Learning piano is one of those life-long skills that you will never regret picking up. You’ll be able to literally go anywhere with a piano, sit down, and start impressing people with your skills. However, you will need to learn to play the piano first which means you’ll need a great piano. We recommend starting with a piano keyboard since they are much more affordable than upright or grand pianos. Whether you are looking for a beginner keyboard for yourself or your child, we wanted to share with you the best beginner keyboards.
Best Digital Piano Keyboard for Children
A great piano keyboard for children and other beginners. The 44 keys are mini-sized, perfect for children who have trouble reaching the keys of a full-size piano.
• Mini-sized keys
• Highly portable
Yamaha YPT-260: Best Yamaha Keyboard for Beginners
The Yamaha YPT 260 is the best beginner keyboard and is designed to get you up and playing quickly. It has 61 keys with 32 max polyphony notes. Via a dedicated app, you can get interactive lessons and tutorials. It has USB connectivity so you can connect to compatible devices and jam with the built-in speakers. You can even split the keyboard to teach side-by-side lessons.
In addition to the great teaching capabilities, the YPT-260 comes with 384 voices including orchestra, grand piano, and organ, and over 100 rhythms.
A great option for beginner piano players since it is affordable (<$200) and comes with many features that help beginners. The half-weighted keys are more sensitive than standard full-weighted keys which are easier to play for beginners.
Beginners can use the built-in metronome to keep time and a recording mode so you can playback your initial recordings to know how to improve. It even comes with a sustain pedal.
Roland is one of our favorite digital piano brands and their GO:PIANO model is a great beginner keyboard that comes with premium sound for an affordable price. This 61-note keyboard features full-sized keys and 128-voice polyphony that plays Roland’s acclaimed piano sounds. It includes Bluetooth and MIDI audio to connect with your smartphone or tablet.
The package includes an educational bundle with the Faber Piano Adventures Lesson Book so you can get up and playing quickly.
Casio SA76 Keyboard
The Casio SA76 Keyboard is a small piano keyboard with 44 mini-sized keys and five percussion pads, making it an ideal instrument for beginners or young students. It contains 100 sounds and 50 rhythm patterns, providing users with the convenience of choosing the appropriate sound they want to produce. This piano keyboard has a simple tone selection with piano and organ tone button and melody on/off lesson function. Additionally, it is equipped with an easy-to-read LCD display.
Yamaha PSR-EW300 Portable Grand Piano
The Yamaha PSR-EW300 Portable Grand Piano consists of 76 piano-style keys with Graded Soft Touch (GST) action. It comprises of a backlit LCD, panel lights, a pitch bend wheel, and a six-track sequencer that would allow users to record their own music. It features the Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S.) allows you to practice using the preset songs and the Touch Tutor lesson mode tracks the velocity or strength the keys are played at in order to teach dynamics.
Casio Inc. CTK2400 PPK Premium Portable Keyboard
The Casio Inc. CTK2400 PPK Premium Portable Keyboard consists of 61 keys and 400 AHL keyboard voices. It is equipped with a voice percussion function wherein samples are integrated into the rhythm. Additionally, it consists of improves sampling effects wherein its sampling function has a maximum sampling time of two seconds (in the long sampling mode), one second (in the long sampling mode), or five seconds (in the short sampling mode). Users have the option to choose from six various styles depending on their desire.
RockJam Electronic Keyboard
The RockJam Electronic Keyboard is a compact digital keyboard with 61 full-size keys, an LCD screen, a record and playback functionality, 100 keyboard sounds, 100 rhythms, and 50 demo songs. Such keyboard comes with sturdy and adjustable sound, making it easy to move it throughout the home or studio. Additionally, it comes with a thick padded and adjustable stool, a set of headphones, and thirty free songs on the Piano Maestro app.
Alesis Recital Beginner Digital Piano
The Alesis Recital Beginner Digital Piano consists of 88 full-sized and semi-weighted keys with built-in speakers and a 128-note maximum note polyphony.
The keyboard features five realistic built-in voices: acoustic piano, electric piano, organ, bass, and synth. Users have the ability to customize the voices by combining any two at once in Layer Mode for a fuller and more vibrant tone.
Additionally, this keyboard could be connected to the computer using its USB-MIDI output for use with educational software or virtual instrument plugins.
Yamaha EZ-220 Lighted Key Portable Keyboard
The Yamaha EZ-220 Lighted Key Portable Keyboard consists of 61 touch-sensitive and lighted keys, giving beginners the ideal instrument to learn the instrument easily.
It is equipped with a total of 392 high-quality instrument voices and 100 accompaniment styles, offering users a chance to play outside of the box. It comes in a premium bundle which also consists of closed-back stereo headphones, a power supply, and a keyboard stand.
Alesis Melody Beginner Bundle Portable Keyboard
The Alesis Melody Beginner Bundle Portable Keyboard is composed of 61 compact and light-weighted keys and built-in speakers. It also consists of 200 built-in sounds with layer and split modes. Additionally, it has 128 accompaniment rhythms, giving you the option to choose the appropriate mode for your music.
This beginner keyboard comes in a bundle that includes a set of headphones for private practice, a stand that is easy to assemble, an adjustable bench, and a microphone.
GreenPro Portable Electronic Piano Keyboard
The GreenPro Portable Electronic Piano Keyboard is an electronic keyboard with 61 full-sized keys and a LED display screen with lots of sounds and features. It features three teaching modes, 60 demo songs, 300 rhythms, 300 timbres, and full record and playback options. It could connect to a microphone, a headphone, and a power line.
This beginner piano comes in a set that includes an adjustable stand which is made of heavy-duty steel construction and a music note rest.
Yamaha P71 Weighted Action Digital Piano
The Yamaha P71 Weighted Action Digital Piano consists of 88 fully weighted piano-style keys that stimulate the feel of an acoustic piano, providing users with quality playing experience. It contains ten different voices including digitally sampled tones from real Yamaha acoustic grand pianos.
Its dual mode lets users combine two voices together, like strings and piano, for inspiring new playing experience. Its slim and stylish design with a depth of fewer than 12 inches. This beginner piano keyboard also includes a power adapter and a sustain pedal.
Yamaha YPT255 Keyboard
The Yamaha YPT255 Keyboard is a piano keyboard with 61 keys with a compact and portable body. It consists of 385 high-quality voices including pianos, guitars, drums, and other orchestral instruments. It also features a nine-step lesson function that could help beginners learn to play songs more conveniently. Such keyboard includes accessories such as a set of headphones, an X-style keyboard stand, and a power supply. It could be connected to an external audio source to the AUX jack to enjoy playing along with different songs.
What to Look for in Piano Keyboards and Digital Pianos
The key to finding the ideal piano keyboard is by identifying and understanding the different features that these instruments have. Hence, you should take time to learn some of the features that should be present in piano keyboards.
Number of keys
Different models of piano keyboards have a different number of keys. Sometimes, the number of keys would depend on the level of the piano player. Beginners usually start off with piano keyboards with a fewer number of keys (generally 61) and progress to more keys until they get to a full 88-key keyboard.
The response of the keys
Another feature that you should look into is the response of the keys, specifically the keybed. Such responses offer a different feel to the player. Weighted and semi-weighted keys have a response that is similar to an acoustic piano. Hammer keys, on the other hand, enhance the response. A synth set of keys feels like an organ.
These are just some of the features that should be noted when looking for the best piano keyboards. It is worth noting that awareness of the vital features will make your job of choosing the most appropriate instrument easier.
How Much to Spend on Your First Keyboard / Piano?
This is a very subjective question that depends a lot on your budget and dedication to playing the piano. If you’re not sure whether you or your student will stick with playing keyboard for a long time, then we recommend spending between $100 and $500 for a beginner keyboard. If you have a little bit more money, you could opt for a beginner digital piano which takes up more space and is less portable but has more features and better sound quality. A beginner digital piano will cost between $300 to $900.
Once you’ve decided that piano is the right long-term choice, you could upgrade to an upright or baby grand piano.
What Are the Best Digital Piano and Keyboard Brands Available?
Yamaha is our favorite digital piano and keyboard brand for beginners as well as professional piano players. They are a well-known musical instrument maker (among other things) and their keyboards are no exception.
Yamaha can be considered an industry leader in piano keyboards and digital pianos as they offer a wide range of acoustic and digital pianos from absolute beginner keyboards to concert grand pianos.
Roland is our next favorite digital piano and piano keyboard brand. They mostly make higher-end keyboards which is why we don’t feature them on this list.
Roland keyboards are some of the most-loved keyboards and have made some of the most popular keyboards around including the Roland Juno, Fantom, and RD range.
Casio is a widely regarded manufacturer of beginner and intermediate keyboards. While they do make some higher-end keyboards as well, they are masters of the entry-level digital pianos.