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A Drummer Needs Help Selecting a Keyboard


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Hello, sorry to bust into your forum, but I need some help and thought this would be a good place to get some advice.

I play in a country/gospel band and we just added a keyboard player to play with us. We practice at church with the church's Clavinova CVP-210. It is really nice, but we can't take it on the road with us. Our keyboard player does not have her own keyboard, and our band is going to buy one.


So...we need a full sized keyboard with weighted keys that will have the same capabilities of the Clavinova. We have played in an auditorium that had some lower-end Clavinova keyboards, and they couldn't produce the same sounds that we practiced with (ie: piano with strings accomp.).


How much is this going to set us back? We are thinking between $1,000 - $2,000. Is that realistic?


Can you recommend something for us to look into? We have a trailer that hauls our gear around in, so we will need a nice case too. I assume that we will have to buy the case, but do keyboards come with stands and seats?


We will go looking locally (or maybe order online), but we just want some idea of what we will be looking for and how much it will cost.


Our sound system is a Fender Passport P-250 like this one: Our Sound System


It is small, but it is more than adaquate for the venues that we play (Churches, small stages, coffe house, local theater...). The keyboard plugs into it and it can easily handle it. So the sound system is taken care of...


Any info that you can provide will be helpful.




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There are tons of options available for you, especially with a $1000-$2000 budget. For a traveling musician, lugging around an 88 key keyboard is going to be trouble. But a 76 key keyboard is perfect for gigging. Below are some top 76 key keyboards in your price range that you might want to look into:

Korg TRITON Le 76-Key Workstation $1,249.99

Kurzweil PC-1X Digital Keyboard $1,199.99

Kurzweil PC2/O 76 Key Performance $1,799.99

Yamaha MOTIF7 76-Key Synthesizer $1,999.99?

Korg Karma Keyboard $1,499.99

Roland Fantom 76 $1,895.99


Out of those I would go for the Motif, but all sound great and a fairly simple to use. If you must have a full 88 key, I would look at the Yamaha s90. :thu:

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[A second hand QS8 would be good option. Get an original or a QS8.1. Make sure you try it first - some original QS8s had problems (mine is rock solid - guess I have been lucky)


Putting a piano through that tiny PA is problematical. For one thing the piano is going to have trouble hearing herself if the band gets cranking (or do you have monitors as well). For another if you are not using a bass player you will find the left hand work of the piano player will overdrive the PA.


Get a hard case. New that will set you $200-$300. You will also need a stand and a stool.


The stand I recommend is a Quiklok WS550 but its not your only option by any means. The main thing is to make sure it goes down low enough - some X stands don't. Seats are easy to come by - its going to set you back perhaps $50.


You probably also will need a sustain pedal (Yamaha and Roland both make solid pedals) and possibly an expression pedal for volume (EV-5 from Roland works for me)


I would also grab a direct box to put between the keyboard and the PA. Can save a lot of problems with mains hum. A simple one is fine and cheap. Make sure you get the correct cables either way.

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Most of the 76-key keyboards are semi-weighted. If your keyboardist is really a pianist, she will probably find the action annoying, which leaves you needing fully-weighted keys.


I personally gig with a Roland RD-700 stage piano, and I find the action incredibly close to a piano. It's also very easy to use in terms of quickly creating layers and such -- it's designed for stage use rather than studio use, so the user interface is well-optimized.


SBK makes a decent road case for about $300. It has wheels, but the overall package is still very unweildy and difficult to haul around. Unless she's one buffed woman, make sure the band is prepared to help her with the board. I'm a big guy, and I try to avoid lifting it out of the case by myself whenever possible.



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Wow! Thanks for all of the input!! We usually are on a very tight stage, but we manage to get small monitors for everyone who needs one (including the keys). The sound system is more than adequate for our needs (mostly play in small churches seating less than 300). In fact, we have yet to come close to cranking the volume to even half-way...


There was one gig that we tried to plug a borrowed keyboard into our system, but got an aweful hum. We didn't have a direct box, so that will be a MUST!


We do have a bass player who plays through his own amp. We put two vocal mics, two guitars, and the keyboard through the sound system. Drums are not mic'd.


Our audience is made up (for the most part) of an older crowd (average age over 55 - many in their 70's or older), so we really have to watch our volume so that it doesn't get too loud.


The few times that we have played in a large auditorium (large for us...seating of about 500), the vocals and keyboard go through the house system and the guitars plug into our system while the bass plays through his amp and I stay un-mic'd.


I was not expecting the case to be so much, but we will need a nice case as it will be going in the trailer during transportation. So, I guess we'll budget for the case too. We will definately have to help her with the rig.


Thanks again for the advice!! I really appreciate each of you taking time to consider our situation. :cool:

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Originally posted by DrummerDude:

Our audience is made up (for the most part) of an older crowd (average age over 55 - many in their 70's or older), so we really have to watch our volume so that it doesn't get too loud.

You've got it backwards... when you're playing for an older crowd, you have to crank UP the volume to compensate for their diminished hearing. :)
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  • 2 weeks later...



We looked at 88-key (weighted key) keyboards, but the ones that we could afford did not have very many options (IE: only 12 or 14 voices). So, we decided to get a Yamaha DGX300.


It only has 76 keys and they are not weighted, but it was what we had to settle for in order to stay on budget.


We were not sure how well it would work for us, but so far it is really nice. I think it will do well for us and we got it for a lot less than what we had budgeted for (it cost us $420.00), so we were able to pick up a nice pedal, cords, and a direct box to boot. :wave:

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