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I'm a paraplegic. Looking for a keyboard to purchase?


Mickeypowell5

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Looking for a good sounding keyboard to purchase. Something along the lines as this girl plays http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udpNgjFyAm4

 

I have no movement in my legs, and I understand to truly achieve a great song, you have to use the pedals. Unfortunately, I can't...does anyone have any suggestions on what I could do? Is their pre-recordings on certain keyboards to compensate for the pedals? Thank you for your help.

 

Ball park range for keyboard is up to 1000 U.S. Dollars.

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Hi Mickey, welcome to the forum. I'm sure loads of people will be along with suggestions for a keyboard but as for sustain pedal, some sort of mouth-activated controller would probably be your best bet. A quick search found that we have had a query about this before here, though not with any definitive answers.

 

Click here to view it.

 

Good luck, and please keep us posted on your progress.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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I have seen someone use a simple plastic square type pedal (non-latching) that was fastened to the upper back of his chair. He would lean back slightly to activate it and lean forward to deactivate it. This might work for you. Good Luck!

Boards: Kurzweil SP-6, Roland FA-08, VR-09, DeepMind 12

Modules: Korg Radias, Roland D-05, Bk7-m & Sonic Cell

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Was watching a Hall and Oates concert a while ago and noticed that their keyboardist was using a nord electro for organ and left the little square pedal on top of the thing so he could just tap it to change speed. I have tried this myself and it works well. Obviously this can't work for piano sustain unless you have a free hand but perhaps a pressure switch running the length of the lower rail on the keyboard would let you drop your wrist to activate it. You might also extend the rail outward to give you a surface and velcro the switch to to the bottom of your wrist. I once thought this would be a good way to trigger a leslie if one was doing a left hand bass gig. Anyway, a few ideas hope it helps. Welcome to the forum
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perhaps a pressure switch running the length of the lower rail on the keyboard would let you drop your wrist to activate it. You might also extend the rail outward to give you a surface and velcro the switch to to the bottom of your wrist. I once thought this would be a good way to trigger a leslie if one was doing a left hand bass gig. Anyway, a few ideas hope it helps. Welcome to the forum

 

That is a damned cool idea, particularly for the OP's situation. :thu:

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I understand to truly achieve a great song, you have to use the pedals. Unfortunately, I can't...does anyone have any suggestions on what I could do? Is their pre-recordings on certain keyboards to compensate for the pedals? Thank you for your help.

 

 

You can get a great sound without pedals on an arranger keyboard. In your price range you could get a Yamaha PRS 710, 650, or a Korg PA 500.

 

Good Luck!

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You can get a great sound without pedals on an arranger keyboard. In your price range you could get a Yamaha PRS 710, 650, or a Korg PA 500.

 

Good Luck!

 

+1.

 

Mickey, I got the impression from your initial post that you're referring to bass pedals (like the player in the YouTube video) rather than the sustain pedal already discussed. If you are in fact mostly thinking of bass pedals, Montunoman's recommendation is particularly appropriate because an arranger keyboard will make it very easy to bring the bass up to a keyboard, allow you to layer, prerecord backing tracks, etc. All things that will make it far easier for you to create an acceptable result without needing your feet.

 

Larry.

 

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Like iLaw, I understood your question to relate to bass pedals....and I tend to agree that an arranger keyboard may best suit your needs. Playing bass with your left hand always works, too!

 

However, if your question pertains to a sustain pedal, I'm wondering if some sort of chin-based mechanism would work? Depress your chin on the mechanism/sensor and the note(s) sustain; release your chin, and the notes do not sustain. Or maybe some type of elbow-controlled mechanism between your torso and left elbow/upper arm? The challenge will be to find something that does not adversely impact your playing.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Well, for the leaning back and forward to sustain keys part, kind of hard for me since I have limited balance. When I sit up in my wheelchair, I have to have my back against th back of my wheelchair to sit straight up, because if I lean forward, I steadily keep leaning and eventually fall forward, due to my lack of control of my abdominals..

 

For the Yamaha PRS710, 650, or Korg PA 500, would these machines achieve the same sound as in the originali video posted? (I understand it would require some major practice), but would these make that 'orchestra' sound?

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For the Yamaha PRS710, 650, or Korg PA 500, would these machines achieve the same sound as in the originali video posted? (I understand it would require some major practice), but would these make that 'orchestra' sound?

 

Yes, I think you can get an orchestral sound on an arranger keyboard. I think the Yamaha would be best for that sort of thing. If you don't mind buying used, you could probably find a Yamaha Tyros 1 or maybe a Tyros 2 within your budget (no built in speakers though)

 

Here's an internet friend of mine doing themes from West Side Story on a Tyros 4.

 

 

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Hi Mickey -

 

Do you know of any other paraplegic keyboardists? I'm quite sure you're not the only one out there! The technology exists for what you want to do and I'm sure they can hook you up with whoever manufactures what they're using. If you don't know any, maybe do a search on YouTube for paraplegic musicians and get in touch with them, that's what I would do. I have no doubt they would be helpful to you.

 

 

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I have searched, but it's been unsuccessful... I can't really seem to find the info from google or YouTube about paraplegics playing the keyboard or piano or what type of keyboard they have.

 

I just don't want to make the mistake of buying a keyboard that in some certain spots I could not use because of the function of my legs, or if there was special devices thar are kind of inexpensive for me to purchase along with, or which keyboard in particular to buy to achieve that great "orchestra" sound as in my original video.

 

I will keep looking though. I'm in the hospital as we speak, not like I have anything else to do...:)

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I have searched, but it's been unsuccessful... I can't really seem to find the info from google or YouTube about paraplegics playing the keyboard or piano or what type of keyboard they have.

 

You can start by contacting the uploader of the YouTube video...chances are it's a friend or family member of the musician, or even the musician themself.

 

Have you seen this site?

http://www.future-link.com/index.html

 

It's meant for musicians with disabilities to network with each other. There's contact info on the lower-right hand side of each profile page.

 

Best of luck!

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First, good for you for giving it a go.

 

While sustain pedal is necessary for a lot of piano pieces and certain styles, there's also a lot of great piano work that does NOT need a sustain pedal. As a youngster I overused the pedal terribly; at one point I stopped using it almost completely to cure myself. Especially when playing with a band (or backing tracks), sustain can get in the way of the other music and it's better to leave off. I bet Doctor John could play a whole set (solo or with band) and never use the pedal and nobody would even notice.

 

So, don't think of the sustain pedal as an absolute necessity for playing any piano. Meanwhile, try to work out some kind of mouth controller for when you do want it.

 

You might also consider getting a breath controller, which is normally used with keyboards to imitate horn parts. The harder you blow, the louder the sound, and if you don't blow at all, no sound. This has its limits: you can't play a long loud sustained part without taking breaths, and it takes good breath control which may be difficult in a wheelchair. Still, you may find your own personal approach that makes it work.

 

Authentic Hammond organ and pipe organ pieces require "swell" pedal, which is basically a volume pedal for the organ. I suggest that rather than trying to be "authentic", go for your own style and forget about the pedal. I've had my pedal fail during gigs and for a lot of it I could get by playing with my right hand and using my left hand on a volume knob. No, not quite the same thing, but it worked.

 

Regarding bass pedals, I agree with the above. You won't be able to play 3 different live parts at once. Don't feel too bad about that; either can I. Frankly, most of us can't. It's a terrific skill to master but requires a lot of work, and my hat's off to those of us who can. Regardless, there are plenty of great keyboard players who never bothered with bass pedals!

 

So, the alternative is to record some parts (called "sequencing" and sometimes "programming" but that also means other things) beforehand on the normal keyboard and then play them back and play along with them. This is what "arranger" keyboards are for and why they're suggested above. If you want to do the one-man-band thing, this is your best bet. Many of us have had countless hours of enjoyment* doing this!

 

You can also do the arrangement part on a personal computer, no special "arranger keyboard" required. There are pros and cons. Post back and ask, if you want to learn more about this.

 

(* - many of the countless hours are taken up getting those backing tracks the way we want them ... some call it arduous work rather than enjoyment :laugh: )

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Sequencing, programming! That sounds perfect! So the idea would be to program the sounds that I would want accompanying me in playing a certain song to the keyboard and play them as I play the keyboard? That's how it works?

Yes. Here's a YouTube clip that briefly describes the process and gives you an example (which may scare or inspire you. No warranties; it's just what I happened to find fast!). Note that the poster mentions an internet forum where arrangers swap ideas, arrangements, etc.:

 

[video:youtube]

 

Larry.

 

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that's kind of old, and over-priced. here's what you need --> http://www.guitarcenter.com/Casio-WK-7500-76-Key-Digital-Keyboard-Workstation-106503857-i1795214.gc ( no, I don't work for Casio )

 

[video:youtube]

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The girl in your original video is playing a rather sophisticated instrument that handles a lot of the program changes, has dual manuals plus the pedals, etc. It will be hard for you to duplicate exactly that kind of playing within your budget.

 

Most of the popular arranger keyboards have a single manual keyboard (typically 61 keys, but some to go to 76). Many allow you to connect a separate keyboard via MIDI, but with limited functionality. Many models allow you to split the keyboard to have different sounds for your left and right hands.

 

I own a Yamaha PSR-S710, which a single keyboard that splits. I can program 2 sounds on the upper part of the keyboard that can play either separately or together, and have another independent sound on the lower half of the split. The split point is programmable. For the lower split part, I can either play the programmed sound or the accompaniment sounds (drums, bass, guitars, strings, etc.). You can also use it as a single keyboard with one sound that spans all 61 keys.

 

You can record sequences in several ways. You can record in real time,where you hit "Record" and play your left hand chord changes along with your rhythm style, or you can step record by entering events one at a time by stepping through each bar and beat. The second method is very tedious but allows for more accuracy. The can be done right on the keyboard without a computer.

 

The nice thing the about the Yamaha arrangers is that the support community is HUGE. Aside from the Lone Arrangers, you also have the PSR Tutorial site, which contains links to many other resiurces. Many people have posted their styles and songs for free download, so your starter library can be quite extensive.

 

That being said, a lot of this will depend on the type of music you want to do. The arranger keyboards are more suited to contemprary styles of music and less so orchestrated classical style music like the girl in your original video. You can certainly do some movie soundtrack type stuff, but true orchestra-only arrangements may be a challenge.

 

In your price range, you may find a used Tyros or Tyros 2, but be aware that you'll need an amp since it does not hace speakers. Looking at the higher-ended PSR line (S700, S710, S900, S910), will give you similar functionality at a lower price. Plus they have speakers built in. The S710 and S910 are available today as new instruments, as well as the PSR 650, which is a similar at a lower price, but still quite capable.

 

I cannot speak for the other brands as I only have experience with the Yamaha.

 

I would suggest you Google "yahama arranger forum" to look at the support network that is available before before making your purchase. Much like this forum for pro and semi-pro players, the arranger support forums are invaluable for helping you get started.

 

I hope this helps.

 

.

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Yeah, I would rather have a keyboard to achieve that "orchestra" effect rather than just regular music. The Tyros and Tyros 2 can achieve this? Would I need to buy stands and speakers along with it? I know since I'm paralyzed I could never achieve what she is doing in the original video, so I would have to program music onto the keyboardor recordit and then play what I could 'along' with the music? How much would what I'm lookingfor cost as on like a site like eBay?
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I made a mouth operated sustain for a friend about 11 years ago. I took apart a cheap square "matchbook" style Yamaha pedal and encased the switch between two beer bottle caps, then heat-shrinked for isolation. The whole thing was mounted on a harmonica holder("feedbag" is the term used by harp players). It worked quite well but looked awkward.
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Yeah, I'm going to go without a mouthpiece or anything that canhelp me sustain the sounds and such. I'm just going to go with a good keyboard that can program and arrange sounds so I can play along with music and such, I'm just trying to find the right price, and find the rightkeyboard that can do such on eBay.
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