Amidst the various lockdowns over the past year, we’ve been offered glimpses into the secret lives of celebrities homes & popstar studio set-ups during TV interviews & live streams, as we all adapt to a fresh way of continuing the creation of content. I’ve been quite envious of some peoples set ups, namely John Legend’s huge plum tinted grand piano as the centrepiece of the living area of his family mansion made me particularly jealous…
What it has made me consider is what actually is the dream set up? What do we need to continue our musical creations from home, in times when we’re unable to travel to studios or venues. In this blog, I thought I’d note my suggestions of what I think is a must have for any home set up… whether you’re a piano player, songwriter, producer or just a hobbyist player… at whatever level in your development, everything listed below I would seriously consider investing in if you haven’t yet got everything not the list…
Featured in this post
First things first, the all-important Piano. It’s the main event. If you get this wrong, you’re in for a road of disappointment. But if you get it right (and here at ePianos it is our priority to make sure we find the right digital piano for you…) then you’re giving yourself the best possible opportunity to harness that inevitable inspiration and you’ll be writing that TV theme or hit song in no time! Before we go any further, I want to iterate that I am only going to be discussing digital pianos as, of course, that is what we do & what we do best here at ePianos…
So, where do you start? Well, first things first I’d probably suggest our Piano Chooser 3000 Simply answer some questions and within 24 hours one of our team will get back to you with some personalised suggestions that we think will suit you best, based on your answers. It’s easy peasy and the best way if you’ve no clue where to start.
However, if you’re already a player, maybe you’re already playing on some sort of digital keyboard/piano, then what next? Should you upgrade? What’s the next step up? Well, playing Piano is a physical experience as much as it is a cognitive and creative one… and the beauty of digital pianos is the possibilities they hold… but it’s right to find the one that’s going to enhance your playing and offer you maximum inspiration. Here are a few things to consider:
How does the piano feel to play? This and sound are in my opinion the two most important factors to consider. The more you spend, the closer to a real piano you get. There are plastic keys, synthetic ivory keys, semi-weighted, fully-weighted… the list goes on and it can be quite daunting. If you’ve got the money to invest, my first port of call would always be the Yamaha Clavinova Range (They are Yamaha’s flagship digital piano range and would make any lockdown set up dreamy in my opinion. Not only is it going to feel like you’re playing a real piano, but it’s additional features (like bluetooth audio streaming & a 16 track recorder) makes for a fully fledged home-studio style piece of kit — Making it perfect for any kind of musician… pianist and producers alike! You can of course, with all digital pianos these days, use MIDI to connect to a laptop/computer, allowing you to use the instrument as a midi controller which just makes for a much more streamlined and exciting workflow!
The first thing people will say when they’re round for a cuppa is ‘blimey that sounds lovely!’ — the other specifications/technical stuff is for us, the musicians (the ones that notice these things…) but for your regular non-musical muggles, the sound of the Piano is without a doubt the most important part. So, what should we look for? Well, I’d personally look out for models that feature the CFX Grand Piano sample that Yamaha have so wonderfully mastered and generously put into a lot of their digital pianos and keyboards. As well as the piano sound itself however, speaker size & other sounds the piano/keyboard has built in are also important factors to consider.
Used Digital Piano Selection
The brand new DGX670 for example not only feels and sounds like a Piano, but has hundreds of styles and backings to experiment with. It acts, almost, like a mini-recording studio — which during a time when you can’t get to a rehearsal room due to COVID restrictions, proves to be VERY useful!
On the other end of the spectrum, however, a portable keyboard like the Yamaha P125 would absolutely do the trick if you’re on a bit of a budget (or pushed for space). It doesn’t have lots of bells and whistles but boy does it tick the boxes without breaking the bank account. You can read all about it here
And I must mention this… During the recent lockdowns, we’re making it our mission to bring the showroom experience to you with ‘ePianosTV’. It’s a huge selection of video demonstrations, comparisons, reviews and more. Click here to watch online for free.
COMFORT! Gone are the days of sitting on a hard, awful wooden kitchen chair… here at ePianos we stock a whole range of benches to suit all budgets which you can look at here: https://www.epianos.co.uk/benches-stools/
If you’re playing a portable piano, you’re going to need a sustain pedal and although a lot of models come with one in the box, I’d always recommend upgrading to one a little more sturdy & piano like, otherwise it’ll flap and slip around underneath your feet and you’ll struggle to find it mid-set… and then you’ll learn the hard way!
If you’re a sucker for brand names, then Yamaha of course have a sustain pedal available but you’ll be paying for it. Whereas OnStage have a piano-style sustain pedal which we sell that does the exact same job for a third of the price! You can browse all the pedals available out here: https://www.epianos.co.uk/pedals/
If you’re thinking about performing in smaller venues outside of your home-set up, that require you to bring your own backline & amplification, then I would always suggest the Yamaha KSSW100 which is one of Yamaha’s more recent successes in leading the way with making your gear set up top-notch.
It adds a real richness to the tone of the already brilliant selection of Yamaha keyboards it’s compatible with and would be the perfect addition to your kit list if you’re playing one of the keyboards it’s built for. You can read all about the KSW100 here: https://www.epianos.co.uk/yamaha-ks-sw100/
It’s worth remembering that when you’re buying a piano from us at ePianos, you are entitled to a selection of reduced-price accessories. You can build your own ‘bundles’ in this way. Simply add the desired item to your cart. You can view them all here: https://www.epianos.co.uk/epianos-add-ons/
So, I hope this blog has helped you consider your ‘lockdown’ set up and given you some inspiration… I know mine won’t be looking like John Legend’s for a while but nonetheless with the right tools it sure will feel like I’m playing on a million dollar piano!
As always, if you have any questions or queries please give us a call on 01295 266 788 or drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org