Are you looking for a beginner keyboard?

Are you looking for a beginner keyboard?

Are you looking for a beginner keyboard? If the answer is yes I will try to help you, approaching the world of electronic keyboards for the first time, to choose your first keyboard.

Let’s start by saying that it’s not necessary to spend too much money to buy a keyboard where you can study and start your musical journey, of course, the more money will be invested, the more features will be available available as well as the sounds quality will increase.

However, for those who have decided to learn how to play the keyboard or the piano with a digital piano, the priority is definitely the study and a reliable tool with which to study.

Let’s start talking about the aspects you should consider when choosing your first keyboard or a beginner keyboard for your child.

To learn how to play (and enjoy while doing it!) you need a comfortable keyboard with a good keybed and a good set of sounds. Spending an higher budget you could get a more sophisticated keyboard (with effects, sequencer, sound editors, and tons of features), however on your first approach with the music you should focus on learning the basics.

Choosing too complex a keyboard with too many features might discourage learning, so my first suggestion is to start with a basic keyboard – and that does not mean you have to choose a poor or low-quality keyboard.


First consideration : the number of keys

beginner keyboard, type of keybedsYour first decision is about how many keys your first keyboard should have.

It all depends on two factors : your available space and if you are looking for a keyboard to learn piano.

If the space is not a problem for you go with an 88 keys keyboard (this is mandatory if you are learning piano seriously), if you are short in space you can pick a 76 keys or even a 61 keys keyboard.

These are the 3 standard keyboard sizes : 88, 76 and 61 keys. There are even with fewer keys around but usually they are used in synths and in midi controller keyboards.

The bigger is the keybed, the higher is the price.


Second consideration : the keybed type

When you are looking for a keyboard you will find three keybed types commonly known as :

  • Synth action keys
  • Semi-weighted keys
  • Weighted keys
  • Hammer action keys

beginner keyboard, pianoforte mechanicsWithout going to much into details you should know that synth action keybed provide the most “soft” keys, while semi-weighted and weighted keys requires more force to produce the sound, especially the weighted keys try to reprodece then mechanical keys you can find on a real piano.

Hammer action goes further and tries to simulate the very complex (and non-linear) details of the hammer action on a acoustic piano creating an experience much more similar to that of a real piano

The price (generally) is higher for weighted/hammer keys and lower for synth action keys but it is not always true especially if you are looking to top notch synths.


Third consideration

The third consideration is how much you are willing to spend, there are keyboards for any price range with tons of features, but as a beginner, with high probability, your main requirements is a good keybed, a good sound set and a good build quality.

If you are short on cash and you really want to start playing a keyboard there is another option: you could by a midi controller, plug it on your computer, and play using virtual instruments.

beginner keyboard, midi keyboard controllerA midi (keyboard) controller is a keyboard that actually does not produce any sounds, instead it send midi messages to the device to which you have connected, in this case to your computer or even to your tablet. The virtual instruments intercepts these messages and play the recevied notes.


Fourth and last point

Purchasing your very first keyboard isn’t an easy task, and your last point to consider is : do you need an “auto accompaniment” function? If the answer is yes, you should look for an arranger keyboard.

beginner keyboard, arranger keyboardAn arranger is a keyboard that (while you play) recognizes the chord your are playing with the left hand and automatically play a rhythm with several instruments while you are playing the melody part with your right hand. An arranger is usually loaded with hundreds of rhythms and voices to leave to the player a good range of choices but, again, this variety (and quality) depends on the money you are willing to invest in the instrument.

Don’t forget to look also at the polyphony : it indecates how many notes the kayboard can play simultaneously.


Some options to take a look at

Here are some keyboards that could be good for a beginner but this is just an example, there are dozen of keyboards out there, so you should spend some time to pick what’s you feel the best for you.

Casio is well known for their cheap instruments but recently they have started to produce very nice keyboards, innovative, quite good and chep.

Yamaha is an important brand and it is really well known in the music field for its undisputed quality.

Here are just a few examples with indicative prices in USD taken from online stores:

Casio CTK2400

beginner keyboard, Casio CTK 2400

  • Keybed : 61 Keys
  • Price : $ 90.00
  • Polyphony : 48 Notes
  • Sounds : 400 built in
  • Rhythms : 150 built in, expandable
  • Touch Response : No
  • Extras : Basic sampling system, built in microphone
  • Official instrument page

Casio CT-X700

beginner keyboard, Casio CT-X700

This is the newest keyboard produced by Casio, for the price seems a real monster!

  • Keybed : 61 keys, TOUCH RESPONSE : 3 types, off, TOUCH ON/OFF BUTTON : Yes, 3 sensitivity levels,
  • Price : $ 170.00
  • Polyphony : 48 Notes
  • Sounds : 600 built in
  • Rhythms : 136 built in, 10 user’s slots
  • Extras : Arpeggiator, Music presets, Registration banks, Midi recorder
  • Official instrument page

Yamaha PSR EW300

beginner keyboard, Yamaha EW300

  • Keybed : 76 Keys
  • Price : $ 250.00
  • Polyphony : 48 Notes
  • Sounds : 574 Built in high quality sounds
  • Rhythms : 165 Built in
  • Touch Response : Yes
  • Extras : Learning mode, Duo mode
  • Official instrument page

Yamaha YPG 535

beginner keyboard, Yamaha YPG 535

  • Keybed : 88 piano-style keys with Graded Soft Touch
  • Price : $ 360.00
  • Polyphony : 32 Notes
  • Sounds : 127 Sounds + 361 XG and 12 Drum Kits
  • Rhythms : 160 Built in, exandable
  • Touch Response : Yes
  • Extras : Music database, One Touch Settings, Sequencer, Learn mode
  • Official instrument page

Casio WK7600

beginner keyboard, Casio WK7600

  • Keybed : 76 Keys
  • Price : $ 450.00
  • Polyphony : 64 Notes
  • Sounds : 820 built in, including 50 drawbar organ sounds
  • Rhythms : 260 built in, 100 user’s slots
  • Touch Response : 2 Sensitive levels or off
  • Extras : Pattern sequencer, Rhythm editor, Song sequencer, Mixer, One touch presets and more.
  • Official instrument page


beginner keyboard, Yamaha P45

  • Keybed : 88 Keys, Graded Hammer standard
  • Price : $ 450.00
  • Polyphony : 64 Notes
  • Sounds : 10 Built in sounds
  • Rhythms : none
  • Touch Response : Hard, Medium, Soft, Mixed
  • Extras : Layers, Duo mode
  • Official instrument page

Casio Privia PX160

beginner keyboard, Casio Privia PX160

  • Keybed : 88 Keys, Scaled Hammer action
  • Price : $ 500.00
  • Polyphony : 128 Notes
  • Sounds : 30 Sounds
  • Rhythms : 60 Songs Music Library
  • Touch Response : 3 Sensitivity Levels and Off.
  • Extras : Midi Recorder (1 Song, 2 Tracks), Duo Mode
  • Official instrument page


beginner keyboard, Yamaha P115

  • Keybed : 88 Keys, Graded Hammer standard
  • Price : $ 600.00
  • Polyphony : 192 Notes
  • Sounds : 14 Built in sounds
  • Rhythms : 14 built in pianist rhythms
  • Touch Response : Hard, Medium, Soft, Mixed
  • Extras : Layer, Split and Duo modes, Midi Recorder (1 Song, 2 Tracks)
  • Official instrument page




Even if we have only listed Yamaha and Casio here, you can look also at Korg, Roland, Alesis whuch are very famous for their build quality and technology.

This post should be considered as a starting point for people who are looking for their first keyboard for themselves or they are looking for a beginner keyboard for their children.

The final advice MakeMusic! can give you is :

  • Decide your budget
  • Look on Internet until you find what you may be interested in
  • Download the keyboard manual and read if it have the features you are looking for
  • Find and read online reviews
  • Use YouTube to hear and to view how the selected instrument performs
  • If you have the opportunity go to a phisical store and try the instrument live before you buy.


MakeMusic! is not affiliated with the mentioned firms/producers, nor it has received prizes to mention the above models.



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