Top 10 Best Keyboards For Beginners 2018

top 10 best keyboard for beginners who are just making an entry in the music world

Music is the best therapy for mind and soul.  Playing an instrument is joyous and can open up a variety of doors musically and socially.

It might surprise you but around 21 million Americans play piano in current century. Clearly, it is one of the most popular musical instruments.

It is also very versatile as it can be played in almost every genre and can be played solo if you prefer it not be accompanied.

Top 10 Best Keyboard for Beginners Comparison Table

PictureNameFeaturesRating (1-5)Price
Yamaha YPG-235 76-Key Portable Grand PianoHigh quality.
6-track sequencer.
Y.E.S for easy learning.
3.5$$$$$
Casio CTK2400 61- Key Portable Keyboard with USBBuilt-in microphone.
Learning system for easy learning.
Auto-accompaniment feature.
4$$
Hamzer 61 Key Electronic Piano Electric Organ Music Keyboard with Stand – BlackRecorder to practice & improve.
Auto-bass function.
Includes several accessories.
4$$
Yamaha PSRE253 61-Key Portable KeyboardDuo mode.
(Y.E.S.) program for easy learning.
Reverb effects.
Auto-accompaniment feature.
4$$
Joy 61-Key Standard Electronic Piano Keys Keyboard Set with Headphone, Stand, Stool and Power SupplyRecognized by training apps.
Built-in recorder.
Includes several accessories.
Low cost.
4$$
Casio SA-77 -Key Portable KeyboardCompact & easily portable design.
Lesson function to aid learning.
Incredibly low cost.
4.5$
Plixio 61 Key Electric Music Keyboard Piano with USB MP3 Input- Portable Electric PianoTranspose mechanism.
Lesson function.
Includes accessories.
100% user satisfaction 1 year warranty.
Low cost.
4.5$
Casio SA76 44 mini Sized Keys 100 TonesCompact & easily portable.
Melody cut rehearsal system.
Incredibly low cost.
4.5$
Casio CTK2400 PPK 61-Key Portable Keyboard Package with Samson HP30 Headphones, Stand and Power SupplyNew, intuitive sampling function and effects.
Built-in microphone.
Step-up learning system.
Includes accessories.
4.5$$
RockJam 61-Key Electronic Keyboard SuperKit with Stand, Stool, Headphones & Power SupplySturdy and durable.
Built-in concert speakers.
Built-in microphone.
Piano Maestro app and LCD teaching modes.
Includes accessories.
5$$

Whether you are a hobbyist or a beginner, learning how to play it need not be expensive. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to buy a top-end musical keyboard.

Instead, you can purchase a beginner keyboard which costs much less than a piano and is rich in features. You can of course upgrade few years later if you feel the need.

Beginner keyboards can offer great sound and functionality in an inexpensive and portable package. However, choosing the best keyboard for beginners is not easy.

This guide contains all the information you need: the types, benefits, downsides and the best models of beginner keyboards. Stay tuned as we will help you find that perfect keyboard that fits your budget and needs.

 

What types of keyboards for beginners are there?

There are three basic categories of keyboards: acoustic, digital and electronic.

Acoustic keyboards are the largest, most expensive and also the best when it comes to developing piano skills. It provides sound from real strings and real wood, so there is immense responsiveness and dynamic range of tone.

Digital pianos are smaller, less expensive and do a decent job of mimicking the sound and feel of acoustic instruments. They have weighted keys to provide the right resistance to touch and since they are sensitive to speed and pressure, they give a decent range of sound dynamics.

Electronic keyboards are the least expensive option to get started and are usually most convenient. They’re more portable and do not need to be tuned. They come with lot of different instrument sounds and pre-recorded rhythm tracks. They can be plugged in headphones, so students can practice without disturbing anyone. Also, they can be connected to computer with midi cable and are compatible with all kinds of educational and sound production software. Beginners can get a good start with electronic keyboards.

Benefits of Best Keyboard for Beginners

Music is an enriching experience, especially for kids. If recent studies are to be believed, kids who are given keyboard lessons at the early age of 5-6 years are more intellectual and have better developed motor skills than their peers. Also since understanding chords, scales and melodies is easier on keyboard, it can act as a foundation for learning more instruments.

When a keyboard can add so much value to your life, you definitely do not want to compromise with some lousy model. If you are just starting, look for the best keyboard for beginners. It should have at least 61 keys so as to produce more tones and if they are weighted or semi-weighted, that’s even better.

Weighted keys help build hand strength and respond more like the keys of an acoustic piano do. The beginner keyboard should be simple, user-friendly and not overwhelming in terms of functions. You are more likely to enjoy and stick for long with piano playing if you start with the right basics…if you start with the right keyboard!

Downsides of Keyboards for Beginners

While getting a beginner keyboard can be great, there are a few limitations that you must be aware of. If you are serious about playing piano, you should keep your fingers and piano technique as crisp as possible and for this, you must either practice on a real piano or an instrument that’s closely replicated.

However, since close replication requires use of hammer action technologies, many keyboards lack at this front. Secondly, acoustic keyboards, which are best for developing skills, are not easily affordable. The best options are overly expensive and electronic keyboards, which can be afforded by everyone, usually do not have weighted keys.

10. Yamaha YPG-235 76-Key Portable Grand Piano

The YPG-235 is the smaller and more portable version of the popular Yamaha YPG-535. Cutting on cost, the YPG-235 has only 76 keys and does not include power adapter. However, it is fully functional and can be a great education step up for those who are ready to graduate from the basic 61-key models. It is a basic YPG (Yamaha Portable Grand) series model with a user-friendly control interface that helps navigate the piano with ease.

Measuring around forty six inches in length and sixteen inches in width, it can easily fit on a standard size desk. It weighs 26 pounds and is not very light. Unlike other cheap pianos and keyboards having sub-par sound accommodations, it has a 2-way speaker system with two sets of separate 4.7″ woofers and 1.2″ tweeters. It also has bass-reflex ports for improved low end reproduction.

Its 76 non-weighted keys are supported by Yamaha’s Graded Soft Touch (GST) keyboard system. Yamaha has many different keyboard systems and their highest end versions have realistic hammer effect systems to replicate a real piano. The YPG-235 does not have a hammer effect but these GST keys offer different resistance levels when pushed. This resistance effect gives a similar feeling to weighted keys and produces realistic piano sounds. One press of the Portable Grand button resets the keyboard to a stereo-sampled piano which has special sounds like trumpet, flute and soprano.

There are around 500 sounds, 361 of which are signature Yamaha XGlite sounds. There are 160 preset styles and 30 preset songs. To access more songs, you can connect the keyboard to a computer via USB and download from internet. The keyboard has an inbuilt 6-track sequencer that allows recording multiple instrumental parts at a time, giving students an opportunity to write and record their own songs. Each song on the keyboard is part of the Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S.) program which teaches how to play by breaking down songs into smaller components like pitch & rhythm. It even has a Performance Assistant button that makes sure that every note or chord you play fits the music. This keyboard offers so much for such a low budget. It’s a deal not to be missed!

Pros:

  • High quality two-way speaker system with separate woofers and tweeters.
  • Inbuilt 6-track sequencer for recording.
  • Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S.) program for easy learning.
  • Performance Assistant technology for melodious notes.

Cons:

  • Stand, pedal, power adapter and batteries are not included.

9. Casio CTK2400 61- Key Portable Keyboard with USB

The Casio CTK-2400 is a 61-key digital piano with built-in speakers, auto-accompaniment rhythms and good quality sounds & effects for beginners. At 40 x 6 x 16 inches and 11.5 pounds, it is a small keyboard that can fit right on your desk. It features 61 keys and a cool LCD screen that displays the notes as you play them. Its high quality stereo speakers provide plenty of volume and a clear sound.

The built-in reverb further enhances the sound quality. With over 400 different AHL (Acoustic & Highly-compressed Large-waveform) instrumental tones, 110 songs and 150 rhythms, there is a large selection to choose from. Also, the keyboard has a built-in microphone that allows you to record your own sound samples and integrate them into rhythm. The polyphony count or the number of keys that can be played at once is 48, which is good enough for a beginner.

Learning to play is fun & easy, thanks to its features like fingering display on songs, step-up learning system and auto-accompaniment. The step-up learning system helps the student master each hand’s part step by step and the auto-accompaniment feature provides a virtual backing band to make it more enjoyable. For external connections, there is a USB port, a headphone/output jack and an audio in for audio equipment. Unlike other keyboards in the similar price range, it includes an AC adapter as well as six AA batteries for portability. Overall, it is a decent and affordable keyboard to get started.

Pros:

  • Allows playing 48 keys at a time.
  • Built-in microphone to record samples.
  • Step-up learning system for easy learning.
  • Auto-accompaniment feature for a virtual backing band.
  • Includes AC adapter and 6 AA batteries.

Cons:

  • Stand and damper pedal are not included.

8. Hamzer 61 Key Electronic Piano Electric Organ Music Keyboard with Stand – Black

This premium instrument by Hamzer has a host of features and is an excellent choice for beginners to intermediate piano and keyboard players. It is a multi-function keyboard with 61 keys which is standard for any model in this price range. It measures 35.7 x 18.5 x 6.2 inches and weighs 15.7 pounds.

It comes with a metal keyboard stand that can be adjusted to 7 different heights from 12-3/4″ – 38-3/4″ as per user’s convenience. It has 128 timbres, 128 rhythms, 10 demonstration songs and some built-in effects, giving a wide variety to use. The sound quality is enhanced by its 2 built-in stereo speakers which offer 4 watts of sound.

For more power, it can be connected to an external speaker system through headphone jack. It has audio input and output jacks as well. With rhythm sync and editing features, master volume control button and 32 stage adjustable tempo speeds, there’s enough of control in user’s hand. The keyboard has a LCD display that clearly shows all settings.

There is also a built-in recorder which allows you to record yourself and then listen to it later. This is especially helpful to improve playing skills and technique. The keyboard has an auto-bass function and allows playing single-fingered as well as fingered auto-bass chords. It is a good learning package and comes at a reasonable price. Consider buying it online to get up to 50% off.

Pros:

  • Plenty of editing and control features.
  • Built-in recorder to practice & improve.
  • Auto-bass function for extra melody.
  • Includes AC adaptor, microphone, keyboard stand and sheet music stand.

Cons:

  • 6 AA batteries are not included.

7. Yamaha PSRE253 61-Key Portable Keyboard

This is another very popular Yamaha model on our list. It is a 61-key keyboard with duo mode, meaning it splits into two halves, each with their own ‘middle C’ for practicing with a partner or teacher. It measures 4 x 12.8 x 37.5 inches and weighs 10.2 pounds. It features a wide variety of sounds and functions. There are 385 different instrument tones, including pianos, flutes, drums & guitars and 100 auto accompaniment styles which provide real-time band backing tracks according to the chords played.

If these are not enough, playing along external music devices is also easy. Through its aux line input, any audio player can be connected with a headphone output and heard through the internal speakers. For choruses or extra resonance, one can use reverb effects and get the feeling of playing in a concert hall. The 32-note polyphony allows users to enjoy multiple sustained notes that ring through without being cut off. For easy learning, the Yamaha Education Suite is very helpful.

The Suite has a nine-step lesson function (three stages for the left hand, three for the right and three for both hands) which helps beginners practice the accompaniment songs. It not just allows adjusting the tempo to the person playing but also displays scores for learners’ motivation. It is a reliable and easy to use product from Yamaha and the sound quality is also spot-on.

Pros:

  • Duo mode for practicing with teacher or partner.
  • Yamaha Education Suite(Y.E.S.) program for easy learning.
  • Allows playing 32 keys at a time.
  • Reverb effects for extra resonance.
  • Auto-accompaniment feature for a virtual backing band.

Cons:

  • Power adapter, batteries and paddle are not included.

6. Joy 61-Key Standard Electronic Piano Keys Keyboard Set with Headphone, Stand, Stool and Power Supply

This is a solid electronic keyboard that includes everything that’s needed to get started. The pack contains music stand, headphone, keyboard stand, music stool as well as DC 9V/AC adaptor, so you don’t need to buy anything separately.

Yet, the price is less than most other keyboard models. The keyboard has 61 well-tuned keys and is easy to operate. Upon pressing the power button, the multi-functional LED screen turns on and then the keyboard can be played right away. It measures 38.9 x 11 x 16.1 inches and weighs 17.9 pounds. With 255 timbres, 255 rhythms, 50 demonstrations songs and functions like sustain, vibrato sustain and rhythm programming, there is enough to experiment with.

There is also a MP3 player function which allows playing musical equipments through the UDisk Jack. You can also attach them through microphone jack, audio input jack, phone, output jack. There are plenty of high quality sounds and effects to meet your specific demands.

The LED screen sensitively reflects the functions or effects chosen and guides to press the correct notes in demo songs. The keyboard is recognized by training apps like SimplyPiano and PianoMaestro, so one can download these on phones or pads for easy learning. It is a low cost, user-friendly set for beginners and most users seem to be happy with their purchase.

Pros:

  • Plenty of editing and control features.
  • Recognized by training apps to aid learning.
  • Built-in recorder to practice and improve.
  • Includes music stand, headphone, keyboard stand, music stool and DC 9V/AC adaptor.
  • Low cost.

Cons:

  • Some users complained that the keys are of sub-par quality.

 5.  Casio SA-77 -Key Portable Keyboard

The SA-77 has 44 mini keys and is a very light and low cost keyboard for playing those first tunes. At 25.5 x 9 x 3 inches and 4 pounds, it is the best keyboard for beginners looking for a small-sized unit. It has 100 timbres, 50 rhythms & 10 integrated songs and LSI sound source to ensure good sound quality.

The 8-note polyphony ensures that sounds are not dropped in between. It has 5 drum pads and some piano and organ modes. There is a striking change-over switch that makes it easy to switch between the modes. All selections are input by pressing numbers written on the diagonal between the keys. The LCD helps with selecting the different music options.

For easy learning, a lesson function is incorporated in the settings. There is a headphone output, so it is possible to plug in the headphone and practice without disturbing others. Overall, it is a very basic but high quality option that offers great value for money.

Pros:

  • Compact & easily portable design.
  • Lesson function to aid learning.
  • Allows playing 8 keys at a time.
  • Incredibly low cost.

Cons:

  • AC adaptor is not included.

4. Plixio 61 Key Electric Music Keyboard Piano with USB & MP3 Input- Portable Electric Piano

This electric keyboard includes all the features an intermediate level player needs while not being overwhelming for an absolute beginner. It is a 61-key keyboard with transpose mechanism, meaning that the keyboard position can be altered according to players. At 37 x 7 x 14 inches and 8.6 pounds, it is sturdy but light enough to be carried by a kid.

It has a built-in music sheet stand on top to prevent neck strain and promote the correct way to sit at a piano. It comes pre-programmed with 100 rhythms, 40 instrumental tones including guitar, violin & flute, 60 demo songs, 8 percussion sounds and some assorted sound effects.

The keyboard has a lesson mode that helps understand rhythm and practice different chord combinations to get you started. As the playing ability progresses, there are plenty of helpful options to keep pace. On the back of the unit, there is a USB port, so you can plug it in an M3 player and play your music files through the in-built two-way speaker system.

It also comes with program and record functions to help you review your progress. It is reasonably priced, reliable and unlike most other keyboards, comes with a warranty. Not just it is highly rated by existing users, it comes with 100% satisfaction guarantee from the manufacturer.

Pros:

  • Transpose mechanism to alter keyboard position.
  • Lesson function to aid learning.
  • Includes power adapter, 6 AA batteries and a music sheet stand.
  • 100% user satisfaction guarantee and full one-year warranty.
  • Low cost.

Cons:

  • Some users complained that the sound quality is sub-par.

3. Casio SA76 44 mini Sized Keys 100 Tones

This one is the lowest cost option on our list. At 25.5 x 3 x 9.8 inches and 3.8 pounds, it is extremely light and compact. It seems to be the best keyboard for beginners who are frequently travelling or do not want to spend much. It is a beautiful orange and black unit with 44 mini-sized keys and 5 percussion pads.

The LCD display is also very small but easy to read. It has 100 instrumental tones, 50 rhythm patterns ranging from waltz to salsa and 10 integrated songs for practice. There is a striking change-over switch which makes it easy to switch between piano and organ modes.

Other than that, it has melody cut rehearsal system which provides effective training for right hand. It has 8-note polyphony and LSI sound source which ensures that the sound quality is good. The product is good and offers great value for the price.

Pros:

  • Colorful, trendy design.
  • Compact & easily portable.
  • Allows playing 8 keys at a time.
  • Melody cut rehearsal system.
  • Incredibly low cost.

Cons:

  • AC adaptor is not included.

2. Casio CTK2400 PPK 61-Key Portable Keyboard Package with Samson HP30 Headphones, Stand and Power Supply

Casio CTK2400 PPK is a premium keyboard that comes with everything you need including a pair of closed-cup headphones, X-style stand and power supply. It is a 61-key portable unit that weighs 21.1 pounds and measures 44 x 8 x 21 inches. It has a wide range of 400 AHL tones, 150 rhythms, 110 songs and 10 digital effects.

More sounds can be downloaded by connecting it to computer through USB port. The unit has a built-in microphone and audio input so that samples can be easily recorded and integrated into rhythm. The sampling function and effects- both are impressive. For learning, there is step-up learning system which makes each performance an exciting acoustic experience.

The functions can be selected or even combined through LCD display. It has 48-note polyphony, so there are no sound drops and the sound quality is also good. It is a solid product and though the price is high, its A1 quality makes it worth buying.

Pros:

  • New, intuitive sampling function and effects.
  • Allows playing 48 keys at a time.
  • Built-in microphone to record samples.
  • Step-up learning system for easy learning.
  • Includes Samson HP30 headphones, stand and AC adapter.

Cons:

  • High price.

1. RockJam 61-Key Electronic Keyboard SuperKit with Stand, Stool, Headphones & Power Supply

This super kit from RockJam includes a 61-key electronic keyboard, a stand, an adjustable stool, a pair of high quality headphones and power supply. At 35.4 x 9.8 x 5.9 inches and 19.8 pounds, the keyboard is compact and portable. The stand is sturdy and easy to fold up, so that also helps when you are on the go. The quality of the keyboard is unmatched. It has great finishing and a sturdy plastic frame that adds to the durability.

It has 61 full-size keys and built-in concert speakers that create a resonance of warm and rich sound. As it is preloaded with a wealth of 50 demo songs, 100 rhythms and 100 instrumental tones, there is enough to experiment with. Additionally, there are 30 free songs that can be downloaded from the Piano Maestro app by connecting the device to iPhone or iPad.

The app listens to the keyboard and gives real-time feedback, awarding 3 stars for the perfect performance. The LCD screen is easy to read and has teaching modes for different levels of playing. It can give instructions like which keys are to be pressed or which chords are to be played while trying demo songs. With this, it is easy to practice and learn on your own. It comes with record & playback functionality and to practice without disturbing others, you can also use the included over-ear headphones.

Other than this, it features tempo adjustment, rhythm editing, mixing and other effects that are useful for creating compositions. It is a popular product as it not just gives optimal performance but is reasonably priced as well. It is an all-in-one package that caters well to the needs of beginners as well as advanced musicians.

Pros:

  • Sturdy and durable construction.
  • High quality built-in concert speakers for rich sound.
  • Built-in microphone to record samples.
  • Plenty of editing and control features.
  • Piano Maestro app and LCD teaching modes for easy learning.
  • Includes an adjustable stand, stool, headphones and power supply.

Cons:

  • Some users complained that the included headphones are not of good quality, so you may need to purchase a set separately.

 Editors Choice of Best Keyboard for Beginners

We believe that the best keyboard for beginners is RockJam 61-Key Electronic Keyboard SuperKit. It is a modern looking wonder kit with all the necessary gear and features that are most used by beginners and advanced musicians. It is reasonably priced and if compared to other models in the similar price range, the quality is far superior. The keyboard has a sturdy, durable body and high quality built-in concert speakers for an enriched musical experience.

The collection of preloaded sounds is huge and users can easily compose their own compositions as well. It allows recording, editing and even uploading your own songs to let the whole world know of your talent. With Piano Maestro app and LCD teaching modes, learning is not difficult and many beginner users testify this. It is one of the highest rated products and delivers like any high-end keyboard without burning a hole in pocket.

Are you a budding musician? Like always, we love hearing from you. Leave your comments in the box below and tell us about your musical journey and the best keyboard for beginners according to you.

For all the music lovers and especially the beginners, make sure not to miss out on this review if your a fan of a rather unusual instrument. Or maybe you’d enjoy this one here if you want to be a bit more physical.