The space next to my desk has had to be rearranged to make space for yet another new instrument. At least, new to me. In an act of crazed excitement I ended up winning an eBay auction for a Yamaha DGX-305 keyboard! I was particularly pleased with it because I got it for a lot less than it should originally have been sold for, which I guess is the biggest attraction of eBay. Instead of paying £350-400 for this Portable Grand, I paid only £180, which was a bargain.
Packed with features, a nice big LCD display, good quality speakers, piano keys, USB connection to computer, and some awesome sounds, this is a very nice keyboard. The keys aren’t weighted, but the block shape of the keys does give it a much nicer feel than your ordinary cheap keyboard.
I did have a keyboard a while back, just an old Yamaha PSR-210, but that wasn’t all that impressive. I think the most amazing thing about that keyboard was that it was touch-sensitive, hardly something to write home about. However, my brother is doing a degree in music and he figured he needed it more than I did – technically it belongs to the both of us, and after 5 years we figured it was his ‘turn’.
But my DGX-305 blows the pants off that old keyboard. I particularly like the piano sounds, which are actually sampled from a real piano for incredible realism. There are similarly sampled voices such as a small handful of electric pianos, an organ, tenor sax, soprano sax, trumpet, a few others, all of which sound amazing. Not perfect in every situation of course, there’s no way of controlling the amount or speed of the vibrato, but if used in the right way they can sound awesome.
A number of problems now need overcoming. Firstly, I need to invest in a sustain pedal, since the keyboard didn’t come with one – playing a keyboard without a sustain pedal is actually really difficult if you’re used to it being there! I also need somewhere to put it – at the moment it’s leant up against the wall, and when I want to play it I have to make space on the dining room table. I would dearly love to hook it up to my computer, but I need to go out and buy myself the correct USB cable to make the connection. The other problem to overcome is the temptation to play it all day long…