Should You Buy the Yamaha DGX220 Digital Piano?

QUICK TIP: My call on the best digital piano 2010

We get a lot of search traffic on the Yamaha range of digital pianos. And for good reason. The Yamaha brand is synonymous with high quality digital musical instruments and their electronic keyboard range is world renowned.

So, the DGX220 from Yamaha – is it worth your money?

Here's the manufacturer's data:

What's the Yamaha DGX220 got going on?

    * Superb introductory level digital piano
    * 76 full size touch sensitive piano style keys
    * Great range of 489 real sounds
    * 150 styles (2 variations) to play along to
    * Portable grand feature at the touch of a button
    * 6 track recorder built in to record performances
    * USB to host connection
    * Free adaptor
Designed for the player who wants the feel of piano style keys at a fantastic price. The DGX220 is packed with features such as a 6 track sequencer to record your own songs. The DGX220 is easy to carry and can be battery operated. With over 480 superb sounds to choose from plus touch sensitivity your playing can be as expressive as on an acoustic instrument. A newly designed panel layout makes using the keyboard easy and the clear blue backlit LCD panel makes the DGX220 look as good as it sounds.

Box Contents
# Keyboard
# Adaptor

Whether Piano or Keyboard – the 76 keys of DGX-220 offer the ambitious beginner several possibilites to develop. The internal six-track-recorder opens brilliant recording-functions and via PC and USB to host you can load new songs into Flash ROM memory. Specifications: Top design in silver 76 piano tyoe keys with Touch response (unweighted) backlit LC-Display 489 Voices, included 360 XG-Lite-Voices 150 Styles with 2 Variations Music Database with 267 Entries Flash ROM for Songs Registration Memory 30 Preset Songs Digital Effekts: Reverb/Chorus/DSP Master EQ Pitch Bend Wheel Performance Assistant YAMAHA Education Suuite Y.E.S. 4 USB to host 2-Way Speaker system 2 x 6 Watt

My short review of the Yamaga DGX220

I have played this model for a total playing time of around 3 hours, so it's not the digital piano that I have most experience with. However, the price guide on this model is pretty reasonable.

I simply can not recommend it over this Yamaha piano though. It's a better buy and a better model in my view.

Find out more about the DGX220

Yamaha DGX520 Review

Thinking about buying a Yamaha DGX520?Digital Piano Tech Specs:

* 88 full size touch sensitive piano style keys – the same as a real piano
* 500 real sounds of every type of instrument in amazing clarity
* 150 styles (2 variations of each) to play along to
* Portable grand feature
* 6 track recorder
* Pitch wheel for dynamic control
* Performance assistant technology means you can never play the wrong note!
* USB to host
* Includes stand, free adaptor

Fast analysis / review:

Fantastic value digital piano.

If you’ve already learned to play the piano and are looking to broaden your scope but not quite ready to take the leap toward the very best in digital piano technology, the Yamaha DGX520 is absolutely perfect.

Find out more….

The Best Digital Piano in the World?

A lot of people ask me this question: what do I consider to be the best digital piano on the market?

Obviously, as I've said a number of times, 'best' is a subjective concept and relates to the player, budget and experience.

However, I'm going to have a bash at giving a clear and definitive answer on what I consider to to be the greatest digital piano that money can buy.

First let's take a look at some of its technical specs:

    * Revolutionary 'living' piano core that breaks the digital-sampling barrier in a stand-alone instrument
    * Stunning pianos onboard, from grand-piano classics to never-before-heard futuristic hybrids
    * All pianos are customizable
    * Newly-developed 88-note PHA-III Ivory Feel keyboard with Escapement
    * Analog (XLR and 1/4 inch) outputs, digital output (coaxial), USB Memory port and MIDI I/O

And the official product description from the manufacturer:

The Piano RedefinedSince 1972, Roland has pioneered many groundbreaking technologies and 'world's first' products. In recent decades, no family of Roland instruments has won more respect and acclaim than the revolutionary 'V' series – V-Accordion, V-Bass, V-Drums, V-Guitar, and V-Synth. Today, Roland proudly announces the next chapter in the V legacy…the V-Piano. Throw away all preconceived notions of what a digital piano was and is. This instrument changes everything.Features* Revolutionary 'living' piano core that breaks the digital-sampling barrier in a stand-alone instrument* Stunning pianos onboard, from grand-piano classics to never-before-heard futuristic hybrids* All pianos are customizable* Newly-developed 88-note PHA-III Ivory Feel keyboard with Escapement* Analog (XLR and 1/4 inch) outputs, digital output (coaxial), USB Memory port and MIDI I/OBreaking BarriersThe V-Piano soars above the limitations of past technologies with its revolutionary 'living' piano core, allowing every note to respond and evolve naturally, seamlessly, and perfectly without requiring samples. With the V-Piano, there is no velocity switching, and it provides a smooth, natural decay that must be heard to be believed.Create Your Dream CollectionWith the V-Piano, you can choose from beautifully crafted vintage grand-piano presets or you can create your own custom dream collection. Vary the hardness of the virtual hammer felts. Experiment with exotic string configurations and tunings. Put a world-famous grand under your fingertips or play a futuristic piano that has never been heard before.New PHA-III Ivory Feel KeyboardEven the most demanding pianist will appreciate the V-Piano's new PHA-III Ivory Feel keyboard with Escapement. This advanced keyboard technology.

If you haven't already guessed, I am of course talking about the awesome Roland V digital piano.

I first played one in a music shop in London a couple of years back and I was totally hooked. I could go on and on about WHY I think it's the best but I believe the only way you can possibly get a feel for the depth and value of this machine is to actually stand behind one and start playing.

Clearly at the price, it's a piano for those with deeper pockets. But is the Roland V worth the money? Here's my short review….


Find out more….

New Age Piano Music – You Need This

If you love listening to various tunes in different genres, new age solo piano music might just fit right into your personal collection. This is truly one musical variety that has surprisingly grown in appeal and popularity, partly because it is also quite useful and helpful.

Among some quarters, the term new age is referred to as contemporary instrumental and adult contemporary. The alternative terms are perhaps the result of difficulties with categorization. There is no one genre that can cover tunes under these labels. To be more exact, musical works that fall under these are compositions that show different influences. The most common genre influences are classical, jazz and slow pop.

You can’t arrive at a concrete definition of new age piano renditions if you don’t first delve into what new age music really is. Compositions that fit into this category showcase a variety of instruments. Other than the piano, the flute and guitar are also preferred instruments. In some cases, other electronic or digital tools can be used to enhance or help produce the appropriate tunes. There are also some artists who employ instruments used for the orchestra.

You will be able to appreciate how broad contemporary instrumental compositions are when you take a look at the wide range of artists that have been placed in this group. Perhaps the most popular soothing piano music artists are the pianists Yanni and Jim Brickman. Other artists who employ broad styles and instruments include Enya, Vangelis, Enigma, Will Ackerman and George Winston. Obviously, many of these artists don’t even strictly employ pure instrumental styles but still fall under this category because of the quality of their styles.

For a lot of people, the best option would really be new age piano music because it is what fulfills the promise of new age tunes the most, and that is to promote relaxation. People buy new age tracks because they expect to be put in a state of calm relaxation that will produce positive moods. If you therefore want help dealing with the extreme stresses of a busy work week, then listening to new age sounds is just the perfect solution. You might also want to use this modern musical category for inspiration. Good tracks can put you at your personal best for task completion.

The piano has been specifically identified because of its dynamism and versatility. Its outstanding range can produce a variety of tunes that touch the soul, evoke emotions and calm the mind. This is the kind of instrument you’d want to listen to for yoga, meditation, reflection and work.

Purely instrumental compositions are best. Those with spiritual chanting however might also be suitable for relaxation. These selections are better options than those with lyrics mainly because songs, even if they carry slow beats, typically carry suggestive influences. If you listen to a song with a depressing or negative message, you may end up feeling worse than when you weren’t listening to anything.

You won’t regret having your own collection of new age music. For a thoroughly relaxing experience, pick piano pieces. At this point in time when life just moves too fast, there is no better balm to the soul than the piano as used in new age styles and renditions.

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Digital Piano or a Keyboard

Ahhh, that old chestnut.

Amazing how many people find us here by searching for 'digital piano vs keyboard' or 'keyboard / piano or digital piano?'.

Well, I guess that means people are looking for a straight down the line comparison. I shall see if I can do my best to give one!

Digital Pianos tend to have 88 keys and are a fantastic choice for people who are starting to take piano lessons or learning to play the piano online.

The base and mid level models start at around £245 – £400 (go much lower than that and you will notice a difference).

Electronic keyboards range from the tiny little Casios that make pleasant sounds but are more suited to very young children, up to stadium level acoustic symphonies fit for a stage show by Yes or Kraftwerk. You really can't get a straight handle on a genre vs genre and instead it's better to focus on needs, wants and budgets before making a range vs range comparison in the digital piano sector vs a similarly priced and spec electric keyboard.

I'm going to do exactly that in a forthcoming blog post so, stay tuned!

Best Digital Piano 2010

As Christmas 2010 draws ever nearer, what better time to write a summary review of the best digital piano to buy in 2010.

When researching your digital piano choice there are some key considerations to factor:

1. The budget for your digital piano

2. The spec you require of your digital piano

3. Understanding your long term capabilities

So lets’ start with budget: how much are you willing to buy your digital piano for?

A quick check of the latest prices shows us the huge pricing ranges available to us in the UK.

It’s vitally important not to under spend and end up with a digital piano that’s simply not going to allow us to fulfil our long term goals in terms of where we expect our playing capabilities to be in, say, 3 years.

At the same time, we simply have to make sure we don’t end up splurging on a really high end digital piano that we ‘never grow in to’.

So let’s make an assumption at begin our search in the mid range market.

I could spend the next few pages extolling the virtues of this piano or that but I really don’t feel a need. I’m therefore going to save you a lot of time and effort and come right out and name the best mid-range digital piano your money can buy in 2010….(keyboard roll please….)

Yamaha NP30B-K Portable Digital Piano (black finish).

The new NP30 Contemporary Digital Piano represents an entirely new class of Yamaha digital pianos. Designed to offer quality, value and portability with a lighter touch, the NP30 includes 76 Graded ‘Soft’ Touch piano-style keys and stereo-sampled piano voices. Additional features include 10 quality voices like Pianos, Organs, and Strings plus 32 notes of polyphony and ten recordings of standard piano repertoire.

Now come on, it’s a Yamaha digital piano and it’s less than £250.

You can’t miss.

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