So, you have decided you want to take up piano and want an electric piano you can afford. Or maybe you have been playing for awhile, and just want a new affordable option. Either way you don’t know what you want or maybe even how to look for a great electric piano. That’s okay, I have done some research for you that may help you on your quest for the best electric piano under 500 dollars.
About Electric Pianos
Electric pianos are the electronic versions of acoustic, standard pianos. However, instead of strings all the sounds are digitally programmed into the piano. When you press the keys of a electric keyboard it turns that it to an electrical signal which gives out it’s sound. There are various reasons why people prefer to have an electrical keyboard over an acoustic keyboard. Some people even like to have both. These reasons include:
Portability: An electric keyboard is on a much smaller scale size than an acoustic piano. This makes it easy to bring it with you where ever you go.
Not Enough Space For Acoustic Piano: One big reason why people prefer an acoustic piano over an electrical keyboard is because they just don’t have the allowable space to have a full size upright or grand piano in their home.
Headphone Jack: With a full size piano, you don’t have the option of playing it quietly and not interrupt others around you. The majority of electric pianos these days have headphone jacks for quiet playing.
Built-in tempos and beats: Many electric pianos have beats, rhythms and tempos that are programmed into the keyboard that can enhance the music you are playing or help you to keep on beat.
Light-Up Keys: For beginning piano students, there are keyboards that have keys to light up that will help you learn notes and whole songs, without having an instructor.
Memory Space: Another great feature many of the modern keyboards of today have is memory space, this allows you to record what you are playing, then play it back so you can see how you sound. This will help you to see your progress as you learn how to play. It is also cool if you are playing a duet piece and want to program one part into the memory and then simultaneously play the second part while the memory plays the first part. This makes your musical options and creativity more expanded and experimental.
USB and Computer ports: These days there are so many apps, computer programs, websites and technologies that can aid you in your musical endeavors. Some keyboards are equipped with ports so that you can use apps and websites to increase your piano playing. These ports work with phones, laptops, computers and tablets.
Built-In Metronome: Just like the above tempo and beats, many of the keyboards these days, have built in metronomes that help you keep a specific time or beat. An acoustic piano you would need to buy a seperate metronome. They are not built-in.
Built-in Sounds: Many electric keyboards will have built-in sounds from different instruments and synthesizers to help you play a variety of sounds. You can’t get this with an acoustic piano.
Split-Key Mode: This allows you two play two different sounds, one at the high end of the scale and another at the low end. The middle C is usually where they split.
Dual-Key Mode: This let’s you play two or three sounds simultaneously. You could never do that with an acoustic piano.
MIDI Compatibility: This stands for musical instrument digital interface and is the technology that lets you use your instruments on a computer.
Auto Chords: This is ideal for a student. It is where you play one note and you hear the entire chord.
CD Burner: Some more advance electrical keyboards allow you to burn the music you are playing while you are playing it.
Synthesizer: This essentially allows you to create sounds from different electric wave forms.
There are many advantages to having an electronic keyboard over a piano. However, pianos have a different feel and sound that some people like. I do recommend however that if you are a beginning student to start with an electric piano. It’s more cost efficient and doesn’t take up the space or become the commitment that a full acoustic piano does.
Choosing an Electric Keyboard
When choosing a keyboard it is a lot about personal preferences and your skill level. Electric keyboards (their are many types) have different number of keys, a piano has 88 keys, however some keyboards can have less. It’s great to have a full 88-key though. Also be sure to see if they are weighted keys. Weighted keys on a keyboard will feel like a real piano. Also check out if the keyboard has polyphony, and how much polyphony. Polyphony is how many keys that can be played at the same time. You can also refer to our guide on buying the right piano for your needs.
Youtube Video: This Youtube video goes into more detail on how to choose a piano and explains it in away that is easy to understand. So take a few minutes to watch this video:
Web resource: This page has great insight on how to choose between keyboards and pianos. It also goes into details about different types of keyboards and different features to help you understand what you need at your skill level.
Book: Also for you reference this book on Amazon helps teach you everything you need to know about piano and keyboards, how to choose an instrument, and has beginning lessons for beginners. It is a great tool, especially if you are a beginner.
Reviews of the Best Electric Piano under 500 Dollars
There are many styles of electric keyboards for under $500. It’s important to get as many keys as you can. 88-keys are ideal, but it’s okay to get less, especially for a beginner. Also keep in mind that if you are a beginner, you want a more straight-forward, user-friendly keyboard. I have reviewed two keyboards for you. One that is way under $500 and another that is closer to the $500 range in order so that you can compare and contrast, and be able to find the best electric keyboard for you. These two keyboards are:
- Casio CTK2400 PPK 61-key portable keyboard
- Yamaha P45B 88-Key Piano Keyboard
1. Casio CTK2400 PPK 61-Key Portable Keyboard Review
This keyboard by Casio one of most affordable pianos. It is definitely a great beginner electric keyboard. It has 61 keys that are not weighted, however 61 is a perfect number for a beginner to start with. It comes with built in song and light up keys to help you learn as you go. The keys width is the standard full-size like a traditional piano to help you give you that piano feel.
Includes in package:
- Samsung Headphones
- Music Stand
- Keyboard Stand
- AC Power Supply
- Emedia Instructional Software
- Notes for Built-In Songs
- 6 inch USB cord
- Limited Warranty
- Four Full Octaves
- 150 different rhythms and 400 AHC Tones
- 48-note polyphony
- Built-in microphone
- Record and playback feature
- Voice percussion feature
- Affordable price
- May not be great for a more advance piano player
- Does not have weighted keys, however the 61-keys on this electric keyboard work well for a beginner
Overall customer sentiment on this product were very positive. It was a general census that it is a great electric keyboard for a beginning student. Many of the customers loved that it was easy to use and durable for kids. They also really loved the USB MIDI that took this keyboard one step farther than just an electric keyboard.
2. Yamaha P45B 88-Key Piano Keyboard Review
This is a great electric keyboard that is user-friendly and straight forward. It’s perfect for both the beginner student or a more advance player who would like portability and headphone options. It’s compact and lightweight. The Yamaha P45B electric keyboard has 88 GHS weighted keys that look and feel like a real piano. This electric keyboard is on the bit of the high end of the budget, however you are getting a great quality keyboard with amazing sound.
- Music Stand
- AC Power Cord
- Instruction Manuel
- Manufacturers Warranty
- Simple One button Operation
- Built-in metronome for keeping tie
- Dual mode for blending voices
- Advanced Wave memory sampling technology
- MIDI capabilities
- Input\Output port
- Headphone jack
- Can transpose in semitones
- Several different instrument sounds and 10 voices
- Touch Sensitivity
- It does not have a USB port, however, it has MIDI capabilities so you can hook it up to a computer.
- A bit on the high end of the budget
Many customers agreed that this keyboard with weighted keys felt and sounded like an acoustic. The overall sentiment were quite positive. The majority of customers felt this was an economic and affordable buy. They also believe that it was a great keyboard for beginning and intermediate students. Several piano teachers even recommended it to piano students.
Both of these are the best electric piano under 500 dollars and both will work great for beginning students. Although the Yamaha is a little higher price and doesn’t come with a stand or headphones, it seems more like the real authentic deal if I had to choose between the two. However, everyone has different needs when it comes to electronic keyboards and the Casio has some wonderful qualities as well. Take the time to watch the Youtube video on here and visit the website for choosing a keyboard. It’s important to make a well informed decision before you purchase a musical instrument.
Highest Rated Piano Keyboards (by Customer Review)
|Yamaha P-255||Read Our Review||See prices on Amazon.com|
|Yamaha DGX-650||Read Our Review||See prices on Amazon.com|
|Casio PX-5S||Read Our Review||See prices on Amazon.com|
|Yamaha P-45||Read Our Review||See prices on Amazon.com|
|Casio CTK-4400||Read Our Review||See prices on Amazon.com|