Where I’ve Been:

This is my third keyboard, my…gosh, 8-9th year playing praise bands.

I’ve found a few things along the way and learn a few others the hard way.  I hope to share some of those thoughts with you, beginners.

I’ll show you how to shorthand notes to help you stay ready.  I’ll share rhythms I’m using with this keyboard in case you have it and want to use it for worshipo.

Subscribe in your RSS blog reader so that you don’t miss earth-shattering novice content intended to help whoever wants to read and learn.  Finding keyboard and synth help isn’t easy.

If you have a blog or site, link up and I’ll check it out!

I reserve my skill time for worship stuff, I would like to be more broad, but I just don’t have the time with three kids.  I hope to work on some of those things.  And I believe there is something special about that old fashioned word “consecration”…to be set apart, and set apart gifts and talents for his use…so I play mostly things that glorify the Lord by their excellence or words.  That’s me.

A Warning:

This is said just to prepare you for the inevitable.  Get tough.

Band members around you might scoff at or be negative toward pre-programmed stuff…they like it live, and they like to play, and they could even, at times, feel insecure by your “stuff”. Some say negative things about using a synthesizer to others and make you feel rotten. (Can you believe that? After all you practiced?)

But frankly, there are times a band isn’t available, or they can’t learn as fast as you need to go, or the situation calls for it!  Yes, the pre-programmed stuff can be hokey, but it can also be good, and it can be fun and it can give levity and it can suit a situation…it’s however you use it.

A keyboardist had already been chosen for our bands when we formed.  I really think it made all the difference that even though I showed up late and the slots were “filled”, he said, “Play for me anyway”…show me what you can do…play this chord sheet.  And I said, “I think it would sound better with some rhthym, would you mind?  And when I made the thing hum, the fact that I knew the instrument and how to use it was impressive, not that I wasn’t playing all of it.  I was asked to join and we ran two keyboardists for a long time.  When bands “multiplied”, I got to move to “first chair”.  Knowing what to do in “keyboard, second chair” is also important. I’ll try to remember those days, and to cover that topic!


Be prepared for whatever situation comes up!  Keep a strong sense of purpose, know your skills, and know that you will improve skills by playing with some preset stuff:  you’ll learn how not to overplay!  You’ll learn to drop out of the bass and let the bass play!  You’ll learn how to “accessorize” a song instead of leading!

Handling Questions:

People often ask me, are you playing, or is that all preprogrammed, or what?  Answer their questions!  I usually say, “Well, you can tell it’s me playing when you hear a mistake!”


Keep it light, keep it fun…keep playing!  Do your thing!  Adjust…you can use a keyboard for a LOT of different things…we’ll talk more about that from my experience.

All for now,


  1. Just received a wk3500. I can play from lead sheets okay but manual is tough to understand. People blogging seem much further advanced than I. I am not ready yet for computer hookup. Any basic suggestions for setting up interesting combinations other than what I am doing, all piano, full range and basic swing rhythms.

  2. I’m in search of a forum or someone who can help a beginner on the Casio WK 3800 without too much geekspeak.

  3. Hi! I am just about to buy the Casio WK3800 this week, as a complement to my other gear, Korg Workstation i4s,
    so i have heard about it and read here on the net,
    that the Hammond sounds are really great in it! I am past the beginners stage in keys 😉 but wanted to share a little of my stuff here, i heard some great demos with the WK but it would have been nice to hear you too! maybe there is som demos on this site that i have missed? look in on my blog too, where me and my wife are performing christians songs. I used to be a drummer in the past but switched to keys years ago. And there i will stay!
    I am so looking forward to this WK, and hope that it will not dissapoint me, i got the last one! it has gone out of stock from the head retailer here in sweden, but found one, the last!
    We are taking gigs now and then, Bye, and blessings, from Allan_Levi in Sweden

  4. Most difficult to find anything about casio wk3800 reference on internet. Thanks to you,Mag-to share information to the beginners, just like me.
    Want to know much with quick way without read owner manual carefully is bigger problem (incl. me), and whenever something ‘unclear’ on manuals, nothing explanation or forum provided for that even in casio web.
    I’ve search intensively for any discussion of how to create rhythm/pattern on wk3800 and tips about it — and was result zero.
    Not like other country, in indonesia– accompaniment music on keyboard really something important due to some indonesia ethnic popular song need special pattern/tone differ than western modern music.
    casio wk3800 provided much on standard rhythm, but still not suitable precisely.

    So — what i want to say ????????

    Mag – if you have deep experience in exploring rhythm/style, please share in this unofficial blog -).

    from Bogor-indonesia
    yohanes R

    • Thank you for your comment on the Casio blog. One option for you might be to buy the cable required (printer cable is all that it is, just buy one long enough to reach your computer terminal, some are too short), then create your own rhythm patterns and write them to disk for use.

      It has been a while since I’ve written things to computer to give precise instructions, so I won’t try.

      Also, there are some rhythm downloads available from the website using this same cable method. However, you might want to save them to computer also as I think I’ve downloaded several that are no longer to be found on my keyboard…not sure why they were lost.

      Also the same with sounds.

      Hope this helps.

      Unofficial Casio 3800 blog

      • Thanks a lot for help. Writing really do need time and much think.
        ok, may you enjoy playing on wk3800, and please ..keep updating blog.

        yohanes R
        unofficial blog member

  5. “People often ask me, are you playing, or is that all preprogrammed, or what? Answer their questions! I usually say, “Well, you can tell it’s me playing when you hear a mistake!””

    ha…haha..haha… nice answer -) or ….if they hear a mistake, please check their ear !! maybe something problem with it

  6. Will do my best. Most often I have loved the grand sound. I have had some problem getting a good feed when I play in our auditorium, so I’ve gone back to using the keyboard there, a Roland. Why they can’t get a good feed for it, I don’t know. I only tried it twice, but for all the effort carrying it in, if it can’t be heard, it wasn’t worth it. I generally use it for practice now, as my house piano is out of tune!

  7. Uups…………………………………
    challenge to casio – how to stand up beside roland/korg/yamaha

  8. I don’t like the difficulty in finding various sounds on the Roland, but have grown familiar enough with it. I also don’t like how hard it is to layer sounds…like a pad under a piano. I often need a quick “softer sound” and can’t change sounds without completely cutting off one to change to another. On my Casio, I can change instantaneously, even in the middle of a song when I’m playing solo. (I often think this Casio keyboard doesn’t have enough memory to handle demanding solo work with several drum pads and layered sounds at the same time…there’s a “hiccup’ because it’s overloaded.)

    I’ve had a yamaha at about the same price range as this Casio. It was good for training how to play chords with rhythms early on in my teens. I might have bought another Yamaha, but it also didn’t allow quick sound layering.

    Hope this helps.

  9. Thanks mag for explanation, actually i’m not a keyboard player (i was guitar player when was young- fans of vai,hallen,malmsten), even i don’t know about keyboard chord except “C” maybe hi,hi.. -), don’t tell about sharp/minor/aug etc — zero !. Have no experience on keyboard at all. I’ve just bought to my daughter and preparing my self if her ask some question ; and maybe to prove her that her dad ‘knows everything’ wakakakakak. This is the first time in my life exploring and want to know all about it.

    That’s why my exploration on keyboard not on musician side, but technical side (casio has been chosen due to sophisticated tech (features) that will not be found on others brand at the same price level !). I need to know about how to modify sound,layering,rhythm, midi, conection using IDES4.0 etc.

    During exploration, I’ve 5 times restored default factory setting-lost data has been uploaded –found letter in LCD display become ascii @#$$!!!! or sound disappear, nothing hear anything while all tuts pressed… (wkwkwkwkwk), and realized IDES software was only dos basic engine due to we can not perform multiple action (load more than one tone or rhytem from computer to KB ) — and at last : realized 4MB ROM was not enough to keep save ALL !! SD card just to keep data and not expandable memory.

    And now, my exploration come to rhythm section (that’s why some days ago come to your blog) — try to convert from STY yamaha or roland to casio. convert from different type of CTK casio to WK. Try to convert from midi files to style. Downloaded rhythm from casio web and convert to SMF(midi)-open with cakewalk and just want to know what is it on it and how casio enginers develop smart things like that. And final result …. I still can not play keyboard…!! crazy.!! some day, maybe i should write it, share to others….

    jakarta,indonesia 11:43Am

  10. A year passed,
    and when I search for casio WK3800, your blog still there , Amazing… (Just realized when see the date posted)

    My daughter has refused to play wk3800…and I give up…., i can not forced my will to her about what and how to play music.

    Purchased PSR710 for her (she use the same model on her course )and I still play Wk3800….



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