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"Whip Out" portable piano #2997866 07/09/19 07:56 PM
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EricBarker Offline OP
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The thread on "forbidden pianos" got me thinking. I'm sure a lot of us at one time or another have felt a lot of envy for other instrumentalists who can carry their instrument around and whip it out at any time to play. I just wish there was a decent keyboard option out there. There are a few possibilities, but they all have their problems:

- Accordion: very portable, friendly, and fully acoustic, so you'll hit it off with a roots music crowd. The only problem is, it sounds like an accordion!
- Keytar: needs power/amp, awkward for playing two-handed material, silly bugger
- Seaboard: extremely portable (no moving parts, so it's more bomb proof), you can play through your iPhone in a pinch, but realistically needs a speaker. Awkward for playing traditional keyboard material smirk Difficult to play

Someone needs to make something like a keytar with a built-in battery-powered speaker as loud as an acoustic guitar, and make it look less cheesy. I play keytar a lot, but it's a schtick, not gonna bring it to a campfire.


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

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Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2997872 07/09/19 08:22 PM
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Music Bird Offline
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Yamaha SHS-10. Or you could attach a guitar strap to a small Casiotone or Yamaha Portasound.

Edit: seeing how the SHS-10 is a keytar, attaching a guitar strap to an old Casiotone keyboard like a MT-65 or MT-500 (one of the MT models for sure) would help with that.

Last edited by Music Bird; 07/09/19 08:23 PM.

Yamaha MX49, Casio SK1/WK-7600, Korg Minilogue, Alesis SR-16, Casio CT-X3000, FL Studio, many VSTs, percussion, woodwinds, strings, and sound effects.
Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2997878 07/09/19 08:46 PM
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I'm sorry, I have absolutely nothing to contribute toward this discussion - I'm just envisioning someone playing a keytar around a campfire now!

Glorious mental image there!

Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2997893 07/09/19 09:47 PM
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How about a melodica? On second thought...


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Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2997896 07/09/19 10:13 PM
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How loud is a Yamaha Reface?

Cheers, Mike.


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Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2997902 07/09/19 10:42 PM
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I use a Reface CP with a Bose Soundlink Mini. at party's and gatherings....sounds awesome and plenty of volume as long as there are no drums and electric guitars

Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: johnnyd] #2997917 07/10/19 12:02 AM
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David Emm Offline
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Originally Posted by johnnyd
I use a Reface CP with a Bose Soundlink Mini. at party's and gatherings....sounds awesome and plenty of volume as long as there are no drums and electric guitars

Brave man! The image of sufficient portable speakers is still a holy grail. Our battery tech is too damned clumsy. Something better than lithium is going to have to appear. It has serious technical limits and sometimes emits a ball of flame perilously near to your privates.


I got kicked out of Riverdance for using my arms. ~ Gary Valentine
Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2997923 07/10/19 12:58 AM
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EricBarker Offline OP
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With the rising popularity of bluetooth speakers, I feel like there's hope. I recently took two trips to Papua New Guinea and England, and brought my Seaboard and tiny bluetooth speaker to rehearse some music for a conference. It was enough to get by. But it was still clumsy. That chain included the Seaboard, a macbook, and the speaker. If I could merge that into one portable unit, that would be amazing. Make it cheap and sloppy, doesn't need to be good.


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

MacBook Pro running MainStage and various plugins (NI and other)
Arturia Keylab88, Mojo61, Seaboard Rise49, Vortex Keytar (RIP), Trumpet
Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2997928 07/10/19 01:14 AM
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Piktor Offline
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Originally Posted by EricBarker

- Accordion: very portable, friendly, and fully acoustic, so you'll hit it off with a roots music crowd. The only problem is, it sounds like an accordion!


Or the jazz crowd, or ...

Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2997929 07/10/19 01:21 AM
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El Lobo Online Confused
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+1 on Melodica

Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2997937 07/10/19 01:54 AM
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Iíve used the Yamaha NP11 as a ďwhip outĒ portable piano many times. Itís fun and easy to play, sounds pretty good, is inexpensive, runs on batteries, and has built in speakers. Although it has 61 regular size keys itís so light Iíll often play it on my lap.

Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: Music Bird] #2997938 07/10/19 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Music Bird
Yamaha SHS-10. Or you could attach a guitar strap to a small Casiotone or Yamaha Portasound.

Edit: seeing how the SHS-10 is a keytar, attaching a guitar strap to an old Casiotone keyboard like a MT-65 or MT-500 (one of the MT models for sure) would help with that.


+1
I used to love the old Casiotones ( I had an MT-68, which IIRC was a MT-65 in a brown color). I actually did with the OP suggested- bringing it to the beach, etc.


Yamaha Motif XF6, Yamaha AN200, Alesis Micron, Sonar X3, Arturia Microbrute, Behringer Model D, Yamaha UX-3 Acoustic Piano, assorted homemade synth modules
Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: El Lobo] #2997946 07/10/19 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by El Lobo
+1 on Melodica


Only problem with a melodica is it ALSO sounds like an accordion!


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

MacBook Pro running MainStage and various plugins (NI and other)
Arturia Keylab88, Mojo61, Seaboard Rise49, Vortex Keytar (RIP), Trumpet
Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2997955 07/10/19 03:28 AM
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Sometimes I whip out my organ and tinkle a bit at parties. People seem to like it, and some of them want to join in on the tinkling, lots of fun!


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Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2997958 07/10/19 04:05 AM
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Tom Williams Offline
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Actually, I've done the whip-out thing with both an AX-Synth and more recently an AX-Edge. I have a small Acoustic bass amp that works well with unamplified box guitar. I also have a Pignose guitar amp (shoulda gotten the bass amp) that can run on batteries.

But the more practical answer is a consumer-grade Yamaha or Casio non-music-store keyboard, velocity sensitive, with speakers, and battery operable. Available under $200 US, and quite versatile. Ten years ago or so, I used a Yamaha I had bought at a yard sale for $25, both as a MIDI controller keyboard (Voce Micro-B) and also as a piano to accompany a singer at a graveside funeral.


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Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2997962 07/10/19 04:28 AM
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Docbop Offline
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Get a Harmonium no AC just keep pumping, they'll never stop talking about you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5eki8Jh1hA

Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: waygetter] #2998029 07/10/19 03:34 PM
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Lou Gehrig Offline
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Originally Posted by waygetter
Sometimes I whip out my organ and tinkle a bit at parties.


All too often I get "stage fright" when I try to do that!

Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2998098 07/10/19 10:46 PM
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Jon May Offline
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Originally Posted by EricBarker
Originally Posted by El Lobo
+1 on Melodica


Only problem with a melodica is it ALSO sounds like an accordion!


Then you won't like the banjolele laugh


"I'm well acquainted with the touch of a velvet hand..."
Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2998211 07/11/19 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by EricBarker
Only problem with a melodica is it ALSO sounds like an accordion!


In all seriousness, it occupies a middle ground between accordion and harmonica. The sound of a melodica is passable imho (the static quality of an accordion often gets on my nerves).

Cheers, Mike.


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Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2998213 07/11/19 07:51 PM
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Has anybody tried a melodica miced with a Green Bullet and running a whammy pedal to pitch shift to sort of imitate a blues harp?


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Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2998224 07/11/19 09:27 PM
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Adan Offline
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I have long envied mandolin players. It's a nice-sized instrument for travel, but still big enough to resonate through a large room, and it sounds gorgeous doing melodies or chords.

Once electronics are involved, I feel you're starting to get away from the spontaneity that makes for a good whipper outer. "Hey, that reminds me of a tune I'd like to play, just give me a minute to set up my mini-speaker system . . ." Not ideal, imo.

I'd argue the ideal whip out axe is one you can . . . and more importantly do . . . carry with you most of the time. So you didn't bring it to a party because you were hoping to play, you brought it because you almost always have it . . .. From that standpoint, even a guitar seems a little too bulky. See aforementioned mandolin for a more ideal size.

I feel like I've done well with whipping out melodicas. It doesn't bear sustained listening for as long as a stringed instrument, but it's fine for a few songs at least. But even a melodica can be conspicuous in open-carry mode. That's why I recently got a Yamaha 25-note. For the surprise oh-look-what-I-happen-to-have-in-my-bag whip out, it might be my favorite ever.

Just as important as the technology is the discretion used. Knowing when to do it, when not to do it, and when to stop once you've started. Your ability to read the room is more important than your ability to read the music.


Crumar Mojo 61, Vintage Vibe 64, Yamaha CP73, Roland Jupiter x(m), a bunch of melodicas

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Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2998226 07/11/19 10:18 PM
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The combination of this thread and watching a couple of PBS shows about the Apollo program made me wonder, hey, what it you wanted to whip out a keyboard in space?

Yup, sure enough ...



Piano in space


Mike
Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2998245 07/12/19 12:53 AM
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The only answer I have is, "No!" Even when I have a Rhodes on a handtruck No pedal, no stand, no PigNose on a strap. Just no.

My only explanation is, "Hey, man, people pay me a lot of money to play this, you best let it go, son."

And then I mention that it was cool when Miles Davis said it to his like four-year-old ward at the tiime.

I get no respect, I tell you.

Of course, I don't deserve any.

Pull out a clavichord and next thing you now people are all like, "do you know how to play 'Superstition," or or "In the Right Place."

Nope, never heard of them tunes.

Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: J_tour] #2998249 07/12/19 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by J_tour
The only answer I have is, "No!" .


You're answering a question no one in this thread has asked.

Maybe you just like to play solitary by the ocean, on a mountaintop, or on the Williamsburg Bridge at 3 am, there is still the same question of what keyboard instrument to bring.


Crumar Mojo 61, Vintage Vibe 64, Yamaha CP73, Roland Jupiter x(m), a bunch of melodicas

roccoromanucci.com
Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: El Lobo] #2998260 07/12/19 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by El Lobo
+1 on Melodica

I'm currently playing a melodica in the show one of my bands does. It sounds surprisingly nice in the context of a full band (vocals, tambourine, acoustic guitars).

It also gets a few giggles and "oohs and aahs" from the audience before I commence playing. Plus quite a few "what is it?" questions from audience members post-show. I tell them it's a harmonica for keyboard players.

Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: Adan] #2998269 07/12/19 05:29 AM
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El Lobo Online Confused
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Originally Posted by Adan
I have long envied mandolin players. It's a nice-sized instrument for travel, but still big enough to resonate through a large room, and it sounds gorgeous doing melodies or chords.

Once electronics are involved, I feel you're starting to get away from the spontaneity that makes for a good whipper outer. "Hey, that reminds me of a tune I'd like to play, just give me a minute to set up my mini-speaker system . . ." Not ideal, imo.

I'd argue the ideal whip out axe is one you can . . . and more importantly do . . . carry with you most of the time. So you didn't bring it to a party because you were hoping to play, you brought it because you almost always have it . . .. From that standpoint, even a guitar seems a little too bulky. See aforementioned mandolin for a more ideal size.

I feel like I've done well with whipping out melodicas. It doesn't bear sustained listening for as long as a stringed instrument, but it's fine for a few songs at least. But even a melodica can be conspicuous in open-carry mode. That's why I recently got a Yamaha 25-note. For the surprise oh-look-what-I-happen-to-have-in-my-bag whip out, it might be my favorite ever.

Just as important as the technology is the discretion used. Knowing when to do it, when not to do it, and when to stop once you've started. Your ability to read the room is more important than your ability to read the music.
The ukelele is making a comeback, partly I think for its whip-out factor. A good musician friend now performs and records almost exclusively on a baritone uke. He's a singer-songwriter and records most of his original material in his truck. (I recorded a sax solo on one of his original songs in my music room.) When he gigs, he goes electric but he always has the acoustic uke in his truck wherever he goes and can easily whip it out to play a demo of his latest tune.

A band I recently joined uses an electric uke bass. It's about the size of a baritone uke but has different strings. The upright bass player switches off to it for some songs and the acoustic guitar player also plays it when the bass player switches to acoustic guitar. It actually sounds really good as a bass, but then the bass player really knows how to do an excellent set up for his string bass and the uke bass. It helps if you're an electrical engineer to begin with.

Another pro musician I know sings and plays the uke, and friends are taking uke classes at the community center. My son bought 4 cheap ukes for my 4 grandchildren to play so the whole family could play music together. It didn't work out exactly according to his plan, but it was a cool idea.

Anyway, consider the uke for ideal portability, travel, and whip-out potential. It's easy to learn too.

Last edited by El Lobo; 07/12/19 05:30 AM.
Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: El Lobo] #2998270 07/12/19 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by El Lobo
Anyway, consider the uke for ideal portability, travel, and whip-out potential. It's easy to learn too.


worked for Tiny Tim.
smile


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2998275 07/12/19 07:15 AM
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I suppose 'whip-out' comes in different flavors. For me it's the relative ease of schleppage and setup. Doing a full keyboard setup with 2 speakers, mic, congas, recorder, etc., is a fair amount of work and time. But as I've become more portable and better equipped to be portable, I've come up with useful variations on the theme of 'whip-out'.

1. Keyboards with built-in speakers, esp if they're decent speakers, opens up alot of situations that are a slam dunk- show up with the keyboard, plug in and you're ready for the sing-along, the duet, the whatever at a party or jam

2. I can halfway decently play a melodica and alto recorder, but it's not until I've got a mic and a fair amount of reverb that I've turned it into the killer 'whip-out' instrument. An amp that runs off of batteries and sounds good and has decent fx, a mic and stand- that's all a 2 minute setup and hardly any schleppage, but soo rewarding, the reverb, or excellent room acoustics, is what makes these humble instruments soar, giving much more dramatic effect than the simple setup and low effort would indicate

3. My next amp will be the Bose S1 Pro, the diminuitive speaker that weighs next to nothing, and has battery power and reverb. This would power a keyboard and or melodica/recorder/voice for 'whip-out' sessions that would take moments to setup but do an amazingly good job for small informal scenes.

So I guess these all would qualify as plan-ahead whip outs, which aren't much more trouble than simply pulling a melodica out of my backpack. Which I also do- I've got the Yamaha Pianica 37, the 32 is just too short, and if I remove the mouthpiece, and don't put it back into it's rather large case, I can get it to fit inside my zippered backpack, so I always have it and my Yamaha Alto Recorder with me. But as I said above, it is so much more satisfying to get the echo'd tone of these 2 instruments and so worth the small amount of extra effort.


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Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: EricBarker] #2998287 07/12/19 12:23 PM
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The new Casio PX-S models weigh 11 kgs, have 88 full size weighted keys, internal speakers, and can run on 6 AA batteries.
Doesn't get much more portable than that...

Re: "Whip Out" portable piano [Re: Spider76] #2998293 07/12/19 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Spider76
The new Casio PX-S models weigh 11 kgs, have 88 full size weighted keys, internal speakers, and can run on 6 AA batteries.
Doesn't get much more portable than that...

Yeah, I was playing mine in the yard a couple a days ago. Lots of fun!

Have also had a lot of fun playing the melodica on gigs, jams, house parties, etc. I feel a good connection with it and people like it way more than I would have guessed. I have an accordion but we don't get along very well. I just can't connect with it.


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