Yamaha P71 Review (2021): Best 88-Key Beginner Keyboard?


YAMAHA P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano With Sustain Pedal And Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive)
Click image for more info

The Yamaha P71 (sometimes referred to as the Yamaha P 71 or Yamaha P-71) keyboard is an entry-level digital piano that’s designed to provide an excellent playing experience, some high-end Yamaha features, and 88 keys – at an affordable price.

The Piano is a fairly recent invent...
The Piano is a fairly recent invention!

The P71 is the most economical model from the “P” series, which is Yamaha’s portable line of 88-key keyboards.

So what are the stand-out features of the P71, and how does it compare to other models? Let’s find out!

Overview of Yamaha P71

Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal and Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive)
Click image for more information

The  P71 is a high-quality, compact digital piano, with all the features you need to practice and play piano music with a wide range of styles, rhythms, and sounds. It’s also lightweight, portable, and easy to set up and use anywhere.  If you are just starting out, this is a great entry level piano.

Unlimited creativity – The ability to connect to a computer via USB enables you to connect the Yamaha P71 with a range of programs and apps that will help record, mix, and playback the music that you create. There are many programs with advanced features that can add powerful capabilities to the instrument, making it even more versatile.

In this review we will take an in-depth look at the features, specifications, and pros & cons of the Yamaha P71 digital piano.

Yamaha P71 vs P45

One question we are often asked is how is the Yamaha P71 different from the Yamaha P45

The answer is that they are functionally the same keyboard, but the P71 is an Amazon Exclusive Model, eligible for special offers and bundles.

Yamaha P71 vs P45.  The P71 can be bundled with accessories.

Yamaha P71 Digital Piano (Amazon Exclusive) Deluxe Bundle with Furniture Stand and Bench

See Reviews and More

 

What does the term “Amazon Exclusive” mean? The Yamaha model number P71 was created by Yamaha for Amazon, and the piano can only be sold on the Amazon Marketplace. Because it is an Amazon exclusive item, the digital piano can be sold at a lower price than the P45.

What else is different about Yamaha P71 vs P45? Since the product is only sold on the Amazon Marketplace, Amazon can bundle the keyboard with accessories, such as a piano bench, or a piano stand, and sell the bundle at a lower price than it would cost if you bought the individual pieces separately. As a consumer, you win!  You can take advantage of the exclusive deal with Amazon to get an even better price on the Yamaha P-71 – a piano keyboard that is functionally identical to the P45 – than if you bought the keyboard from some place other than Amazon.

Video Overview of Yamaha P71

Quick video overview of Yamaha P71.

Yamaha P71 FAQs

Young Boy Plays Piano Keyboard
Young Boy Plays Piano Keyboard

Specifications of Yamaha P71

Specification

Description

Weight25 pounds
Sound
  • AMW Stereo sampling
  • 64 max polyphony
  • 10 voices
ReverbAdjustable reverb effect, 4 reverb types:

 

  • Room
  • Hall1
  • Hall2
  • Stage
Functions
  • Dual / layers
  • Duo
  • Metronome
  • Transpose
  • Fine tuning
Keyboard
  • 88 keys
  • Graded hammer standard key weight system
  • Hard/medium/soft/fixed touch sensitivity
USBIncludes USB to host connectivity
Auto PowerIncludes Auto power off
Playing a Piano Keyboard
Playing a Piano Keyboard

Yamaha P71 88 Key Specification

The Yamaha P71 88 Key Specification is significant because 88 keys are the number of keys on a full sized acoustic piano.  Some electric pianos have fewer keys to save space. The P-71, however, is a better option, because it is both lightweight and has a full-sized keyboard.

If you are a beginner, a full sized keyboard is imperative so that you learn good technique and are aware of the layout of keyboard. Don’t settle for fewer keys.  If you take piano lessons at a teacher’s house, or give a performance on a grand piano, then you will be able to transition easily from your digital piano to an acoustic.

If you are intermediate or advance pianist, or a composer, then you will demand that the keyboard be full sized so that you have access to the full range of scales.  In this case, the Yamaha P71 88 Key Specification will meet your needs.

Yamaha P71 is a Full size Piano Keyboard with 88 keys
Yamaha P71 is a Full size Piano Keyboard with 88 keys

Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) Sampling

The Yamaha P71  uses Advanced Wave Memory Sampling (AWM Sampling) to play the notes.  The result of this is that, when you are using the grand piano voice, each note you play sounds as if it were played on a Grand Piano. You do not hear a simple tone each time you press a piano key;  instead you hear a complex and rich note.  The note that plays was generated by recording the sound of grand piano using different microphones.

88 Key Weighted Action

The Yamaha P71  has 88 Key Weighted action.  This makes the keyboard feel as if were on an acoustic piano.  There are two important aspects to this.  First, the more force you use to play a note, the louder it sounds.  Second, the keys at the lower end are harder to play.

Inside a Piano , you can see hammers and strings
Looking inside an acoustic piano. On the left you can see the strings that make the lower notes are much thicker than the other strings.

In an acoustic piano, the keys on the keyboard all have different weights.  This enables the piano to operate properly. Pressing a key engages a series of levers that cause a hammer to strike a string, causing vibration, and you hear the sound.  The lower notes have thicker strings and require more force to strike.  The 88 Key Weighted action of the P71 mimics the force required.

Grand Piano
Grand Piano

Because of this, when you play the Yamaha P71 it will feel like you are playing an acoustic piano, and it will be easy to move between the digital piano and an acoustic upright or a grand piano.

Yamaha uses several technologies in its pianos to recreate the feel of the keyboard. Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) is the technology used in the P71.

Ten Voices, Dual Mode and Reverb

“Voice” refers to the type of instrument that you hear when you play a digital piano.  Since the piano is electronic, you are not limited to hearing only the sound or a piano.  With Dual Mode, you can also use two voices at a time.

Vibraphone, one of the voices of the Yamaha  P71 Piano
Vibraphone – One of the 10 Voices available

The Yamaha P-71 has 10 voices:

Two organs, two harpsichords, two electric pianos, one vibraphone, one strings, and two grand pianos.

There are also four types of Reverb.

Front View of  Harpsichord - The Yamaha P71 has two harpsichord voices.
Harpsichord – There are two Harpsichord voices available.

64-Note Polyphony

Polyphony is the number of notes or sounds that can be played at one time.  The Yamaha P-71 has a 64-note polyphony.   If you had a 3 note chord in your left hand and melody and harmony in your right hand, you would need to have 5-note polyphony.   64-note polyphony does not mean that you would have to play a 64 note chord, however.  If you are using dual mode with two voices, reverb, or duo mode, then these sounds layer and the number of notes that are played at one time can add up.  64  is a good standard; higher end keyboards have 128-note polyphony.

Adult Woman Using Electric Piano Keyboard
Woman Playing a Keyboard Piano. The 64-note Polyphony of the Yamaha P-71 lets you make complex music.

Duo Mode

With Duo Mode, the keyboard becomes two pianos, each with 44 keys.  This is excellent for playing next to your teacher during a piano lesson or for performing a duet.

Using Duo Mode - Sitting Side by Side and Using Same Piano Keyboard as two pianos
Using Duo Mode – Sitting Side by Side and Using Same Piano Keyboard as two pianos

Physical Aspects

One of the best features of the Yamaha P-71 is its portability.  It weighs 25 lb.,  4 oz. (11.5 kg), so it is easy to move around.  It will rest on a table when you are ready to play it.  The dimensions are 54.25 in. x 6.0 in. x 11.5 in. (132.6 cm x 15.4 cm x 29.5 cm).

The piano has two built in 6 Watt amplifiers, and two built in speakers.

It is powered with a Yamaha PA-150 AC adapter that provides 12V DC in.  There is a USB to Host port on the back.  You can use this to connect the piano to a computer.

Teens Enjoying themselves. Adolescent girl and boy with piano keyboard and computer
You can connect the Yamaha P71 to a Computer.

It is shipped with single sustain pedal, and cannot be fitted with 3 pedals, which would mimic an acoustic. However, the sustain pedal is most important.

The piano requires no assembly other than connecting power, and can be played right out of the box.

A music stand and a metronome are built in.  The piano does not come with a stand or a bench however.  That is where the special Amazon Bundles fill in the gaps.  Look at the bundle below, for example:

Yamaha P71 Bundle

Yamaha P71 Digital Piano (Amazon Exclusive) Bundle with Z Stand and Bench

  • Includes the P71 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano, PKBZ1 Z-Style Stand, PKBB1 Adjustable Bench, Sustain Pedal, Music Rest & Power Adapter
  • 88 fully weighted piano-style keys simulate the feel of an acoustic piano and provide a quality playing experience
  • Stand Height: up to 29″, Width: 19.75″ – 25.0″, Depth: 13.25″
  • NOTE: Yamaha piano lays flat on the adjustable surface and does not bolt to stand
  • Adjustable padded keyboard bench provides comfort and stability

See Reviews and More

Who is the Yamaha P71 Suitable For?

Young Girl in Blue Shirt Practicing Piano
Practicing Scales on the Piano

The Yamaha P-71 is a great digital piano for people who want to experience the feel and sound of an acoustic piano.

How come you might ask?

Because the P-71 has 88 keys, just like an acoustic piano (many keyboards and lower-end digital pianos have only 76 keys, or even 61 keys).

It’s great for learning, teaching, and rehearsing in a compact space, at an affordable price.

Adult Male having piano lesson with young boy
Piano Lesson: The Yamaha P71 is perfect for young pianists who are just starting out.

The P-71 is also highly portable, simple to learn and operate, and has the feel and sound of a high-quality, Yamaha piano. It’s a highly recommended digital piano for beginners and new pianists, so they don’t pick up bad habits from a non- or poorly-weighted keyboard.

The  P-71 is also a good choice for musicians who need to travel often, and who want great sound in a lightweight, portable package. It doesn’t have all the features that an experienced, professional piano player may need for a performance, but for more casual settings or collaborations, it’s a great choice.

What’s Included in the Box of Yamaha P71?

The basic package comes with the piano, a power adapter, and sustain pedal:

Power adapter
Power adapter

Sustain Pedal
Sustain pedal

Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal and Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive)
88 Key Keyboard

Summary of Features of the Yamaha P71

FEATUREDESCRIPTION
Portable size

The Yamaha P71 weighs just 25 pounds, and has a depth of less than 12 inches, making it easy to move, transport, and set up nearly anywhere.

Advanced sound sampling

Advanced Wave Memory sampling is Yamaha’s classic sound engine. Sound is captured with two pairs of microphones, for left and right waveforms that give a deeper, richer, and more spacious sound.

88 keys

The 88 key keyboard has been carefully designed. The graded hammer standard key weight technology has a heavier touch on the low end of the keyboard, and a lighter feel in the high notes. Practicing with correctly weighted keys builds proper finger technique that translates easily to an acoustic piano. Touch sensitivity can be adjusted for hard, medium, or soft playing, or touch sensitivity can be disabled altogether.

Matte finish

The black keys on this digital piano are treated with a matte finish so they do not get slippery during extended play.

Many voices

A library of 10 piano voices (instrument voices) give you endless opportunities to layer sounds for rich, sustained, complex musical compositions. Voices include grand piano, electric piano, organ, harpsichord, vibraphone, and strings. It also has 4 reverb and chorus effects, including Room, Hall1, Hall2, and Stage reverb settings.

Teenage Boy Composing Music on Piano Keyboard.  The Yamaha P71 is good for this purpose.
You can compose music on the Yamaha P71

FEATUREDESCRIPTION
Polyphony of 64

Polyphony measures the instrument’s ability to play multiple sounds at once. While 64 is an ample quantity for most needs, some voices use 4 or more elements at once, and that’s before you begin sustaining and layering in complex sounds. When the polyphony is exceeded, some sounds may prematurely decay or even abruptly cut off, so it’s a good idea not to exceed the P71’s maximum polyphony capabilities.

Fine tuning

While the piano never needs tuning, you can still use the fine tuning feature to adjust the pitch of the entire instrument. This feature is useful when you play along with other musicians or prerecorded music.

Dual mode

This feature allows you to layer sounds together, such as piano and strings, and play two instruments at once. The transpose function allows you to control and adjust semitones, and is perfect for accompanying a vocalist.

Automatic shut-off

The piano will automatically shut off after a period of inactivity, in order to conserve power. You can adjust this feature or disable it if you prefer.

USB

USB output allows you to easily connect the P71 to your computer or mobile device for recording and playback using compatible apps.

“Duo” function

The P71’s Duo function splits the keyboard in half, so two players can each have a 44 key keyboard and their own middle C. This is perfect for piano lessons, allowing teacher and student to play at the same time, and use the metronome function to keep time.

Piano Keyboard connected to Computer
Computer connected to a Piano Keyboard

Accessories You Should Consider

To make the most of your Yamaha P71, and make sure that your at-home, digital piano experience is the best practice so that you can move to an analogue piano if you choose, you should also consider a few important accessories.

Headphones

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone (International Model) No Warranty
Sony Professional Headphones

While unfortunately many people buy an adaptor so they can use their existing earbuds with their new Yamaha, that isn’t the best choice.

Studio Headphones not only allow you to practice playing piano without disturbing the neighbors, but they can also provide an excellent rich, clear sound quality that is often missing in small, built-in speakers and in earbuds.

Some excellent headphones for learning piano are the Some excellent headphones for learning piano are the Sony MDR7506 Professional headphones. They have built-in noise cancellation to reduce distractions, have fantastic sound, fold for easy portability, and are light weight for hours of comfortable use. The high-quality connectors ensure extra durability, and the generous, 9.8-foot cord gives plenty of length to reach to the back of the P71, where the headphone jack is. These professional headphones are a great investment in learning piano and making the most of your keyboard time.

Foot Pedal

M-Audio SP-2 | Universal Sustain Pedal with Piano Style Action for Electronic Keyboards
Foot Pedal

The P71 bundle comes with a sustain pedal, but, as with the weighted keys, it is better to learn and practice on a foot pedal that is closer to the experience of an analogue piano.

The M-Audio SP-2 Universal Sustain Pedal feels and works just like an acoustic piano pedal, with realistic resistance and response, and half-pedal capabilities. The rubber bottom grips the floor while you play, and it is rugged and built to last.

Carrying Case

Gator Cases Padded Keyboard Gig Bag; Fits Slim Line 88 Note Keyboards (GKB-88 SLIM)

If you plan on taking advantage of the portability of the Yamaha P71, it’s best to get a carrying case. For short trips and easy transport, the Yamaha Artiste Series keyboard bag for 88-note keyboards is an excellent choice.

For frequent travel, air travel, and more rugged use, the Gator Cases Padded Keyboard Gig bag is made of heavy-duty ballistic nylon with reinforced riveted carrying handles. The adjustable padded straps securely hold a keyboard in place and protect it during transport, and it has convenient large #10 zippers.

Pros & Cons of Yamaha P71

PROS

  • Full size keyboard
  • Light weight and compact size
  • Graded hammer standard key weight system
  • 4 levels of touch sensitivity
  • 4 levels of reverb
  • AWM stereo sampling gives full, rich piano sound
  • 64 polyphony
  • 10 voices
  • Dual mode (layer two different instrument voices)
  • Duo mode (split keyboard for two players)
  • Transpose feature (control and adjust semitones)
  • Built-in metronome
  • Simple, single-button operation
  • Auto off feature
  • USB out to a computer
  • Matte black keys

cons

  • No built-in recording function
  • Headphone jack is in the rear
  • Only 64 max polyphony
  • Comes only with a single sustain pedal instead of 3 pedals
Young Boy Playing a Piano
Young Boy Playing a Piano

Yamaha P71 Manual

If you’d like to check out the nitty-gritty of the Yamaha electric piano, here’s a link to the model’s manual:

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD MANUAL

An Alternative Product to Consider

If your goal is to learn to pay the piano, with an intention to go on to playing acoustic piano, there really isn’t a better keyboard for a beginner than the Yamaha P71. It’s important for beginners to learn with a full-size, properly weighted keyboard, so that their finger technique will be correct for an acoustic piano, and the P71 is the best fully weighted keyboard in a portable size at this price range.

 Casio CTK4400 61-key keyboard
Casion CTK4400 (click image for more information)

source

However, if you want to learn to play the piano and remain a digital-only musician, then the fully weighted keys are not so important, and you have a lot more options.

In that instance, a great choice is the Casio CTK4400 61-key keyboard. The keys are touch-sensitive, and it has 600 voices, 48-note polyphony, and reverb effects. It comes with 180 preset rhythms and 152 built-in songs.

As you would expect from Casio, it has sampling and recording capabilities, with MIDI and audio inputs. 32 registration memories let you store your settings and retrieve them quickly. It weighs just 15 pounds, and comes with a built-in learning system. It’s a great choice for beginner digital musicians who want light weight, portability, versatility, and a lot of features at a low cost.

Update August 2021

Update as of August, 2021: The excellent Casio CTK 4400 is no longer available. Try this similar, more up to date option from Alesis, the Alesis Recital:

Alesis Recital – 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Semi Weighted Keys, 2x20W Speakers, 5 Voices, Split, Layer and Lesson Mode, FX and Piano Lessons
  • An Electric Piano That’s Tailored to You - Feature-packed Electric keyboard with 88 premium full-sized semi weighted keys with adjustable touch response to suit your preferred playing style
  • Premium Sounds - 5 voices (Acoustic Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Synth, and Bass), built-in FX: Chorus, Reverb, and two built in 20W speakers that deliver crystal-clear, room-filling sound
  • All The Right Connections - ¼” sustain pedal input (pedal not included), ¼” stereo headphone output for private practice and stereo RCA outputs for connection to speakers / amplifiers
  • Play the Keyboard Wherever You Go - Power via the included power adapter or 6 D cell batteries (not included) for professional piano performance anywhere
  • Powerful Educational Features - Standard, split, layer, and lesson modes with 128-note max polyphony and Skoove 3 month premium subscription for expert interactive online piano lessons

Yamaha P71 Digital Piano Review by C-Tech Solutions

About Yamaha

Yamaha was founded in 1897 by Torakusu Yamaha.  The initial product was a reed organ.  The company moved into upright pianos, then grand pianos, then expanded to manufacture a wide variety of musical instruments and musical equipment.

The company was first listed on the Tokyo stock exchange in 1949.  Today, it makes an unprecedented number of products for the music industry, including digital mixing systems, electric guitars and violins, and of course, pianos.

Aerial view of Hamamatsu City, where Yamaha corporate headquarters is located
Aerial view of Hamamatsu City, home of Yamaha Corporation

Their headquarters are in Hamamatsu, Japan, and there is a museum there called Innovation Road.  Yamaha has numerous factories, and the piano factory in Kakegawa, Japan offers tours. (Here is a link directly to the tours but it is written in Japanese.)

When you are playing your Yamaha P-71 digital piano, you can be rest assured that you are playing an instrument that has been borne out of generations of expertise.

Conclusion

To conclude this Yamaha P71 review, it is safe to say that this digital piano is an excellent choice to learn to play the piano, with a realistic graded hammer standard key weight system to learn correct finger techniques and build strength and endurance.

It’s also a great piano for teachers to use with students, because the fully weighted keyboard and touch sensitivity are good for students, and Duo mode allows you to sit beside a student and play along with them.

Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano With Sustain Pedal And Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive)
Yamaha P71 (click image for more info)

The built-in metronome is useful for learning or practicing, and it’s useful to record lessons and play them back with the handy iOS apps that are compatible with this keyboard. It’s also a great choice for musicians who travel to gigs, because it is so portable and lightweight.

The range of polyphony and instrument voices allow you to produce a range of full, rich, layered sounds from anywhere, at any time. Many professional musicians will wish that it had greater polyphony capabilities, and would prefer better onboard recording functions, but it’s a good tradeoff for the incredible Yamaha sound and keyboard feel in this price range.

The Yamaha P71 is recommended by piano teachers everywhere as being an excellent, affordable option for beginners, with all the tools and capabilities a person needs to learn to play the piano well, and build skills that translate easily to acoustic pianos.

Maurice

I am intrigued by how music affects the brain. I created this site to share my fascination with music in general and piano keyboards in particular.

Recent Posts