The main aspect that sets this device apart from others is the inclusion of the Chordana Play app, which the keyboard is compatible with. This app will make your playing time a fun one, it will help you learn faster, and will do that with the help of music scores, piano rolls, and many others.
There are 50 separate songs already included in the app, but you can also add some other MIDI files. The app is capable of generating a music score from different MIDI files, and it will detect chords and then transpose them, so you can have an easy time learning favorite songs. This will also help you improve your two-handed piano playing skills.
With Chordana Play you will be able to see the music score and the piano roll notation no matter if the song is already in the app or if you import it. MIDI files will allow you to choose which parts of the track you want to play with your left hand and which of them with your right. This offers versatility and can help you learn complex techniques, especially if you have a teacher guiding you.
Furthermore, the app will allow you to slow down the tempo, to transpose the key in which the song is played. There are also repeat functions that allow you to go over the same part again and again. There is a nice scoring system that will let you keep track of your progress and will motivate you to improve, to become a better player.
The app will let you practice even when you’re not around the keyboard. You can download it on a tablet or phone and practice there using a virtual keyboard. This means that you can always improve your skills, even if you’re traveling.
There is a three-step lesson system that will let you get better and better, even if you don’t have much experience with playing the instrument, and the scoring aspect will make things more fun. You can import songs from any device, from computers to phones, by just using a browser.
You don’t have to always connect a device to the keyboard. If you add the song once in the keyboard’s library, it will stay there and you can use it any time you want it. The number of notes that can be transposed from the songs is amazing, as you can have almost 1000 keynotes for a single song.Buy from Amazon.com for ($109)
Given all the digital features that this keyboard provides, you will almost forget that it doesn’t come with any kind of touch sensitivity. Of course, that is an important aspect when you want to practice and get better at playing because, with no feedback from the keys, you won’t know if you’re pressing too soft or too hard.
Furthermore, because the keyboard is not responsive to how fast you press the keys, you will always have the same response from it no matter how fast you press them. In a piano, the harder you press a key, the louder the noise, and that should be the case for keyboards too.
Main features explained
Step-up lesson system
You don’t always find a learning system implemented into a keyboard, and even if you do, most of them go straight to some complicated techniques that you need to follow. This can start to be frustrating for young or inexperienced players that feel everything is happening too fast for them. Fortunately, with the CTK-2550 model, Casio thought of a lesson system that will allow you to learn how to play the instrument step by step.
The great benefit of this system is that it offers you more than just piano lessons, as it also lets you engage with other aspects within the world of music and learn more in general. Coming with 60 built-in songs, the keyboard assistant will help you through each of them in a step-by-step process. You will be able to focus your attention on small parts of the songs.
You will also be able to set the pace at which you learn. So, if you feel inspired, you can always increase the difficulty and learn faster. What makes these lessons easy to follow is the decently-large LCD display of the keyboard. The display will show you how to position your fingers and any needed musical notations.
Effective feedback is important for improving day after day, and a feature that offers you this feedback is also incorporated into the keyboard. Offering you a grading system, the device will let you keep track of what you have achieved, and will inform you of where you need to improve.
Being such a small device, this keyboard doesn’t offer you the same amount of capabilities that a bigger and more expensive unit would, but it is certainly easy to carry with you. That was one of the main points of focus when creating this device – to make it as portable as possible. That is why it’s a great choice for those that practice at home but also have to travel quite a bit, and need the keyboard with them, for practice sessions.
Measuring about 37 inches, it’s 15 inches smaller than a regular portable keyboard. This means that you will have an easier time fitting it in the back of your car. Students will also benefit from the small dimensions, as we all know dorm rooms are pretty crowded places.
Weighing only 7.3 pounds, the keyboard is also light and easy to hold. You don’t have to move it with a car, and that is really great for kids that need to take it with them. For short to medium walks, it won’t stress their back and it will allow them to be more independent. The great thing about it is that it can be used with an adapter, and batteries as well.
That essentially says that you can use it anywhere; it offers versatility, as you won’t have to position it near a power outlet. You don’t know when inspiration strikes you, and with the possibility to play it anywhere, you can even practice on the backseat of your car.
A keyboard is generally used to reproduce the sound of a piano, and that is its main purpose. However, with this keyboard, you get the opportunity to do more than that. As it offers different modes, each suited for a certain purpose. First of all, you have the Auto Accompaniment feature, and this will allow the player to select a certain pattern so every time a certain chord is played, the keyboard offers the backing accompaniment to suit that.
What this basically means is that when you play a song, you have automatic bass and harmony parts in the background which will make the whole experience a complete one. There is also the Lesson Mode of the instrument, and we’ve discussed this a bit already. Beginners of all kinds will like this mode, as it proves to be really useful. With this mode, you will have the musical notes displayed on the LCD screen, and you have to follow the suggested notes and instructions.
In this learning mode, you also benefit from a feature called Voice Fingering Guide, which will offer you voice indications and makes things easier. What is new about the different modes is the Dance Music Mode, a feature that will allow you to create a mix of electronic dance music. That is something that you can rarely do with a keyboard.
With this mode, you can combine different patterns to create a song that you can actually dance on. You have the possibility to choose between 50 different electronic music pieces to create the song you want.
Keyboards should work well on themselves, but those keyboards that give you the possibility to connect them to different devices have an edge. And the more devices you can connect, the better, generally speaking. As a brand, Casio is known for giving a lot of connectivity ports to their keyboards, as to fully maximize the possibilities.
Of course, given the price range the CTK-2550 model founds itself in, it doesn’t have all the most extensive options out there, but it still offers some possibilities, especially for beginners. You get the usual headphones or output terminal, that uses a standard jack. This means that you will be able to plug in a pair of headphones and practice in silence without anyone hearing you.
You can also use this output for other devices such as amplifiers or mixer boards, and this offers more versatility. One of the small disadvantages of this keyboard is the fact that the speakers aren’t as powerful. The fact that you can add a couple of more powerful amplifiers should come as a way to overcome that.
The keyboard doesn’t come with a pedal of its own, but users can buy a pedal separately and connect it to the instrument using the standard sustain jack. Furthermore, there is an auxiliary input, which will let you connect the keyboard to many of today’s digital devices and play your own music on that.
This also offers you the possibility to download different songs and using the Chordana Play feature, transpose those songs into notes that you can follow.Buy from Amazon.com for ($109)