Keyboard columnist Jerry Kovarsky authors "Keyboard For Dummies"


Over a year ago, Wiley, the publisher of the popular "For Dummies" series of how-to books, approached me and said, "Hey, we're thinking of doing a book on how to play electronic keyboards, and we think we might like to have you write it." After some thought, my response was, "No, you wouldn't. The guy you want to write it is Jerry Kovarsky, and here's why."

I then proceeded to explain Jerry's musical talent, tireless commitment to being a music technology educator, "Art of Synth Soloing" column for Keyboard magazine, and history of high-level product management gigs with Casio, Ensoniq, and most recently, Korg.

Now, all of us at Keyboard are very proud to announce that the book is available. Going beyond a "how to play the black 'n' whites" text (for that, check out Blake Neely's 1998 book Piano For Dummies), it covers all the ways in which modern electronic keyboards--from Costco impulse buys to professional workstations with four-figure price tags--make it fun to learn music and offer powerful creative tools to musicians of all levels of ability.

Full press release from Wiley is below. Congratulations, Jerry, and I hope you don't get too famous to keep writing for the magazine! 

Stephen Fortner, editor in chief

March 2014


“Keyboard For Dummies” Demystifies the World of Electronic Keyboards

The term “keyboard”, when used to describe a musical instrument actually represents a broad range of products. Apart from the familiar black and white keys these instruments can be very different from one another, and can be quite confusing to the person only familiar with the acoustic piano. Enter Keyboard For Dummies(Wiley; November 2013; ISBN: 978-1-118-70549-0), written by music industry veteran Jerry Kovarsky. The book explains in easy to understand language the various types of keyboards, and guides the reader through the selection, setup and use, and interesting possibilities of each type of keyboard.

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In Keyboard For Dummies, the reader will learn about the following areas regarding electronic keyboards:

·The main categories of classic electronic keyboards through the years, and the technologies behind how they make their sound

·The “must have” sounds for each genre of music

·How to match up your needs to the right type of keyboard

·Practical advice on shopping for, setting up and using the instrument

·Simple sound and effects editing tips

·Using the features found on portable and accompaniment/arranger keyboards

·The basics of reading music, chords and fingering

·An overview of both MIDI and audio recording

·Possibilities of connecting to a computer or iPad

Included throughout Keyboard For Dummies are tips for developing your musical skills, recommended artists and recordings, and real-world advice that can’t be found in the owner’s manual. Accompanying the book are over 100 online audio examples where the author demonstrates every significant concept covered, bringing the text descriptions and musical examples to life.

“There are plenty of good books on how to play the piano/keyboard, but I have never seen a title that adequately covers the wide world of electronic keyboards,” states Kovarsky. “My career in the music product industry has placed me at the forefront of the keyboard revolution so writing this book was inevitable. And a lot of fun! I hope the readers enjoy it and it helps them on their musical journey.”

Available in print and e-book formats For more info visit,


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About the author:

Jerry Kovarsky is a musician and acclaimed music industry veteran. Over a 30-plus year career he has been a brand manager, product manager, marketing director, and sound designer for companies such as Korg, Casio, and Ensoniq. He has been part of the teams that have developed over 100 keyboards, including such classics as the Casio CZ-1, Korg Triton, OASYS, microKORG, CX-3 and Kronos, and the Ensoniq ASR-10 and TS-10, to name but a few. He now consults for a variety of companies, writes for Keyboard magazine, and plays music for a living. On electronic keyboards, of course!

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