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Best Keyboard to Learn Piano for a Beginner 

 March 3, 2021

By  Zen Chung

For a beginner who wants to learn to play the piano, the best place to start is by using a keyboard when practicing. There are many types of keyboards designed to help you learn, and they have different features like;

  • A different number of keys.
  • Different compatibilities.
  • Unweighted keys.

When you want to buy the best keyboard to learn the piano, you should understand the different features and compare them to your personal goals. For instance, if you want a keyboard that mimics a traditional piano, it would be best to buy an 88 weighted keys keyboard. If you are buying a keyboard for a child, you can also start with a cheaper, 25-key unweighted keyboard until they are sure they want to pursue music and pianos.

Again, a keyboard to help you learn how to play the piano mostly depends on your goals as a student. There are different keyboards for different music goals, such as composing music and tunes and playing the piano professionally.

That said, let's discover your best keyboard to play piano from this top 5 list. You will learn the features, pros, and cons of each, as well as a comprehensive list of factors you should consider when buying a keyboard.

1. Roland GO: KEYS 61-key Music Creation Piano Keyboard

Roland GO:KEYS 61-key Music Creation Piano Keyboard with Integrated...
  • Fun and inspiring keyboard for beginning musicians
  • Loop Mix allows you to build songs by simply playing notes on the keyboard
  • Manipulate the sounds of your loops with intuitive one-touch control
  • Bluetooth audio/MIDI support for connecting with your smartphone or tablet
  • Over 500 pro-quality sounds: pianos, synths, strings, bass, brass, and more

This Roland keyboard is a good keyboard to begin learning to play the piano. It has 61 velocity-sensitive keys that are similar in size to an acoustic piano. The keyboard has Bluetooth compatibility and can function with batteries, making it ideal if you want to learn on the move.

Also ideal for prospective composers, this keyboard comes with over 500 sounds and 672 Loop mix patterns.

With in-built speakers, this keyboard is ideal for when you want to play along with other types of instruments as you sharpen your skills. Measuring W88 x D27 x H8.2cm, the keyboard also has a sustain pedal input, an auxiliary input, USB connectivity, and a power cable.

Pros

  • 61 full-size keys ideal for beginners.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Loop mix function.
  • Compact size is ideal for traveling.
  • Visually appealing.
  • A wide range of sounds and rhythms to choose from.
  • It can be powered by batteries on the move.

Cons

  • Does not come with a stand.
  • A bit costly.

2. Casio Casiotone CT-S300 Portable Keyboard with USB

Casio CT-S300 61-Key Premium Keyboard Package with Headphones, Stand, Power...
  • Go-anywhere 61-key touch responsive keyboard
  • 400 great-sounding Tones and 77 fun Rhythms
  • Dance Music Mode lets you easily create and remix EDM tracks
  • USB-MIDI, included AC adapter, optional battery power
  • Connects to Chordana Play iOS/Android app for lessons and more

This keyboard from Casio also has 61 full-size velocity-sensitive keys, therefore ideal for someone learning to play the piano. It is available in 3 color options, red, black, or white, and comes with a built-in carrying handle when you want to learn and play on the move.

An ideal keyboard for all types of learners, it has an extensive library of over 400 sounds, 77 rhythms, and 60 songs, as well as 10 types of built-in reverb.

This Casio keyboard can also be battery operated, has built-in speakers, USB, auxiliary, and sustain pedal inputs, and comes at a compact size of W93 x D25.6 x H7.3cm.

Pros

  • Relatively affordable.Ideal for beginning piano and composing learners.
  • The compact size makes it an ideal learn-on-the-go companion.
  • An extensive library of sounds, rhythms, and songs.
  • Sold in 3 color options.Sold in 3 different package styles ideal for all buyers; educational pack, keyboard-only, and the premium pack.
  • Full-size keyboard.
  • Compatible with Casio's Chordana learning app.
  • It can be battery powered.

Cons

  • No Bluetooth compatibility.

3. Yamaha PSR E373 61-Key Touch Sensitive Portable Keyboard

Yamaha PSRE373 61-Key Touch Sensitive Portable Keyboard (Power Adapter Sold...
  • The PSR-E373 is an ideal portable keyboard for beginners and hobbyists
  • Packed with over 622 stunning sounding instrument Voices and a wealth of...
  • 11 Super Articulation Lite Voices (SALite), inherited from the powerful PSR-S...
  • Smart Chord lets you play great-sounding chords from simple Pop triads to...
  • Power adapter sold separately

You are guaranteed a great piano learning experience with this Yamaha PSR e373 portable keyboard. Firstly, It has 61 full-size, velocity-sensitive keys with amazing onboard tuition features for a dedicated learner.

It has a great library of over 622 high-quality instrument voices and a Duo mode feature that is most ideal for you when working with a teacher. The Digital Signal Processor (DSP) feature allows you to apply effects to your playing. You can also pick accompaniment Styles to add some real-time backing tracks as you play.

One of the ideal keyboards for beginners, the PSR E373 can be battery-powered, has powerful built-in speakers, and features sustain pedal, AUX, USB, and power inputs for the best learning experience. It only weighs 10.14 pounds making it your ideal portable keyboard.

Pros

  • Extensive library of instrumental voices.
  • Excellent onboard tuition features are ideal for all types of learners.
  • It can be battery-powered.
  • Lightweight for portability.
  • Duo mode ideal for playing with a partner or teacher.
  • Full- size, velocity-sensitive keys.

Cons

  • No Bluetooth compatibility.
  • The power adapter is sold separately.

4. Alesis Harmony 61 MkII Keyboard

Alesis Harmony 61 - 61 Key Ultra-Portable Keyboard With Velocity-Sensitive...
  • Pro Keyboard Performance - Ultra-portable digital keyboard with 61...
  • Powerful Educational Features - Lesson Mode develops essential playing...
  • In Demand Sound - Play along to 100 built-in rhythms with 320 instruments...
  • Learn with Ease - Intuitive backlit LCD screen with chord dictionary and...
  • Includes online music lessons from Skoove - Free 3-month Skoove Premium...

This is another 61 key velocity-sensitive keyboard from Alesis that is ideal for teaching you how to play the piano. It has an adjustable touch response feature, boasts built-in speakers, and over 300 sounds and 300 rhythms to keep you engaged.

To help you learn the piano fast, buying it comes with a free 3-month Skoove subscription, giving you access to all available courses. The keyboard also features a backlit LED screen that displays all the notes you play and a complete chord dictionary. These features give you an advantage if you want to learn how to read sheet music, a great step to becoming a prolific piano player.

When you want to learn on the move, you can comfortably carry this keyboard as it will operate on battery power and comes with a headphone output, so you don't worry about the noise. It also weighs 6.5 pounds to make it completely portable.

Pros

  • Buying gives you access to a 3-month premium Skoove membership.
  • Intuitive backlit LED screen to show you the notes you're playing.
  • 61 full-sized, velocity-sensitive keys.
  • An extensive library of voices to choose from.Affordable.

Cons

  • No Bluetooth connectivity.
  • No aftertouch.

5. KORG B2N

Korg B2N Digital Piano - Black
  • 88-key Digital Home Piano with Natural Touch Keyboard
  • Built-in Speakers - Black
  • 12 Sounds

This Korg B2N keyboard is what you need as an adult looking to learn playing fast. It is an 88-key semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive keyboard that comes with 12 sounds and 12 rhythms. It weighs a little over 20 pounds, so carrying it may be a bit hectic and cannot be operated by battery power.

However, this is a powerful digital piano for you. It is big enough, and though with a few sounds, it boasts very strong built-in speakers that motivate you to grow into the art. It has USB, power, MIDI I/O connectivity, and a stand to place your musical notes or gadgets.

Pros

  • 88 keys that are ideal for fast learning.
  • High-quality sounds.
  • Looks and feels classy.
  • Best for adult students.

Cons

  • Lacks Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Not battery powered.

Factors To Consider Before Buying the Best Keyboards

a). Keys

As you look for the best keyboard to learn the piano, you must consider the following key specifications to get value for your investment.

  1. The number of keys. Most keyboards have keys ranging from 25 to 88. If you are buying a keyboard for your child, 25 keys would be the smallest keyboard and ideal for their tiny hands. The bigger they get, the more the number of keys you want them to practice on. On the other hand, if you are buying a keyboard for an adult, you want a keyboard that can fit two hands, so it is better to start with at least 61 keys and on.
  2. Weighted or unweighted keys? You should probably know the difference between these two types of keys. Most keyboards you will find in the market will have unweighted keys. Weighted keys are often found in digital pianos. However, both are ideal instruments to help you learn how to play the piano. If you are a complete beginner or are buying for one, it is best to go for unweighted keyboards. They are cheaper and are better at encouraging precise playing.
  3. Velocity-sensitive keys. Velocity sensitivity is the speed at which keys respond/ produce a sound after they are pressed. Before settling for one keyboard, you should understand how it can affect your playing. By this, you need a keyboard that is velocity sensitive as a beginner because then you can adjust how soft or hard your key pressing needs to be.

b). Compatibility

The best beginner keyboard needs to have several compatibilities. For instance, Bluetooth connectivity can be an added advantage that allows you to connect to your other devices such as phones, tablets, and laptops. With a keyboard with this feature, you can enroll in online piano courses and practice every note and chord with your keyboard.

A keyboard will also have MIDI, USB, mLAN, iOS, and other types of connectivity to give beginners access to a world of recording apps and storage files they can practice on.

c). Headphone jacks

Honestly, it will take every beginner a while before they can comfortably play the piano without annoyance. One of the best features to look for is an audio output section when buying a piano keyboard.

Not only will you save your loved ones the trouble of listening to out of key play, but you will also be able to capture every mistake you make through your headphones, thus encouraging improvement.

d). Size

Size is a big factor to pay attention to. Like the number of keys, you need a keyboard that fits both hands and is portable if you need to carry it with you.

e). Sound

You deserve a beginner keyboard with amazing sound quality. The best keyboards sound as a real piano sounds. The following are two sound factors you should consider when buying the best beginner keyboard.

  1. Polyphony. It is the number of sounds the keyboard can produce at any time.
  2. Multitimbrality. It means a keyboard can play different instrument sounds, such as drums and woodwinds, to complement the tune you are playing.

Also, many keyboards have hundreds of numbers of sounds, and you can buy based on this. However, if you just want to learn how to play the piano, you do not necessarily need all those sounds.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Keyboards to Learn Playing Piano

1. Can you learn to play a real piano on a keyboard?

Yes, you can. The only difference between the two instruments is size. Otherwise, the layout of the keys and the songs you can play are very similar.

2. Can using a small keyboard to learn a piano discourage a student?

No. Using a smaller keyboard only serves to introduce the basics of playing the piano. While some keyboards may be small in size, even containing 49 keys, the art of playing songs will be the same on a grand piano.

3. Is it easier to start practicing on a digital piano?

As a beginner, you stand to gain more practice with keys that don't require a lot of control and expertise to play. Piano keys are known to be heavier as they are responsible for all hammer action to produce sound.

However, the instrument you choose to play on depends mostly on when and where you want to play. If you decide to use a digital piano, you have to remember it almost is always stationary, making portable keyboards more beneficial.

4. How much should I spend on my first keyboard?

Your goals are a big determinant of your ideal keyboard, but so is your budget. The instruments range from $50 to $1000 in price, so you get to decide the features you want, and your budget will lead you to the best one. The following are tips you can use when buying your first keyboard;

  • If you are not sure you want to play piano on a serious level, or you are just following a newly acquired hobby, it would be best if you didn't go for the most expensive keyboard in the market. Choose a basic and cheap keyboard until you are sure you won't outgrow the hobby fast.
  • If you are buying for a child, opt for a less expensive model until you are sure they have enough interest to warrant a serious keyboard or piano.
  • If you, or the person you are buying for, are serious about playing piano, it would be best to spend more so you can get more features.

Zen Chung


I'm Zen Chung, a piano and violin teacher based out of Plano, Texas. I started this blog because my students (and their parents) kept asking about the best musical instruments to buy online. Look no further I'm here to save the day! 

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