Yamaha Arius YDP-142 and YDP-162 – Meet The New Keys On The Block

Say hello to the new members to the Yamaha Digital Piano gang namely Yamaha Arius YDP 142 and Yamaha Arius YDP162. These are two great additions to the existing range of home digital pianos just waiting to be at the forefront of music-making. Why not sound out these leaders of the pack:

The Yamaha Arius YDP-142 features a Graded Standard Hammer (GSH) action within its 88-key digital piano range. From a weightier feel in the lower register to more delicate responses in the high register – this hammer action will please both performers who take their playing seriously to beginners taking their first music steps.Yamaha Arius YDP-142 Digital Piano Continue reading “Yamaha Arius YDP-142 and YDP-162 – Meet The New Keys On The Block”

A Christmas Repertoire On Your New Digital Piano Part II

So how’s it going? If you’ve stuck to your daily practice program you should be familiar with the layout of the digital piano by now; how to select appropriate pre-set sounds e.g. electric piano. Hope you’ve managed to synchronise a ‘solid’ beat to keep you in time e.g. rock. I heard ‘Jingle Bells’ as a soundtrack on the ‘Homebase’ advert and thought of you!

Building A Christmas Repertoire on the Digital Piano

There are some ‘easy listening’ and recognisable Christmas songs on the TV at the moment. They’ve all been made into backing tracks for Christmas adverts and most are scored for digital piano or similar. So how about trying your hand (right hand) at one or two more! Continue reading “A Christmas Repertoire On Your New Digital Piano Part II”

A Christmas Repertoire On Your New Digital Piano

So you’ve read the manual of your new digital piano, you’re sitting comfortably on the new, plush piano stool, powered her up and she’s ready to go. The layout is unfamiliar – having not driven one like this before. It’s an automatic in that as soon as you press the key it will play! Find the white note middle C in the centre of the keyboard ‘to the left of the two black keys’. The keys are named alphabetically from A to G, starting with C etc. These ascend using their note names stepwise and likewise as they descend down the keyboard.    Continue reading “A Christmas Repertoire On Your New Digital Piano”

Following A Star – On The Digital Piano

Santa’s little helpers tell me you’ve written your Christmas wish list and at the top is your ‘most wanted’ gift … a digital piano. That’s great news if you’ve thought it through otherwise ‘HO HO HO’ could become ‘oh Oh OH!’

So you’ve researched the brand; colour with matching piano stool; design; model; price; measured the space … and yes it will fit – just. Sounds like you’ve thought of everything including a ‘partridge in a pear tree’. All paid up and a date is set: Christmas Day. Continue reading “Following A Star – On The Digital Piano”

The Digital Piano Plays Its Part – IV

Continuing the alphabetical listings of the lives of digital piano players (tongue in cheek) exploring letter F-G:

Four Minutes (2006)

Jenny is locked up in prison in Germany for murder. She is deeply troubled at every level but underneath her aggressive and brutish exterior lurks a sensitive side and a musical talent for playing the digital piano. It is revealed that Jenny was a child prodigy at the digital piano but abuse as a teenager put paid to her opportunity to excel. Frau Krueger tells Jenny of her past life in an attempt to win Jenny over.  The title of the film highlights the ‘Four Minutes’ Jenny has to perform to her audience and win the competition she has been preparing for.

Jenny does well at the competition but deviates from the original Schumann programme and plays a piece of ‘negro-music’ she has long since adored. She has the crowd in raptures and her Four Minutes bear fruit as she receives a great accolade for her performance on the digital piano.

The Getting Of Wisdom (1977)

This film is set in Melbourne in the 1890s. It is about a young student Laura Rambotham who excels at literacy and music. As the storyline progresses we hear digital piano compositions by Beethoven; an ‘Impromptu’ by Schubert and ornate passages by Thalberg. These motivic themes that serve to portray Laura’s anger and frustrations are played as recurring themes on the digital piano throughout the film.

Throughout her time at boarding school Laura tries to fit in both socially and academically during her stay. The film meanders through various relationships and finally witnesses Laura as a more accepted figure by her peers. She wins the school literacy and music prizes

Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

This film is about the life of singer and digital piano player Jerry Lee Lewis. It follows the ‘highs and lows’ of his controversial marriage to his cousin Myra. The song ‘’Great Balls of Fire’’ typifies the music of the ‘50s with its aggressive, punctuated chords ‘banged out’ in octaves on the digital piano. Lewis sits at his piano stool using the full range of keys and improvising in the upper register throughout the middle 8 section. He shows the keyboard off further with descending glissandos and his high pitched/falsetto moments that add a zany and experimental edge to his performance.

The Digital Piano – Modern Monster or Dinosaur

The instrument of choice

Ask any child what instrument they would most enjoy playing and they will reply without hesitation – the digital piano. Likewise, ask a worldly adult and they will equally reply –the digital piano. The minds of adults and children alike will instantaneously skip the hours of practice bequeathed to such an undertaking and instead conjure up images of success as they sit at their piano stool and execute their favourite pieces with ease. They are transformed into their favourite celebrity be it singer-songwriters Alesha Keys, Stevie Wonder or the child prodigy Mozart. Continue reading “The Digital Piano – Modern Monster or Dinosaur”

Your Guide To The ‘Do & Doo Doo’s’ Of The Digital Piano? Part 1

Firstly, do be aware that a digital piano is a modern electronic musical instrument, different from the electronic keyboard, designed to serve primarily as an alternative to a traditional piano, both in the way it feels to play and in the sound produced. When considering your purchase do remember that the digital piano is meant to provide a simulation of a real piano. Some digital pianos are also designed to look like an acoustic piano. While digital pianos may fall short of a real piano in feel and sound, they nevertheless have many advantages over normal pianos:

  • Compared to an acoustic piano, the digital piano is generally less expensive.
  • Most models are smaller and considerably lighter, but there are large ones as well.
  • They have no strings and thus do not require tuning. They also easily accommodate different temperaments on demand.
  • Depending on the individual features of each digital piano, they may include many more instrument sounds including strings, guitars, organs, and more.
  • They are much more likely to incorporate a MIDI implementation.
  • They may have more features to assist in learning and composition.
  • They usually include headphone output.
  • They often have a transposition feature.
  • They do not require the use of microphones, eliminating the problem of audio feedback in sound reinforcement, as well as simplifying the recording process.

Sound of a Digital Piano

In most implementations, a digital pianos do produces a variety of piano timbres and usually other sounds as well. For example, a digital piano may have settings for an electric piano, an upright piano, a tack piano, and various electric pianos such as the Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer. Some digital pianos incorporate other basic “synthesizer” sounds such as string ensemble, voice doo doo, world sounds and offer settings to combine them with piano.

The sounds produced by a digital piano are samples stored in ROM. The samples stored in digital pianos are usually of very high quality and are made using world class pianos, expensive microphones, and high-quality preamps in a professional recording studio.Digital pianos do have limitations on the faithfulness with which they reproduce the sound of an acoustic piano.

On an acoustic piano, the sustain pedal lifts the dampers for all strings, allowing them to resonate naturally with the notes played. Digital pianos all have a similar pedal switch to hold notes in suspension, but only some can reproduce the resonating effect.

Many digital pianos include an amplifier and loudspeakers so that no additional equipment is required to play the instrument. Some do not. Most digital pianos incorporate headphone output.

Footnote

So, do your homework and know the do’s & doo doo’s before entering into the world of the digital piano.

Room At the Inn – A Digital Piano’s Tale

So you’re thinking of buying a digital piano this Christmas. You’ll need to send a note to Santa then. After all, he’s got the job of parcelling it up and getting it delivered…. down the chimney. That’s the easy bit as the question still remains ‘Where are we going to put it?’ Not sure. What about a contemporary Digital Piano, also known as Electric Piano? Reply to self:  it will need ready access to electricity and all the plug points are in use! Then there’s the piano stool and the lessons. These are the questions that will flow through your mind as you start to consider your purchase and hopefully arrive at your decision in time for the ‘big day’. Continue reading “Room At the Inn – A Digital Piano’s Tale”

Choosing the right piano stool for the job

Sir Winston Churchill once said ‘Why stand when you can sit!

So why is keeping the correct posture so important?

Consider the fairy sitting on her toadstool adding a sense of enchantment and nostalgia to the garden. She looks comfortable; no wriggling or sliding off and all actions are effortless to her. The correct posture helps prevent her body from damage and stress that might occur while sitting through the long hours on her toadstool.

And why is it so important to find a suitable piano stool?

Similarly good posture on the right piano stool allows us to produce continuous power and flow while we play. The result is greater sensitivity and focus due to having the right ‘stool for the job’.

Sir Winston Churchill also said“… courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen’’. Sitting on your piano stool and listening are two essential elements associated with playing your keyboard be it a Grand piano or digital piano. Firstly, sit at the stool with your feet on the ground; knees slightly under the keyboard; sit on the front half of the piano stool; straight back with your elbows slightly higher than the keyboard; loose shoulders & long neck with your palms curved as if holding a tennis ball; think ‘puppet’ and keep your arms buoyant. Continue reading “Choosing the right piano stool for the job”

How to find the right instrument for your child

Which instrument should it be? A digital piano or an electric guitar or maybe even drums?

Picking up a musical instrument for the first time is a rite of passage for any child, whether it’s a triangle or an electric guitar. Learning to make music teaches discipline and gives kids a real sense of achievement, especially for those who struggle in other academic areas.

Neuroscientist Nina Kraus found that playing musical instruments has major advantages for young brains, enhancing sensitivity to speech sounds and in turn boosting language skills.

Not only can it help them process speech in noisy classrooms, but it can also help them interpret the nuances of language that are conveyed by subtle changes in the human voice.

Copious other studies have proven that music education keeps young minds sharp and alert, so when children come home demanding a new guitar, a trumpet or a flute so they can play in the school orchestra, parents should welcome the request with open arms.

But where do you start when you’re buying a musical instrument for your child? Chances are you don’t want to spend a fortune. However, investing in a quality instrument that will see your son or daughter through their school years is a wise idea.

Fortunately at Chase Direct we offer a fantastic selection of musical instruments and accessories that are ideal for children’s education and leisure time, and they’re all available at incredibly affordable prices.

Continue reading “How to find the right instrument for your child”