The Yamaha Electone, or just “Electone,” is the digital organ brand marketed by Japan’s Yamaha Corporation. Originally based on the famous Hammond electric drawbar organ, the Electone has evolved over the years to include substantial voice and rhythm programming functions. At the moment, the instrument is best described as a unique hybrid between an electric organ, a synthesizer, and an arranger keyboard. |
With the exception of top concert models, all Electones are also spinet in design. Performance-wise, players utilize both hands and feet, and play in-sync with automated rhythmic (drums) backing. The right hand typically plays the melody while the left hand provides accompaniment. The left foot plays the bassline while the right foot controls volume, pitch-bends, and occasionally assists with the bassline.
1. It is great training for motor skills
As one of the few musical instruments in the world that necessitates the use of both hands and feet, learning the Electone is superb training for motor and coordination skills.
Such training is particularly beneficial for children, doubly so when you consider it’s not just coordination of movement, but also with sight, hearing, and touch involved. For older students, including adults, playing any proper song on the Electone is wonderful brain and physical exercise too. This is especially so for complex arrangements that requires the use of both feet to perform the bassline.
2. It is a broad, then in-depth introduction to many types of musical instruments
A chief attraction of the Yamaha Electone, at least for children, is the huge variety of sounds the instrument is capable of producing. While this might sound gimmicky, proper mastery of such “sounds,” including when and how to use them, is only possible when one has a clear understanding of the instruments producing these sounds. In other words, to use these sounds on the Electone is itself a practical study of the nature of many musical instruments.
Such studies get increasingly complex at higher grades too, with official Yamaha grade examinations placing great emphasis on nuances and articulation of “sounds” used. To put it in yet another way, most accomplished Electone players are knowledgeable about many other instruments. They wouldn’t be able to play those, but they certainly know the in-and-out of all these other instruments.
3. It is unparalleled exposure to many genres of music
It is a common misconception that the official Electone course offer by Yamaha teaches only pop music, given the instrument is electronic in nature. In truth, a huge variety of music is taught. It might not even be an exaggeration to say few other music courses in the world embraces such a wide variety.
Such exposure progressively cultivates true musicianship, which in turn develops a strong foundation for the study of other instruments. Needless to say, an in-depth familiarity with all sorts of music is also a fantastic advantage for those keen on pursuing a music-related career. Such jobs are not limited to performances or teaching. They could also be the production of entertainment and media material, venue management, marketing, and so on.
4. It is an introduction to the science of audio effects too
Since the mid-2000s, Yamaha Electone models come empowered with a slew of audio effects. An array of audio transformation possibilities similar to those found in professional synthesizers.
Such effects are absolutely necessary in order to bring out the life of any sound used. For the diligent student, the study of how such effects work and how they transform sound then becomes quite the extended practical lesson on audio engineering. Like what’s mentioned above, the knowledge gained could subsequently be useful in job-hunting and other areas of life.
5. Mastery of the Yamaha Electone allows players to cover practically any song
Many Electone players fondly refer to their instrument as a “one-man band.” Given the vast capabilities of the instrument, and the fact that a player performs all major parts of a song, the Yamaha Electone is indeed worthy of this epithet.
More importantly, the ability to program all accompaniment, including drums, means an Electone player is capable of covering practically any song, including symphonic pieces, game music, and ethnic compositions, and so on. Apart from the personal joy that this brings, it enables a variety of individual revenue-earning opportunities. To give but some examples, one could upload and monetized YouTube performances. One could also compose and sell audio tracks on platforms such as Envato, such tracks commonly used in advertisements, corporate videos, etc.
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