Beginners have the highest chance of getting misdirected if they have not started on the right path. So, choosing the right digital piano and keyboard should be the highest priority of a student or a learner who is just starting out.
There are an innumerable variety of keyboards and digital pianos available in the market targeted at the beginners. But not all of them are a perfect fit. Of course, there’s no such thing as a one-fits-all solution as well. You need to look out for the perfect instrument that meets your requirements completely. You cannot spend your fortune on a cheap low-quality keyboard or piano for yourself or for your child if you wish to buy the best piece.
Be it on a beginner or a professional level player, selecting and sorting the right instrument should be the main criteria before jumping off to play it. There are some important features to consider depending on your music style, budget, and level of progress when buying the instrument.
But, first things first, why do you need a digital piano or a keyboard? Is there any difference between the two? How many types of these instruments are there in the market? Which among them is best suited to a beginner? Will they really be useful for a novice? What factors to determine before buying the right beginner-level keyboard and a digital piano?
All these questions must be hovering over your head. We know that. That’s why we have come with all the answers, discussed precisely, in this read. Start reading right away to know in detail.
For your reading pleasure, we have also included a list of best digital pianos and keyboards here based on sound and build quality, difficulty level, size, shape, and price. The list is a diverse one. So take a note of everything that we discussed before while selecting the perfect fit.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Commencing the list of best digital pianos and keyboards for beginners we have the Roland GO: KEYS 61-Key piano keyboard that has a stunning red and black look with powerful features.
Boasting a bright red color with box-shaped ivory feel 61 velocity-sensitive keys, the keyboard is fun to play. It comes with Bluetooth connectivity, 500+ high-quality voices, built-in speakers, and interactive online content. The Loop Mix function allows you to create songs simply by playing notes on the keyboard. You can tweak the loop sounds with intuitive one-touch control on the front panel. Using the touchpads on the same panel, you can tweak and alter the samples in real-time for production purposes.
It provides audio/MIDI support for streaming music from your smartphone or PC right into the device. Moreover, you can have an interactive learning session when practicing with Roland’s online content like play-along lessons and crash courses. The keyboard is battery-powered that makes it highly portable.
The Rolan GO: KEYS keyboard is best suited to passionate beginners who have a keen eagerness to produce their own music and songwriting. That’s why it is not as cheap as other beginner-level keyboards.
- Features an exhilarating red and black compact design with integrated BlueTooth speakers.
- It’s a 61 velocity-sensitive box-shaped ivory keys beginner level keyboard with a professional touch.
- Includes over 500 high-quality voices of pianos, strings, synths, bass, and brass besides many more played through the in-built speakers.
- Enabled Loop Mix function lets you customize and tweak your own songs, along with real-time programmed sample alteration.
- A bit on the pricier side but comes with Roland’s own interactive online content in the form of play-along lessons and tutorials.
Yamaha is a trusted name in the instrument manufacturing world. Even the Yamaha YPT240 beginners’ keyboard doesn’t let us down.
It has got 61 velocity-sensitive keys on a strong and sturdy framework. The keys provide a maximum polyphony of 32-notes and the device includes over 380 instrumental voices like organs, pianos, orchestras, and 16 drum kit patterns. Moreover, it consists of 100 onboard songs and 130 accompaniment styles to play over your own tracks.
This is an extremely lightweight and highly portable keyboard with nice interactive tutorials that comes with a 9-step lesson function under the Yamaha Education Suite or Y.E.S. added to this the keyboard features the split mode that creates two similar ranges for student-teacher participation simultaneously.
This Yamaha keyboard does not come with USB connectivity. For that, you can check out the YPT-360 version. But you can always play any audio file from your smartphone or tablet or computer via the aux input. To top it all, the keyboard comes with a power adapter and sometimes with a stand and bench in a bundle kit.
Therefore, Yamaha perfectly stands up to the reputation and quality it has always offered to its customers. Yamaha YPT240 amateur level keyboards also define that reputation.
- It’s a 61-key portable keyboard with touch-sensitive keys and max polyphony of 32 notes.
- Features over 400 voices, 100+ accompaniment styles, and onboard songs each including 16 drum kits.
- Integrated with interactive online tutorials through the Y.E.S.
- Dual split mode allows for teacher/student playing side by side.
- Doesn’t comprise the USB connectivity, instead, an aux input is present.
Korg is a well-known name among expensive beginners’ keyboard. It is so durable and sturdy and the hardware is so long-lasting, it can pass you by more than a decade. The Korg EK50 says it all.
It’s a 61-key arranger keyboard with a maximum polyphony of 64-note. It is made up of high-quality materials and offers great durability. It comes with an onboard speaker system that surpasses all entry-level keyboards having similar features. The instrument consists of 34 effects, over 700 voices (that’s gigantic!), and a real-time recording feature.
The integrated sound system is the highlight of the keyboard besides an added feature from Korg, ‘Styles’, to aid your performance. Using this feature, you can tweak and trigger different types of accompanying styles like intros, outros, and fills from a chord or a note. A massive collection of over 250 accompanying styles is already in the keyboard and more to come from the Korg app. Though the input jack is present on the keyboard for connecting external devices, it features no USB connectivity.
Great sound quality with the basic features does cover for the price you pay besides the pre-eminent durability. Beginners who are planning to continue learning the keyboard for a longer period, this Korg EK50 will seriously impress them.
- Built with high-quality durable materials.
- Offers over a whopping 700 voices and 280 musical styles.
- Great sound quality, simple layout but expensive.
- Comes with an additional native feature called ‘Styles’ for tweaking different accompaniment styles from a chord or a note.
- Suitable for beginners who are looking for a long-term usable keyboard.
The P45 from Yamaha is the most exemplary digital piano on the list. It offers high- quality build and features under budget.
Designed mainly for beginners, the P45 boasts the classic look of a traditional piano in a slim and sleek structure. Moreover, it lets you play that acoustic piano sound with its 88 fully weighted keys enabled with the graded hammer action and 64-note maximum polyphony. It consists of 10 songs and 10 different voices as digital samples from Yamaha’s own acoustic grand pianos. You can even put together two voices in the dual-mode for a more creative experience. To top it all, the Advanced Wave Memory Stereo Sampling technology helps you to recreate natural instrumental sounds in stereo quality. In fact, the USB to Host connectivity option helps you to interact with an array of educational content from Yamaha’s own tutorials and lessons.
Weighing only around 36 lbs, the piano acts as a highly functional lightweight keyboard that comes with a sustain pedal and power adapter. Also, an additional upright wooden stand can be included with the keyboard if you want it to look like a proper upright digital piano.
With a classic piano design, this Yamaha stage-style digital piano provides an adept sound quality under budget.
- An 88-key digital piano with weighted action and 64-note max polyphony.
- Integrated with Advanced Wave Memory Stereo Sampling and Dual Mode functions.
- Contains 10 voices and 10 songs that can be easily navigable on a simple interface.
- Also available with an optional upright wooden stand for a proper digital piano feel.
- Offers a mesmerizing piano sound, interactive learning tutorials through Y.E.S, and high portability.
Another notable name among entry-level keyboard manufacturers is the Casio. They come up with the excellent quality build and feature with necessary supplements all under budget for the benefit of their novice customers. The Casio CTK-3500 is also a premium keyboard that comes bundled with all the essential accessories to play just right out of the box.
It has 61 velocity-sensitive keys with 48-note polyphony and lightweight, compact design. The keyboard can play over 00 voices, and 150 world music as well as dance music rhythms through the in-built speakers or the aux input for connecting headphones. It lets you select and add effects to different sounds from a variety of instrument samples like a synth, bass lines, or drum beats. The included ‘dance music mode’ lets you quickly and effortlessly create and remix any electronic dance track. Other learning features include auto-accompaniment modes for building basic chords and built-in lessons for developing hand techniques.
You can connect it to download Casio’s Chordana Play app anytime on an iOS or Android through the USB connectivity port. But the best part is the 61-key starter piano comes with a power supply, a set of headphones, USB cable, and a durable stand in a complete bundle kit.
So don’t miss out on something like this if you’re planning to start your piano sessions right away.
- It’s a 61-key good quality keyboard with velocity-sensitive features and 48-note max polyphony.
- Has a compact and lightweight structure featuring 400 tones and 150 rhythms played through the well-built integrated speakers.
- Comes with a stand, a set of headphones, eMedia instructional content, USB cable, and an AC adapter – an ideal starter kit for young learners.
- Can be connected to the Chordana Play app on any iOS and Android platform through the USB port.
- The device can be powered by both AC adapter and batteries.
Casio’s Privia Series digital pianos have the latest upgrades under budget price. The Privia PX-S1000BK is by far the most affordable entry-level digital piano that comes with a great combination of accurate and realistic piano sound.
With 88 tri-sensor scaled hammer action full-size ebony and ivory keys, this digital piano is crème de la crème in the list. The three sensors involved in the movement of the keys helps to achieve the highest responsiveness with repeated notes.
Boasting a simple and compact design, the digital piano is meticulously engineered with Casio’s pioneering AiR sound engine. It features an elegant chassis housing an 8W*8W powerful speaker system that produces remarkable sound quality. It offers a total of 18 in-built sounds including the three dedicated buttons for a grand piano concert, grand piano modern, and electric piano 1 besides the Function button for the rest.
Moreover, the split and layer feature helps you to play the bass in your left hand with two-layered tones in the right. You can split the keyboard into two equal ranges with the Dual mode. The two headphone jacks allow two players to listen to the tracks while using the dual-mode. For a more efficient practice session, the two-track recorder feature is available to record and playback your performances.
Moreover, the Bluetooth connectivity and the USB port let you play the keyboard while a song is being played in the background, be it a computer or a tablet. The keyboard can be controlled using Chordana Play app on any iOS or Android device. Having a compact and slim design, the keyboard weighs only 25lbs which makes it the ultimate portable device for players.
The Casio Privia PX-S1000BK has got all the seamless features that you need to have in a premium keyboard – realistic piano sounds to powerful features, simple and user-friendly layout to satisfying key feel.
- It has 88 full-size tri-sensor scaled hammer action keys for a perfect acoustic piano feel.
- Provides an unbelievably realistic piano experience with its scaled hammer-action keys and Casio’s magnificent AiR sound engine.
- Offers 18 in-built sounds including the dedicated Grand piano concert, grand piano modern, and electronic piano sounds.
- Comes with the square SP-3 damper or sustain pedal beside the optional SP-33 pedal unit with a three-pedal configuration.
- Can be an excellent choice for beginners and experienced players alike.
The next Yamaha model on the list is the TDP-S34 from the Arius series.
With 88 graded hammer action keys and a maximum polyphony of 192 notes, this compact and slim upright digital console piano offer some incredible and unique features for a beginner. Due to the integrated CFX tone generating technology, the piano can produce the sounds of the CFX concert grand piano. The Acoustic Optimizer blended with the String Resonance adjusts the acoustic flow even when the sympathetic sounds of other strings resonate, thereby enhancing the overall sound delivery. The dual split mode is also there to make it a perfect choice for beginners.
The keyboard offers 10 voices and 60 songs including the 50 piano preset songs besides a record function and reverb effects. The USB connectivity option and access to Y.E.S interactive learning content and tutorials make it more adorable.
This Yamaha Arius model lets you express your boundless creativity through the ensembled astounding features in an elegant work of art.
- An 88-key graded hammer action digital console piano with 192-note max polyphony.
- Has a slim and stylish design featuring Yamaha’s CFX tone generating technology for an incredible experience.
- Comprises 10 voices and songs each along with 50 preset songs and in-built reverb effects.
- The assimilation of String Resonance and Acoustic Optimizer helps to create and adjust the sound of accompanying strings with the acoustic flow to control the resonance and provide enrichment to the sound.
- Comes in 3 sophisticated wood finishes.
With some amazing features and powerful functionalities, the next pick on the list is the Alesis Recital Pro 88-key digital piano. This is by far the easiest and quickest to learn among other beginner-friendly piano keyboards on the list.
The 88 hammer action keys of the Recital Pro have a sober, classic look with adjustable touch response. It consists of over 12 premium realistic voices like a church organ, acoustic piano, strings, fingered bass, and many more. You can customize these voices by combining any two at a single time in the Layer mode for a fuller tone.
This is one of the powerful educational features of the keyboard that also includes the split, standard, record, and lesson modes with 128-note polyphony. Furthermore, you can use the adjustable modulation, reverb, and chorus effects to trim down your sound.
With the powerful 20W in-built speakers you can listen to the high amplifications whereas the stereo headphone output gives you a total secluded feel by muting the internal speakers. Besides the sustain pedal input for which the pedal is not included with the keyboard, it also features stereo outputs to connect it to a sound system for recording, mixing, and amplifying. Also, it acts as a MIDI controller. But, to top it all, it comes with a 3-months Skoove premium subscription for in-depth piano learning sessions, beneficial for beginners.
Thus, the Alesis Recital Pro keyboard can be the ultimate option for the beginner level players.
- Features 88 full-sized premium hammer action keys with versatile touch sensitivity for a universal responsive feel.
- The layout is very simple with 6 buttons on the console, two sounds per button beside the buttons for modulation, chorus, and reverb effects with a display.
- Consists of over 12 expertly crafted voices and educational features like split, layer, standard, record, and lesson modes.
- Includes 20W in-built speakers, sustain pedal input and stereo outputs for amplifying the sound quality, but can also be connected to a stereo headphone for individual practice.
- Comes with a 3-months free Skoove premium subscription.
- Requires six D cell batteries or power adapter for charging.
Casio never fails to impress us with featureful beginner level pianos and keyboards. Their PX-770, too, has created a buzz with its wide range of sounds and resourcefulness.
With the new and developed Air sound engine, the Casio PX-770 produces highly precise grand piano sounds with seamless dynamics. The Tri-Sensor scaled graded hammer action keys enhance the quality all the more by creating unmatched speed and accuracy.
The powerful stereo amplification system offers a crystal-clear audio quality. Moreover, for learning purposes, you can select the Dual Mode to split the keyboard into two equal ranges for teacher-student participation and the Concert Play allows you to play along with the in-built ten orchestral recordings.
You can connect the keyboard with any MAC or Windows device with the USB connectivity port needing no additional drivers or installations. You can also use the free Chordana Play app of Casio from iOS or Android store to play your favorite tracks by displaying it on the front panel.
With its remarkable features and powerful and expressive performance, this Casio piano keyboard is a perfect choice for classical music learners who are willing to bear a higher expense.
- It has tri-sensor scaled graded hammer action keys with a slim and compact upright digital piano structure.
- Engineered with Casio’s new and unique AiR sound engine for an accurate grand piano sound.
- Comes with 19 high-quality voices besides other spectacular reverb and chorus effects.
- Available in three elegant wood finishes – black, white, and brown.
- Gives an expressive and realistic piano tone but with no USB connectivity port to import/export those sounds.
Lastly, on our list of best digital pianos and keyboards for beginners, we are including a recent favorite of many kids and young adults – the 61-key digital piano keyboard from Plixio. It is an extremely portable and affordable option for new learners.
This keyboard makes for a great practicing device at home or anywhere outside as it is quite lightweight and has a compact and stylish design. Featuring over 50 demo songs, 140 rhythms, tones, and percussions with volume or tempo control, this keyboard acts as an amazing karaoke device when plugged in with a microphone.
There’s no USB port present on the device. It comes with a power adapter, a music note curved sheet music stand, and an auxiliary cable. But the best part is that it includes one year’s warranty on any damage or defect.
For children and teenagers who are just starting out, this can be a great relief to your worry about which piano keyboard to buy first.
- The Plixio digital piano keyboard is a 61-key lightweight device with an easy-to-practice keyboard design.
- Highly portable due to the weight that’s less than 10 lbs and the dual power supply system – through an adapter or 6 AA batteries.
- Includes over 100 rhythms, 40+ tones and percussion sounds plus 60 demo songs.
- This digital keyboard cum karaoke machine comes with a power adapter, a music note designed sheet stand, and an aux cable.
- The company offers a one-year full warranty against any manufacturing defect or damage.
What are the Differences Between Digital Pianos and Keyboards?
There are a total of three types of the piano used by musicians – acoustic or traditional pianos, digital pianos, and electronic keyboards. The names clearly spill out the differences.
Digital pianos are intended to be a digital reproduction of an acoustic or a grand piano. These have weighted keys for a close resemblance to the sounds of an acoustic. As these are very much cost-effective and have space-saving compact structures, digital pianos are a well-nigh favorite among beginners or casual learners.
But, on a higher note, these are also beneficial for traditional pianists who want to record and transport their music onto digital media like a computer.
Acoustic or traditional pianos are old-school pianos with keys connected to the hammers and steel strings enclosed by a solid wooden exterior. So, whenever the hammer makes a movement and strikes the strings, it causes the piano to vibrate and deliver a smooth, pleasing sound.
Though these are very elegant and sober-looking and have an old-world charm, apart from the serious pianists, most of the learners and players nowadays avoid buying it. Due to the solid massive wooden structure, these are extremely expensive and heavy-weight.
So, not only these are unsuitable for traveling or transportation, these are very much difficult to maintain and care. Beginners should stay miles away from this type of piano. Only professionals can handle such a colossus piece.
On the other hand, electric keyboards or simply keyboards can produce a wider range of sounds bearing a boatload of features than a traditional piano. These are mainly suited to beginners as well as intermediate players.
These are much lighter in weight than their digital versions and are often without any weighted keys. The sounds and tones produced in the instrument are most of the time customizable and tweakable allowing you to explore newer styles.
What are The Different Types of Digital Pianos and Keyboards?
The digital pianos and keyboards also have sub-types. Not all of them have the same features and functionalities of course.
Digital pianos can be categorized into upright digital pianos, standard digital pianos, and stage pianos. The first subtypes are vertical pianos that come with a large cabinet, fitted sometimes with the best hammer action keybed and tone generation engines, comparable to straight upright pianos.
Secondly, stage pianos are designed to be used mainly in live performances, rather on stage. These have more portability than the grand pianos and are more durable than basic digital pianos. Finally, the standard digital pianos can only be used indoors, at home, or in school. With decent features and smaller functions, these provide wonderful sound quality and satisfactory portability.
On the contrary, keyboards are distinguished based on the functions, features, and most importantly, the number of keys. Lower end keyboards are typically meant for toddlers and young learners, especially kids whereas, high-end keyboards are fully-featured and intended for serious musicians.
Although the low-end keyboards comprise limited preset songs and samples, the high-end keyboards come integrated with an array of preset voices, samples, sound effects, and rhythms for efficient control over the sound. These are also distinguished based on weighted and non-weighted action of the keys.
Semi-weighted keyboards generally have a lesser number of keys and deliver synth sounds with a well-built mechanism. In contrast to these, fully weighted keyboards like a 73-key or an 88-key, have a more compact and precise construction and can mimic the exact acoustic piano sound.
Well, in the case of a beginner, digital pianos are most recommended because these are easier and more convenient to play with. But, if you’re looking to pursue a career as a passionate pianist, then you should go for a keyboard.
Children who have just started learning need not care about weighted keyboards. You can always get a fully functional semi-weighted device in the initial stages. Once you get going, lookout for a good fully weighted keyboard to experiment with the sounds. Sometimes they act as MIDI controllers, too.
You need to keep a balance between the sound quality and the cost of an instrument if you’re a beginner. Digital pianos offer the best of both worlds. So, a cheap good quality keyboard and a digital piano can both be used by a novice.
What to Look for in the Best Digital Pianos and Keyboards for Beginners?
Every beginner is different, having varying tastes and requirements. There are several factors you need to consider before deciding on getting a beginner-friendly piano or a keyboard.
First of all, do not overburden yourself with the idea of buying a featureful, complex piano. You won’t be able to carry it out for a long period. Always go for pianos that offer minimum distractions and develop your foundation skills. If you get the starting wrong, chances are you can never be corrected later.
Entry-level keyboards are not only for kids or young adults, but aged persons can also learn to play it easily. Pianos and keyboards of this category come with decent in-built speakers that meet the requirement of an additional amplifier. These also include multiple piano voices and simulated acoustic piano action on the keys.
The best beginner-friendly digital pianos and keyboards are comparatively lightweight than their premium counterparts so you can carry it around quite comfortably. These can also be connected to a gig or your computer for recording. Thus, you can practice now in total seclusion without disturbing your neighbors.
Speaking about the cost, it totally depends on you how much you are ready to pay for your first keyboard/piano. This is a personal choice. You can spend as much as you like but we recommend using cheap good quality instruments with some decent features and sound initially.
Once you have mastered all those basic techniques, you can easily move to a better version. So, before fixing your budget for the piano/keyboard, just give a thought to how much time and effort you’re going to spend on learning it. Beginner keyboards roughly cost between $100 to $500, whereas the similar category digital piano will cost you around $300 to $1000.
Are Digital Pianos and Keyboards Beginner Friendly?
Digital pianos sounding similar to an acoustic piano as much as possible are most beginner-friendly. They let you practice the basic techniques on a digital instrument for an easier transition to a grand piano later. Learning such an instrument is not so difficult. You just need to watch out for the keys you are pressing.
Most of the entry-level pianos and keyboards come with lighted keys that help to memorize the keynotes of a song very quickly and easily. In fact, most of them require little to no adjustment with the keys and effects. The user panel of this type of pianos and keyboards are very basic and simple with the least features and functions besides the essentials.
The preset voices and rhythms in these instruments are also limited causing no confusion or complication while playing. Thus the foundation stone of playing the piano is laid quite effectively.
Beginner-level pianos and keyboards also come with a full kit of necessary accessories for convenience and comfort. So you have nothing to worry about the care and attention needed by the instrument to maintain itself for decades. Most of them come with a learning guide, cleaning cloth, carrying case, and other important stuff.
We hope the read was useful in finding a suitable piano or keyboard for your kid or yourself considering all its pros and cons. After all, it should be enjoyable and fun to play, not a liability. The best instrument is not the one that tops the chart but the one that perfectly serves your needs.
The list was created after thorough research and review of the different digital pianos and keyboards manufactured by different brands. The task was not so easy as it seems. Brands like Yamaha, Korg, Roland, and Alesis give a tough competition among a wide range of beginner-friendly keyboards and pianos.
We have only included the best selling and most featureful models from these brands. Still, we are sure to miss out on a few. If you have read the article and have come across a model that deserved to be placed on the list, then reach out to us. We look forward to your response. Wish you all the best for your musical endeavor.