Yamaha are a household name in the world of electronic keyboards, and they have been at the forefront of the industry for many years, and for good reason.
Yamaha have many different products currently available on the market, so finding the right one to suit the needs can be difficult if insufficient research is done. Choosing the right keyboard is an individual decision, and it is easy for an inexperienced buyer to become intimidated by the different models available, many of which can seem very similar. Follow the guide below into the different types of Yamaha electronic keyboard before making a purchase.
Recognising an Electronic Keyboard
As a generalisation, electronic keyboards are any keyboard-based instrument that produces sound using an electronic source. The sound is artificial, which is entirely different to the sound produced by an acoustic piano. The sound can be very convincing, however.
Digital Pianos and Keyboards
Firstly, there is a difference between the two, and purchasing the wrong one can be a waste of money. With digital pianos, several Yamaha models are available and while they are a subset of a keyboard, they always have 88 keys. A keyboard, on the other hand, can have 61, 76 or 88 keys. Yamaha uses the definition keyboard to cover various instruments which also includes stage pianos, synthesizers, workstations and midi controllers.
The main groups of Yamaha electronic keyboards are as follows:
There are various types available on the market, and the below listed are some of the most common.
Beginners to electronic keyboards should aim for models that come equipped with only 61 keys. Although many beginners models on the market will not have touch response, which reduces the amount of time between the user touching the key and the sound response from the keyboard, Yamaha models have the advantage in that they do have it as a feature. Beginner's models are relatively cheap to buy, so useful in particular for children who are learning the craft and are unsure as to how in depth they wish to become with the instrument.
Some Yamaha beginner's models also have special learning tools, which can teach a beginner how to play the keyboard effectively. This is a very useful tool that has built-in lessons, a chord dictionary and step-by-step instructions to learn various songs.
The EZ-200 can also come with lighted keys, which give a visual clue into which keys should be pressed when the note comes up. These types of keyboard can even be connected to the Internet and new songs can be downloaded, which makes this a very effective method of learning to play the keyboard.
Another type of keyboard which is ideal for beginners, the PSR and YPT types are very similar. The PSR-E323 and YPT-320 are actually the same models but in different colours.
PSR models come in both beginner and advanced types, and are the most popular series of Yamaha keyboards. In the last 30 years, Yamaha have created over 100 different models of PSR, some of which have different features. These include touch response, piano sound, Yamaha Education Suite and sound-effects kit, among others.
There are various types of portable keyboards for performers available on the market, and the below are some of the most common.
There are many different models made by Yamaha that are suitable for performers, and the choice rests mostly with the individual style and personal opinion of the performer. Some users will be happy with using the piano sound, in which case a digital piano is ideal, while others will want to use other features, in which case synthesizers are perfect, as the sounds from these can mimic an entire orchestra.
One of the considerations to be made when purchasing a keyboard is weight, and portable models such as the CP series are lighter as they are designed to be carried around, although they still have all the features of a standard model.
There are various types of standard keyboards for performers available on the market. Here is a quick summary of the most common.
The Motif series is one of the most advanced in Yamaha's catalogue and suitable for professional performers. The Motif has two functions; that of a stage instrument and a workstation as well. The Motif has a large bank of sounds, accompaniment styles and other sounds, which makes it very versatile. However, as a unit it is very heavy. Many Motifs weigh around 60lbs, which can make it a difficult unit to transport.
The Motif can be used as a workstation for recording, arranging and composing music. The sounds it makes are authentic so individual instruments can be heard, and in the hands of an experienced player, many playbacks can sound like live music.
Types of the Motif series include the classic, Motif ES, Motif XS and Motif XF.
Similar to the PSR for beginners but with more features, this type allows for music creation, recording and arrangement. The added features include polyphony, recording, extra accompaniment styles, a large bank of sounds, an internet connection (for downloading and uploading MIDI songs), among others. Some of the advanced PSR keyboards are PSR-S500, PSR-S700, PSR-S710 and PSR-S910. Prices will vary according to the advanced features available.
Keyboard workstations are intended to be like having a music studio in one instrument and one place. The range of functions is so wide that almost all kinds of music can be created. A workstation allows the user to record, edit, and play back the song played without the need to use a computer, which is very convenient for regular users. Most workstations have a 16-track MIDI which allows for hours of recording.
Suitable for high-level professional performers, the Tyros 3 creates styles ready for gigs, and has sounds created by well-known programmers and mixed by sound engineers from many different musical genres. The Tyros 3 has many different features, such as Aftertouch, which is a design that makes the keys extremely sensitive, 450 musical styles, DSP effects that are studio quality and many more.
The Tyros is the first keyboard produced by Yamaha that has the technology called Mega Voice. This is the authentic sound of an instrument in its various tones rather than just the one clean note, which makes the resulting sound warmer and more human to the ear.
The DGX series is aimed at both beginner keyboard players and semi-professionals. There are two types of DGX, one with 76 keys (6 octaves) and one with 88 keys (7 octaves). The advantage of this series is the piano sound and touch. They are part of the Portable Grand Series which is a higher class of keyboard with a special touch and sounds similar to a grand piano. DGX models are not wholly suitable for professionals; however they are able to compete with more expensive keyboards.
The DGX keyboards also come equipped with Graded Soft Touch (GST), which means that the overall touch of the keys is lighter. Experienced users like this feature as it is easier to play passages and fast melodies. It also reduces the weight of the keyboard, which means it is almost as light as a portable model.
How to Find Yamaha Electronic Keyboards on eBay
In order to find Yamaha electronic keyboards on eBay, heard first to the homepage. From here, using the links on the left hand side of the page, select All Categories, then select Musical Instruments from the options. This will load the shop window for musical instruments on eBay. From here, towards the bottom of the page under the category Keyboard/Piano, select Electronic Keyboards. The listings on the next page will enable the user to narrow down the options according to brand, in this case Yamaha.
Alternatively, use the search engine on the main page to look for listings according to desired keywords for a purchase.
There are many different types of Yamaha electronic keyboard, suitable for various levels of experience and budget. Always carry out sufficient research into the kind of model desired for the purchaser. Yamaha keyboards are known for their high quality and reasonable price, which puts the company at the forefront of innovation in the world of electronic keyboards. Purchasing a Yamaha keyboard will be a great investment for any beginner or professional keyboard player.