If you're like most beginner players, you're a little overwhelmed by the number of piano keyboards to choose from. And you're probably wondering "What is the best piano keyboard for beginners?"
In this comprehensive guide we look at five of our favorite beginner piano keyboards. These are all good quality models that are also cheap keyboards and have high ratings.
Let’s get started!
Best Beginner Keyboard (Overall)
If you are looking for a keyboard that is loaded with instrument sounds and other features, and comes in a bundle package, the Alesis Melody is a great keyboard to consider. This is a 61-key portable keyboard that comes with a stand and piano bench, as well as a pair of headphones and a microphone so you can sing along while you are playing.
Priced at less than $120, this is an excellent deal on a quality keyboard and all of the accessories you need to start playing as soon as you take it out of the box.
Best Beginner Keyboard for Child
If you want a 61-key keyboard that is loaded with features, the RockJam 561 is one for you to check out.
It offers up 100 different keyboard sounds, 100 rhythms, and 50 demo songs that you can play along with. It features an LCD screen, as well as a record and playback function, which is great when you are trying to learn and need to hear if you are doing things properly, and hear any mistakes so you can correct them.
It comes in a bundle package that includes a pair of headphones, a stand, a stool, a power supply, and learning aids.
Best Beginner Keyboard for Adults
Some names are synonymous with quality keyboards, and Hamzer is one of them. This 61-key digital music piano keyboard is ideal for beginners, and costs less than $70, so you really can’t go wrong. It has an amazing range of sound, with built-in speakers for plenty of volume.
There are 255 timbres, 255 rhythms, 61 keyboard percussions, and 24 demo songs you can use to learn by playing along. It also has an integrated learning system, making this Hamzer keyboard an ideal choice for beginner and intermediate students.
There is a record and playback option, so you can hear what you are doing wrong, and even create your own music.
How Many Keys should a Beginner’s Keyboard Have?
There are a couple of schools of thought on this question. Some people say that the only way to learn how to play the piano is to use a keyboard that has 88 full-sized keys, because this is the best way to learn how to play the entire keyboard. Those on this side of the fence believe that using a keyboard with fewer keys is not going to prepare students for the real thing.
On the other hand, there are those who say that it is actually better to learn how to play the piano on a keyboard with fewer keys. Often, a 61-key keyboard is recommended, because it is a bit less overwhelming for the beginner. But, once you become proficient at playing the keyboard, you are going to want to play more complicated pieces, so you will eventually need to upgrade to a full-size keyboard. This is something that you can worry about later on.
When you come right down to it, most songs that you will likely want to play can be played on a 61-key keyboard, so you won’t have to upgrade for some time. You can get a decent quality, 61-key keyboard for as little as $40, which is great for the beginner who isn’t sure if the piano is going to be the right instrument for them. You can always upgrade once you start to hone your skills and decide that you want to continue playing.
Another option is a 76-key keyboard, which will let you play pretty much anything that is aimed at beginner and intermediate students. These are not as common as 61 or 88-key keyboards, costing more than a 61-key instrument and less than an 88-key keyboard. They are also more cumbersome than the 61-key models, so it is not going to be as portable.
Commonly Asked Questions
What Should You Look for When Buying a Beginner Piano Keyboard?
There are a few key things that you’ll need in a beginner keyboard to get off on the right foot…
Think of it this way: it’s like taking up a new sport, like basketball. While you wouldn’t spend a fortune on basketball sneakers before you knew that you really enjoyed playing, you also wouldn’t go out onto the court in a pair of cheap flip-flops! The same idea applies to buying your first piano keyboard.
Before you buy your first keyboard, you should think about:
Where you want to put it. Do you have a lot of space, or limited space, to put the keyboard?
Whether you want to move it around. Will you occasionally be taking it to piano class or a friend’s house, or will it stay put in your home?
Once you know that, you’ll know whether you should get a piano keyboard (which tend to be lighter and more portable) or a digital piano (which tend to be heavier, and are meant to stay in one place).
According to Sara Mullett, an experienced piano teacher who works a lot with beginners, once you’ve decided on the two points above, you should make sure you choose a keyboard that has:
How Many Keys Should a Beginner Keyboard Have? Are 61 Keys Enough?
If you want to learn to play the piano, you should buy a beginner keyboard with a minimum of 61 keys. Beginner keyboards typically come with 61 keys, while full size keyboards have 88 keys and 7 octaves.
Some piano instructors argue that 61 keys aren’t enough, especially if you want to learn to play classical music. Without 88 full size keys it’s hard to learn the scale of the instrument, you might not be able to play pieces properly, and you may struggle to adapt to playing on other keyboards or pianos.
However, 88-key keyboards are more expensive and for some players might be unnecessary. That’s why other instructors argue that 61 keys are fine for beginners, as long as the keys are touch-sensitive. We support that view!
What are the best brands for beginner keyboards?
There are many brands around for keyboards, but some are better than others in terms of their suitability for beginners.
Yamaha is a well-known instrument manufacturer and whilst they do produce some keyboards which aren`t suitable, they also produce some which fit all of the criteria above. Yamaha are a reliable brand and it is easy to get repairs and accessories to their products.
Casio also have a good range of suitable keyboards, but mostly with only 61 keys – fine for a complete beginner but will need to be replaced soon.
There are a handful of excellent starter keyboards sold exclusively on Amazon. As you would expect, these are excellent for the money. As one example, the brand Alesis has an excellent 88-key beginner keyboard at a very competitive price.
Best Piano Keyboard for Beginners (Summary Table)
Tips for Buying a Keyboard Piano for Beginners
With so many different keyboards available, finding the right one for you can seem like a pretty daunting task. There are so many things that you need to take into consideration when purchasing a keyboard piano to learn on.
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself the following questions:
You will also need to consider the features that you want, including voices (instrument sounds), rhythms, drum beats, and more. Let’s take a look at some of the best tips for buying a keyboard for a beginning piano player.
Remember, for a beginner model, it is best to just keep things simple. You can upgrade to a better model with more features later on.
Features to Look For In a Beginner's Keyboard
Make sure your keyboard has a headphone jack. You need this in order to be able to play without being disturbed by outside noises. Also, it will allow you to play quietly so you will not disturb anyone while you are learning and practicing.
Look for a model that has on-board speakers so you don’t have to worry about needing to plug into an amplifier to hear what you are playing.
Many of the cheaper models do not have on-board speakers, but there are budget models with pretty decent speakers available.
Look for a model that has at least 61 keys. If the keyboard is for a young child, you can get away with even fewer keys, as they should start out on something small that is not going to be too overwhelming. The keys should be weighted, so they have the feel of those on a real piano.
Often, you can get some pretty great bundle package deals that will give you the keyboard and all of the necessary accessories. These include a stand, piano bench, sustain pedal, dust cover, learning tools, and more.
Most of today’s keyboards, even the least expensive, have USB connectivity. This allows you to be able to connect your computer or other devices so you can download various learning apps, music, and more.
Effects and Other Features
There are certain effects that you are going to want, including various instrument sounds, sustain, chorus, reverb, etc. You will also want to have certain features, including a record and playback option. Keep in mind that the more features a keyboard has, the more expensive it will likely be, and you probably won’t need that many features anyway.
If you are planning on taking your keyboard outside of the home, such as to piano lessons, you need to make sure that you get a model that is lightweight and portable. This is another reason why many people recommend a 61-key keyboard, because they are easy to lug around.
Finally, you need to consider your budget. You can pay as little as $40 for a decent keyboard, and as much as thousands for professional stage keyboards.
Of course, at this point in time, you are probably only looking for something inexpensive to learn and practice on, so avoid looking at models that you can’t really afford.
Best Piano Keyboard for Beginners
The purpose of this article is to show you some of the best options for keyboard pianos for beginners. Whether you are the one who is learning, or you are buying a keyboard for another beginner in your life, all of these options are going to be excellent for learning on.
Today we are reviewing five of our favorite beginner keyboard pianos, so you can see the best features, as well as the pros and cons of each.
Best Beginner Keyboard (Overall):
Alesis Melody 61
The Alesis Melody is a 61-key keyboard that comes in a bundle package that includes everything you need to start learning and playing immediately. It even comes with a pair of headphones, so you can enjoy playing without any outside distractions (and no one will be able to hear you make mistakes while you are learning).
This keyboard is priced at less than $120, and it is loaded with features that help to make learning how to play the piano fun and easy. There are 200 built-in sounds with layer and split modes, as well as 128 accompaniment rhythms.
This keyboard has 10 featured songs in three instruction modes, so you can learn while you are playing along with each song. There is also the ability to record your own music to play along with. This package also includes online music lessons from Skoove, and you will learn how to play in a way that is a lot easier than traditional piano lessons. You will get a free, three-month subscription to Skoove Premium, with full access to all of the courses, and there are new lessons offered each month.
The Alesis Melody 61 is the ideal keyboard for the aspiring beginner who really wants to learn how to play the piano. Yes, it only has 61 keys, but this is more than enough to start learning on, and when you are ready, you can move up to a full keyboard.
This unit comes with headphones so you can play undisturbed, and it even comes with a microphone so you can sing along while you are playing.
Best Beginner Keyboard for Child:
Learning to play the piano has never been easier, thanks to the RockJam 561. This keyboard is loaded with features that make learning how to play the piano loads of fun, and the learning tools make it easy to start playing your favorite songs pretty quickly. It has 100 keyboard sounds, 100 rhythms, and 50 demo songs, and you can learn on 61 keys. Yes, this is not a full keyboard, but it will do the trick, and once you master some techniques, you will be ready for a full, 88-key keyboard.
This keyboard has an LCD display that will show you which keys and chords to play for the demo songs, and it will even show you the pace at which you should be playing. The 30 JoyTunes Piano Maestro songs are a great selection, including classical, pop, and rock, and the Piano Maestro learning tool gives you real-time feedback so you always know what you are doing right, and wrong.
It works with a power supply that is included, and you can also pop in some batteries and take it anywhere.
All in all, if you are looking for an inexpensive keyboard to learn on that has plenty of great learning features, the RockJam 561 is an option to consider. It has plenty of voices and rhythms, along with demo songs and free learning tools that include actual piano lessons. The bundle package includes everything you need to start learning and playing now.
Best Beginner Keyboard for Adults:
Hamzer 61-Key Digital Music Piano Keyboard
This keyboard from Hamzer offers an amazing and authentic range of sound. The built-in speakers give you plenty of volume, and they sound great, so you can enjoy the 255 timbres, 255 rhythms, and more. This Hamzer keyboard has an integrated learning system that has been created for beginner and intermediate piano players, and it is perfect for mastering finger control.
You can play single-fingered and fingered auto-bass chords, and have the ability to choose chord timbre, rhythms, etc. Other features include rhythm sync and fill-in, tempo adjustment, and a master volume control.
One of our favorite features on this keyboard is the record and playback feature. This is great to have when you are learning because you can record what you are playing and then be able to listen for any mistakes and easily correct them. This Hamzer keyboard is easy to use, and it is lightweight and portable.
You can take it anywhere, and there is no need to plug it in, because it works with six AA batteries (not included), and it also uses a standard 110-120 volt power adapter so it can be plugged into any wall outlet.
If you are looking for an inexpensive keyboard piano that has the features you need to be able to learn how to play, this model from Hamzer is an excellent choice. It lets you learn how to play quickly, using single and fingered chords, and there is even an auto-bass function. This may be a compact keyboard, but it is pretty large on sound.
This is a keyboard that anyone can use, and it is designed specifically for beginners.
Another keyboard that we should mention is the Casio CTK-3500. This is a 61-key, touch-sensitive keyboard that is portable and comes with its own power supply. This keyboard has 150 built-in rhythms, including dance music, making it the ideal choice for young beginners who want to learn how to play the latest dance hits.
It also has hundreds of tones and rhythms, so anyone can have fun and get creative with music. You can also connect to your iOS or Android device and use the free Chordana Play app, which will teach you to play your favorite tunes.
As you can see from the above reviews, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a decent quality keyboard to learn on. These keyboards have plenty of features to make it easy to learn how to play the piano, and have loads of fun doing it.
They are great for beginners of all ages, including young children, particularly because they are small, lightweight, and portable. No matter which of these keyboards you choose, you can’t really go wrong.