Weighted key on electronic keyboard

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Posts: 38
Location: Vermont

Post by st5555 » 05-01-18 9:10 pm

Last Christmas my wife decided to get me an electronic keyboard which I've been thinking about for years.
It was my first venture in anything musical so I shopped around and picked up on some features.
I assumed the best one to get would be one that had 88 weighted keys for starters.
Well, my wife didn't want to spend a few thousand dollars as she didn't even know if I'd ever play it.

I ended up choosing the beginners model, Yamaha EZ-220 with 61 touch sensitive keys.
I've been real happy with the choice and realized it's probably what a beginner should start with anyway.

The other day I had the opportunity to sit at a full fledged piano for a few minutes.
I tried a few simple scales and noticed how quickly my fingers were getting tired and thought the key under my right ring finger might be defective. Well, the key was fine, it was my fingers!

So my question is, why would you want weighted keys on an electronic keyboard? I understand how a pianist would feel more at home with something they were used to, but other than that, I am certainly glad I don't have to deal with weighted keys.

I was wondering what you guys with a lot more experience and insight than me thought about this.


Posts: 58

Post by cmplays » 05-01-18 11:50 pm

I'll tell you as another beginner. After I upgraded to a keyboard with weighted keys, I did feel it was more difficult to play, but that lasted for maybe a couple of weeks. Now I don't even notice that keys have any weight to them. Now, the advantage of having weighted keys for me (other than the obvious one of being able to play on an acoustic piano) is that it allows me to be less precise when hitting keys. On my old keyboard if you so much as blow on a key, it would get pressed. When playing something quick, accidentally brushing against the wrong key would produce an audible effect. The same imprecision produces no sound when you accidentally get snagged on weighted keys simply because a lot more force is required to extract sound from them. Well, you can look at it as a disadvantage too, since it teaches you that some bad habits are okay, but for me it's the result that matters.

What I think is a bigger problem for your keyboard though is having only 61 keys. There are plenty of even beginner level pieces that stray outside that range, especially on the low side. You will probably need to find the function on your keyboard that will let you shift everything by an octave to the right. I've yet to see a score that would stray outside the range on both ends, so you can probably get away with that one shift.

Also, if you go with a digital piano rather than a portable keyboard that has 10 million features you will never use, you can get something with 88 weighted keys for much cheaper than $2000. Mine was $600 I believe, and there was a more basic model that was even cheaper.

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Posts: 1800
Location: Illinois

Post by jimhenry » 05-02-18 12:55 am

As you advance. you strike the keys with varying velocities to play louder or softer. The weight is necessary to be able to control that with any degree of precision.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ

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