The piano is one of the most versatile instruments. It’s simple design makes it a common instrument choice for kids and singers. Vocal coaches also use pianos as a tool for helping their students.
Why Get a Portable Piano?
If you need a smaller piano that can be transported more easily while still having the keys you need, then buying a portable piano keyboard is a great decision for you.
Many piano keyboards can be plugged in with AC adapters or powered by batteries. If you are a traveling musician, then this aspect can make them incredibly helpful for you.They are an affordable alternative to grand pianos. Most do not have a full set of piano keys, so their octave range is limited. This smaller range of octaves, however, will not be a problem for most users, especially those who just need a compact piano they can practice technique or pitch with.
This guide will explain everything you need to know about the 5 best piano keyboards you can buy today. You will learn about the prices, ratings, features and benefits, and pros and cons of each product on this list.
Top 5: Piano Keyboards Review
Product Image & Rating (Out Of 10)
This 61-Key Yamaha Portable Keyboard comes with a power adapter. It has 400 voices and 112 pre-programmed songs that you can learn to play. It has 130 automatic accompaniment styles and backing tracks to aid your compositions.
This product comes with the Yamaha Education Suite that has a nine-step lesson function. The auxiliary input on this keyboard will allow you to play along to your favorite music from your phone, computer, or tablet. Another great feature included is that you can record or playback your music using its recording function.
This product is designed for beginner players, so it’s easy to use. Even though this piano is designed for beginner musicians, it still has numerous advanced functions that even intermediate or advanced players can enjoy.
Another cool add-on that comes with this one is a free downloadable songbook. It does not have midi ports, but it does have the aforementioned auxiliary port, a headphone jack, and a sustain.
This option does not come with a carrying case, but it can be battery-operated with AA batteries.
The Yamaha 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano comes with a sustain pedal and power adapter. The keys on this one are similar to the feel of an acoustic keyboard. It has ten voices, and it has dual mode. Dual mode allows you to combine two different voices together. For example, you can combine piano and strings for a more layered sound.
This compact optoin does not require much space, and it only weighs 25 pounds. Many of the settings can changed with the touch of a single button. All you would need to do to change these settings is push down the Grand Piano/Function button and press the keys for the voices you want. You can also play demo sources and configure the metronome.
This Yamaha keyboard uses Advanced Wave Memory to imitate the sound of a grand acoustic keyboard as accurately as possible.
The RockJam 61-key SuperKit comes with a stand, stool, headphones, and a power adapter. This full-sized option features an LCD screen, and this one has record and playback functions. It also has 100 sounds and rhythms and 50 demo songs.
The stand that comes with this SuperKit is adjustable which makes it perfect for musicians of any height. This SuperKit comes with a couple of learning aids. The first learning aid is a free month membership of the Simply Piano app for Android and IOS. the second learning aid is two months face-to-face lessons.
The LCD screen on this displays the keys and chords you need to press to accurately play the included demo songs. Though this option has many positives, one negative that it does have is that it doesn’t seem to work for very long. Many users report it breaking down and not powering on after a few months of working great.
This Casio SA76 Keyboard has 100 tones and 44 mini-sized keys. It also comes with five percussion pads.
This product also has an LCD screen that is easy to read, but this keyboard does not come with a power adapter.
You can select your tones easily using their accompanying buttons, and melodies can be switched on and off with ease.
This piano keyboard comes with a music songbook that you can use to practice chords and melodies. The LCD screen display every note that is played to aid in learning music notation. This Casio piano keyboard is ideal for children.
This one can be operated by batteries, and it has a headphone jack.
This Hamzer Keyboard comes with a stand, stool, headphones, and a microphone. It has 255 timbres and rhythms, 61 keyboard percussions, and 24 demo songs. The stereo outputs can be used to listen as you play. It is designed for beginner and intermediate players.
This keyboard comes has an LCD screen, and it also comes with a detachable music stand. You can use vibrato, sustain, and ensemble effects while playing. You can also adjust your tempo and the volume of your accompanying music.
This piano also features the ability to record and playback your music. The microphone that comes with this keyboard has a cord that is four inches. This keyboard requires six AA batteries.
best piano keyboard
The most expensive option on this list is the Yamaha P71. Though it is costly, it has numerous great features, and it is the keyboard that is closest to a regular acoustic keyboard. The keys on the Yamaha P71 keyboard are weighted for a more realistic feel, and its sound is high-quality and imitates the sound of Yamaha grand acoustic piano very well.
The Casio SA76 Keyboard is a great option when it works, but it is known to stop working only months after being purchased.
However, it does cost have a decent price tag and many users have been able to use their for longer than a few months, so it can be a good choice for anyone who wants a very affordable keyboard that has many great features.
And for some, the included free learning aids alone may be worth the price even if it stops working.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is the best piano keyboard?
The best option on this list is the Yamaha YPT260 61-Key Portable Keyboard. This has more voices than any other keyboard on this list (400), and it has the highest rating of every other piano on this list (4.6) on Amazon. It has more pre-programmed songs than every other product on this list.
The Yamaha YPT260 61-Key Portable Keyboard has features that piano players at every level can enjoy even though it is ideal for beginner musicians. The only con of this Yamaha product is that it doesn’t have midi ports, but it has just about every other port you could need including an auxiliary port for connecting your laptop, tablet, or phone to play along to other songs and music not programmed into the keyboard.
The Yamaha YPT260 isat the pricier-end of keyboards on this list, but that price is still much cheaper than the second best choice on this list, the Yamaha P71.
If you want an all-inclusive keyboard package, then the RockJam 61-Key Electronic Keyboard Piano SuperKit or the Hamzer 61-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard Piano are the best choices for you. Of the two kits, the Hamzer 61-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard Piano set has a higher rating, costs less, and comes with more useful accessories that the RockJam SuperKit does not include such as a microphone and a detachable music stand for your sheet music.
What piano keyboard is best for beginners?
When you are just starting out on piano keyboards you may feel overwhelmed with all of the options. In general, a simple portable piano keyboard is a great place for beginners to start and allows easy transport to different locations.
How much is a keyboard piano?
Price ranges for keyboard pianos can vary. The good news is that there is a keyboard piano in virtually every price range. You can expect to pay anywhere from $70 to $500 for a keyboard piano.
What is a good cheap keyboard piano?
When looking for a keyboard piano, you may be wondering what the best cheap keyboard piano is. One highly regarded affordable piano is the Yamaha P71. This is a great keyboard piano for beginners and will be in a beginner’s price range.
Do digital pianos sound like real pianos?
Digital pianos often offer better sound quality, as they have speakers that are directly built into them. However, they are not as portable as keyboards. Digital keyboards may have keys that are weighted to mimic the feel of an acoustic piano.
Is it okay to learn piano on a keyboard?
It is possible to learn piano on a keyboard. If you would like to learn the keyboard before the piano, you could do that. This is because the key layout is exactly the same on both the keyboard and the piano. You may need to apply more pressure to the keys on a piano than that of a keyboard.
Do I need 88 keys to learn piano?
Keyboards will typically come with either 66, 77, or 88 keys. A piano has 88 keys on it. So, if you are wanting to use the keyboard to learn how to play piano, then you will need to get a keyboard that has 88 keys versus the other options.
Can you be a self taught pianist?
There are a few different ways that a person can learn how to play piano. It is not uncommon for someone to teach themselves the piano, as the piano is quite a versatile instrument and there are many learning materials online.
Is digital piano better than keyboard?
There are advantages to both the digital piano and the keyboard. While the digital piano may produce a more elevated sound quality, a keyboard is more compact and portable.
Is piano hard to learn?
Everyone learns at their own pace and learning to play the piano may take longer for some than others. The piano is considered a difficult instrument to learn. Once you become familiar, the process of playing the piano will feel like muscle memory.
How long does it take to learn piano?
Learning the piano may take longer for some than for others. If you are completely new to piano, then it could take you up to a year of playing consistently to feel comfortable playing the piano. For others, it may only take around four months. Regardless, learning to play takes much dedication and patience.
How can I get a cheap piano?
There are many ways that someone can get an affordable or discounted piano. One of the first places that someone may want to check is at local thrift shops or resale stores. Someone looking for a cheap piano may also want to look on online marketplaces, such as Facebook Marketplace.
Should I buy a piano or a keyboard?
Deciding between a piano or a keyboard can be a difficult choice. You will want to look at different factors of both before making your decision and find out which one will best fit your needs. Most often, keyboards are a primary choice for those who may not have the room for a piano.
Can I learn piano at 30 years old?
When it comes to learning something new, age is never a factor. Piano takes determination and patience. You will need to stick with it over a length of time, as you would need to do if you were learning anything else that was new to you.
How can I learn piano for free?
There are many resources available for people who are wishing to learn piano for free. This includes listening and watching YouTube videos. Often, people can follow along with these free videos as many times as they want until they master a song or a set of keys.
What note does a piano start on?
On an 88 keyboard the first note is an A and the last note is a C. If you have a 76 keyboard, the first note is E. On a 61 key keyboard, the first note is a C.
Why do pianos have 88 keys?
Composers needed pianos that were more versatile, so that they could create a wider range of songs. It was this reason that several composers began working with piano makers and the 88-key piano was born.
Do you need weighted keys to learn piano?
Acoustic pianos are generally more weighted than keyboards. When keys are weighted, it helps a pianist feel how an acoustic piano feels. This allows them to feel how much pressure is needed to push down each key.
Do professional pianists make mistakes?
Professional pianists who play in concerts are known to very rarely make any mistakes when they are performing. Practice does make perfect. However, it is not impossible for a professional pianist to make mistakes, as mistakes happen to everyone.
What is the hardest instrument to play?
The violin is considered to be one of the most, if not the most difficult, instrument to play. The violin is the smallest instrument that produces the highest pitch.
5 Tips for playing a piano keyboard
“There are eighty-eight keys on a piano and within that, an entire universe.” - James Rhodes
Using the piano, you can express all kinds of thoughts and feelings. Even if you don’t have the money or space for an acoustic piano, an electronic keyboard will give you the same rich sound.
If you want to play the keyboard, where do you begin?
A popular quote says that “failing to plan is planning to fail.” This is especially true if you want to learn the keyboard. It only takes a few minutes to create a blueprint to help you master the instrument, so take a moment to answer a few questions.
Do you learn best through videos? Is it easier for you to understand topics in a book? Do you need one-on-one instruction?
If you prefer learning by watching, there are endless free online tutorials you can follow. Watch different types of people to expand your knowledge of various styles.
If you prefer books, look no further than your local library for books aimed at beginners. They'll teach how to read notes, provide practice examples, and explain music theory.
A teacher is probably the most expensive option, but it also provides you with instant feedback. A teacher can help you pinpoint areas you need to focus on for improvement and give you encouragement while you make progress.
If you really want to get good at the keyboard quickly, try a blend of working with others, reading, and watching videos. Most importantly, listen to recordings of piano players. By paying attention to how others play, you’ll gradually improve your own skills.
So, you’ve got your plan, but it won’t do much good without the right tools. You also need to understand how to use those tools.
1. Starting with your keyboard
Your choice of a keyboard will probably depend, primarily, on your budget. Money aside, there are other things to consider so you won’t regret your purchase.
If space is an issue for you, do you want a digital piano with the full 88 keys, or are you happy with a keyboard with 49, 61 or 76 keys? Do you need to purchase a stand separately? Be careful, some stands are unstable, and it’s not easy or fun to play on a keyboard that wobbles.
If you want that authentic piano-feel, a keyboard with weighted keys is a great choice. Unweighted keys are easier to play, but could trip you up if you were to transition to an acoustic piano because of the difference in pressure you’ll need to use in playing. The choice is yours.
Now think about accessories. A bench is more comfortable than playing from a chair and helps maintain good posture. A sustain pedal will allow you to hold notes longer and infuses them with richness and power. Headphones will keep your family or roommates happy.
2. Start with C
All right, you’ve mapped out how you will learn the keyboard, you set up your equipment, and now you’re staring at a bunch of black and white keys while wondering what to do next. It’s tempting to peck out some tunes, but let’s get to know the keyboard first.
You’ll see there are groupings of two and three black keys above the white keys. Look for two black keys grouped together at the center of the keyboard. The white key in front of them is middle C. This is your home base.
Traveling to the right of C the next white key is, well you guessed it, D. This continues, E-F-G, then the next white key is A then B. The next key should look familiar. Is it in front of two black keys? Try playing it, does it sound familiar? Try playing the middle C key again.
You’ll see that the pattern starts over again every seven white keys. All the white keys that sit in front of two black keys are C. Can you find every C on the keyboard?
Experiment with the notes and see how they sound. Using your thumb, press the middle C key, then move right and press the E key with your middle finger, and follow this with pressing G with your pinky finger. Now play it backward: G-E-C. In these brief exercises, you’ve discovered two things.
3. Pick up some music theory
Those seven notes you played, from middle C up to C, made up the C Major scale. What can you do with this scale? John Lennon’s Imagine, Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, and Aretha Franklin’s Respect are all in the key of C Major. You can do a lot of things just with that set of keys.
Remember the three notes you just played? Try pressing them, C-E-G all at once. Playing the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of a scale together creates a triad, a rich sound. Use this to create more interesting and powerful music.
Learning about scales and other bits of theory, along with learning to read music, will give you a solid foundation to become a skilled keyboard player. Don’t feel intimidated by theory. You already picked up two skills, and you’re only just getting started!
4. Polish your technique
Playing the keyboard isn’t limited to your fingers. You will use your entire body to create music. Starting off with the right technique will keep you from hurting yourself while trying to play or developing habits you’ll have to unlearn later.
Make sure to sit up straight while keeping your arms and shoulders relaxed. Don’t sit too close or far away from the keyboard. If you have to lean backward while playing, you’re too close.
Keep your hands slightly curved - like when you’re holding a tennis ball, and your wrists relaxed. If your wrists are tense, or your hands too straight, you could develop pain. It will also make pressing the keys more difficult and your playing will sound uneven.
When you start playing the keyboard, you’ll only learn to use your right hand. Take your time, and as you grow more comfortable you will start using your left hand. It’s important not to rush and pay attention to how your hands sound together.
Our last tip is the most obvious of them all.
5. Practice, practice, practice
Set aside time every day to practice, even if it’s only 20-30 minutes. Like all good things, it will take time, but it’s worth it!
Find exercises online to strengthen your fingers. These will help you develop muscle memory and rhythm when playing.
Listen to songs you like and try to copy them. Practice songs bit-by-bit instead of trying to learn an entire piece in one sitting. Eventually, you’ll have a repertoire you’re able to play for others.
Finally, don’t give up! One of the most beautiful experiences is expressing yourself with music. There’s no better time to start than now.