Here are one or two answers to commonly asked questions and a few key notes in helping you to select and purchase your first digital playing instrument. If you are a beginner at this time, then make a note that the alesis recital 88-key beginner digital piano comes well recommended. But why 88 keys? A first question. Well, most modern digital pianos (not keyboards, there is a difference, do note this) have this number as a standard, represented by fifty-two white keys and thirty-six black keys. Ebony and ivory, in other words, tinkle, tinkle little star, soon you will be one.
This is a key recommendation (if you will) in any case, pivotal for beginners handling new instruments for the first time. The alesis keys all contribute towards providing beginners with the full seven octaves, with a few extra notes thrown in for added measure and as a reward for dedicating time, patience and resilience to hours of required practice. Having a digital piano with fewer keys, this is possible, will be restricting for the beginner. Nevertheless, the advantage of a more compact digital piano is that small room size can be catered for, as well as acoustics.
But in order to ultimately play a full range of music, the pianist will require his full complement of keys. A digital piano with a mere 61 keys restricts the player to five octaves. It is clarified as being sufficient enough for the beginner. But not for those who have advanced with their music repertoire and now wish to engage them in duets. Weighted keys on a digital device recreate the physical impression for the musician in the sense that he is playing an acoustic device. In this case, all keys would normally be attached to a lever system and a small hammer.
The hammer strikes a string each time a key is pressed. The weighted system replicated in the alesis creates the impression that the pianist is pounding on an instrument with heavy, wooden keys. In this day and age of convenient digitization, nothing beats authenticity, or least creating that impression, for the musical purist, or future genius. The plastic alternative is a definite no-no, even for beginners. The keys are far too light. A new player will struggle to move his way through a traditional set of keys.
The manufacturers and designers of the alesis range have strived for what is known as the graded hammer action. Further, progressive hammer action encourages weighted sensations with the piano’s lower keys. The music concept of dynamics has been provided for by creating velocity sensitive playing keys. This replicates the ability to produce hard or loud sounds whilst simultaneously producing softer sounds. Call this then, a double entendre.
Additional features of the beginner’s digital piano include voices. But these voices are made up of accompanying harpsichords, violins, clarinets, trumpets and a whole range of other musical instruments.