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You can now change your notification sounds by going to this link https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/index.php?/&app=soundboard&module=soundboard&controller=managesounds


You can find a library of free notification sounds in several places on the Internet. Here's one which has a very large selection https://notificationsounds.com/notification-sounds



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Do you know something about iPiano?

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Hey! I've discovered the new iPiano. [EDIT]

Can you, please, tell me if there is any good, especially for a beginner? I would like to buy one for my child and I don't know if it will help her or not... I don't want to buy something that is not worth it.


Edited by Rooster-UK
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Where are the pedals?:confused:

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I don't think that there are any....:confused:

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iPiano is a software download (free) for the Mac.

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I don't think iPiano is just a software. [EDIT]

Edited by Rooster-UK
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I don't know, I can imagine that'll be incredibly expensive (anything with an "i" as the first letter tends to be!)... and what you'd be paying that's unique seems to be the music notation interface. Have you found a price for it? I had a look but couldn't find anything.


I think most of what it's offering is already available these days - you can buy electric screens to display scores (but really, I prefer paper sheet music because you can scribble notes on it!). There's also thousands of free tutorials and videos online.


If it were me I'd stick to a real piano or a digital one (I've got a Yamaha P90 digital piano, it sounds and feels like a real one with weighted keys).

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it won't help. buy a cheap keyboard from argos.

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Well... only thing is a cheap keyboard from argos won't likely sound much like a real piano and won't have weighted keys. It depends what you're looking for. If you're planning on piano lessons they'd likely be aimed at someone playing a "real" piano (not an argos keyboard which is more like a synthesizer and feels very different to play).


Saying that, if your child's a beginner it might be better to start with a very cheap one in case (as kids often do) they lose interest.

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only thing is a cheap keyboard from argos won't likely sound much like a real piano .


Well now, you learn something everyday.:p

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If you are thinking about taking up the piano, you have three real options open to you, as follows:


1) Real Piano. Ah, there is no substitute for the feel of a real piano. Unfortunately, neither is there a substitute for the weight or bulk.


Because of this, plus the fact they take up a lot of space, you can find a lot of people giving away upright pianos for free in the local paper. However, beware of these; whilst the ads are genuine, the piano will almost certainly need at least tuning, which will cost.


Bear in mind also that even once tuned, pianos will go out of tune again. In addition, much like children, they have no volume control or headphone socket. Plus, you are unable to hook them up to a PC.



2) Option 2 is to get a synthesiser. These have light, springy keys, rarely any touch sensativity (the harder you hit the keys, the louder they are) and, generally, have a pretty crummy piano sound. The trade off is that synthesisers tend to have dozens - if not hundreds - of voices and samples, various beats and some level of recording facilities.

They also have volume control, headphone sockets, and, of course, can be hooked up to a PC.

A reasonable synthesiser should set you back around £200-£300, although you can of course get cheaper models (and even cheaper if you go second hand through eBay or your local paper).



3) And finally option 3, and my personal recommendation; an Electronic Piano. These are a halfway house between a synthesiser and a real piano.

These fall roughly into two types; Stage Pianos (such as Jennyfive's Yamaha P90) and full Digital Pianos (such as my Roland HP207).


Stage Pianos do not have built-in pedals (although most models allow you to add one or two pedals separately by plugging them in), and tend to be rather more simplistic in design. The reason - as the name suggests - is that they are primary designed to be moved around a lot, so are easily handled by one person. The home advantage of this is that you can easily pack them away until you need them.

Sound quality-wise, Stage Pianos are pretty much on a par with their Digital Piano cousins at the lower end of the market (the piano sound on the Yamaha P90 Stage, for example, is the same as on their YDP Digital Piano range), but the quality soon gets left behind as you go up the Digital Piano market (not to mention price).


Digital Pianos are almost always more expensive than their Stage Piano cousins. Why? Well, for a start all Digital Pianos have in built pedals (sometimes a cut-down two, but normally all three). The sound quality is often, but not always, higher, but the speakers are almost invariably more powerful, giving a richer sound.

At the entry-level end of the market, Digital Pianos generally have the same number of sounds as Stage Pianos (normally around 10, give or take), but will usually have additional features such as in-built metronomes, and recording and playback facilities.

However, Digital Pianos are like a real pinao in that they are a large piece of furniture, so take up a reasonable amount of space. They also can't be dismantled and packed away like a Stage Piano.


Shared benefits of both Stage and Digital Pianos Stage Pianos is that they have full computer compatibility (via MIDI), volume control and headphone sockets (so junior's attempts to learn Chopsticks for the umpteenth time isn't going to get the neighbours around complaining).


Both their keyboards have properly graded and weighted keys. So, unlike a synthesiser, when you hit the hit on a Stage Piano it mechanically triggers a hammer inside (just as with a real piano). The difference being that this hammer hits an electrical contact, rather than a string. This provides an incredibly responsive and lifelike feel to the keys. They are also graded as on a real piano (so the keys in the lower register take more force to hit than the keys in the upper).


Finally, both Stage and full Digital pianos have MIDI capabilities. I personally have mine hooked up to my PC, which runs a composer program that lets me download music, or write it manually via the mouse, and have my piano play it, or will let me record my piano playing live then build sheet music of what I've just played.


This feature is tremendously useful when learning new pieces, and perfect for starting composition yourself.

Added to this, you can easily obtain free sheet music online by joining the free website Piano Files, where thousands of people - myself included - share sheet music for free.


So, let's talk shop. Personally, I would always choose an electronic instrument over a real piano for the reasons outlined above, so I'm only going to give you rough price guides for options 2 and 3. Also, these are average prices bought new. As long as you can see the instrument working, there is no problem at all with getting something second hand.


Right, first off there are a vast wealth of models and makes out there. The real question you should be asking yourself is do you want to replicate having a piano in the house. If you don't care either way, consider a synthesiser. You can pretty much go for any make here (the quality of a synth being the features, rather than the manufacturer), and the prices will start at under £100. For entry level (i.e. something reasonable to learn on), you'll be looking at about £120 - £250. You can pay much more, but it's unnecessary paying for features you aren't going to use.


If you do want to replicate having a real piano without actually having a real piano, forget synthesisers.


Unless your budget stretches to it, you'll probably be best off starting out on a Stage Piano. They're light(ish), easy to pack away and cost less than a full Digital Piano. Stage Pianos will start new at around the £400-£450 mark and go up from there.

I used to have the Yamaha P60 Stage Piano (the little brother of Jennyfive's P90), which set me back £499.99.


For a full Digital Piano, you'll be looking at starting at around £600, maybe less if you're lucky. From there the prices rise alarmingly steeply, with £4k - £5k being the peak of the market.

Digital Piano wise, entry level (so £600 - £1200) will more than satisfy your needs for years to come.


Make-wise, both Stage and Digital Pianos have a wide range of manufacturers, but I would personally only ever choose either Yamaha or Roland. These are the two market leaders for a good reason; their products are better made, higher quality - even at entry level - and the sound sampling is almost always better. Korg are reasonable, but Casio's are just horrible, with very light keys and sample sets that aren't much better than synths.


The best thing to do is head into a music store (assuming one is near you) and try out a few models to see what you think. Get as much information from the store about the offered range, make a note of the model types and makes, then leave the store and go and get a realistic price online (you can generally save a few hundred by hunting online).



Finally, if you have any more questions or queries about pianos - digital or otherwise - feel free to post them in this thread and I'll be happy to answer them.

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