Sometimes simplicity is the best policy when you’re serious about learning a new skill. While there are plenty of affordable keyboard instruments and digital pianos aimed at beginners and children, many of them succumb to the ‘distraction factor’ which, although it can make the instrument more attractive to begin with, may make it harder to actually learn to play in any serious way.
This is where the Loog Piano comes in. This three octave keyboard instrument has keys about 7/8 the size of a standard full-size piano, so they are not mini keys but do make it a little easier for smaller hands to play. There is a single control — a big volume knob — and a single sound: a faithfully sampled acoustic grand piano. The bright red body has a fabric top to allow the stereo speakers to project their sound, while there are high quality wooden end pieces.
It runs from a built-in rechargeable battery which gives 3 hours of play, and is charged via USB-C. There’s also a 3.5mm audio output.
The Loog Piano will come with an app which features lessons and game-like exercises for making learning piano playing fun and easy, as well as some theory flashcards. It can optionally be kitted out with a carrying case, set of legs, and a music stand.
Designed by Rafael Atijas, it started its Kickstarter campaign at the end of September. Clearly resonating with a lot of users, it asked for just $10,000 and has absolutely smashed that out of the park with well over $700k currently pledged from over 2,700 backers, with eight days still to go.
Possibly the only issue considering how much the developer has talked about realism of sound and touch is the omission of at least a sustain pedal. Even beginners quickly find that playing the piano without a sustain pedal leads to unsatisfactory results. It’s a fundamental technique and there’s nothing in version one of the Loog Piano to offer this functionality even as an add-on.
It’s presumably going to take some time to fulfil all those Kickstarter orders before a general sale can begin to everyone else. When it does, it’s expected to retail at around $300.
The specifications are listed as follows:
- Sound Source: Sampled piano with modelling
- Keyboard: 37-note (3 octaves) C-C, velocity-sensitive, octave span 5.54 ins (140.8mm)
- Amplification Built-in stereo speakers
- Power: Built-in rechargeable battery
- Battery life: 3 hours
- Connectivity: USB-C (cable included)
- Audio Out: 3.5mm headphone socket
- Dimensions: 18.9 x 7.5 x 2.7ins (480 x190 x 69mm)
- Weight: 4.7lbs (2.15 kg)
- Accessories: Flashcards, printed guide, USB-C cable
- Optional extras: Magnetic music stand, piano legs, carrying case.
See the product page for more information and demonstrations.