Gig Smarter, Pack a Light Piano

Apply the Best Travel Advice to Your Live Rig

RD-64 Digital Piano light piano

Pack a light piano—the RD-64 is only 28 pounds!

For the longest time before accepting a piano gig, there were always three thoughts that looped in my head over and over again—one, the weight of my stage piano; two, the size of my stage piano; and three, the trade-off of substituting my stage piano for a light piano. Aside from my moaning and groaning, I’ll have you know that I always ended up taking my 88-key beast to the gig. This type of instrument can easily weigh 60 pounds or more, not to mention the added weight and size of the case. Ugh! The entire package can easily weigh about 150 pounds. Without a buddy to help me move it, I thought my back would snap, especially after the gig while struggling to fit it into my car. However, the biggest killer was having to carry it up to my third floor apartment. What a drag! Fortunately, I’ve now found an excellent alternative to lugging around a full-size stage piano to every show.

CONTEST: Win an RD-64 Digital Piano

Ends August 31, 2014

VR-09 on the top & RD-64 light piano on the bottom

Ed Diaz’s light keyboard rig includes the VR-09 & RD-64.

A Versatile and Portable Setup…

I’ve had many stage pianos, from the A-90 with the VE-RD1 expansion card to just about every RD-series piano since the RD-600. Today, as the keyboard guy for Roland, I have the freedom to mix and match any combination of boards that I want. However, I’ve come to realize that my go-to light rig is always the RD-64 Digital Piano and V-Combo VR-09. They’re a highly versatile combination, and both light and portable; in particular, the RD-64 is only 28 pounds and about three feet long. I can easily put it in its gig bag and swing it around my back. The best part about this combo is being able to fit it comfortably into any car. Had the RD-64 been around in my college days, I would have owned something a little sexier than my old Plymouth Grand Voyager.

Get the Job Done and Enjoy Gigging More…

The RD-64 provides a great weighted-action feel with 64 keys. It doesn’t have the full key range of a real piano, but in my experience, most of my small jazz combo gigs only require me to play in the middle range of the instrument. This is especially true when I’m playing with a bass player, which frees me up from having to cover the bass part. But if I do have to cover the low end, I can always adjust the octave with a push of a button.

Tweet this: The best travel advice also applies to gigging. Gig smart, pack a light piano.

Simplicity is the key here. I find myself accepting more piano gigs since discovering the power of this duo. It turns out that the best travel advice, “pack light,” also holds true for gigging. Take it from me—pack a light piano and you’ll enjoy your gigs a whole lot more! By the way, I also use the RD-64 in my home studio as a bona fide weighted-action MIDI controller, but more on that in a later post.

packing a light piano

Packing and stowing the RD-64.

Pack Your Light Piano, Win an RD-64!

We’re giving away an RD-64 Digital Piano—simply visit our Facebook contest page to enter! Once you’ve entered, you’ll be part of our growing community of musicians and gear enthusiasts, and also be among the first to learn about future contests and giveaways. For contests outside of the U.S., please visit your local Roland and BOSS Facebook page.

Roland Gig Rigs – VR-09/RD-64