What's an Arranger Keyboard?

A discussion of an often-misunderstood yet incredibly adaptable keyboard category

Published February 14, 2019 by David H.

Kraft Music is celebrating 35 years of guiding people on their musical journey. We pride ourselves on offering the finest music products to help you create your best music. It's a responsibility we do not take lightly and it's our mission to educate and inform our fellow musicians about the instruments and services we provide.

In that spirit, we'd like to discuss an often-misunderstood product category, Arranger Keyboards. This is unfortunate, as the category has grown significantly over the past 20 years while remaining off of the radar of many musicians.

A musical Swiss Army knife?
Arrangers are mainly identified by their automatic accompaniment styles, which are essentially "musical riffs." When coupled with the chord changes played with your left hand, they replicate the sound of a multi-piece band. Styles can vary with complexity. Some are very simple with just drum, bass, and strumming guitar patterns. Others can be more elaborate featuring multiple instruments.

Are you a performing musician?
Arrangers are very popular with performing musicians, particularly for a solo act or "one-man band." They utilize an arranger to help them sound like a full ensemble. The instrument can support their singing with onboard effects, vocal harmony, and lyric display while providing MIDI and/or audio file playback. If you perform as a solo act, with a singer or horn player, or any combination without a drummer, you should really check out an arranger. Auto-accompaniment will give you more flexibility and musical realism than a stand-alone drum machine or workstation.

Do you write songs?
An arranger is the perfect tool for working out ideas when you are focused on melody, words, chords, and basic song structure. The instrument will provide realistic backing tracks that can match the style and tempo of the music you're developing. This is especially helpful when working with styles you might not be familiar with.

Korg Pa1000 Arranger Keyboard
Yamaha Genos Digital Workstation Keyboard

What types of arrangers are available?
Arrangers with auto-accompaniment are available in a wide range of prices with models for every skill level. Kraft Music represents all of the top brands including Yamaha, Korg, Roland, Casio, and Kurzweil.

For the recreational player, you may consider the Kurzweil KP-100. Equipped with hundreds of sounds including Kurzweil's Triple Strike Piano and over 200 auto-accompaniment patterns, the KP-100 is a powerful, portable keyboard aimed at beginners and music enthusiasts alike. Another popular model is the Casio MZ-X300. It has all the tools you’ll need to compose complete song ideas with a workflow that is intuitive and easy to learn.

Intermediate players may lean towards a Yamaha PSR-S775, Roland E-A7, or a Korg Pa1000. These models offer an expanded voice and style selection, onboard recording studio, larger screen, sample importing, USB connectivity, and much more.

Pro-level performers can choose from the Yamaha Genos or Korg Pa4X. These models are used by tens of thousands of music professionals in every country around the world. Yamaha and Korg arrangers have thrilled audiences and delighted players everywhere with the magic combination of unbeatable sound quality and professional features.

Check out our exclusive bundles!
Regardless of the model you select, remember to check out our bundles! They are designed to give you all of the accessories you'll need for an enjoyable playing experience at a great price.

Today's arrangers have the ability to synthesize virtually any instrument. That makes them incredibly adaptable. With an arranger keyboard, you get unparalleled versatility, useful arranging and mixing tools, and intuitive performance features to effectively put an entire studio at your fingertips!

Your Kraft Music Sales Advisor is ready to answer any of your questions about these or any other product we offer. Call today at 800-783-3368.


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