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"Light-up" keyboards are a fantastic way to learn to play the piano. They transform learning to play an instrument into a fun, visual game, removing the intimidating factor of learning to read music. With a light up keyboard, beginners can feel more comfortable and more successful early in their learning, which helps to maintain motivation and make practice fun.
The Casio LK 265 is all about making learning fun, with a great library of built-in voices and rhythms, and a Dance Music Mode that has beginners making fun party music right out of the box. Compatibility with Casio's popular Chordana Play app gives you even more options for musical exploration, along with the ability to transform your smart device into a touchscreen keyboard, so you can practice piano anywhere.
Casio LK 265 Quick Overview
The Casio LK 265 is a piano designed to get beginners playing songs quickly, in a way that is simple and approachable, removing the intimidation factor from learning to play piano. With this keyboard, you don't need to learn to read music, and the light-up keyboard guides your fingers until you are able to play by memory.
The ability to learn your own favorite songs, as well as built-in rhythms and accompaniment, makes learning more fun and gets young people playing piano early. It's a great starter piano for children and beginners.
Casio LK 265 Video Overview
Here's a short video overview of the Casio LK 265.
Casio LK 265 Specs
Who the Casio LK 265 is Most Suitable For?
The Casio LK 265 is a fantastic starter piano for children. Children sometimes lack the patience to learn to read music, or get easily frustrated when their practice is difficult or they can't play songs they like right away.
The light-up keys, easy lessons, fun rhythms and dance music, and ability to play along with favorite songs from their own music library make it easy for children to get interested in playing the keyboard and make fast progress. And, because it is a fairly affordable instrument, parents don't have to invest too much in an instrument they might lose interest in.
For beginners and children who show a real love and aptitude for the piano, they should consider upgrading from the Casio LK 265 fairly quickly. While it does teach songs quickly, and is fun to use, the unrealistic keys and lack of instruction on technique may give a new player bad fingering habits that are difficult to overcome later if they want to progress with the piano.
For most adults, the Casio LK 265 is a bit less appealing; the sound quality isn't great, and they soon experience some of the limitations of the instrument. However, there are many adults who are dipping their toes back into piano after several years away, and who want to quickly learn songs and build their repertoire, and the Casio LK 265 can do just that.
It's not a great instrument for performances or for the full spectrum of piano sound and playing experience, but if the goal is to learn songs quickly, the instrument can pay off fast.
What's Included with the Casio LK 265
The basic bundle includes the keyboard and the power supply.
There are a few optional accessories that can help you get the most out of the Casio LK 265.
Headphones are arguably the most important accessory for a beginner's piano. Friends, neighbors, and family members may not want to listen to hours of practice and play with a new piano, and learners may want the privacy of headphones so that they aren't sharing their mis-steps with an audience.
For a beginner, consider the Behringer HPM1000, which deliver surprising sound quality and isolation for the price. For those with slightly higher expectations in headphones, you may want to consider the Samson SR850 instead, with an open-back design that creates richer, more spatial sound without completely excluding the outside world, and is designed for lasting comfort over long sessions.
Amazon sells an affordable premium package upgrade for the basic keyboard.
This package doesn't just include the keyboard and power supply, but also comes with a pair of headphones and a keyboard stand, so you don't have to put your new piano on a table or desk. The premium package makes it simpler and more affordable than buying these items separately, and transform the Casio LK 265 keyboard into a full music setup.
Casio LK 265 Features
The keyboard has 61 full-size keys, but is compact and portable. The ability to use battery power allows you to take it anywhere, and play inside or out with 6 AA batteries.
The LCD screen is bright and easy to read, and the buttons and screen guide you quickly through settings and adjustments. One-touch features let you quickly restore your favorite settings.
Full-size, touch sensitive keys allow the sound to respond to your touch and playing style, for greater expression, or turn off touch sensitivity altogether.
It comes with 400 instrument voices and 100 built-in rhythms, along with 46 world rhythms, so it's easy to experiment and customize your sound.
It also has 10 levels of reverb, and a Virtual Hall button for a classic piano sound. It comes with 60 practice songs for your piano lessons, and the ability to expand your library to hold your own favorite songs.
The LK 265 also has all the features and functions you expect in a digital piano, including transpose and tuning, a built-in metronome, and 8 levels of polyphony.
Dance Music Mode
Dance Music Mode turns the Casio LK 265 into a dance music machine. With 50 different styles of dance music that include drums, bass, synth, and effects, beginners can create their own favorite dance music in just minutes.
Onboard Lesson System
The onboard lessons include the lesson lite module, with onboard scoring and a voice fingering guide. You can customize lessons for the left hand, right hand, or both hands at once.
Chordana Play App
The Chordana Play app for Android or iOS is free to download with the Casio LK 265, and is a great companion with the keyboard. Chordana Play comes with its own song library and lesson system, and guides beginners through playing along with a piano roll display and/or a music notation display. Cordana Play combines the practice of playing along with teaching beginners how to read music.
Using this app, you can also convert any song in your library into a MIDI file, and play along on the keyboard, or store it in memory and play it online or offline. You can also use the app to assign tracks or melodies to each hand, change the tempo, or transpose and tune, or use the repeat function to learn at your own pace.
The Chordana Play app also has an on-screen virtual keyboard display, so you can use a tablet or smart phone touchscreen to practice playing even if you don't have the keyboard with you.
The app tracks your progress and keeps score, so it makes learning to play the keyboard into a fun and interactive game. It's a great way to get kids engaged in the keyboard, and to simplify learning for beginners at any level or age.
Pros & Cons of the Casio LK 265
Casio LK 265 Tutorial Videos
Casio Singapore has published a great series of video tutorials on YouTube for this keyboard. The short videos cover everything from using the Chordana app to lesson functions and song expansions. The first lesson, “4.1 Tutorial and Chordana app overview” can be seen here. From there it's just a couple clicks to the three other videos in the series.
Casio LK 265 Owner's Manual
You will need the owner's manual, because several advanced settings and preferences are difficult to access otherwise. The English manual for this keyboard can be viewed or downloaded here:
Casio LK 265 vs. Casio CTK-3500
If you are shopping around for Casio keyboards, you may have noticed the very similar Casio CTK-3500 model, with a bundle on Amazon available for nearly the same price as the LK 265. If you are trying to choose between the two models, they bear a closer comparison.
Both the Casio LK 265 and the Casio CTK-3500 share the following features:
The CTK-3500 has some additional features that many musicians will really appreciate, like:
Amazon bundle with keyboard stand and headphones for very similar price
On the other hand, the LK 265 has:
In other words, if the key feature you need is a light-up keyboard, then the Casio LK 265 is your best choice, and it's a great keyboard among all the light-up varieties available.
However, if light-up keys aren't crucial for you, then the CTK-3500, with its MIDI and USB capabilities, is a much more versatile machine. And your favorite DJ will appreciate combining Dance Music Mode and rhythms with the pitch bend wheel for a party atmosphere.
Since both keyboards are in the same price range, you have your choice of two excellent options, depending on the feature you most need.
The Casio LK 265 is a light-up keyboard that is perfect for young beginners, or for anyone who wants to learn to play songs on the piano quickly. The accompanying app makes it even easier to expand the keyboard's capabilities, add new songs, or practice piano using your smart device anywhere you go.
Built in rhythms and Dance Music Mode make this keyboard fun for the whole family to play with, and enjoy creating their own unique music. For people who want a simple, portable, light-up keyboard, the Casio LK 265 is a great choice.