Yamaha Education Suite Features and Comparisons

Last Update: 6/7/2004

The 'Yamaha Education Suite' (YES) is a set of features found on many Yamaha PSR Series keyboards, which help teach the user valuable musical skills such as note/chord recognition, timing, etc. There have been three versions of the Yamaha Education Suite since its inception. The first was simply called, 'Yamaha Education Suite', but for the sake of comparison in this description, it will be referred to as 'YES Version 1'.

YES Version 1:

YES was released in 1998 on the PSR225, and in 1999 on the PSR240, PSR270 and PSR340. It has 3 main features:
  1. 'Chord Dictionary' - The user selects a chord 'name' on the right side of the keyboard (Example: C) and a chord 'type' in the middle of the keyboard (Example: 'm' for minor); the LCD screen then displays the notes to the chord on a musical staff, and the corresponding keys on a keyboard layout in the screen. When the user attempts to play the chord in the lower section of the keyboard, a confirmation sound will be produced once the correct combination of keys are pressed.

  2. 'Smart Chord' - The user selects a musical key for any desired song, and while using one finger in the lower section, the keyboard will automatically change the chord (including chord 'type'), based on the step being played within the scale. For example, the chords for the song, 'Heart and Soul' are in the key of F are: F - Dm - Gm - C. Using 'Smart Chord', the user can play with just one finger F - D - G - C and the keyboard will automatically play full chords, and make both the D and G minor chords.

  3. 'EZ Chord' - The user programs in the complete set of chords for a desired song in Step Edit mode, and is then able to play back the chords one after another while the Style is playing each time a key is pressed in the lower section; any key may be used. This makes it easier to concentrate on playing the melody with the right hand.
YES Version 2:

YES2 was released in 2000 on the PSR160, PSR260, PSR262, PSR280, PSR282, PSRGX76, and in 2001 on the PSR170 and PSR350. It has five main features. The most noticeable difference from YES Version 1 is that there are two 'hand' buttons on the keyboard, Left and Right. YES Version 2 also 'talks' in English; it can grade the user's performance, by saying either, 'Try again!', 'Good!', 'Very good!', or 'Excellent!'. Keyboards with YES Version 2 also contain 100 Songs, to be used in conjunction with the YES Version 2 'Lesson' features. The Right and Left hand parts of a selected Song appear in the LCD screen on the Bass and Treble Clefs, and also on the keyboard layout in the screen.
  1. 'Dictionary' mode - Same as 'Chord Dictionary', above.

  2. 'Timing' mode - This is used to practise timing, so the actual notes played do not matter; the melody notes can be triggered by playing any notes with a single finger, or even the entire hand.

  3. 'Waiting' mode - The keyboard will pause the Song being played, and 'wait' until the user plays the correct note, before continuing. If the user has trouble finding another note, the keyboard will pause the Song again. The only note that will sound in this mode is the correct note; all other notes are silent.

  4. 'Minus One' mode - A user choses a part to mute (Left or Right hand), in order to play the part themself. As they play along with the Song, the keyboard does not wait when something is played incorrectly. All notes played by the user will sound.

  5. 'Both Hands' mode - This essentially the same as 'Minus One' mode, except that both the Left and Right hand parts are muted, letting the user play both hands along with the Song at the same time.
YES Version 3:

YES3 was released in early 2001 and is found on the EZ20 and EZ30. It has five main features. It is identical to YES Version 2, with a couple of new features; 'Guide Lights', and the ability of the keyboard to 'sing' the notes:
  1. 'Guide Lights' - Rather than looking at the music, YES Versions 2 & 3 come with a Song Book, or in the LCD screen, the user may follow the Guide Lights which illuminate above each specific key, while one of the internal factory Songs is playing.

  2. 'Singing' - The keyboard can 'sing' notes by name 'A', 'B', 'C' or solfege 'Do', 'Re', 'Me' as they are played by the user. It will also 'sing' the notes which are supposed to play in the different Lesson modes, if desired.

The EZ30 has the additional feature of being able to load new Songs into its memory via its MIDI connections.

YES Version 4:

This was released in 2004 on the DGX203, 205, 305, 505, PSR293 and 295. YES Version 4 is identical to YES Version 2 (without the "talking" feature), plus a couple of new features; 'Repeat and Learn', and 'Your Tempo':

  1. 'Repeat and Learn' - Allows the user to set Repeat Points for practicing a difficult section of a Song repeatedly.

  2. 'Your Tempo' - This function automatically adjusts the Tempo of a Song as the user speeds up and slows down while playing.
The DGX203, 205, PSR293 and 295 have the additional feature of being able to load new Songs into their memory via their MIDI connections. The DGX305 and 505 can load new Songs from a 'Smart Media' card. These new Songs can also use the YES system.
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