Chances are, at some point in your life, you’ve sat down at a piano or keyboard and plinked your way around it, musing on how you wished you’d taken the time to learn how to play. You may be confused by the apparent differences between keyboards and pianos, and in fact they can be off putting to novice players. Although the keyboard and pianos share certain similarities, they are actually different instruments that require different techniques when playing them. For example, the faster you press a key on a piano, the louder the note will be played. On an electric keyboard, preset drum beats respond to the chords played and other buttons on the instrument can control and change the pitch and sound emitted from the keyboard. So, basically, the piano and electric keyboard do share some similarities but for all intents and purposes they are completely different instruments.
The layout of a keyboard is deceptively simple. A novice tends to feel like they can sit down and figure it out without too much trouble. That is almost never the case. A keyboard can be challenging to learn – there are many options and nuances that completely change the sound that the student needs to master in order to play. Beginning players may struggle to produce a recognizable sound or passable version of a simple piece due to technical deficiency. Like so many things in life, the key to learning to play the keyboard lies in the amount of time spent practicing.
Keyboard players will need to learn to both coordinate both their hands to work together as well as separate them so they can work independently. Independence of the fingers is necessary in certain songs that require changing tone, volume and keys. Most music for the keyboard is written for two hands. The right hand typically plays the melody in the treble range while the left hand plays an accompaniment of notes in the bass range.
Whatever layout of keyboard or teaching method employed nothing can take the place of practice to achieve a level of playing where your audience actually recognizes the song being played. Fortunately, access to keyboards and availability of qualified teachers are fairly accessible in ads in music stores and through online classifieds such as craigslist. In the interim, while you are searching for a teacher, prowl the web for useful resources and tutorials. Tutor yourself in reading music and you’ll be a bit ahead of the game once your lessons start.