, Roland, Suzuki, Casio, and more. Chances are that you’ve seen these brand names on other products around the home.

The same quality that you enjoy from these brands is incorporated into their musical instruments as well. So you can feel confident that your Roland digital piano for example is just as first-rate as your Roland stereo system or amplifier.

The Interface

The learning curve required to play one of these is relatively short and depending on the goal, musicians experienced with the classical piano and computers can get started with one rather quickly. This is because its interface combines the interactivity of a software menu with the traditional piano keyboard.

Above the keyboard are options that change the volume, bass and treble output, and instrument tone.

More advanced pianos will offer additional options and could include various drumbeats as well as a nice assortment of percussion sounds. Spending some quality time learning how to change the available options without losing your place in a song is what turns a beginning digital piano player into a pro.

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