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Know the various types of electronic keyboards!
If you go out looking for your first electronic keyboard, you will find a lot of names like home keyboards, arranger keyboards, synthesizers, workstations, etc., all of which are different variations of an electronic keyboard but have features targeted towards people with different musical interests.
As a beginner, you will mostly buy a 61-keys electronic keyboard, though keyboard with lesser number of keys exist. For around 200 USD you should get a 61 key keyboard with hundreds of sounds and accompaniments. Casio, Yamaha, Technics are some of the leading names which manufacture keyboards for this segment of users. These keyboards have lot of musical features and they normally have a built-in music education system to help you learn faster and on your own.
As you become good at your instrument and get opportunities to play for an audience, you will need to go in for professional arranger keyboards. These keyboards have amazing sound, superb range of tones and musical styles, killer effects and ability to connect a microphone. Yamaha, Technics, Roland and Korg are some of the names which manufacture good professional arranger keyboards. They are available anywhere from 2000 USD to 4000 USD and are used by professionals playing for an audience. You will even have to spend on accessories like sturdy stands, good cases and keyboard amplifiers to give that extra punch to your sounds.
Finally, if you will be doing a lot of music production related work then you will need gear like workstations and synthesizers. A synthesizer has knobs and sliders to let you change the shape of a sound so that you create interesting sounds of your own. A Workstation on the other is a keyboard which is like a portable studio; it gives you all the features and tool to help you create a song from scratch, without needing any other instrument. A workstation is a keyboard, synthesizer, recorder, and sampler, everything rolled into one, so you can create whatever you like and finally you can create a professional mix using this instrument.
So, you can see that there are a lot of keyboards available in the market, each with features targeted towards a particular segment of musicians. Normally, all the keyboard players who go onto become professionals, should have owned these instruments at some point in their musical career.
"Useful information to help you become a better musician"
About the Author: I have been dealing with Keyboards and Pianos for almost ten years now. I have played in bands, I teach and I am actively involved in Computer Music recording.