Everything about the Electric organ

What is it?

The electric organ is a french instrument designed in 1928  by Edouard Coupleux and Armand Givelet being the 1st successful attempt at making one, several more people will continue to improve on it throughout the years.

Here’s how it looks and sounds

Not to be confused with

You may hear about it with other names like an electric organ, electronic organ, or electrophonic organ. Pronounced /əˈlektrikˈôrɡən/ and called órgano eléctrico in spanish, orgue électrique in french and órgão elétrico in portuguese. A person that plays it’s called a keyboardist. 

Category

The Keyboard family means that it has a row of keys, buttons, or levers that make the sound when you press them and in another way of classifying its electrophone meaning it makes sound through electricity.

Materials

Different types of wood, anything from hard maple, spruce, beech, and oak with the electric components made of different types of metals and plastics.

Variants / Evolution

The types are determined by functionality:

  • Electronic: Original version, used oscillators and filters to produce sound.
  • Frequency Divider: now with transistors, cheaper and less heavy than originals.
  • Console: bigger, but with a bigger range and made to substitute church pipe organs.
  • Home: Build smaller homes and with functionalities like tape players.
  • Combo / Spinet/transistor: These versions become standardized, probably what most people think when they hear electric organs.
  • Digital: Capable of making all organ sounds digital (using electricity and a speaker).
  • Synthesizer: Now able to play different instruments using a digital keyboard.
  • Software: Non-physical, you can have any instrument in your computer or phone.

Prices

For the organs is around $ 300 – $ 5,000 USD, the cheapest we found was a Yamaha electron and the most expensive was a Hammond XK-5 Heritage.

In the middle we have something like a Hammond SK1 61-Note Keyboard for $ 2,000 USD.

ModelLowest price*Highest price*Average*
Hammond Organ$1,200 USD$3,000 USD$1,000 USD
Orgatron$3,000 USD$4,000 USD$3,700 USD
Organ$300 USD$1,600 USD$800 USD
*Rounded and based on our own and a search in different stores.

Weights and sizes

The size of the Hammond organ goes around 48.5 x 29 x 38.3 (123 x 74 x 98) and has a weight of 425 Lbs (190 Kgs), which’s almost the size of an upright digital piano and the weight is heavier than any other grand piano, of course, the digital and synthesized version of it is the size of 1-2 keyboards or a digital piano.

VariantsSizes*Weights*
Manual Organ7 x 37 x 18 in37.25 lbs
Combo Organ3.5 x 44.3 x 12 in21 lbs
*Average of our own instruments and references searched online.

Best brands and models

We checked a lot of brands and rated them based on customer experience. Models and series are confusing?  check this guide. Not picky? you have more options.

The best Electric Guitar for a beginner is a combo organ since it is the most common variant and it’s portable, there’s also the digital organ because if you’re looking for the sound of an organ and only an organ this is the best option. 

If you’re not sure what you want, if you are just curious or want to experiment we suggest an electric organ app for a smartphone because it’s the cheapest and fastest way to get your hands on one of them, then you can decide to get a physical one, a synthesizer or a keyboard if you want.

If we look at famous players like Gregg Allman, he had a Hammon b-3 and Tori Amos and a Hammond B-3 so if you’re going professional, you don’t have any excuse with one of those.

Now that you know, you can check on eBay here.

Accessories

Here’s a list of a lot of them, but for this one a cleaning kit, with at least one product for wood cleaning, a stopper to avoid scratching the floor, stickers with the key names for beginners (make sure they can be removed no problem once you’re done) and a dust cover for the keys.

Start playing  

We recommend learning to read sheet music to get the basics. We review resources to help you choose how you want to learn. Now that you know how to read them, you need to get some. 
Sheets come in different notations so we recommend checking various versions of the same sheets, searching for “scores” to get all instruments, and even the “song name for electric organ to save on translations.

Don’t forget all the details that combined make a big difference like the way you hold it, efficient warmups, positions, and techniques.

Remember, the Electric Organ is difficult to learn because of all of the options you have and it would take you a couple of months to learn the basics, it’s also similar to the digital piano, keyboard, pipe organ, pump organ, and synthesizer., so you can combine those resources to help you learn.

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