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I bought this as a entry level keyboard for my wife sometime last year, primarily for the "learn to play" functions. First things first, the keyboard is a substantial item . It's over a metre in length and certainly couldn't be described as a 'toy', despite its low price. We purchased a cheap stand to place it on and it's kept in a corner of our lounge so its available to practise on whenever time allows. The keyboard is a joy to use. It has been so nice to watch my wife, in the space of around 12 months, progress from a complete novice to now being able to read music and play 3-fingered chords. The lessons included on the keyboard are fairly rudimentary and, to be honest, my wife didn't find them as useful as they were probably intended. However, a visit to a local muicstore yielded a few good "Learn to Play" type courses and she's thoroughly enjoyed every other aspect of the instrument. As you would expect, there are an array of different sounds that can be produced and, although she tends to stick to the straigtforward "piano" mode for most of her playing, it's kinda fun to listen to some of the emulations - it all adds to the enjoyability of the experience. There are various rhythms which can be played along with which help with developing a sense of timing. All in all, we can recommend this as a great beginners keyboard for anyone wishing to take up the instrument.
The first thing that i would like to say about this keyboard is the amount of features you get in it is remarkable for the price you can pay for it (buying second hand is also a very good option as it further decreases the price and increases the value of the product). The first noticable feature is the "Music Database" - This allows you to set up the entire keyboard by selecting a song title. A floppy disk driveis integrated and plays and records songs on disk in standard MIDI file format. This keyboard has 61 piano-size touch-sensitive keys for expressive/passionate playing and also a 16-track recording plus editing features. The large, back-lit, multi-color LCD display is great as it has full dot display,for an easy-to-read screen. 14 Drum kits are also included in order to create percussion tracks for even the most talanted drummers. Means you dont have to set up your kit!!! 699 Authentic instrument voices (219 panel and 480 XG) are included aswell as 112 accompaniment styles and 3 custom styles.The Yamaha has 8MB Wave ROM (more than twice the previous model) and adds realism to voices aswell as speeding up the the whole keyboard and saving progress.A midi input/output is available which means you can use the keyboard as a synth aswell as a one piece model.