Keyboard keyhoarder

I grew up in a time when consumer keyboards were developing fast, and a musical streak happens to run through my family. I was hooked after my first keyboard, gifted to me on Christmas. It was a Realistic brand (re-branded Casio). RadioShack … memories. Despite having rhythms, didn’t have auto-accompaniment, which turned out to be a feature that fascinated me despite my pretty much all-classical training with regard to keyboard instruments. I was surprised and delighted last month to find this little guy at Goodwill in Coudersport for $3.99:

Yamaha PSS-470
Yamaha PSS-470

I could likely flip this board on eBay (there’s probably one for sale now, or will be soon, if not). When last I checked, they go for about up to $100. So, all the cumulative time I’ve spent on eBay stalking these old keyboards finally pays off. Of course, I didn’t know if this unit worked, but I used to work … at Goodwill! What’s more, I can reach the only outlets I’m aware of in the store, above the merchandise rack on the back shelf, because I’m 75 inches tall. The keyboard even came with a compatible adapter. How handy is that?!

About that auto-accompaniment I mentioned: I thought I’d do a demo of the various beats (pre-PCM drums). But, “What to play?” I wondered. I remember the demo song from yet another keyboard in the PSS line. Here’s a recording from my SoundCloud of each rhythm with two chord variations. Since the piano sound is the same on my PSR-36, which I keep hooked up regularly for practicing and other music applications, I used that to play the melody. It’s certainly nothing special, but is “curated” through comments — since “content curation” is a hot-ass buzzword now in content marketing.

The PSS-470 is one of the “SoundBlaster keyboards” featuring the same sound chip as the original Creative SoundBlaster. Check out some other demos on YouTube.