Roland Brand Spotlight

Roland is a world leader in digital piano technology. Unlike Yamaha and Kawai that also make acoustic pianos, Roland focuses solely on the development and creation of digital instruments. The brand is famous for creating innovative musical products, and being a pioneer in global music technology.

Roland started with Japanese engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur Ikutaro Kakehashi.

Kakehashi was born in Osaka in 1930. During the war, with no access to music lessons, he became interested in radio as a way of listening to music. In 1947 at just age 16 he founded the Kakehashi Clock Store, a watch repair store. He also started repairing radios, and went on to open the Kakehashi Radio electrical appliance store in 1954. It was during this time that he started to repair electric organs and begin to create organ prototypes.

At 28, Kakehashi decided to devote himself solely to music, and so founded Ace Tone in 1960 – a company which produced electronic organs and drum machines. Ace Tone is considered to be the precursor to Roland.

He founded Roland 1972 and lead it for four decades. Ikutaro Kakehashi (and engineer Dave Smith) both received a technical grammy in 2013 for their contributions for the development of MIDI.

Traditional Piano Practice

Roland debuted the EP-30, the worlds first touch sensitive electronic keyboard in 1974. The technology used back then is standard today, but it was ground breaking at the time. Roland continue to be renowned for their advanced digital technology, popular amongst professional musicians, producers, and students.

F701

The F701 was released recently in early 2021 and has already won a Red Dot Design Award – one of the worlds largest design competition judged by 50 international experts.

Rolands SuperNATURAL sound, PHA-4 keyboard with ivory feel white keys, hammer action, and escapement make for a realistic piano playing experience. The F701’s sleek, slimline design make it ideal for anyone wanting a sophisticated piece of furniture that doesn’t take up too much space.

HP and LX range:

Roland’s premium range of digital upright pianos deliver an authentic piano playing experience.

LX stands for ‘luxury’ while HP stands for ‘Home Piano’.

The three models in the LX range feature Rolands top of the line Pure Acoustic Modeling technology.

The two models at the top of the line, (LX708 and LX706) feature Roland’s PHA pure hybrid keyboard with wooden keys and the LX705 and HP704 use the PHA-50 keyboard (also a keyboard with wooden keys).  (PLEASE LINK THESE MODELS TO THE PRODUCT PAGES)

All models in these two ranges come with a 10 year warranty and a height adjustable bench with storage. Available in a variety of matte and gloss finishes.

Kiyola

For a piano playing experience with aesthetic, the Kiyola ticks all the boxes.

Roland collaborated with Japanese premium furniture maker Karimoku (link to website https://www.karimoku.com/en/main.php) to create this amazing product. Handcrafted with Hokkaido wood, it’s available in 4 colours – black, white, oak, and brown.

With 4 piano tones modelled off four steinway pianos – two in Berlin and two in New York, and Roland’s top of the line piano action, the PHA40 with wooden keys, this model is truly magnificent.

Roland GO-KEYS

Want to make music on the go? This instrument is great for music creation and creativity. It has an excellent choice of tones, loops, and styles, and great sounding speakers – all cased in a lightweight design that can run on batteries!

You can also connect your phone to via bluetooth to stream music through the keyboards speakers, so you can play along to your favourite tunes.

Famous sounds:

A blog about Roland wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the iconic TR-808 drum machine. The 808 has been used in countless songs, including Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’, Whitney Houstons ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’, and many of todays current hits.

808 drums are found in the Roland JUNODS88, FA08, and VR09. This means you can create and record your own patterns with this iconic sound!

Two of Rolands corporate slogans are ‘Inspire the Enjoyment of Creativity’, and ‘Be the BEST rather than the BIGGEST’. We hope the story of Roland has inspired you in your music journey, whether you are a seasoned professional or just getting started.

Visit us in store to try our large range of Roland digital pianos, keyboards, and synthesisers. We are offering one-on-one virtual shopping appointments for our customers in NSW and VIC:  https://www.australianpianowarehouse.com.au/virtual-shopping/

Further Reading:

https://www.roland.com/au/company/history/

Getting through lockdown with piano

Here’s how you can get started with piano at home.

You’ve decided to invest in your hobby (or passion!), and buy a keyboard or piano to get started on your musical journey.

Due to lockdown restrictions, many people are opting to learn at home, and with so many resources available, it is certainly a viable option, so what is the best way to get started?

Method books and YouTube. The combination of both is important, and here’s why:

Method books allow you to work through new techniques in the correct order, so instead of sifting through bits and pieces of information on YouTube, you are gaining a solid foundation to develop as a piano player in your chosen style.

In the era of information overload, the simplicity of working step by step through a book that  teaches both theoretic and practical knowledge is immensely valuable.

YouTube will bring your method book to life:

Half the battle of learning something new can be knowing WHAT to search for, and this again is where having a book explaining new concepts is very useful. For example, when using a method book, you’ll likely come across something called ‘Chord Inversions’.

Without any formal study in music, it’s unlikely that anyone would think to type ‘Piano Chord Inversions’ into YouTube, but when you do, you’ll see numerous videos with some great exercises, even one on ‘How Elton John Uses Inversions’.

Here are some great titles to get you started:

Accelerated Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner:

A good choice for anyone wanting to take a more traditional approach to music learning, you’ll learn how to read music, and a variety of tunes such as Amazing Grace, Forest Drums, and Row Row Your Boat.

You’ll learn to play chords in your left hand and melodies in your right hand – a great foundation for playing jazz, and popular music styles.

It’s also worth noting, this title defines older as ‘over 11 years old!’

Adult Piano Method:

This book will also teach you to read music notation with a combination of music styles and theoretical concepts. It also provides opportunity for improvisation.

Seeking a less traditional approach? Check out 150 Keyboard Tips & Lessons:

Aside from music, learn about using DAW programs such as Garage Band and ProTools, navigating equipment, and finding a teacher. It covers music styles such as electronic, gospel, and country, as well as important jazz theory, and piano technical concepts that are useful in a variety of performance situations.

Additional tips:

  • Keep a practice diary – note down what you learned, what you struggled with, how long you practiced for, and any break throughs.
  • Celebrate your achievements – learned a new piece? A new technique? That’s great! Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for your great work!
  • Consider seeing a teacher on zoom, especially if you are feeling stuck or unmotivated. A teacher will also correct anything that a book or a video can’t pick up such as posture, hand position, and correct fingering.

Do you have any additional tips for learning piano at home? Let us know in the comments!

Are you looking for an instrument to learn piano on at home? Feel free to set up a virtual shopping appointment here: https://www.australianpianowarehouse.com.au/virtual-shopping/

Mistakes people make when beginning to learn the piano

Have you been thinking about playing piano for a while? Do you have a child who has expressed interest in playing piano, but you’re not sure if they’ll stick with it? 

Getting started the right way is very important. Not only will it determine how much you enjoy playing the piano, with the right guidance, you will discover just how capable you are of learning an instrument. 

Whether you dream of taking to the stage or are just playing for fun, here are three things to avoid when getting started on your musical journey:

1. Investing in lessons without buying an instrument

This is exactly like booking in a 30 minute weekly session with a personal trainer and then not doing any exercise during the week.   

By the time you buy an instrument, you or your child won’t be in the habit of practicing, so setting up a practice schedule will potentially be a challenge. Getting better at anything requires consistent practice, and piano is no exception!

2. Buying an instrument with no plan on how to learn

Taking regular piano lessons is always the best option to maximise your learning potential.

Ideal scenario: You see a teacher at least once a week. You enjoy your lessons with the teacher so you leave feeling inspired, and you know exactly what you need to practice at home. 

Potential for failure: You buy a piano because a friend said they could teach you. You don’t see them regularly, so you don’t have any structure, and don’t feel motivated to practice. Because this isn’t a strong plan, you eventually stop playing.

Potential for failure: You decide to buy a keyboard because you’ve seen some courses online which have made self study look achievable. Having never played music before, you struggle with some of the music theory and come to a dead end. 

While online courses are great, and absolutely suitable for some learners (particularly people who have previously studied music), there is no substitute for having a teacher. I am not discouraging having a look at online lessons, but if you find you aren’t progressing as fast as you’d like, or are getting stuck on certain concepts, it may be time to look for a teacher, rather than thinking ‘I’m not good at this’. 

3. Overspeculating   

Concerns such as ‘will I be good at piano?’, and, ‘I don’t know if my kid will get bored of playing the piano soon’ are common considerations, but ultimately, with the right guidance and instrument, I believe anyone can learn the piano. If kids like their teacher, and therefore enjoy their piano lessons, they will want to keep playing.

Let’s say, for example, you don’t know how much time your child will have to focus on the piano once they reach their senior high school years. That’s ok! Perhaps piano will be something they do to relax after studying. Playing the piano is meant to be enjoyable, challenging, and satisfying, so if the goal is to play piano just for fun, it’s not the end of the world if they miss a day of practice.  

What do you think of these points? Do you have any more of your own to add? Let us know in the comments.

To discuss getting started on the piano, feel free to get in touch with our friendly live chat specialists. Alternatively, for expert piano advice, call 1300 888 279 to reach your nearest store.

How much do I need to spend on a digital piano in 2021?

Wanting a digital instrument that feels and sounds like a piano? It may cost less than you think. While digital piano technology has advanced significantly over the past few years, prices are lower than ever before. 

Our customers often say that they don’t care about the ‘bells and whistles’, or they don’t need it to be ‘fancy’.

Some models contain a large variety of sounds and rhythms, but the ‘bells and whistles’ are generally not what make a digital piano more expensive – it is the technology behind both:

  • The piano feel
  • The sound

Rather than using strings, hammers, and a wooden soundboard like a real piano, a digital instrument uses speakers, and technology to create a piano playing experience. (With the exception of the Kawai CA99 – a digital model that features incredibly advanced technology, including a wooden soundboard).

Now that I know what I am paying for, how much do I need to spend?

It’s so important to have an instrument with weighted keys so you can develop the muscles and dexterity in your fingers. 

This means that at minimum you will be looking for something with 88 keys and weighted action between the 700-800 price range* such as Portable entry level models like the Casio CDP135, Yamaha P45, Roland FP10 or Kawai ES110.

Next models up from there include options like the Yamaha P125 or Roland FP30. These come within the 980-1050 price range*. These models are a step up in sound quality compared to the entry models. They also have better controllability, and in some cases, the option to add a fixed 3 pedal unit which is advantageous for those studying piano. 

These models will take you further in your piano playing journey without needing to upgrade. 

Next, let’s take a look at cabinet style models. 

If you’ll primarily be playing your piano at home, cabinet style models are a great choice:

  • They look like a piano, only smaller 
  • They’re cased in either a slimline design, or a traditional style piano cabinet
  • Often include a matching bench

The Kawai KDP110 boasts an impressive 40W speaker system and premium wood like finish, making it an excellent choice for beginners and experienced players alike.

The Kawai KDP70, includes a matching stool, and features Kawai’s expressive EX concert sampled piano sounds. This model was designed to be an affordable addition to the KDP range. Both models include a matching stool. 

Other models worth considering under the $2099 mark are the Casio AP270, Casio PX770, Roland F140, Yamaha YDP164, and Yamaha YDPS54. Whilst each model has very similar features, they each use their own unique technology and thus feel, and sound, slightly different from one another. 

Let’s jump into premium cabinet models.

Why buy a premium model? 

Premium models have the most superior sound and feel. This means that features such as wooden keys, superior speaker systems, and the most advanced technology all come together to create a piano playing experience. 

Premium models are not just for advanced players. If you want to begin your piano playing journey on a digital instrument that is as close to a piano as possible, kick start your journey with a model from Roland’s HP700 or LX700 series, Yamaha’s Clavinova series, or Kawai’s CA series**.   

If you have been wanting to play piano for some time and you’ve reached a point where you are ready to buy an instrument and make piano playing a part of your life, it’s always better to buy an instrument that:

  • Will carry you through your playing without needing to upgrade
  • You love the sound and feel of 

We have a large range of digital and acoustic pianos to suit a variety of goals and budgets***. For any specific enquiries, feel free to reach out to one of our friendly piano specialists in store, our live chat, or on 1300 888 279 

*All prices current at time of posting on December 2020

** Specifications vary between models.

*** Our range of digital pianos extends beyond this article

Decoding digital pianos

Feeling unsure of what exactly to look for in a digital piano?  Here’s a basic, easy to understand overview of the main specifications and features of a digital piano.

Number of Keys

88 Key: This is the same number of keys as a real piano and is most ideal for learning, practicing, and playing the piano.

76 Key: Though a less common choice for learning the piano, 76 key models such as the Yamaha P121 can be a good choice for those wanting the feel of a piano, as it has weighted keys. Not all 76 key models have weighted keys however, so it is important to check

61 Key: Ranging from keyboards with hundreds of sounds and rhythms to explore creativity at home, to workstations and synthesizers suitable for the stage. 76 key models also exist in this category.

Sound Engine

The sound engine is the technology used to produce the sound. Unlike acoustic pianos which produce sound from a hammer striking a string and resonating through a wooden soundboard, a digital instrument uses recorded samples of a piano, or a type of technology called ‘modelling’ which closely models the sound, feel, and behaviour of an acoustic instrument.

Each brand has their own name for the technology that they use and they all sound slightly different from one another, much in the same way that different brands of acoustic pianos each have their own distinct sound.

Keyboard Action

The way the keyboard feels is often described as the ‘action’. You might have heard of ‘weighted keys’ – it’s important to learn piano on an instrument with weighted keys to develop the muscles and dexterity in the fingers.

Graded Hammer Action technology takes it one step further in giving the player an authentic piano playing experience. If you’ve ever had a good look inside an acoustic piano, you’ll see that the hammers that strike the strings are larger – and therefore heavier – in the bass end of the piano, and smaller at the top. The natural effect is that the keys at the bottom feel heavier and gradually get lighter as they go up.

Digital piano technology emulates that feeling by making the keys heavier at the bottom, and lighter as they go up – depending on the brand, this can be called ‘Graded Hammer Action’, ‘Scaled Hammer Action’, ‘PHA-4’ (progressive hammer action) to name a few. Just like the sound engine, each brand uses their own technology and terminology.

There are also variances in the key’s texture across the different brands. A beginner is unlikely to have a strong preference (though, some do!), but an experienced player is likely to have a preference for a particular key feel.

Please note that 61 key keyboards generally do not have weighted keys.

Polyphony

Polyphony is the amount of notes you can play at once.

Record Function

The ability to record your playing and store it on the keyboard

MIDI

In the past, a specific midi cable and keyboard port was required to connect the keyboard to the computer for recording midi. These days, the majority connect via a USB cable. Once connected, you can record midi using your preferred recording program.

Metronome

A metronome is a click sound which keeps you playing in time. You can set the tempo and time signature. It’s an incredibly useful practice tool.

Headphone Jack

All current digital pianos have a headphone jack to connect headphones with. Depending on the type of headphones you own, you may need to buy a small adapter. These are not costly.

 

Any more questions related to a specific model? Feel free to get in touch with one of our experienced piano specialists on 1300 888 279

 

Learning to play the piano during COVID

There’s never been a better time to learn

Many people ask ‘can I learn the piano as an adult?’. Absolutely!

At the moment, more and more adults are flocking to learn the piano – and with good reason! Learning the piano is relaxing, enjoyable, and good for the mind. Whether you choose to see a piano teacher, learn through online tutorials, or pick up a music book, here are some helpful hints to get you going:

  1. Think about your goals 

What do you want to have learned on piano once covid is over and life has returned to normal?

Here are some examples:

  • To be able to play my favorite song with confidence.
  • To master Hanon exercises
  • To be able to sing and play piano at the same time
  • To learn how to improvise/get better at improvising
  • To play piano in front of my family

Why do I want to be able to do this?

  • ‘I want to do something that is relaxing and enjoyable’
  • ‘I want to be able to play the songs I love’
  • ‘I want to have improved my technique’
  • ‘I want to start performing’
  • ‘I love the sound of piano and I’ve always wanted to play’
  1. Find the right learning tools to suit your goals

Let’s take a look at what is available online

If you want to learn jazz, why not learn from Herbie Hancock? He has created an in depth lesson series on Masterclass.

https://www.masterclass.com/classes/herbie-hancock-teaches-jazz/chapters/piano-basics#

Playground sessions was co-created by music legend, and producer of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Quincy Jones

The lessons have been created by a team of instructors, including Harry Connick, Jr.

https://www.playgroundsessions.com/

Music learning app ‘Flowkey’ gives you everything you need to get playing piano right away. It was created in cooperation with Yamaha music, and gets you playing your favorite songs right away. For beginners, you can begin with a Beginners Course which covers the basics. Check it out here: https://app.flowkey.com/intro

If you are a beginner and prefer heading straight to YouTube, the channel ‘Easy Piano’ has a wide range of pop songs to learn.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPfDF8O9GllZ-79F76Q7LXA

Already know how to read music? Musicnotes contains over 400,000 song arrangements available to purchase and download on the spot. https://www.musicnotes.com/

These are just some of the tools that can have you starting, or continuing, your journey as a piano player.

  1. Find a teacher.

Nothing beats sitting down with a teacher, especially if you want to speed up your learning process. Ideally, you’ll be getting lessons, and using online materials as supplementary learning.

A good teacher will quickly identify your strengths and see where you need to improve. You are bound to have a lot of ‘aha!’ moments as the teacher tells you exactly what to work on.

If you’re feeling unmotivated, not progressing past a certain point, or experiencing ‘information overload’ from looking at a variety of different online tutorials without finding the best one for your needs, getting a teacher is the best thing you can do.

  1. Structure your practice

Break down your practice into meaningful chunks to ensure you are developing technique, building new skills, and strengthening existing skills.

For example, you might spend 20 minutes playing exercises from a book or app, 20 minutes on a new concept you have just learned – either in your lesson, or from an online tutorial, and 20 minutes playing whatever you like for fun.

We have a large variety of keyboards and pianos available for shipping across Australia. Feel free to get in touch with one of our friendly, experienced piano specialists on 1300 888 279, or simply connect to our live chat operator to find the best instrument for your needs. 

Part 3 – Guiding Your Child or Teenager Through Their Practice

Now that you’ve got the right instrument for your child and they’ve started lessons with a great teacher, the real journey begins!

‘Just practice what the teacher told you to practice!’this is a common sentiment, and not bad advice in and of itself – your child should always be practicing the material set for them by the teacher however, aside from teaching your child new skills and technique, a big part of the music teacher’s role is to guide their students through their practice.

You see, knowing HOW to practice, is just as important as knowing WHAT to practice. This is where you can also help at home.

Unlike needing to understand complicated equations to help your kids with their math homework, you will be able to help with their piano practice without ever needing to play a single note.

Here are a three issues to be aware of:

#1: Playing too fast

Playing fast is cool and fun, so a lot of students can’t resist the temptation to play at a high speed. The problem is, they often haven’t mastered the song they’re learning at a slower tempo. It’s common to hear a younger student fumble their way through excitedly. They’re playing fast – but they’re not playing well.

Have you ever heard a very skilled piano player? The way they glide their fingers up and down the keys so effortlessly with perfect timing and precision – that comes from years of slow, measured practice. You can’t run until you can walk.

How you can help:

Make sure you know how to use and access the metronome – encourage your child to practice at an appropriate tempo as set by the teacher. Roland’s HP and LX range have their metronome buttons easily accessible. Many Yamaha digital models have a user friendly interactive app called ‘Smart Pianist’ to control the metronome, amongst many other features.

#2 – ‘Practice is Boring’.

Learning an instrument should be challenging,rewarding, and enjoyable. Whilst learning any skill that requires practice and concentration isn’t going to be fun 100% of the time – it is important that there are moments set aside just for fun and creativity.

How you can help:

Once the material set by the teacher has been practiced for the day, there is no reason to discourage your child from exploring their creativity.

The Roland FP10 has an inbuilt jazz singing voice which a lot of kids find enjoyable. Both the Yamaha P125 and Roland F140 have built in rhythms which often provide a lot of fun.

#3 – There’s no time to practice

Life is busy. Between homework, family commitments, and extracurricular activities, it’s easy to let piano practice slip.

Fifteen minutes of practice five times a week is better than two hours once a week. Like anything that requires concentration, getting started is always the hardest part.

How you can help:

Make sure the piano is set up in a nice tidy area of the house where it looks inviting. If you have a portable model, never pack it down at night.

Keyboards are designed slimmer than ever so if space is an issue, Casio’s PXS1000 is a good option – it gained an award at the world’s largest trade show (NAMM) in 2012 for its sleek design.

In a cabinet model, the Yamaha YDPS54 and YDPS34 have a multi purpose design – they can be used as a desk when the lid is down. The Roland F140 features a slimline design that is aesthetically pleasing.

For a more traditional design, the Kawai CA59, Roland LX706, and Yamaha CLP745 are just some of the models that offer a superior playing experience at the fraction of the size of an acoustic piano.

More information on products mentioned, including videos, can be accessed by clicking the product links

Has anyone encountered these issues? Do you have any suggestions of your own? Let us know in the comments!

Part 2: Choosing The Right Instrument

You may wish to start by reading Part 1 – click here

Now that you’ve decided on the right teacher, or even if you’re still in the stages of looking, it’s time to find a piano to practice on at home.

Whilst your child will be spending 30 minutes with the teacher each week, they will be spending time with the piano almost every day, so it’s important to get the one that will best help them meet their goals as they begin the journey of learning the piano.

How do I choose between two pianos of a similar price range that are different brands? 

Each brand sounds and feels a little different from one another. You don’t have to be an expert in music to have an opinion on the sound that you like, and kids often form an opinion quite quickly – even when they have only just started. There also may be certain functions that you prefer, such as the layout of the buttons or visual design.

At the Australian Piano Warehouse, we have a wide range of acoustic and digital pianos, and our piano specialists can guide you through the various options on offer to find the best one for you.

There are a few directions you can take when purchasing

  1. Acoustic Piano

If you have the space, beginning to learn on an acoustic piano from the get go is a fantastic option.

We have an impressive range of upright and grand pianos, both new and used, for you to look at in our showroom.

  1. Cabinet Style Digital

A popular choice for those who want something that looks and feels more like an acoustic piano while saving space in the home. Cabinet style digitals are available in sleek designs, and allow for the convenience of using headphones. Many models emulate the piano playing experience with features that you can find on an acoustic piano such as wooden keys and graded hammer action – this is where the keys are heavier at the bottom on the low notes and gradually get lighter as you play up the keyboard.

  1. Portable Digital

If you plan to take your keyboard out of the house, for example, when visiting family or performing, a portable digital will be the best option for you. These also work great when space in the home is extremely limited, however it’s best to always keep it set up rather than packing it down each night – it’s easier to practice when all you have to do is press the ‘on’ button! These also offer the option of using headphones, and are available in sleek, slimline designs, as well as eye popping colours. Portable digitals are also available in 88 keys and graded hammer action for a piano playing experience.

A word of guidance:

Without graded hammer action or weighted keys, (that’s when the keys feel heavy like a piano as opposed to the light feeling keys often found on smaller keyboards), you cannot develop the finger muscles and dexterity that is so vital to becoming a piano player.

I’ll just get something cheap, and if they stick with it, then I’ll upgrade to something a little bit better

If possible, especially if you are investing in lessons, I recommend getting the instrument that is not only going to get your child started, but is going to make them want to keep learning.

It takes tremendous willpower to learn music intended for the piano, on a small, unweighted keyboard.

Having said that, if the goal is to have a play with different tones and rhythms and explore creativity, perhaps something small and lightweight that offers these features is a better choice for your needs.

We are proud to offer products that suit a range of budgets, lifestyles, and purposes, so feel free to have a chat to one of our friendly specialists on our live chat who will be able to recommend some great products for you to check out.

Alternatively, feel free to give one of our stores a call, or even better, pop in store to experience the pianos and keyboards on offer at one of our showrooms!

1300 888 279 for your local Australian Piano Warehouse store!

Choosing the right digital piano for your lifestyle

By Holly Terrens (Brisbane Store)

These days it’s not just urban dwellers who are opting to go digital. Digital piano technology allows anyone from beginners to professional players to have a realistic piano playing experience with the added bonus of being able to plug in headphones, connect wirelessly to learning apps, and connect to the computer for recording. 

With so many models on offer, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start so we’ve created a no fuss guide to find the right model for you. 

Please note that just like a ‘real’ piano, each model in this guide has 88 keys and a weighted action. In order to develop your finger strength and dexterity, it’s very important to buy something with weighted keys. 

Here we go! 

‘Do you move your piano from one house to another?’ ‘Do you sometimes take it out to perform?’ ‘Do you have it set up in front of your computer?’

If you answered yes to any of these questions, take a look at the Casio PXS3000 or the Casio PXS1000. There’s a reason that these models both took home awards at the 2019 NAMM show: aside from their ivory feel keytops and realistic piano tones, they are incredibly slimline and sleek, making them a popular choice globally.

‘Are you low on space but don’t plan to take the piano outside of the house?’ ‘Do you want something with greater key protection?’ ‘Looking for the next level up in sound quality?’

This model ticks all the boxes. 

Yamaha S54 With a hard, sturdy piano folding lid to protect the keys and larger speakers, it offers next level sound quality without compromising on the overall size of the piano itself. Light enough to move around the house if you like to redecorate.  

‘I want something that looks more like a piano without blowing the bank’

Check out Casio’s AP270. This model offers a variety of beautiful piano tones cased in a beautiful cabinet style available in black, white and brown. There is also a built in lesson feature, as well as the option to connect to Casio’s Chordana Play App. 

‘I want something that looks, sounds and feels like a piano.’

Look no further than Roland’s LX700 series. 

This series has been recognized as a winner of multiple global design awards. Using Roland’s latest piano technology combined with powerful speakers, the result is an expressive, highly realistic piano playing experience. 

These models are available in store to try. Alternatively, feel free to give us a call or send a message to discuss delivery options. 

1300 888 279 for your local Australian Piano Warehouse store!

Read More – Part 2 – Click Here

Learning the piano as an adult

By Holly Terrens (Brisbane Store)

Learning the piano as an adult and learning the piano as a child are often two vastly different experiences. Whether you hated lessons as a kid, or you simply didn’t have the opportunity to learn, as an adult, you have a blank slate filled with the clear goal of learning the music you like. Hooray! 

The next two steps to consider are:

Should I get lessons or teach myself?

It’s always a great idea to get lessons to ensure you’re playing with the correct technique and not creating any long term bad habits. Like anything, working alongside an expert whose teaching method resonates with you is a surefire way to stay on track and reach your goals. 

‘Flowkey’ https://www.flowkey.com/ is also a good app to get started with as it gets you playing straight away with built in lessons. It also contains a large number of music scores across a variety of music styles and genres. Flowkey are a subscription based service however, they are currently running a promotion for new Yamaha customers who will get 3 months of premium access for free. 

If you have some experience reading music and want to get into playing all your favorite songs, https://www.musicnotes.com/ contains over 300,000 sheet music arrangements that can be purchased individually. 

What do I need to buy?

We’ve got plenty of different options to suit your budget and lifestyle

Feel free to visit one of our stores across Australia to play our large range of electric and acoustic pianos. If you’re a complete beginner – no problem! One of our highly experienced staff members will demonstrate the sound of the piano. Alternatively, feel free to give us a call or send us a message via our website.

Buying a digital piano for under $1500 – a complete guide on where to start

By Holly Terrens (Australian Piano Warehouse – Brisbane)

Thinking of taking up the piano? Wanting to enrol your child in piano lessons?

You may hear the basic specifications you need for an authentic piano playing experience: 88 keys and weighted action.

With so many different models on the market, the task can seem arduous however, once we break down the options, you will feel confident on the model you need to suit your budget, lifestyle and space.

Let’s take a look at four models for under the 1500-dollar mark:

Kawai KDP110

Kawai produce both acoustic and digital pianos. Their famous piano sound ‘Shigeru’ is one of four piano tones available on this model. Being a cabinet style, it looks like a piano – only much smaller, making it a beautiful and practical furniture piece for a living room, bedroom or study.

Benefits:

  • Powerful speaker. Unlike other models within this price range, the Kawai KDP110 boasts a 40W speaker. A powerful speaker doesn’t mean you should be playing full blast and upsetting the neighbours, instead, it means that when you have the volume set to an appropriate level, the tone will still be rich and beautiful.
  • Responsive action – exactly what one would want in their piano playing experience.
  • Great value for money with the piano stool included.
  • Shigeru piano tone.

Roland F140

The Roland F140 is an excellent choice for those wanting a home style piano that is slimmer than a cabinet, and sleeker than a portable piano. Roland use an ‘Ivory Feel’ key. This means that when the key is touched it feels like wood, rather than plastic, for an authentic piano playing experience. It comes in both black and white.

Benefits:

  • Slim line design – perfect for smaller spaces.
  • Great value for money with a piano stool included.
  • Folding bench to protect from dust.

Roland FP30

Unlike Yamaha and Kawai who manufacture acoustic pianos, Roland only make digital instruments – in fact many electronic sounds you hear on the radio today come from Roland’s technology! They continue to pioneer with their digital technology, making them an excellent choice for beginners and professionals alike.

This is a portable model, making it a good fit for someone who might be considering taking the piano out in the car to gigs, or kids taking it between homes. There is also the option to buy a fixed stand and/or a three-pedal unit (the same pedals you see on an acoustic piano).

Benefits:

  • Just like the F140, the FP30 uses Roland’s Ivory Feel key.
  • Is portable, with the option of adding a fixed stand and pedals
  • Roland have a variety of apps for music learning and making which can be used with this model (as well as the F140). To find out more information, visit www.roland.com/au/categories/apps

Yamaha P125

The P125 is another great portable option. Yamaha don’t use an ‘Ivory Feel’ key like Roland, however the action itself feels good to play and some people even prefer the feeling of a plastic key rather than the ‘Ivory Feel’. The piano is very easy to control with different tones, metronome, record function, and rhythms ready to go with the touch of a button.

An amazing reason to choose Yamaha would be because of their new app called Flowkey. The subscription-based service is available to Yamaha customers and free for three months. Here is where you can learn notes, chords and everything you need to get started playing music that you love. Flowkey also contains numerous scores for beginners and established players alike. From pop, to classical, you’ll be playing your favourite songs in no time! Check it out on www.flowkey.com

Benefits:

  • Especially for an adult learner not planning to get piano lessons, Flowkey is an amazing learning tool.
  • Action feels good to play.
  • A fixed stand and pedals can also be purchased.

It’s always best to see the piano in person to get a feel for the sound and size. Even if you haven’t been playing for long, it’s still a good idea to sit down in front of the piano and play around with the controls and feel the action, after all, you’re about to begin a long journey with your new instrument!

 

Yamaha P45 vs P125

If you’re in the market for an entry-level digital piano, you’ve probably already come across the Yamaha P45 or P125, both amongst some of the most popular models of portable digital pianos.Whether you’re buying a first piano for your beginning child, or you’re an experienced pianist in need of a practice piano, the Yamaha P-series is a worthwhile consideration. But what are the differences between the two pianos, and why would you pay for the upgrade?

Both the P45 and P125 have the full 88-keys and weighted action. They are both programmed to have the dynamic Yamaha sound. They are also compact and lightweight pianos, both weighing just under twelve kilograms, so they are convenient for small spaces or if you need to move the piano around regularly.

Yet there are a few key differences that you may want to consider.

First of all, the P125 has an improved sound engine, featuring the Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand piano sampling. The P45 uses the Advanced Wave Memory sampling, which is perfectly adequate, but slightly less impressive. While the pianos both feel the same, the playing experience is ultimately more satisfying on the P125 with its improved sound samples and superior speaker system. There is also a much higher polyphony on the P125–195 notes are able to sound at once before notes start ‘dropping,’ compared to 42 on the P45, resulting in a richer, more resonant sound. This is why we would normally recommend the P125 for more experienced players, or if you’re looking for more longevity out of your beginning instrument.

In terms of features, the P125 also has added benefits. You can record on the piano and transfer the file to an electronic device. You also have access to the Yamaha Smart Pianist app, which is very useful for learning music and further customising the sound of your piano. The

P125 has 24 voices, as opposed to the P45’s 10, and it also has a stereo and PA output, making it perfect for gigging musicians. Another benefit of the P125 is its setup–it’s compatible with a fixed stand and the full three pedals, necessary for players wanting extra dimension and expression in their playing.

The P45 doesn’t have the same set up, but if you find yourself unsatisfied with the included pedal as you progress in your playing, you can plug in an additional sustain pedal that has more control, like the sustain pedal on an acoustic piano. The P45 also has an inbuilt metronome, so if your goal is mainly to practise piano, rather than recording and using different sounds and features, the P45 might be your preferred choice, also keeping in mind the question of longevity and playing satisfaction.

Both the P45 and P125 are great digital instruments, whether you’re a beginner or a professional pianist, or in between. But one of the biggest factors in choosing a piano is not just your current playing ability, but what it may become.

The P45 and P125 are readily on display in all our stores for you to experience and enjoy.

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