With two girls and a variety of musical instruments available here at Rock Father HQ, the looming question has become “which will they want to learn properly first?” We’ve got a full fleet of guitars (both toy and real), a full-size drum kit, a children’s piano, and our latest addition, the CASIO CTK-2400 portable keyboard. When Casio sent me a review unit at the tail end of National Piano Month this past September, I was eager to jump in myself as I’ve long been a “dabbler” when it comes to the keys – instruments that closely coincide with the notes of a guitar (my instrument of choice), so it makes a lot of sense that some killer guitarists like Zakk Wylde and Eddie Van Halen are also fantastic pianists as well. When teaching kids, there’s also something that was noted by THE AQUABATS’ drummer Ricky Fitness when I interviewed him here on the site last year – keyboards are percussive as well, and he calls piano “the gateway instrument.” After having the CASIO in the house for about a month, I’ve deemed it a great addition to the “Music for Beginners” section of my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER.
This 61-key piano features over 100 songs, 400 tones, 150 rhythms and a built-in microphone and sampler – the latter of which is very entertaining to children as they can record their voices and play is back at different pitches. Complete with a songbook and “step-up learning system” (digital lessons), there’s a lot to work with here. Having had several keyboards throughout the years, the fact that it includes the power adapter is a HUGE plus (for some reason, they never used to come standard, and that was irritating), though this can run on battery power (AA batteries) if need be. One thing that seasoned players should be aware of is that this keyboard is not velocity sensitive, which means the tone will sound the same no matter how hard you hit the keys.
The CASIO has proven to be a kid-magnet here at HQ, with our Step2 Creative Studio Art Desk making a PERFECT keyboard stand…