10 Beginner Mistakes Yamaha PSR-E363, PSR-EW300 & YPT-360 Users Make
Updated: Aug 17, 2020
In my past 2 years' of experience teaching my students to play the Yamaha PSR-E363 and the Yamaha PSR-EW300 since it was launched in April 2017, I found many of them making 10 of these big mistakes with their keyboards. In this article, I'm here to make sure you don't make the same mistakes if you own one of these keyboards or are intending to buy one.
1. Not Experimenting with Other Voices
Your Yamaha PSR-E363 and EW300 keyboard comes with more than 500 in-built voices right out of the box. If you are just using the default piano voice most of the time, you are really not getting the value for the price you paid for your keyboard. So, feel free to experiment with different voices as well as the different techniques to create realism in the different instrument voices. The technique you use to play a piano voice is really quite different from the way you play a harmonica or saxophone or even a flute voice. You will be surprised that even various different piano voices will require different techniques due to the attack and decay rate of the various voices.
2. Not Using the Dual Voice Layer Function
One of the ways to create a very large voice combination is to use dual voice layer on your Yamaha PSR-E363 and PSR-EW300. Do try out the different combinations to see which instruments go well with each other. Also, think about the voice layers from a song arrangement perspective — you might want to start your song with a solo voice and introduce the second voice layer when you reach the chorus of your song. If you do not know how to activate the dual layer mode on your keyboard, do check out this link to access a video manual I made just for these 2 keyboards.
3. Not Using the Keyboard Split Feature
The entire 61 keys on your keyboard does not have to be playing the same voices. The Yamaha PSR-E363 and PSR-EW300 comes with a keyboard split feature where you can play one voice on your left hand and another voice on your right hand. For example, you can play a walking bass on your left hand and a piano voice on the right hand. So do check out the video manual to learn how to activate the keyboards split mode.
4. Not Adjusting Volume Mix
Turning on dual voice layers and keyboard voice splits is pretty nice but on these keyboards, you can take it one extra step further and adjust the volume mix between your different voices as well as their rhythm and accompaniment for a professional, polished sound. You want to make sure that rhythm is not drowning out the melody, or that the voices are mixed in a way that conveys the mood of your music. I explained how to use these features in my video manual, so do check it out.
5. Not Utilising the Effects
While the Yamaha PSR-E363 and PSR-EW300 are entry-level keyboards, it does come with more than 20 different effects that you can use to personalize and craft that perfect sound for your song. So, do remember to check out your effects processor section of your PSR-E363 and EW300 and listen to how each effect affects the voices. You will be surprised how much you can tweak from the in-built sounds to create a unique combination.
6. Not Using the Registration Memory Slots
After you painstakingly make different unique adjustments to your voices (effects, rhythm and tempo), you don't want to lose all of your personalized settings. Your Yamaha PSR-E363 and EW300 comes with nine registration memory slots for you to save your unique settings for easy one button recall. Check out my video manual to find out how.
7. Not Connecting the USB Audio Interface
These two keyboards are one of the most affordable keyboards that has a built-in USB audio interface. This is a feature that even Yamaha's own flagship $5,000 Genos don't have. All you need is the correct USB cable and you can connect your own keyboard to the computer and use a whole bunch of different free digital audio workstation software to make really complex multitrack recordings.
With the same USB cable you can also control a whole bunch of free software virtual instruments on your computer. Many of these free virtual instruments sound way better than those found on the Yamaha PSR-E363 and EW300. You don't want to buy the wrong cable though and here's a link to the correct USB cable for your keyboard.
8. Not Changing the Touch Sensitivity of Your Keys
Your keyboard comes with 4 different velocity curves and if you're not changing the touch sensitivity on the keys of your keyboard, you are missing out on giving your music a beautiful dynamic range. For absolute beginners, you should just start with a fixed touch response. After a few weeks of practice and playing, you can slowly increase the touch response of your keys to get better dynamic range in control of your keyboard voices.
9. Not Taking Care of the Physical Keyboard
Always keep your keyboard away from sunlight as well as dust. Many new owners do not think about this and within just a few months, they find the keys on your keyboard turning yellow, and the LCD screen will starting to show some signs of damage. It is a good idea to cover your keyboard with a cloth when you are not using it to make sure that it stays good and serviceable for a very, very long time.
10. Not Removing Batteries While Not Using the Keyboard
One of the nice features of the Yamaha PSR-E363 and EW300 is that you can use batteries with it. However, I noticed quite a number of students put batteries in their keyboards and forget about the batteries. If you are not operating your keyboard on battery power for more than a few weeks, always remember to remove the batteries to prevent batteries from leaking and the acid from the battery from permanently damaging the internal circuitry of your keyboard.