Roland AX-7 MIDI Controller Keyboard
Keytars are popping up everywhere, and now, they're not just in my dreams. Bands like Cobra Starship, Shy Child, and Flight of the Conchords have each added keytars to their quiver of instruments. The Roland AX-7 is a modern classic, introduced in 2001.
However, it does get some mixed reviews. What people do seem to really like is that it gives you the ability to play a stack of keyboards through one controller. Components like the expression bar and infamous D Beam also allow unique sound control and add to its guitarlike appeal. Plus, the fun factor is pretty high since you can jump around stage untethered, something a stuck-in-the-background keyboardist must appreciate. Irksome qualities include its lack of onboard sounds, the fact that its somewhat confusing to program, and its inability to change octaves quickly.
Roland discontinued this model in 2007, but they are out there, albeit elusive. Ebay had one up for sale today for around $1,000, but private sellers seem to set more reasonable prices. I found one for $800 here in the classifieds at Harmony Central. In any case, if you're searching for one, I salute you in your quest to become the Keytar Hero, and in the meantime, you can always splurge on a wicked Zen Riffer, Charles Tentindo's keytar-ish instrument that looks like it could shred itself.