What Nord Fits You BestJun 01, 2022
I was raised in the humid south so summer always seemed too hot to eat anything other than ice cream for 2 months. I spent the majority of my adult summers in a cozy Mississippi town that was nestled right next to the rushing Mississippi river.
While I started playing piano at 7 and was given many opportunities to play at events - I never wanted to be known as the girl who played piano. I wanted people to remember me as the girl who was real. (talent is only as good as the person, right)
Maybe this is why I never was into the newest gadgets. I don’t believe it’s wrong at all, I was just in a weird life season.
It felt fake to want a new keyboard if I wasn’t putting my practice time into play better. After all, the piano wasn’t going to be the instant powder pack that made me sound like Kevin Howard!
So back to summers in Mississippi. There’s something exciting about playing for camp and conference events. There’s something also scary….playing a rented keyboard that you’re not familiar with. I pride myself in being a low-maintenance girl until I realized that when it came to keyboards…I wasn’t. It made me realize that so much of playing is muscle memory. So trying to get the feel of a new keyboard in a few days, made me feel more mistake prone.
Fast - forward to 2022. I played my first Nord for a church service last year and was blown away. Yes, it had a different feel and a lot of buttons but I found it much easier to figure out than the old Korg workstations that were popular in the early 2000’s. With Nord, what you see is what you get. Instead of a lot of hidden banks and features almost every button you need is visible and labeled. This is definitely more my speed.
JUST LISTEN TO THIS RICH SOUND
If you’re just starting to play, I wouldn’t recommend this keyboard. Find something with a good piano sound, weighted keys and port where you can plug in a sustain pedal. Could be new or used (Offer Up or Facebook Marketplace).
When you’re ready to take your playing to the next level - play in church - that’s when I’d tell you to go for a Nord. It’s going to be a financial investment, but I believe it’s worth it.
BEFORE YOU BUY A NORD
- Write down what you need in a keyboard (sounds, features, etc)
- Figure out which Nord fits you best
- Find the best price (Guitar Center / Sweetwater / BH Photo)
Now’s the time for you to make a serious commitment to learn how to use the features on your keyboard. YouTube is a great resource for any questions you have. You’ve heard me say this before…it’s no good to have an instrument that you’re afraid of.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOUR NORD
- Learn what every button means
- Experiment with what happens if you press that button
- Learn how to get back to your sound if something goes haywire
- Find out how to manually find your sound if random buttons get pressed.
Know your keyboard so well that you can quickly fix it instead of turning it off and back on.
Once you’ve learned the ins and outs of your piano, you’ll want to find settings that work for you! On my Nord, I mostly use a piano and pad sound, either together or separately. One of my favorite things to do is to layer the pad only on the bottom half of the keyboard (below middle C). This gives a nice fullness without making my right hand run sound muddy.
MY FAVORITE NORD SOUNDS
- Royal Grand 3D
- Warm Pad 1 (Sound 220)
- Layer both sounds by turning them both on and programming the pad sound to only play below middle C. (Look for the KBD SPLIT button)
Save your favorite sounds so you can recall them quickly.
If you’re just looking for someone to tell you which Nord to buy I will tell you what I have. At my last music ministry position I was tempted to buy the Nord 3, until I realized that there were other keyboard options. A little research helped me to find a keyboard with features we would actually use. STEER CLEAR OF OVER BUYING A KEYBOARD!
WHICH NORD KEYBOARD IS RIGHT FOR YOU
- If you’re just using it for piano and some strings or pads sounds the Nord Piano 4 will be a good fit for you.
- If you’d like piano, pads and organ try the Nord Electro 6D (I prefer this one with the real drawbars)
- If you need and will use all the bells and whistles go with the Nord 3.
I know you’ll enjoy having a Nord as much as I do. The rich tones make playing enjoyable and relaxing. My favorite way to use the keyboard (other than practice) is to play during my time of devotion. Having a piano you enjoy playing will inspire you to play more and that’s a great key to becoming a better musician.
If it's been your dream to play the piano but you don't know where to start. Join My Free Jump-Start Piano Lessons.