Best Keyboards to Learn the Piano [Reviews and Comparisons 2020]
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If a piano has always caught your attention, and you are interested to learn it, then a keyboard is an instrument that can help. Learning a piano on a keyboard is possible if you use the right kind with features that give an actual piano feel. Be it the keys or the sound of the keyboard, these elements matter when you’re learning the piano on a keyboard.
Best Keyboards to Learn the Piano Comparison Table
|1. Yamaha P-45
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|2. Joy JK-63M
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|3. Casio CTK-2550
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|4. Plixio 61-Key Electronic Piano Keyboard
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|5. Hamzer 61-Key Digital Piano Keyboard
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Apart from these, keyboards help build a strong foundation especially with regards to the elements of music such as harmony. Plus, once you get clarity on the basics of chords, intervals, and chord progressions, you can also apply it to other instruments as well. However, choosing a suitable keyboard for learning piano is a bit difficult as the market has numerous options. So, we have curated a list of the best keyboards to learn piano, which has all the viable details to help you choose as per your requirements.
Our Best Keyboards to Learn the Piano Reviews and Comparisons
1. Yamaha P-45
Yamaha P-45, the digital piano keyboard, is the perfect fit for a new learner, as it is crafted with all the basic features required for piano learning. Packaged with a mountable stand, this keyboard gives a realistic feel just like playing an actual piano.
- If you’re a complete beginner, then you need a keyboard that is compact, lightweight, and one that gives you the complete feel of the piano. Well, with these notable points, we suggest you Yamaha P-45 keyboard. It is an 88-key hammer action digital piano with speakers.
- Plus, the keyboard is 52.2×11.6×6 in dimensions and weighs around 25lbs. These dimensions indicate it is really easy to carry and it’s also quite portable.
- Its portability ensures that it fits into smaller spaces and goes well with the décor of the house.
- Besides, it can be carried along for gigs, which makes it perfect for on-the-go learners like you. But it isn’t much suitable for long journeys and if you still want to take it, then we suggest carrying it in a padded keyboard bag to protect it from external damage.
- Yamaha P-45 has a wide array of features such as dual-mode, transpose, fine-tuning, recording, and metronome. The dual-mode feature allows you to layer two instrument sounds together, and listen to it across the entire keyboard.
- The fine-tuning raises and lowers the pitch of the keyboard, the transpose function enables you to alter the pitch in semitone steps. The metronome feature ensures the consistency of the tempo by controlling the speed. Moreover, practicing on the keyboard with a metronome will develop playability skills and build a sense of rhythm.
What We Like About Yamaha P-45
Yamaha P-45’s includes 10 voices and songs each for the learner’s guidance. Besides, this digital keyboard is quite easy to navigate and even its flagship piano sound is also incredible.
Apart from these, the keyboard has undergone major improvements in its polyphony. The polyphony is doubled from 32 to 64 notes, and as an advantage, the memory of the instrument has increased. Now it can keep more notes, and deliver a fuller and richer sound. Further, the USB connectivity enables you to get access to loads of keyboard lessons and tutorials from Yamaha. Overall, the Yamaha P-45 is a product that every beginner can rely on and is worth investing in.
What We Don’t Like About Yamaha P-45
Yamaha P-45 has some drawbacks, which can be a deal-breaker for a few users. This keyboard doesn’t have in-built audio or MIDI recorder. So if you are a learner, then you need to use a USB connection and some music software in case you wish to record.
Even though P-45 comes with in-built speakers, these can’t produce much louder sounds. Similarly, this keyboard package includes a sustain footswitch, which turns out to be a bit flimsy and isn’t much durable as well.
- Compact and lightweight
- Easy to navigate
- Polyphony doubled 32 to 64 notes
- 88-key hammer action
- Suitable for beginners
- Lacks in-built recorder
- Speakers aren’t much loud
- Flimsy sustain footswitch
2. Joy JK-63M
With a broad spectrum of features, Joy JK-63M is a complete beginner’s package piano keyboard, which comes with a set of accessories. Perfectly built for a new learner or for the kids keen to learn the piano, Joy JK-63M has 61 keys and the MP3 function; even includes a keyboard stand, stool, and headphones. This all-in-one keyboard set delivers great sound and is also quite affordable.
- Designed specifically for novices, this 61 keys model has USB connectivity with 50 demonstration songs to make the learning process easy.
- Joy JK-63M doesn’t have a rugged construct rather it is built in a way that makes it easy to navigate via a provided manual.
- The LED screen navigates the learner through the different functions of the keyboard.
- The screen acts as a guide that helps to play the correct key, especially when you have just started to play it.
- Being a full-size keyboard, it is quite strong and sturdy; so there are no chances of it slipping when mounted on the stand.
- The keys are engineered in a way that offers an excellent playing experience. Its shape and size gives a realistic feel and is highly responsive even with a slight key press. This indicates that the keys are highly touch-sensitive.
- Apart from these, the lightweight of the instrument makes it portable and is suitable to carry along for gigs or classes if required.
- Further, it is a battery-powered keyboard and this contributes to its portability as well.
- On the whole, Joy JK-63M is obviously a product that offers you full value for money.
What We Like About Joy JK-63M
As mentioned before, Joy JK-63M, a piano keyboard, has a wide array of features. Well, the Joy JK-63M sounds system is exceptional, as it allows you to adjust the master and accompaniment volume independently. This feature is typically missing in many other keyboards designed for learning the piano.
Further, its MP3 feature is a notable one, which enables you to connect a USB flash drive to play songs while practicing on it. The pack includes Mic Jacks that allows you to play and sing at the same time. All these features ensure that as a learner, you enjoy playing the keyboard, alongside learn the techniques of a traditional piano as well.
What We Don’t Like About Joy JK-63M
On the downside, this keyboard poses some problems for the users. As the keys are not weighted, they might not give the same feel as a traditional acoustic piano, which has weighted keys. And then you will need to press it a little hard. So, there is some improvement required in keys to make it function efficiently. Also, the stand provided along with the keyboard poses a challenge while assembling it. Without proper instruction, it can be a problem to assemble properly.
- 61 full-sized keys
- Includes stand, headphones, and stool
- Suitable for beginners
- Strong and sturdy
- Includes LED screen and portable
- In-built MP3 and Mic jacks
- Keys aren’t weighted
- Not touch-sensitive keys
- The keyboard stand has a problem in assembling
3. Casio CTK-2550
Casio CTK-2550 is currently one of the best keyboards to learn piano, which opens the musical world to the learners. It is through the 61 full-sized keys, 150 built-in rhythms, and 400 premium quality tones that you can kick start your learning experience. As a learner, you can even create your own music with this keyboard.
- Casio CTK-2550 not only enables you to learn the piano but also helps make your own music.
- The Dance Music Mode of the keyboard allows you to create and remix tunes without much fuss. So, with this keyboard, you’ll get a great start to your musical journey.
- This keyboard operates on batteries or the power adapter that is included with the set.
- It is a compact and lightweight model portable enough to carry along for practice gigs or classes.
- Moreover, the keyboard is suitable for not just a new learner but intermediate learners can also acquire a lot of knowledge about playing piano through this instrument.
- It is primarily because of the demonstration songs and the features that help to self-composed tunes.
- Further, the 61 full-sized keys are constructed to give an exact piano feel. So, as a learner when you get to play on a piano, it won’t be a challenge to understand the notes and chords.
- Besides, to make your learning better, the keyboard includes numerous sound options; 400 sounds to be precise. These different tones include several piano options to have full control over the sounds.
- The other notable features of this keyboard are the LCD screen, 48 notes of polyphony, and built-in Lesson Lite system with a voice fingering guide and scoring system to track the progress.
- In addition to this, the Casio CTK-2550 bundle includes a keyboard stand, power supplies/ batteries, and headphones.
What We Like About Casio CTK-2550
The most likable aspect of Casio CTK-2550 is that the learner gets numerous sound options. This, in turn, contributes a lot to the learning and even allows wider scope for creativity. Not just learning the piano, but you can also create your own music using the integrated sounds. Also, the different tones that are included in the keyboard have a few piano tones as well. This is undoubtedly helpful in understanding the piano and the way to play such tones on it.
In addition to this, there is a Voice fingering guide, which helps you grasp the techniques of using fingers and ways to hit the right keys via a voice tutor.
Apart from these features, the Casio CTK-2550 has 10 levels of reverb and a set of functions like Virtual Hall, 100 One Touch Presets, and the previously mentioned Dance Music Effect. These help in customizing the sounds you create while practicing.
Lastly, there is a free Chordana Play app, which has 50 in-built songs. This app guides the new learners in their practice and has a piano roll and music notation display as well. Another positive aspect of this app is that it can convert songs from a music library into a MIDI file. And these songs can be either played via the app or store it on the keyboard itself. Besides, you can play these stored songs both online and offline.
The Chordana app also enables you to change the tempo, transpose tunes, designate melodies, and use the function ‘repeat’ to learn as per your understanding. Lastly, Casio CTK-2550 is an excellent model of the keyboard for learning piano that incorporates easy ways to play the traditional instrument.
What We Don’t Like About Casio CTK-2550
Although Casio CTK-2550 comes at an affordable price still there are a number of drawbacks. The first issue is with the keys, as they are not weighted. So, the keys can’t produce any resistance the same as that of the acoustic piano keys. This, in turn, makes the transition from the keyboard to the actual piano difficult for learners like you. Besides, the sound quality needs improvement as it is nowhere close to the acoustic piano. Plus, the sounds are thin and lack nuance and expression, which could be found in keyboards of a higher price range. Since the instrument sound is thin, it imposes a challenge when you are composing your own tunes.
- 61 full-sized keys, 150 rhythms, and 400 premium quality tones
- Includes Dance Music Mode, Virtual Hall, 100 One Touch Presets
- Includes Chordana app
- Keys are not weighted
- Sounds lack expression and is thin
4. Plixio 61-Key Electronic Piano Keyboard
Plixio 61-Key Electronic Piano Keyboard is an excellent choice for those who wish to learn the piano or someone who wishes to improve their playing skills. This 61 key full-sized electric piano keyboard is perfectly suitable for intermediate level learners and beginners, considering the combination of features to guide the learners from different levels.
- As a learner, if you’re keen to learn a piano per se, then there are certain things to keep in mind while learning. And the most primal of all is the kind of instrument you use to learn the skill. Primarily, using a keyboard requires it to include all basic features to help you grasp the foundation of music.
- A keyboard that is efficient, fast, and gives a realistic feel similar to the acoustic piano/instrument is the ideal one for you.
- Moreover, whether you’re extremely new or an intermediate level learner, you need a keyboard, which is easy to use and includes songs to help you develop playability skills. The Plixio 61-Key Electronic Piano Keyboard has it all.
- This keyboard console has the ability to deliver quite impressive performance and has MP3 and USB ports to customize the board for better learning. Apart from these, the keyboard has a series of features that ensure excellent performance.
- Even though a traditional piano has 88 keys, this keyboard with its full-sized 61 keys is enough for amateur learners to learn the skills of playing the piano.
- Moreover, as the keys are full-sized, learning the fingering techniques is quite easy to grasp with Plixio. The keys are built with firmness and are quite responsive, so the notes played on it are totally in tune.
- Apart from these, the keyboard comes with 100 rhythms, different beats, 40 tones, and 8 percussion sounds along with a wide array of sound effects, all pre-programmed in it.
- Overall, this keyboard is totally worth the investment as it is portable and durable with ample features to ensure proper learning.
What We Like About Plixio 61-Key Electronic Piano Keyboard
The most notable feature of Plixio is the lesson mode that ranges from beginner level to advanced level. This lesson mode is quite beneficial as it guides the learner about rhythms and enables you to practice the different chord combinations. Also, the pre-programmed tones and sound effects help you upgrade your playability skills alongside 60 demo songs for further practice.
As mentioned earlier, Plixio comes with a USB port, which helps you connect it to the other music devices and use it to record or program songs. Further, the keyboard has 2 in-built speakers capable of producing a high-quality sound, and along with it comes a microphone. With the microphone, you can use the keyboard with other musical instruments during your practice.
The Plixio Piano keyboard is sturdy and portable enough to carry it along to music lesson classes. It is so portable and compact that it can easily fit into a car. Work on both electricity and battery, this keyboard is quite handy when it comes to learning a piano.
What We Don’t Like About Plixio 61-Key Electronic Piano Keyboard
On the flipside, Plixio has few pitfalls, which need improvisations. Well, this keyboard doesn’t include a mountable stand in its package. Also, the keys are non-sensitive, so it can affect the playability to a great extent.
- 61 full-sized keys
- Suitable for intermediate and beginners
- Includes Lesson mode
- Sturdy and Portable
- Doesn’t include a keyboard stand
- Keys are non-sensitive
5. Hamzer 61-Key Digital Piano Keyboard
Hamzer piano keyboard is an entry-level instrumental piece that is perfectly suitable for an aspiring pianist. Loaded with incredible features that make piano learning fast and understandable, this keyboard has a lot to offer at an affordable price.
- Not just for beginners, the Hamzer digital piano keyboard is also designed for advanced learners.
- With 61 full-sized keys, this instrument comes with a stand and microphone that makes it easy to play and enjoyable to sing as well.
- Further, this keyboard helps the learner to understand the abilities of a modern piano as well as rhythms.
- This keyboard comes packaged in an amazing bundle, which includes several accessories for the instrument.
- It includes a detachable sheet music stand, a premium quality keyboard stand, a foldable stool, headphones, and 4 feet corded microphone.
- Further, it has in-built speakers, which produces quite an incredible sound considering its low price. As a learner, if you are practicing in a room, then you will observe that the sound of the keyboard is loud enough to reach the adjacent room. However, if you don’t want to disturb others with the loud sound of the keyboard, you can always use the headphones provided along with it.
- Hamzer is manufactured in a way that makes it quite simple to use and the keys do not need too much adjustability.
- Besides, this keyboard has previously loaded sounds, which include 255 timbre, 255 rhythms, and 61 percussions. These sounds are activated with just one button on the operator panel on the top of the keyboard.
- The instrument also has sound effects such as vibrato, sustain, and ensemble. It also has a LED screen display to show the sound effect or songs on the selection list.
- Since the keyboard is quite functional for the new learners, it is possible to play it using a single finger, while the second hand can be used to add other sounds or effects. So, with this feature, even learners with substantial knowledge can practice it easily.
- Considering all these exceptional features and the low price, Hamzer is undoubtedly the product worth buying.
What We Like About Hamzer 61-Key Digital Piano Keyboard
Hamzer 61-Key Digital Piano Keyboard is packed with numerous features. However, there are a few aspects that make it a great option for investing your money in. It is one of the best keyboards under $100. At this price, you get the premium quality product, and needless to say, it costs you much less than an actual piano. So, the price of the keyboard is definitely one of its highlight features.
As mentioned earlier, the keyboard is designed specifically for beginners and intermediate level learners. Well, to make it easy for them to control and understand the functionality, the engineering of the keys is made touch-sensitive. But the beginners get more help in playing the keyboard, which is through the incorporated learning system. This is an added element where the keys have transparent stickers with the musical notes imprinted on it. Each of the 61 keys comes with these stickers, which helps the learners to understand the notation on the keys. This feature turns out to be helpful for new learners, who don’t have any prior knowledge about keyboards or the piano.
Further, the keyboard is suitable for intermediate level learners as well. Since there are pre-programmed songs and sound effects, as a learner with prior knowledge of notes, chords, and rhythms, you can use these to create your own music. Or else, these sounds and songs can surely help you in your practice. With such a huge collection provided, as an intermediate level learner, you can also use it for your performance gigs as well.
Apart from this, we also liked that the keys come with rhythm sync, which simplifies the learning process for both beginners and intermediate learners. This keyboard has an automatic intro ending, which makes the tunes sound similar to a professional gig. Further, not only the keyboard can be played using a single finger but also it comes with auto bass. This is quite beneficial, as you can pick the chord rhythms during the performance.
Well, these exceptional features and the budget-friendly price of the Hamzer 61-Key Digital Piano Keyboard make it an excellent choice for beginner and intermediate level learners.
What We Don’t Like About Hamzer 61-Key Digital Piano Keyboard
The Hamzer Keyboard is a digital one and it claims to offer features similar to the acoustic one, like other similar keyboards. But some users have observed that it doesn’t offer much acoustic feel. Another pitfall of the keyboard is the number of keys. Usually, most of the digital keyboard comes with 88 keys just like an acoustic piano but Hamzer has only 61 keys. Although it won’t be a problem for beginners initially but in the long run as they proceed to the advanced levels, there will be a need for an upgrade eventually. Apart from the number of keys, its size also differs a lot from the acoustic one.
So, when you switch to a piano, you might face some issues using the keys. Lastly, it doesn’t include pedals and as a learner, if you want to use a keyboard with pedals then this model won’t be ideal for you.
- 61 full-sized keys
- Suitable for beginners and intermediate learners
- Includes keyboard stand, headphones, and microphone
- Includes 255 timbres, 255 rhythms, and 61 percussions
- Keys don’t give an acoustic feel
- Doesn’t include pedal
After extensive research, we suggest Yamaha P-45 as the best keyboard to learn the piano, as it’s a perfect fit for new learners. It includes 10 voices and songs each so that the learner can acquire the skills perfectly.
Moreover, this keyboard comes in a compact size, which makes it portable enough to carry along for classes and gigs. Even though it doesn’t have an in-built audio or MIDI recorder, USB connectivity enables you to get access to loads of keyboard lessons and tutorials from Yamaha. Above all, Yamaha P-45 is undoubtedly one of the top-notch keyboard models available on the market today.
With our research on the best keyboards to learn piano, we hope you have some clarity about the products. However, a few factors must be considered before you proceed to buy the product. These factors if taken into account while purchasing the keyboard will ensure that you get the right and best product. The points to be considered are as follows:
- Action – Buying a keyboard to learn piano can be slightly confusing, as in the longer run, you have to play the piano, and learning it on the keyboard will surely be somewhat different. Besides, the major point to consider is the keys. The action of the keys matters the most, which means how responsive the keys are when pressed. Resistance and firmness determine how effectively the keys respond. So, if the keyboard has unweighted keys then it will be easier to push. But most traditional piano keys are weighted and are much better for beginners. So, check with the action of the keys including its heaviness.
- Keyboard Size: Deciding the size of the keyboard is necessary before buying it. Generally, beginners, who are keen to learn the piano on a keyboard, will make better progress with full size and weighted keys. It is because these types of keys are similar to the traditional piano and are ideally suitable for adults as well. However, these keyboards with weighted and full-size keys offer limited sound options. This can be a deal-breaker for those learners who wish to learn electronic music on keyboards. Further, a beginner keyboard that has 61 keys is ideal to learn a piano as well as has more sound functions pre-programmed in it. So, as a learner, if you want a thorough practice then unweighted keys will surely work along with the sound functions to help you learn the piano on a keyboard.
- Sound: For any musical instrument, sound is one major factor to consider. In the case of the piano keyboards, choosing the one that delivers a good sound quality is quite important if you are a learner. Typically, the best brands of keyboards are engineered to produce a sound similar to a traditional piano. Moreover, another point to consider is polyphony, which means the number of notes or sounds a keyboard can produce at a point in time. Well, in case, the keyboard has high polyphony, then it can produce much better sounds. Apart from these aspects of sounds, there are certain keyboards, which have multitimbrality functions as well. This feature highlights the ability of the keyboard to produce sounds like woodwinds, strings, and drums. Usually, these sounds are considered as background tunes or complementary effects. If these additional features are present in your keyboard then you can surely go for it, as it will deliver exceptional sounds.
- MIDI Compatibility: Several musical instruments including some keyboards come with the MIDI compatibility feature. Well, the MIDI refers to the ‘musical instrument digital interface’ that is more a common electronic language between the different instruments. It functions by sending and receiving signals and a MIDI-compatible keyboard allows other instruments to compliment the tunes of the keyboard; thus delivering a complete performance. Neither is this feature necessary for the piano nor for the keyboard specifically built to learn piano. But as a learner, if you’re interested in electronic music, then the MIDI compatibility will surely help a lot. Besides, even if you go for the MIDI-compatible piano keyboards, you get an additional feature, which in turn enhances your playability and your entire performance.
- Recording Capability: When learning a piano keyboard, as you progress to the advanced levels, you become capable of creating your own music. And if the keyboard has an in-built recorder or sampler, then as a learner, you’ll get the scope to compose your own tunes. A keyboard with a recorder or sampler would make a great option if you are a beginner or an intermediate level learner. So, before you rush off to buy, do check with this feature, as it will help you to be a better pianist and musician.
- Computer Connectivity: Apart from the MIDI compatibility, some piano keyboards offer computer connectivity features as well. Although it isn’t much a necessity for all learners like you, for intermediate and advanced level learners, this feature actually helps them to compose their own tunes using music programming software. However, in case you skip this feature when buying a keyboard, you might have to upgrade your keyboard in the future, as you advance in learning. So, opting for a keyboard with computer connectivity will not only help you learn the piano but also make you capable of composing music.
- Storage: The storage refers to the pre-programmed sounds and demonstration songs that are its user settings. A keyboard with good storage offers you a huge collection of sound effects and songs to understand the different notes and chords. Further, the piano keyboard with 100 sounds means that in the user control there will be 100 blank settings to install new sounds. Even though it is not a necessity for a piano keyboard, yet the inclusion of this feature will surely enhance learning.
- Accessories: Lastly, when buying a keyboard to learn the piano, don’t forget to check the accessories provided along with it. Every keyboard package includes a set of accessories such as a keyboard stand, headphones, power adapter, and stool for you. However, these accessories vary with the brand of the keyboard you buy. Plus, these accessories are given as per the features of the keyboard also. So, if the keyboard has some specific features and requires accessories like headphones or cord cable, then you need to check whether it is provided along with the keyboard bundle or not.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Which is the best keyboard to learn the piano?
Even though the market offers a gazillion keyboard models, picking one that is the best among all in terms of features and price is surely difficult. However, after an extensive analysis, we recommend Yamaha P-45 to be the best keyboard to learn the piano. Designed to give a complete feel of the piano, this keyboard has features like dual-mode, transpose, recording, metronome, fine-tuning, and so on.
All these features help you develop playability skills and build a sense of rhythm to understand musicality. Above all, this keyboard has the flagship sound of the piano and this really helps you to get to know how a piano sounds. So, Yamaha P-45 is undoubtedly the best keyboard to learn piano and a product reliable enough to invest in.
- Which type of keyboard should a beginner prefer for learning piano?
Typically, a complete beginner who is interested in learning a piano would require a keyboard that has full-size weighted keys. Minimum 61 keys range is ideal for beginners but the 81-keys set would also do, as later they would need an upgrade. Besides, it is better if a beginner opts for a keyboard that has weighted keys as it gives a realistic feel of piano while playing. Moreover, the keyboard with pre-programmed sound functions is also quite ideal for beginners. A keyboard with the right kind of keys is quite easy to control and hence suitable for beginners.
- What is the difference between a keyboard and digital piano?
Well, a keyboard and digital piano are designed to meet different purposes but both do help to learn the piano. Digital pianos are specifically designed to replicate a traditional acoustic piano. These digital pianos have weighted keys and are quite portable. On the other hand, an electronic keyboard is built with a much wider range of sounds, unlike a traditional piano. While an electronic keyboard has weighted keys, some of them don’t, but the keyboard is mainly used to create your own music. Nevertheless, the keyboard does help you learn the piano on it and above all, widen your musical knowledge, making you capable of better performance.
We hope with this article you have got some clarity on the best keyboards to learn piano. However, we suggest you consider these listed products as per your requirements and budget. And if it doesn’t go by your requirements or price range then pick one that matches best with these.