What to buy as your first piano keyboard, is the most important choice, that any pianist will ever make. This is because if you really like it, you will want to play it. If not, it will gather dust in a corner.
It has more influence on whether an aspiring pianist takes up the instrument than any other. And the worst thing is, that this decision has to be made when the pianist doesn’t actually know what they should be looking for.
But, don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ve picked the 10 best beginner piano keyboards for learning piano currently available, and we’ll tell you which one is the best suit for you.
So, here goes…
The Comparison Table:
|Modle||No. of Key||Tones||Rhythms|
|Casio SA76 EDP||41||100||50|
|Alesis Harmony 61||61||320||100|
|The ONE Smart||61||128||N/A|
The 10 Best Beginner Keyboards for Entry Level Pianist
Here are the 10 best beginner piano keyboards for learning piano. Each one offers excellent quality for the price and would be suitable for anyone who is about to start on their piano journey.
We’ll start off our roundup with this affordable little 61-Key Portable Keyboard from Casio, the CTK-2550. It features 61 full-size keys, 400 high-quality Tones, and 150 built-in Rhythms including the all-new Dance Music Mode.
Portability is one of this keyboards best features, it’s small size and ability to run on batteries lets you use it anywhere. But, if home is where the music is, you can use the included AC adapter. Built-in speakers are included, or if you need to keep the noise down, just connect your headphones, so no one can hear your mistakes.
As for helping you on your musical journey, it features Lesson Lite, a tutorial program. As well as a Scoring System, and, a Voice Fingering Guide. If your a fan of EDM, then the CTK-2550 is perfect for you. It features Casio’s all-new Dance Music Mode. This gives you everything you need to quickly and easily create and remix electronic dance music.
It’s a perfect instrument to music-making, and a great-sounding way to have fun.
We move from one of the cheapest to one of the most expensive beginner piano keyboards currently available. The Korg SP170S is the perfect digital piano for rehearsing, learning and creating. Although it’s more expensive, there is a good reason for it.
The SP170S is unlike any of the other keyboards in this round-up because it is a lot closer to an actual acoustic piano than the rest. It features 88 fully weighted keys to make it not only look but also play and feel like a real piano. Weighted keys offer resistance when played, this gives the pianist much more room for expression than the weightless keys generally found on in-expensive keyboards.
The weighted action is also graded, making it heavier in the low end and lighter in the high end, like the hammers you’ll find inside an acoustic piano. This is great for the aspiring pianist because it builds finger strength and proper fingering technique. The Korg SP170S is much more of a piano than a keyboard, so features a lot fewer sounds than the other offerings here. Only 10 to be exact, including grand pianos, electric pianos, harpsichord, organs, and strings.
Although the number of sounds is small, they are all very high quality and sampled from real instruments. So, for example, the grand piano sound is a world apart from the synthesized piano sounds on some of the cheaper models in this review.
This little keyboard comes with 400 amazing in-built sounds, 100 rhythms for grooving to, 60 songs to play along with, and some great playing features. What more could anyone ask for?
And, even if you’ve never played any piano or keyboard before, no need to worry, the LK-190 features a great 3-step learning system that will get your chops, or chop-sticks, down before you know it. You can also create dance music using the Dance Music Mode, which is the same as the one featured on the Casio CTK-2550 we’ve already covered.
Plus it’s got lighted-keys, so not only will it help you get your fingers in the right place, but you could use it as a very big torch on dark nights! Or maybe not?
Moving back up in terms of number of keys, from 61 to 76, and we have the Yamaha PS-REW300. This is a good looking and surprisingly light digital piano at the price point. It offers a good key pressure and strike speed sensitivity, but the keys do feel a little soft.
The speakers produce a nice clear sound on their own, but when used with some good quality headphones or monitors the low end really comes through. And, you can get far higher volumes than when using the speakers by themselves.
The Yamaha PS-REW300 is also a fully functional MIDI controller and works flawlessly with most DAWs either on Mac or PC. It should also give you enough choice in the sound and rhythm department, offering 574 high-quality voices, and 165 auto accompaniment styles. Plus you can modify any of these with the reverb effects and a master equalizer.
If you love your arpeggios, then you may have found your dream machine here, featuring 150 different arpeggio types.
All in all a great keyboard and well worth considering.
For some people, budget is everything and putting up with a few compromises is more than acceptable. Because let’s face it, if you actually start to enjoy playing the piano and show some flair for it, you will of course upgrade to something better in the future anyway.
If this sounds like you, then the Hamzer 61-Key is your perfect keyboard.
It certainly isn’t a great keyboard, but if the only need to play the keys and hear a sound, then, it’s okay. This might sound very negative, but there are, in fact, lots of reasons why a musician would need to have a functioning piano at home, that doesn’t necessarily need to have a fantastic sound.
For example, singers who need to practice their parts and want a guide note, to make sure they are in key. As well as, musicians whose main instrument isn’t a piano, but occasionally like to try out musical ideas on one for inspiration.
At finally, a piano is by far the easiest instrument to study music theory on. Far easier than on a guitar or a brass instrument, especially in terms of ‘seeing’ how the notes work together. In such cases, it doesn’t actually matter what the notes sound like, as long as you can hear what they are. The Hamzer 61-Key is a great study tool for doing this.
Therefore, even if this is the worst sounding and least enjoyable piano to play in this run-down, and it is. It still could be the best beginner piano keyboard for you, if you only need it for any of the reasons described. Or, you simply don’t want to spend a lot of money on your first piano keyboard.
The Casio SA76 EDP is a piano keyboard aimed at kids who are just starting out. It has a slightly toy-like appearance, which is a shame because it doesn’t sound like a toy. It by no means competes with some of the higher priced keyboards in this review, but it does sound great for the price.
The keys are smaller in size than usual keys, but this is good for little fingers, but depending on your child’s age, it could mean they outgrow it quickly, so take this into consideration.
The keyboard includes software that contains 50 different piano lessons. These are, by no means a replacement for real lessons with a qualified teacher, but they can be a nice compliment to proper lessons. Lots of them are also similar to computer games, so they should encourage your child to practice.
It features 100 different sounds to play around with and 50 rhythms, so it should give your young pianist enough musical choices to have fun playing around with.
The Harmony 61 is an ultra-portable digital keyboard featuring 61 velocity-sensitive keys from Alesis. The keys have an adjustable touch response, making this perfect for beginners, as well as more experienced players on a budget.
It’s Lesson Mode helps in developing essential playing techniques and grades your progress as you go. You can learn any of the 100 included songs and each of these is split into three graded lessons. Therefore you first learn the rhythm only, followed by the melody only. Then in the third and final step, you’ll learn to play the melody and rhythm together.
After each of these lessons, the Harmony 61 gives you a grade and lets you know when it’s time to move on to the next lesson. You can also use it to play along with your favorite songs, by connecting your smartphone, tablet or music player to the aux input. As well as the Lesson Mode, the harmony 61 also features a Free 3-month Skoove Premium Subscription. This gives you full access to all of Skoove’s online courses. So there really is no excuse not to become a great pianist with this model from Alesis.
On top of all the great learning features, it has Dual Mode. This allows two voices to be combined simultaneously, to create a richly layered sound. It’s also got a Split Mode, which divides the keyboard into two sections, so you and your teacher can play along together.
Sound wise, you’ll get plenty, with 100 built-in rhythms and 320 realistic built-in instruments including pianos, strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, guitars, synths, and even sound effects! It also has a record function, so you can step up your creativity if you want and record your own backing tracks. Or just record your own playing to listen back and critique it later.
The Alesis Harmony 61 is a great buy and offers professional sound-quality with powerful learning tools in a convenient portable package!
Read Also: Best Portable Piano Keybords
It doesn’t matter where you are on your musical journey, or what your budget is, the fact is that, you shouldn’t have to compromise on sound quality. That’s why Casio created the CT-X700. Its modest price makes it an excellent choice for casual or beginning players. And its superb sound makes it a must-have for any level of keyboardist, who needs a portable instrument.
But, what truly sets the CT-X700 apart from the other portable keyboards in the price range is its heart – The powerful AiX Sound Engine. This technology makes the CT-X700 sound like keyboards that cost hundreds of dollars more. It’s compact and lightweight, with a sturdy molded plastic case. This, as well as the fact that you can run it off batteries if needed (AC adapter included if you don’t), makes it perfect as a go-anywhere musical partner.
Rhythm wise, it has 195 of them, so you’ll always have a band to play along with, whenever you need them. The Rhythms span the globe as well as covering the history of popular music. From old favorites to chart-topping hits, they are here, and all played with incredibly realistic instruments, that make them sound better than ever.
You can use the CT-X700 to quickly capture your latest idea with the six-track recorder, or enjoy the library of 100 built-in Songs. If you want to improve your skills, the Step-Up Lesson system is perfect. You can easily learn the Songs, with the keyboard’s display showing you the proper fingering and notation.
Next up, we have another portable and really affordable midsize keyboard. The RockJam 54-key features an LCD screen, a wide selection of advanced features, and many different teaching modes, making this the ideal keyboard for aspiring musicians.
You can learn how to play without any pressure, or hone your piano skills further, with the interactive and very effective teaching mode. This works by using the LCD to indicate precisely when you need to play the keys and chords of one of the eight included demo songs. It also displays the beat point on the screen, to ensure you stay perfectly in time.
But the best way to improve is by using JoyTunes Piano Maestro Songs, and when you buy a Rockjam 54-Key, you get 30 of them for FREE. The Piano Maestro course is ranked as one of the best education Apps available and is used by millions of students and piano teachers worldwide.
The App makes learning to play the piano as fun as it is to play a game. The 30 free songs range from classical to pop and rock. The app actually listens to the keyboard, then gives real-time feedback, and rates your playing, awarding 3 stars for the perfect performance!
Sound wise, you get 100 different voices, with 100 rhythms to choose from. The Rockjam also comes with eight percussion sound effect options. You can even connect a microphone, and you or a friend can sing along, through the built-in speakers.
The keyboard’s compact size, it’s built-in stereo speakers, and the option to run it off batteries also make the RockJam an ideal portable, travel-friendly piano.
It connects to any mobile device and states that it will ‘shorten the piano learning process from months to minutes. We don’t entirely agree with that claim, but the system is fantastic, and even if it shortens it from months to a few days or so, most people would be ecstatic.
It works by using synced LED lights on the keyboard, a beginner then follows the lights as they move to learn the song they are working on. You can even take the excitement up a level and choose the gaming mode, with arcade-style scoring. Constantly challenge yourself and score points by hitting the light-up keys in rhythm to match the music. Your kids will love it, and if anything will make them practice, it’s the One Smart.
There are thousands of songs included to learn in sheet music form, from classical to jazz, pop to blues, and so much more. You can use an ‘auto-play’ function to learn a melody or use ‘A-B repeats’ to focus and practice. Users can also record their sessions and share them on Facebook.
With over 100 free video lessons, all integrated with the lighted-keys, there is absolutely no excuse not to practice and continually improve. The lessons start easily and proceed as you get better to more advanced topics. You can even pause, rewind, or slow down any sections during any lesson to keep everything at a pace that is comfortable for you. It’s a great teaching machine but does feature over 128 instrument sounds for at least a bit of variety. This is a low number compared with some of the keyboards reviewed. But it’s understandable considering the focus of the One Smart.
Features wise, it’s got an excellent simple layout. And a headphone socket for private practices without disturbing anyone. It’s also compact and weighing only 11 lbs, makes a great portable learning tool.
How to Pick the Right Digital Piano or Keyboard for Beginner?
When it comes to how to pick the right digital piano or keyboard, you would also want to know what keyboard best suit for beginner and how many keys should a beginner keyboard have? Here in this video you will learn the truth about about 88 keys vs, 61, 49 or 25 keys, pressure sensitivity or action on the board itself, what MIDI is and does and so on. Learning about it will help you more when choosing your first biginner keyboard.
The Best Beginner Piano Keyboard for Learning Piano for You!
We’ve featured 10 of the best beginner piano keyboards for learning piano on the market today in this review. And to be honest, they are all excellent in their own way.
Check out each keyboards pros and cons and see what best suits your personal needs. For example, if you’re looking for a starter keyboard before getting a real acoustic piano in the future, then the Korg SP170S would be the perfect piano keyboard for you.
As with most things in life, there has to be a winner, and we’ve gone for The ONE Smart Piano Keyboard. Other keyboards did beat it in some departments, and it’s definitely not the best all-around piano keyboard in this review, but since we are looking for the best beginner piano keyboard for learning piano, it is easily the winner.