The best piano keyboards for seniors
This video outlines my top tips for senior citizens when choosing their piano set up, including the best piano keyboards, seats, stands and pedals. It includes info on wheelchair accessible stands and which keyboards are easier for people with dexterity challenges eg arthritis.
Piano or Keyboard?
Whilst playing a 'real' piano is lovely, an electronic keyboard / digital piano has many advantages (lower price, portable, control over volume, lighter keys, always in tune etc...).
Digital pianos (eg Yamaha NP32, P45, YDP145 ... ) are generally focussed on looking and sounding more like a real piano. More expensive models have 'weighted keys' that mimic the feel of real piano keys. 'Semi-weighted' keys usually cost less, are more portable and are lighter to touch.
Electronic keyboards (eg Yamaha YPT370, PSR373, Genos range ...) are similar to digital pianos but are less focussed on looking and sounding like a piano and are more focussed on offering a wide range of instrument sounds and extra 'backing' such as auto accompaniment and 1 finger chords.
Top 3 Features Your Keyboard Should Have
- Keys are standard size (not small eg childrens size)
- Keyboard has at least 61 keys (counting both black and white keys)
- The keys are touch sensitive (ie plays louder when keys are pressed harder)
Whats the Difference Between Acoustic Pianos and Digital Pianos?
An acoustic piano uses strings to create the sound and the opposite of this is a digital (electronic) piano keyboard which uses electronics to create the sound.
Acoustic pianos have arguably the best sound and baby grand pianos are my favourite to play, however there are many advantages of using digital pianos, including:-
- lighter keys (easier for arthritis sufferers or people with restricted finger movement)
- lower purchase cost
- lower maintenance costs
- more portability
- control of sound volume
- option of headphones
- control over the sound type eg different piano and other instrument sounds
- ability to layer sounds eg piano and strings
- option of transpose features
- option of backing rhythms, recording and other features
Best Keyboards for Beginners
Yamaha Piaggero NP12 is my favourite low price keyboard (around £ 200), with the Yamaha NP-32 having more keys (76 instead of 61). The Roland Go:Piano (GO-61P) has many of the benefits of the NP-12 and is a bit smaller. If you have a bigger budget and will not move the keyboard often then a weighted keyboard like Roland FP30 or Yamaha P45 are great value for money.
Any of the Yamaha range from YPT370 and PSR373 upwards, are good for beginners. The more you spend, the more features you get, all the way to the top of the range Genos.
For students in the UK, I recommend contacting Chris or David at www.epianos.co.uk/decplay for advice and to view a range of new and used keyboards, with UK delivery.
They also have lots of videos comparing different keyboards and giving tips.
Wheelchair Accessible Piano Keyboard Stands
For wheelchair accessible piano keyboard stands, the fixed type shown in the video are more suitable than x stands/ The Roland KSC-70 Stand for FP-30 Digital Piano has approx 60cm of clearance below the keyboard and a depth of 20cm. For more clearance and depth - a 'table' type might be more effective such as Gravity KSTS01B Table Form Heavy Keyboard Stand (Height adjustable from 735 mm to 1155 mm and no depth limit).
Makes & Models
www.epianos.co.uk/decplay have the best information on different models, but here are some keyboards that I like:-
- For portability and low cost (around £200) I like the Yamaha Piaggero NP12 or the Roland GO:Piano. For around £ 350 the Yamaha NP32 has a few extra keys and a louder sound.
- If you have a budget around £ 500+ and are not as concerned with portability but want more of a 'piano' feel with semi-weighted keys, the Yamaha P45, P125 and Roland (eg FP-30) are great value for money.
- High budget - Roland, Yamaha, Kawai, Korg and Nord keybaords / digital pianos have some great models
I could read a bit of music and play tunes in my right hand but didn't know what to do with my left hand.
Within days I learnt to play 2 songs, with both hands.
DecPlay makes it easy ..... it's fun!
Eric (age 76)
I am now retired and over the years I had tried learning piano but found it overwhelming.
The DecPlay system made it possible for me to play right away, with just a modicum of practice, Genius!
I'm experiencing the pleasure of creating music for the first time in my life.
At 59 yrs I had never played an instrument and was unable to read music (having tried several times).
Within weeks the DecPlay system enabled me to play songs I love on piano.
It's great that I don’t need to 'read music' in order for me to play and enjoy the piano every day.
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Video Lesson Includes:-