anyone have any suggestions on an in-expensive compact keyboard (37 keys??) that could be packed in a suitcase?

basically, i'm in the consulting field and travel a lot. on my previous yearlong project i had a extended stay hotel room, so i picked up a casio px-100 that they had on sale at best buy and just left that in the hotel room to practice while i was on-site.

however this client is a bit cheaper so i just have a room for 3 nights out of the week. therefore, instead of just wasting the hours in the hotel room flipping through the measly selection of channels, i figure i would pick up a compact keyboard that i could just pack into my suitcase and get some practice in.

any suggestions would be appreciated.


There are 12 comments, leave a comment.
there are plenty of small inexpensive keyboards out there by casio and yamaha. whichever one you choose, i would counsel you to include the following two features:

1. full sized keys

2. touch response
buy a melodica. they're awesome.
second the opinion on a melodica!  you can wander around the streets, play on your hotel balcony, the ladies like it, and you can go to jam sessions when there are other people playing the piano.  this season i played my melodica on the chair lifts during those wonderful spring skiing days in april.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.

can you leave the casio at the bell desk the nights you're not staying?
in any event, let us know what you ended up getting. i'm interested.

maybe you could try some of them small keyboard controlers and hooked
it up with sound modul or laptop  it all fits into a shoping bag
i'm interested in the melodica as something i can take on family holidays - any comments on what to look for?
i've always had a desire to try out a small harmonium, but never did.
anybody had experience with them?  they seem to be popular in india probably from the british influence.
the harmonium, while capable of polyphony, has a relatively slow attack due to the fact that it is a wind instrument.

it is also limiting in other ways because of the short keyboard, non-standard size keys and the necessity of using the left hand to pump the bellows.

another thing to take into consideration is that they are not a particularly good deal compared to the much lighter and less fragile casio or yamaha 5-octave electronic keyboards.

all that being said, i would love to have one. while i was in india i drooled a lot over them but because i was traveling non-stop it would have been too much of a burden to carry around the world with me.
i bought a children's piano accordion at the weekend. the keyboard only spans a major 10th and the bass 'chord' buttons (which play a bass tone and a fifth) are just f,c,g or d. if i use the chord buttons i am sort of limited to playing in c or g major and d minor, but if i ignore them and just play lines and chords with my right hand i can play in any key. volume is controlled by the amount of squeeze i give it. what is really good, apart from that this thing is tiny and cheap and a lot of fun, is that it's good practice for learning to invert intervals while soloing - with only a small keyboard you need to invert frequently to avoid running out of keys. i have never been very quick at inverting on the fly so hopefully this will teach me a thing or two.

church hymns etc sound great on this thing. i tried out the welsh national anthem 'oh, land of our fathers' - a beautiful, rousing, traditional anthem and it sounds great. also blues works nicely - in c or g at least. and playing just with one finger and no chords gives a very french/european sound.

here is a link to the one i got:
ok, i've found the solution, anyone tried one of these out?
i tried one once. it didn't have "touch response" (velocity sensitivity). that's a deal killer in my mind.

i have had the horror of trying to teach students who practiced on a keyboard without "touch response", that completely ruins their "feel". it's unbearable to listen to.

this advertisement does not list "touch response" as one of the keyboard's features.

in addition, not having raised black keys will probably be a disadvantage too.

and it just seems strange that at first they say "49 keys" and thenfor the rest of the article it's "36 keys" (3 octaves).
my wife bought me one of those for christmas.  if you expect to play on it - forget it. first it's odd with no raised keys, nor do the keys depress.  second, it's very sluggish.  on the other hand, i use it on trips as a way to practice theory, circle of fifths for different chord voicings, arrangements etc. you just have to be realistic on what you can do with it.  

ps: mine is 49 keys
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