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Keyboard For Dummies Paperback – November 18, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

Learn to:

  • Choose the right keyboard for your needs
  • Play, program, and perform with a wide variety of keyboard effects
  • Connect your keyboard to your computer, tablet, and various forms of amplification

Get keyed up on the keyboard

Keyboard For Dummies helps budding musicians fully realize the possibilities that unfold when those black-and-whites are connected to state-of-the-art music technology. You discover the ins and outs of modern keyboards and get the most out of their capabilities, from working with keyboard technology and applications to using amps, computers, and tablets — and so much more.

  • Keyboard 101 — get to know the major categories of keyboards available today, the benefits and features that are right for you, and the details on setting up and caring for your keyboard
  • Decipher musical language — discover how to read written music, develop your fingering technique, and pick up basic chords
  • Start playing sounds — find tips on working with common electronic keyboard features, from using effects to enhance your sounds to grooving along with drums
  • The sky's the limit — make the most of your keyboard's features to record your playing, edit sounds, connect with your MP3 player, and more

Open the book and find:

  • The major keyboard "food groups"
  • The basics of reading music and playing the keyboard
  • How to select different sounds (and use more than one at a time)
  • Ways to get the most out of onboard learning systems
  • The lowdown on using music software
  • Expert tips on using auto-accompaniment, tweaking sounds, and learning new songs
  • Essential tips for keyboard shopping

About the Author

Jerry Kovarsky is a regular columnist for Keyboard magazine and longtime product management guru with Casio, Korg, and other companies who have been instrumental in bringing keyboard technology into people's homes and onto stages and studios around the world.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (November 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118705491
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118705490
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jakester VINE VOICE on January 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you're considering getting a keyboard I strongly recommend getting this book. There's a lot of things to be considered before purchasing a keyboard and unfortunately you likely won't consider them until after you purchase it. This book will help you decide what features you want in a keyboard and point you in the best directions to get them.
Once you've decided what you want and have made your purchase, this book will then help you maximize your keyboards usage. A keyboard is a lot like a software program, most people only use about 10% or it's capability. If you're new to the keyboard world you'll be amazed at how much functionality is included in even the most basic keyboards. This book helps you exploit that functionality in a way that's much easier to understand (probably) then the manual that will come with your keyboard. I own a digital piano and an electronic keyboard and I wish I'd had this book before I purchased the keyboard. I definitely would have made a different decision.
As far as learning to play (assuming you don't already know) this book will provide some of the fundamentals you'll need to accomplish that. There's not a ton of info on this topic but that's not what the book is designed to do. However, there's enough to get you started and playing for quite a while before you'll feel the need for advanced training.
Overall this is a great book. Easy to read, very informative, and covers a lot of topics others don't. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've been involved with music and keyboards for 38 years, everything from church organist and children's choir accompanist, to rock band member, to student, teacher, and jazz aficionado. I was pretty sure I knew enough about keyboards that a "Dummies" book wasn't going to be much of a revelation to me. About that, I was wrong.

Jerry Kovarsky has put together a fascinating and highly detailed book on a subject that goes much deeper than even a keyboard musician like me could appreciate before reading this book. And to his credit, he really covers every aspect of identifying, buying, using, and getting the most out of just about any type of acoustic or electronic keyboard. He covers both mundane and esoteric subjects, such as rhythms, learning features, programmability, integrating into musical setups, recording, playback, MIDI, editing, performing, just everything. And that really is the book's one drawback. Because he attempts to cover so many detailed operations, features, functions and processes of so many different musical applications over so many types of keyboards from any number of manufacturers and eras (tonewheel keyboard or Moog synthesizer anybody?), much of what he tells you about is stuff you were going to figure out anyway. Like, (paraphrasing) "To record, push the "Record" or "REC" button (depending on your keyboard)." Of course he takes that route because he doesn't know if you own a Casio or a Roland or a Yamaha or an Ensoniq keyboard, but what good is that advice? To be fair, many times he knows he can't help and refers you to your owner's manual anyways.

The author does recognize the danger of being too general, though, so he plays to his strengths when he can.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Recently I bought a Casio keyboard for my son. We are slowly learning to play the piano using the "Teaching Little Fingers to Play" book.

Keyboard for Dummies is a good tool to provide understanding of many of keyboard features. I skimmed through some sections of the book which I thought were not applicable to our situation (plugs, stands, etc.), and I bookmarked certain sections to have them reviewed with my son later when his skills grow..

In my opnion, this book would be more valuable for someone looking to buy a keyboard, this way, after reading the book, the person would understand what features to look for in a keyboard depending on their goal.
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Kovarsky has always been 'where it's happening' in commercial synthesizer development. Even seasoned vets will find something they'd never known, or thought of in exactly that way. And for the beginner, there's no better way to grow into synthesizers. The author starts you with basics, and before you know it, the field opens up and you're understanding things you never thought you could.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Considering that this is a book about keyboard "for dummies," I was very surprised at the depth of the book - it really is a fantastic resource if you are seriously considering buying a professional keyboard. If you just want one for fun to sometimes play and are not a professional musician, this book may actually be too detailed and technical for your needs.

I thought that the sections about the main types of keyboards was really interesting and enlightening, and would be so helpful when considering a keyboard to buy. The section on music-reading and playing basics is not the best if you are a beginner, but is a nice reference for someone who knows a little bit already and picks up things quickly. I am a professional piano teacher, and I do have issues with some of the basic technique suggestions, particularly the hand shape section (finding the correct hand shape by putting your hand flat on a table, then drawing your fingers into a curved position, leaving your hand heel touching the table - this could lead to poor technique as it does not encourage flexible wrists). As this is just a brief overview of piano-playing and music-reading, and the author does give suggestions for better resources if you truly want to learn to play (such as the Piano for Dummies book, or an actual piano teacher) and this is not the main point of this book, I have still given the book a good rating.

The second half of the book goes into all sorts of technical details on how to use keyboards and what all of their functions and capabilities are. It is super detailed and technical. I have to wonder if, once you decide which actual keyboard to purchase, you would be better off reading the manual specific to the model you actually buy, as each keyboard's buttons and functions will be slightly different. However, I commend the author for doing such a thorough job with this book.
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