Let's take a look at the 61 key, Yamaha YPT410 keyboard. If you're looking for a really low-priced beginner's keyboard read on. You can buy this portable Yamaha keyboard online for about 200 bucks. Pretty cheap if you ask me. If you don't mind getting a used one you may even get it for less.
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The Yamaha YPT 410 is built with beginners in mind and is loaded with learn to play features. The keyboard comes with the Yamaha Education Suite feature, a feature that helps you learn to play. There are three keyboard lessons for each hand with 7 levels of difficulty and even a chord dictionary. There are 30 built-in songs and 70 more on CD-ROM. Thanks to the lesson grading feature you will know how well you're progressing. The Yamaha Education Suite is a great supplement to a music teacher.
The keyboard comes with features that are usually typical of more expensive models. In particular the Yamaha YPT410 comes with a pitch bend wheel, arpeggiator and control knobs. As you may know pitch bend wheels are very important for imitating instruments like horns and guitars. For such a low end keyboard, this is pretty impressive. The arpeggiator feature is great for playing techno music. The control knobs allow you to have real time control over effects, filters, EQ and tempo.
In this computer age what good is a keyboard if it can't connect to your computer? Well the Yamaha YPT 410 delivers in that department. You can easily connect your keyboard to your computer via USB and Flash ROM. There's a PC button that makes it very easy to connect to your computer. You can download songs from the Internet and learn to play them via the Y.E.S. (Yamaha Education Suite) feature.
The Yamaha YPT 410 comes with many tools that make it easy to operate. These include Performance Assistant Technology, Chord, Chord/Free, Melody and Chord/Melody. These features make it very easy to start playing right away and are great for beginners. For instance, by turning on the Performance Assistant Technology feature you can play any note on the keyboard and it won't sound wrong. Simply choose a song and start playing along with it. (But seriously, while this feature is great for folks starting out, I find it very boring for someone who already knows how to play.) The keyboard includes Music Finder, One Touch Setting, and a Registration Memory feature.
You can very easily put your keyboard in piano mode thanks to the Portable Grand feature. Press the button and the entire keyboard resets to a stereo-sampled piano. How does the piano sound? Well for $199 you can't expect the sound of a MOTIF. ;-) The Yamaha YPT410 comes with 116 panel voices, 12 drum/SFX kits, 361 XGlite voices plus 15 arpeggio voices. It includes Yamaha's Sweet, Cool and Live voices. It has 32 notes of polyphony - 32 notes can sound at one time. That's not bad at all for a beginner's keyboard.
Of course, the Yamaha YPT410 keyboard comes with various accompaniment styles, a total of 150. This means that you can play along with various genres of music on your keyboard. There's a metronome feature that is great for students.
I was very happy to see that this keyboard comes with a sequencer. Yes. A 6-track sequencer.
All in all a pretty decent keyboard for someone on a low budget looking for a keyboard to start out with or someone looking for a child's keyboard. You can get on the path with a Yamaha YPT 410 and then someday graduate into a more advanced instrument.
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