As a musician, one of the most important decisions you will make aside from choosing which instrument to play is choosing which version of that instrument to use.
Choosing the right instrument is vital to ensuring that you can properly learn to play the instrument and determines how your progress will continue.
We’ve got a solution for you. If you’re a beginner in piano, you need an instrument that’ll be in tune with you as you develop.
We’re here to tell you some of the best digital pianos and keyboards for beginners, and we’ve also added a handy buyers guide to tell you what you need to be looking for in a new piano for you.
Here are the best digital keyboards and pianos for beginners!
Top 10 Best Beginner Digital Pianos and Keyboards
- Roland GO: KEYS
- Yamaha YPT-260
- Casio CTK-3500
- Yamaha PSR-F51
- Korg EK-50
- Casio PX-770
- Yamaha P-45
- Yamaha YDP-S34
- Roland RP102
- Korg B1SP
Our Top 5 Digital Keyboards
This is by no means a cheap pick on our list, coming in at one of the highest-priced, but it comes with a lot of extra little additions that make that extra expense make sense. It has 61 pressure-sensitive keys that have a lush ivory finish that looks and sounds professional, possibly more so than other beginner keyboards.
The keyboard comes with a massive amount of voices, coming in at over 500 in the GO: KEYS model, but it also boasts a brilliant, professional sound.
The keyboard comes with the ability to connect to BlueTooth so it doubles as a speaker, allowing you to stream music to it. If you use this in conjunction with Rolan’s online content such as tutorials and play-along sessions, it’s a win as far as the beginner pianist is concerned.
It comes with a really cool Loop Mix function, which is ideal for beginners if they’re looking to learn about how structuring their own songs work. With this also comes the keyboard’s touchpads. These allow you to trigger and manipulate the keyboard’s samples live, so it’s useful during a performance and when writing your own stuff.
So there you have it. This keyboard is a huge asset not only to the beginner hoping to learn the piano but also to those looking to learn how to produce their own music and get into songwriting. Yes, it’s a little steep in price but it’s a step above most beginner’s keyboards with its extra features and amped-up sound quality. Things such as the loop mix are easy for the beginner to get into and are an innovative way to learn piano and music production.
It also looks just as awesome as it sounds, coming in a striking red color, and some gorgeous ivory feel keys. If you’re willing to pay the price, this is a keyboard that will tick all the boxes for a beginner’s keyboard.
The Yamaha YPT-260 exists for the sole purpose of aiding you in your piano learning journey - you’ll be going from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to Beethoven in no time! The keyboard comes with 61 pressure-sensitive keys and the max polyphony is 32 different notes. At this point in your learning experience, you shouldn’t need any more than that.
This keyboard comes with 384 different sound options that can change the way your piano sounds if you wish. This includes pianos, organs, violins and other orchestral sounds and 16 different drum kits so it’s fairly versatile. It also comes with different rhythms, 100 total, and metronomes to help you keep time. This is especially useful if you want to try your hand at writing your own music as it will give you a little extra inspiration.
Perhaps most importantly, the keyboard comes with a fantastic sound quality that you’ll definitely be happy with. Naturally, considering it’s a piano keyboard it’s not going to have all the warmth of a grand piano. It doesn’t separate left and right outputs when connected to headphones either, which could really bring this keyboard to the next level.
The keyboard is also easy to carry around as it’s quite lightweight, so if you’re getting into gigging this is the one for you! Not only that but with the variety of voices this keyboard is a jack of all trades that you’ll enjoy playing.
The Yamaha brand has also given the players a few additional interactive options, such as lessons and tutorials in a separate app. It’s also possible to divide the keyboard in two on the teaching side of the keyboard, so you’re able to create a split between the student/teacher, so if you’re taking lessons then this is ideal.
The keyboard also comes with URB slots so it’s possible to insert other devices and play tracks in the background or other players using the keyboard built-in speakers.
Even more so, the keyboard is a bit of an overachiever that pales in comparison to a large number of other keyboards in the same kind of price range and is super fun to use. If you want something budget-friendly, easy to manoeuvre and something that will help you to easily develop your piano skills, the Yamaha YPT-260 is a fantastic purchase that will aid you every step of the way through your introductory piano playing years. There’s a reason it’s so highly rated through most trusted retailers.
When you think of pianos and keyboards, what brands do you mostly think of? We’re pretty sure if you’re familiar with makers of top-quality pianos and keyboards Casio is a brand that will come to mind.
Within their repertoire of top-notch pianos and keyboards is a whole slew of fantastic options for beginners. The Casio CTK-3500 is definitely one of their best.
This keyboard comes with 61 touch-sensitive keys and a 48 note range, and top it all off it’s definitely wallet-friendly if you don’t have the cash to spend on something more expensive.
Though the price is pretty affordable, this does not mean that the keyboard is not impressive in its own right. The CTK-3500 has a huge number of features at its disposal. It comes with 400 different sound variations, 50 dance rhythms, and 100 world rhythms.
In addition, it comes with a number of features designed with the newbie piano player in mind, such as some auto-accompaniment modes that will help you to learn the must-know basic chords.
That’s not all - it also comes packaged with some handy built-in lessons that help you to learn correct right and left-hand technique, and USB connectivity, so you can connect to the Casio Chordana Play App for extra hints and tricks.
As it is a beginner’s keyboard, it goes without saying that there are some sound quality reductions in comparison to perhaps a few other picks on this list, but the keyboard offers such a range of benefits and additional features that this is hardly a huge issue.
It’s a great keyboard to get you started with that should last you well into the intermediate level, and is easily one of the best options out there for beginners.
This keyboard is a no-frills, budget-friendly keyboard that is easy to use for a beginner. This keyboard really goes back to basics so you won’t find many bells and whistles on this.
The keyboard comes with 120 different voices and over 100 rhythms. It doesn’t come with any effects, but it has good sound quality and it isn’t too flashy. This is ideal for a beginner. Though in comparison to the rest on our list this keyboard isn’t award-winning, it does the job and is affordable to boot.
If you end up deciding that keyboard isn’t for you, you aren’t losing a fortune on a keyboard you no longer use. If you decide to upgrade and that you need something with a better sound and more additions, again it’s not too much of an expense.
It’s a solid option if you’re just starting out and need an instrument to get you started.
This is the most expensive option on this list, and on a surface level, you may wonder why when you compare it to many of the other options on this list that appear to offer a lot more in terms of features. The main selling point of this keyboard is its longevity.
While this is a fabulous pick for a beginner, it’s not just for a beginner. This keyboard is one that will stay with you through your piano journey and you won’t grow out of it quickly - its sound quality is second to none.
This keyboard has over 702 different voices and sound options. Not only that but when you consider this alongside the sound quality, this keyboard becomes a piano companion you simply can’t turn down.
Furthermore, Korg has added another feature called ‘Styles’ which aids in developing your piano performance. It allows you to activate a variety of different accompaniments, ranging from a simple chord to a single note.
You can use intros, fills, outros and a whole slew of other options, which is pretty cool, especially for aspiring songwriters. You can even download more from Korg directly. Pretty neat, huh?
So the main draw to this keyboard is that out of every pick on this list, this keyboard by far has the most beautiful sound. Yes, it comes at a price but for a keyboard that will last you throughout your piano journey, it’s more than worth it in the long term.
There are very few issues to even note other than that the keyboard is more pricey than others on this list, but ultimately you’ll need to decide whether you want to try and develop on a device at a lower price point first or if you want to spend a lot outright for something that could possibly last years.
Our Top 5 Digital Pianos
Coming with a huge range of sounds making this model incredibly versatile, the Casio PX-770 sounds like a genuine authentic piano for beginners with a host of additional features.
The AiR sound engine honestly sounds like a professional concert grand piano and is stunning in sound and feel. It comes with graded hammer action keys and a large polyphony and comes with a fashionable and professional-looking console.
This does mean it’s not super portable but it’s well worth it for a piano that will stand the test of time, including foot pedals to encourage expressive piano playing. If you want a dynamic sounding piano, this is more than sufficient.
This is honestly one of the most expressive digital pianos on this list and is highly regarded on the use of dynamics. The AiR technology really makes this shine.
The only issue is that this is by no means a cheap digital piano, and it’s pretty well rounded but doesn’t come with half as many additional features as many other picks on this list.
That aside, this digital piano is perfect for a student looking to venture into classical music and has a fantastic dynamic control that you don’t want to pass up.
This keyboard is a little bit of a middle ground between piano and keyboard. It comes with a cool upright stand that is totally optional, and it feels like a genuine digital upright piano.
The piano comes with 88 hammer action keys that are grades. The Yamaha P-45 has a hyper-realistic feel and has a maximum of 64-notes. It really has a fantastic, authentic piano feel that you are going to love.
This digital piano really goes back to the roots of what makes a piano great and is incredibly simplistic, and includes 10 voices and 10 songs. It also sounds fantastic and lush, which is everything you could ever want in a digital piano.
Like a number of other Yamaha digital piano and keyboard models, the Yamaha P-45 comes with the dual split function. It also has the ability to connect with USBs, allowing you to utilise a bunch of extra content that’s interactive, such as tutorials and lessons designed by Yamaha to optimise your learning experience.
What it does best is the thing you should be looking for as a priority in a digital piano: It sounds and feels just like you’d expect a full-blown piano to sound. It’s excellent for beginners who are taking lessons, and it’s pretty portable too so you can carry it around with you.
It fulfils its purpose well and even goes beyond it, providing a great piano experience that should last you a long time.
This is a digital piano that really blends in with the furniture. It comes with a console that comes in 3 attractive wood finishes, so it looks especially sleek and professional. It comes with 88 graded hammer keys and a range of 193 different notes.
We really do mean it when we say it blends in with the furniture in the room. It’s not such a big presence though, as it’s slimline and really looks like an upright piano.
It also has a great sound which is derived from the CFX tone generating technology made by Yamaha. It’s also especially powerful in the middle and high ranges of its repertoire.
As with other Yamaha models, it again comes with the dual split function, so it’s perfect for lessons with a piano teacher when you’re still learning. It also comes with 10 songs, 10 beautiful voices and 50 piano preset songs, and additionally comes with a record function that allows you to listen back to your progress.
This is a huge plus, as when you’re still learning to play the piano, retrospection is incredibly important for you to grow and develop as a pianist, particularly in those early days. It’s even more helpful when you consider that if you’re getting into songwriting you can easily record a riff that you’ve come up with and can come back to it later.
It also comes with some lovely reverb effects that are built into the instrument.
It is a little pricey, but if you’re looking for something that will last throughout your intermediate stages as well as when you’re just beginning, it’s worth the price. Understandably, another model that’s cheaper is also okay when you’re starting out, in case you decide it’s not for you.
This piano just sounds plain wonderful, especially with the CFX sound engine. It gives many other digital pianos a run for their money. This is a fantastic choice for if you need a digital piano that both looks good, has the longevity factor and sounds brilliant.
Another piano superbrand, Roland pianos are a fantastic addition to a beginner’s piano recommendation list. The Roland RP102 is especially brilliant, made with the beginner pianist in mind.
It comes with the ability to connect with Bluetooth and USBs and has a tremendous amount of learning content that you can access to aid your learning.
The piano voice is derived from the Rolan’s SuperNATURAL technology that’s high quality, as is to be expected from Roland pianos. It comes with only 4 piano voices, but it also has 11 other different instruments such as electric pianos so there’s a bountiful selection for any beginner to choose from.
It contains graded hammer action keys with brilliant ivory feel that honestly feels authentic to a genuine piano.
There’s not a massive amount of effects, but the piano has a great feel overall and is pretty ambient, and even provides good control which is a much-needed addition to any beginner’s digital piano. It also has extra piano noise levels. There are 200 songs in a variety of styles to play along too for easy learning, ideal for any beginner.
There’s really not much bad to say about this digital piano, but considering it is for beginners, it could definitely be cheaper for what it offers. If you weren’t looking at budget at all then Roland pianos are a great choice but in their budget-friendly range they aren’t all up to par with other similar digital pianos.
It’s a great piano that does its job well, but you could probably get something cheaper that does a job that’s just as good.
This is an upright digital piano that’s incredibly portable so if you need to carry it to a gig or a music lesson it’s easy to move around. It comes with natural hammer action keys, which are in essence graded hammer action keys and it has a max polyphony of 120 notes.
It comes with 8 different sounds that sound brilliant, but the main draw of this digital piano is naturally the tone and natural feel. It has a natural piano feel that sounds vibrant in the upper end but resonates well in the lower end so its range of notes is consistent in sound, and has a great progression through the notes as you play.
The Korg BS1P also comes with a split piano mode similar to the Yamaha models, giving you two separate sections of the keyboard for student-teacher collaboration.
It doesn’t have a massive amount of built-in effects, containing only reverb and chorus, but they still sound great. It’s very easy to use and sounds authentic. It’s just a standard, good sounding digital piano that works well for beginners.
It has a lovely sound overall which is why it’s on this list. It’s not necessarily the strongest option and it doesn’t rival a lot of other picks on this list, but try it out for yourself. It’s definitely worth trying out, and this may fit you better than some of the other options here.
It’s a good quality digital piano as a whole especially when you consider the natural hammer action keys.
Best Beginner Digital Piano Keyboards: A Buyer’s Guide
There’s so much to know when it comes to musical instruments, and keyboards and digital pianos are absolutely no exception. There’s so much jargon to unpack for a beginner, so we’ve broken down for you a few vital things you need to know.
Keyboards and Digital Pianos: What’s the difference?
We get it - this is pretty tricky for beginners. There are also digital piano keyboards out there too, making it even more mind-boggling. We’ll simplify it for you!
As a rule, keyboards have a variety of different voices, including usually a range of orchestral instruments, some more obscure voices and things like electric guitars, for example. It usually has around 25 to 88 keys. A keyboard is usually portable so it’s a good option for if you travel a lot or want to do things like gigs when you get more experienced. The keys can either be quite light spring action or can be graded hammer keys.
Digital Pianos are created with the authenticity of the piano playing experience in mind. Sometimes they do have a number of voices much like a keyboard, but for the most part, the priority is the piano sound. They usually have 88 graded hammer action keys and aren’t that portable as they’re usually built into a wooden console, so it looks and feels like a real piano.
While there are variations of both, this is usually the best way to narrow it down.
How is a keyboard or digital piano suited to beginners?
Ultimately it depends on the piano student, but there are some general things that make a piano keyboard the best fit for a beginner.
You should try to keep things simple when buying a digital piano or keyboard. You may think buying an instrument that has a thousand bells and whistles may be the best option but it can be a hindrance. These features tend to be directed at advanced players so it may simply just distract you. You’re best focusing on the task at hand: learning to play the piano. Your main objective should be getting down to the basics and learning the key aspects of playing the piano. Bad basic skills can be tricky to correct when you get into bad habits so if you start off with good habits you shouldn’t have that issue.
With that being said, you should also make sure the instrument you have will be suited to your piano journey further down the road, so a good quality instrument is absolutely paramount. So, don’t get something that’s ridiculously over-complicated that will distract you, but what you shouldn’t also do is purchase an instrument that is level one and won’t help you to progress once your playing improves.
It’s important that you try and get the right balance between a good sound and basic functions and voices, this should be your priority when buying a digital piano or keyboard for beginners.
How do I choose the best digital piano or keyboard for beginners?
When trying to select the right keyboard or digital piano for a beginner, your main consideration should come down the playing experience. You need the playing experience to feel authentically like a real piano. The bottom line of this is basically that you need something that is weighted and feels like the real keys of a piano and sounds like a real piano.
Usually, if the keys of your digital piano or keyboard are heavy then there’s it’ll likely feel like a proper piano, but this will also make the piano more strenuous on you physically. It’s easier to think about it this way:
As a beginner that’s still learning and taking lessons on an acoustic piano, using your digital version for home practice, then you should get a keyboard with weighted keys, otherwise, the difference in playing will be too big and it’ll be difficult to switch between the two.
If you’re only using your digital piano and not using an acoustic, then it’s not an issue going with a digital piano or keyboard that’s got lighter feeling keys. It can even be faster for you when you’re just starting out as it doesn’t put so much strain on you physically.
Then, by the point you’ll need more control over dynamics you'll need a new instrument anyway to fit your ability level.
You should still consider that instruments designed for beginners are also catered to a lower price range, so you’re not likely to find the perfect feel or weight for you in an instrument of this calibre. You’ll have a lot of options though, so you should still keep this in mind.
As far as sound is concerned, you shouldn’t worry yourself too much with any of the other voices that come with piano other than the pianos themselves. The price will affect this, but you’ll have many options still. There will naturally be some that are better than others depending on how much you pay most of the time.
What types of digital pianos are out there?
Upright Digital Piano
This is probably the type of digital piano that you’re most likely to see in the home of a beginner. As we’ve said before, these types of digital pianos are ideal for those who take lessons with a teacher on an acoustic piano and want the most authentic feel that they can possibly get. They’re built in a similar upright design as a real piano, so it almost looks and feels like the real thing.
These types of pianos blend in with the furniture well and don’t overly stand out in a disjointed kind of way. Looks aside though, there’s an element of practicality with an upright piano. While you learn and develop your piano technique, your playing style will alter and change with you, so having an upright piano can really help you to feel like you're playing a real piano and will help to ensure you maintain the correct piano playing posture. Try saying that one three times fast! Furthermore, because it’s much bigger it will help your brain to feel like it’s the real thing which can really help encourage your piano journey.
Digital Piano Consoles
So what’s a digital piano console? Well, it can come down to a number of different things. It can be in reference to a digital piano that is shaped in the same way as a baby grand or a grand piano, so more in the style of an acoustic piano. They’re used more often than not for things like live concerns so that it looks like a real piano but you still get to have the fun added extra bits that come along with purchasing a digital instrument.
The consoles for digital pianos usually have the keyboard built directly into their casing, which is a little different from an upright digital piano where you can usually separate the two.
You can also use this style of digital piano at home and it’ll still have the same features generally as an upright piano, providing similar benefits for beginner students of piano.
Alternatively, it can also mean a case that’s built for a set purpose that can keep a digital piano or keyboard inside of it. Again, think big live concerts with this.
Digital Keyboard Piano
Ah, the ideal harmony between a digital piano and a keyboard. This is the best way to describe a digital keyboard piano, as the name suggests. Digital piano keyboards usually have 88 weighted keys with multiple voices usually, but they prioritise the realistic piano sound. They’re more portable than the other two options, and they’re versatile in the sense that they can be used at home or on stage.
What Are the Best Digital Piano and Keyboard Brands on the Market?
All of the brands we’ve listed are unique and have their own qualities that set them apart from each other. In saying that, there are some brands that outshine others.
We’ve only included the top of the range brands here that offer beginners instruments. There are some incredible brands out there that offer some of the best instruments for more advanced players, but for the sake of simplicity, we won’t mention them here because they don’t necessarily fit with the beginner’s budget.
This brand is well-loved for good reason. They bring out some incredible keyboards, including the Roland Juno, RD range and the Fantom. They also have a renowned SuperNATURAL piano engine which enhances the piano voices. They are second to none when it comes to sound, feel and build quality. They make pianos ranging from entry-level to advanced levels, so there’s a Roland digital piano or keyboard out there for everyone.
If you’re into musical instruments, you’ll know who Yamaha are. They’ve created some of the most iconic instruments out there, including the Motif range. They are the inventors of the Pure CF sound engine which was born from sampling their CFIIIS 9’ grand piano for concert, so as you can imagine their sound is fantastic. They’re a pioneer in the creation of keyboards and digital pianos, and again offer a great range from beginner to expert pianos.
This brand is well known for their beginner keyboards, but this isn’t to say they don’t make some great pianos for advances piano players. Their sound engines, AiF and AiR are incredibly unique and sound wonderful. They’re ideal if you’re a beginner as they really optimise on the beginner’s experience.
Korg makes some incredible keyboards, but they usually come attached to a large price tag. They do have some good budget options out there though, so don’t let this put you off! They are applauded on their high standard instruments, even at the beginner level.
How much should I spend on a digital piano or keyboard?
This all comes down to what you need. The more expensive keyboards are generally better, but it’s a little more complicated than this as when you’re starting out there’s no way to know for certain whether you’ll stick it out. How much do you want to spend when you’re starting out with this in mind?
Primarily, you should be looking for an instrument that grows with you but don’t go too crazy on splashing the cash just yet. If you do give it up, you’ll still have a very expensive keyboard.
You also don’t need super complicated features, as this will hinder your progress. So when you’ve considered what you're looking for in terms of features and budget, you’ll know what to look out for.
Generally, beginners keyboards tend to range between $100 - $500, whereas digital pianos will range from $300 - $900. You’ll get some stunning sounding instruments in this price range.
Our final thoughts
You should always try to play around and see what kind of instrument best suits you, but these ten instruments are an excellent starting point to set you off on your journey. Do you’re research before buying, and you’ll be fine!