The future of music

10 Best Keyboards for Beginners

December 29, 2023
best keyboards for beginners

If you’re looking for the best keyboards for beginners in 2023, you’re in luck.

Keyboards have become the go-to instrument for those who are looking to learn piano easily and on a budget.

Because of this, there are countless options as to what to buy, which can make it pretty difficult if you’re not sure of exactly what you’re looking for.

Whether you’re looking for a basic, entry-level piano or a more hardy, long-term instrument to support you on your journey, you’ll find something on our list for you.

We’ve curated this list of the best keyboards for beginners on the market this year, giving you all the information you need to make a great choice (no matter your budget or needs).

After that, we’ll discuss some key points about keyboards for beginners and answer some frequently asked questions.

1. Casiotone LK-S450

Casiotone LK-S450 Keyboard

For a starting keyboard, the Casiotone LK-S450 is a fantastic option, especially for kids. For visual learners and to make learning more exciting, the LED keys light up when you press them.

Since the LEDs react to MIDI data, you can follow along with demo tracks and know exactly which keys to push.

Additionally, it has a very user-friendly interface with an LCD screen, five control buttons, and fast keys for changing settings.

This makes choosing between the six hundred sounds quite easy and enables you to use your keyboard as an arranger keyboard.

You can use multitrack MIDI recording to capture your creations, which you can then playback over the two speakers or listen to on external devices.

The karaoke mode, which lets you sing along while using a microphone and effects, is one of the other entertaining features.

Overall, this is a feature-rich beginning keyboard that is inexpensive (£241/$299.99) and great for both kids and adults.

2. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 Mk2

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 Mk2

The primary purpose of the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 Mk2 is to work with your DAW.

It includes a membership to Ableton Live Lite for those who wish to begin writing music.

The Fatar keyboard’s 61 semi-weighted keys make it resemble an authentic acoustic piano. 

Due to its modest weight of just a little over twelve pounds, it is transportable and practical.

A USB port, MIDI in/out, an expression and sustain pedal unit, and other connectivity features are all included.

The game remains pleasant and engaging due to the number of sounds and the variety of voices and effects in the library.

You may start making electronic music right now with the Komplete Kontrol S61 Mk2 thanks to its fifty gigabytes of sound and memory storage.

It has two high-quality screens, as well as many buttons and knobs that make experimenting with different settings easy.

It doesn’t have built-in speakers, but this isn’t a significant issue because it’s easy to connect it to PCs and external speakers.

Although it costs about $650 more than the other items on this list, it includes a variety of functions that are great for beginners. 

3. Alesis Melody 61 MKII Music Keyboard

Alesis Melody 61 MKII Music Keyboard

The Alesis Melody 61 MKII Music Keyboard is a complete set that includes every accessory you need for a beginner.

With a bench, a stand, headphones, and a mic, this is a great deal at just $119.

This particular model has sixty-one keys, which is ideal for a beginner, but smaller fifty-four and thirty-two key models are available.

If you remove it from the stand, you have a great portable keyboard for lessons and gigging, too.

The three hundred sounds keep learning engaging, allowing you to switch between different instruments.

And there’s a metronome, to keep you in time as you progress.

If you’re into composing, you can record your work using the easy-to-use recording function.

If you buy this package, you’ll also receive a three-month subscription to Skoove which is a lesson service that will help you to learn on your own time!

4. Yamaha Piaggero NP-15

Yamaha Piaggero NP-15

The Yamaha Piaggero NP-15 has sixty-one full-sized keys, mounted on a velocity-sensitive keyboard.

It is battery-operated and weighs less than five kilograms, making it the perfect keyboard for those who want a portable model that they can take to lessons.

The fifteen sounds will sound excellent coming out of the two-and-a-half-watt built-in speakers, and make for a fun way to practice what you’ve learnt and even begin to compose your own pieces.

The sounds are even built off of a real Yamaha concert grand piano, so they’re wildly realistic.

The Piaggero NP-15 comes with a range of connectivity options, including ports for a sustain pedal unit, USB, and a power supply.

This means you can plug your phone in and practice along to lessons or your favorite tunes.

There is also a recording function, which allows you to listen back to your playing and take notes about where to improve.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a Bluetooth MIDI option, but this is still an excellent, affordable model for a beginner.

This is a great model to practice your finger placement, along with your general playing technique.

For just £263 or $319, you can learn piano in style.

5. Casio CT-S300

Casio CT-S300

Casio is known for creating excellent quality keyboards that suit all skill levels and budgets.

The CT-S300 is no exception and a great all-rounder!

With sixty-one full-sized keys that are velocity-sensitive, it’s easy to learn the keyboard and progress onto piano with this model. 

It has a whopping four hundred sounds and seventy-seven rhythms, which is huge for a keyboard of its size.

This will make learning fun and easy – you’ll never get bored!

There are also a range of effects, including built-in reverb and dance music mode.

It only weighs 3.3 kilograms and can be powered by a battery, making it an excellent portable piano.

It’s great for lessons or gigging, with tons of connectivity options including a sustain pedal input, a USB port, an Aux input, and a power adapter.

There is even a built-in carrying handle for even further ease of portability, and the keyboard comes with a sixty-song songbook to get you started.

One of the reasons this keyboard is such a great choice for a beginner is the compatibility with the Chordana teaching app, which allows you to watch lessons and practice along with songs while you play.

It is extremely affordable at $179, so certainly check out this model if you’re looking for a starter keyboard for beginners.

6. Roland GO:Keys GO-61K

Roland GO:Keys GO-61K

One of the top portable keyboards on the market in 2023 is the Roland GO:Keys GO-61K.

Despite still having 61 full-sized, velocity-sensitive keys, it manages to maintain its lightweight design. 

The number of sounds is over 500, and there are 672 loop mix patterns and rhythms, making it one of the most comprehensive packages available at this price.

You can purchase it for only $349.99, which is equivalent to £235, so you won’t have to spend a fortune on a premium keyboard.

It is made to be readily portable and comes with a power adaptor for when you aren’t moving. It can also run on batteries.

Additionally, it has a number of connectivity features, including Bluetooth, an Aux input, a USB connector, and a sustain pedal input.

One of the best features of this keyboard is that it has a Bluetooth connection, which is uncommon for keyboards at this price point.

It implies that you can quickly connect your phone, utilise your keyboard in place of the built-in speaker while not in use, and connect additional speakers for even greater sound!

Although the built-in speakers are not the best, they are still rather good, making this option valuable. 

With the Bluetooth connection, you can easily follow along with online lessons, which will help you learn.

It has a music stand so you can easily practise compositions.

Additionally, there is a recording feature so you can listen back and assess your work as well as an internal metronome to keep you on time. 

Roland has done an amazing job of re-creating the electric and acoustic piano tones, and the voices and sounds are rich and warm.

This model will help you as you advance in your keyboard education and eventually help you transition to a real piano.

7. Yamaha PSS-A50

Yamaha PSS-A50

Yamaha made the PSS-A50 with children in mind!

It features thirty-seven mini keys, mounted on a velocity-sensitive keyboard.

It’s super lightweight and is powered by four AA batteries, so it’s easy for kids to take it to lessons and school.

It is based on Yamaha’s Reface series of reimaged classic synths, with forty-two fun sounds and twenty-one rhythms, which helps to keep learning fun and engaging.

It also features motion effects and a built-in aggregator with one hundred and thirty-eight patterns.

The built-in speakers are loud enough and high quality enough that they’ll be able to show off what they’ve learned!

For silent practice, there is a headphone socket and a phrase recorder.

It weighs in at just over one kilogram, which makes it impressively easy to carry around!

If you want to leave it in one place, it has the option to connect it to a power adapter and also has an Aux input and USB port.

This is definitely a keyboard for children, as it’s just too small for adults.

But that doesn’t make it any less impressive!

Yamaha managed to create a powerful, great-sounding mini keyboard for the affordable price of £80 or $99.99.

8. Alesis Recital Pro

Alesis Recital Pro

The Alesis Recital Pro is a full sized, eighty eight key keyboard renowned for its sturdiness and quality.

It does a great job at recreating the sounds of an acoustic piano, and it deserves its place on our list.

The hammer action keys make it a great model for beginners to transition to an acoustic, without breaking the bank.

It’s also easy to alter the sound that you get when you press the keys, making it a truly customisable playing experience.

While there are only eleven instrument sounds, which is less than most of the pianos on this list, their quality is impeccable.

The Recital Pro also comes with the ability to split the keyboard into two, which means you can play alongside a tutor or a friend.

This makes it super easy to learn how to play and perform duets.

As with other Alesis models, you also receive a three month subscription to Skoove premium, which provides lessons and tutorials at your fingertips.

It supports headphones, USB MIDI, and has a port for a sustain pedal unit which is a great range of connectivity options for a portable keyboard.

Overall, the Alesis Recital Pro is built to last, and support you from beginner status right up to advanced.

The weighted keys are a great addition, and the sound quality is exceptional.

You can buy it for just $350, which is a great price for such a high quality instrument.

9. Korg B2

Korg B2

The Korg B2 is a fantastic option for anybody looking for a portable keyboard that can also function as a digital upright in the console style.

It is essentially a stage keyboard for beginners, weighing just over eleven kilograms, but if you get the custom stand, it is designed to appear stylish and fit into any home.

You’ll feel as though you’re playing an actual acoustic piano thanks to the keyboard’s natural weighted hammer action, graded keys, and respectable one-hundred-and-twenty polyphony. 

It has twelve built-in sounds, including strings, a harpsichord, five Italian and German grand pianos, three electric pianos, two organs, and two organs.

This will enable you to perform elegantly and keep practicing enjoyable, and every aspect of each instrument was sampled.

A large collection of demo tunes, a variety of connectivity choices, including a USB MIDI connector, as well as reverb and chorus effects are also available if you want to spice things up a bit.

Shortcuts and keys that you can use to quickly access the settings will save you from having to navigate through numerous menus.

The Korg B2 is an excellent weighted keyboard that was designed with simplicity, realism, portability, and sound quality in mind.

It can be purchased for just $508 or £399, making it a rather inexpensive and entry-level investment.

10. Casio WK-6600

Casio WK-6600

The Casio WK-6600 is a great arranger keyboard for beginners because of its impressive amount of sounds, as well as its portability.

It has seventy-six full-sized keys on a velocity-sensitive keyboard, which gives it the realism of an acoustic piano without the price.

It has an enormous seven hundred sounds and two hundred and ten rhythms, which will support your journey as you progress in learning the instrument and keep things upbeat and fun.

It is battery powered and only weighs just over seven kilograms, which makes it easy to carry around and use anywhere.

It also comes with built-in speakers, Sustain pedal input connectivity, and USB and power ports.

An arranger keyboard allows the user to layer sounds and rhythms from different instruments, so it’s basically like being in a one-man band. 

Its simplicity of use and intuitive interface make it great for beginners! 

It’s priced affordably at £238 or $299.99, making it an excellent choice for a starter keyboard.

That was our list of the ten best keyboards for beginners in 2023!

We hope you found something that works for you.

Now, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about keyboards for beginners.

What is the difference between a keyboard and a digital piano?

The primary distinction between keyboards and digital pianos is that the latter are more frequently used by those seeking an acoustic piano substitute.

When compared to many keyboards, which are slightly smaller but packed with sounds and rhythms, they are more likely to feature eighty-eight keys.

As a result, keyboards are frequently chosen by beginners searching for an entry-level instrument because they are generally more economical.

Keyboards are frequently lighter and powered by batteries, making them simpler to transport to lessons and school.

When working with an instructor, a beginner will benefit from its portability.

In general, a keyboard is less comparable to an acoustic piano than a digital piano is, but they make up for this at an affordable price.

As a beginner, a keyboard may be more suitable as an entry-level instrument.

It really just depends on whether you are planning to progress onto an upright piano, but a keyboard can still get you there.

How Many Keys Do I Need?

A standard keyboard has eighty-eight keys, but there are models that come with seventy-six, sixty-one, forty-nine, and twenty-five keys.

As a beginner, it’s best to have a keyboard that supports two-handed playing.

For this, you’ll need a minimum of forty-nine keys, which is four octaves.

Children may need a smaller keyboard to accommodate their smaller hands.

If it’s realism you’re looking for, bigger is always better.

An eighty-eight-key keyboard will be the most comparable to an acoustic piano, but it’s not necessary if you’re just beginning to learn how to play. 

However, as you progress, you may need more keys so it can be good to start off with an instrument that will support your journey the whole way through.

What is the action of a keyboard?

The action of a keyboard defines how hard it is to press down the keys on your keyboard.

Real pianos have weighted keys with heavy action, so for beginners, it can be easier to learn on a lighter synth-action keyboard. 

You may need to begin with a lighter action before you progress onto a heavy action keyboard, since hard-to-press-down keys require a lot of finger strength. 

Does a keyboard need lots of sounds?

As a beginner learning the keyboard, you don’t necessarily need multitudes of sounds.

However, sounds can make it way more fun to play, and is great to keep kids engaged and practicing outside of lesson time.

It’s up to you whether you go for quality or quantity of sounds.

Some keyboards have hundreds of sounds available, while others only have a handful.

It depends on what you want and what will support your learning!

What is a velocity-sensitive keyboard?

A velocity-sensitive keyboard imitates the action of a real acoustic piano, without the need for fully weighted keys.

They respond to how hard you hit the keys while playing, meaning that the harder you hit the key the louder the note comes out.

If you want to progress onward to play an acoustic piano, it’s important to get used to how hard you have to hit the keys.

All of the keyboards in this list have velocity-sensitive keyboards that are great for helping beginners to progress.

What’s the best way for a beginner to learn the keyboard?

The ideal approach to learn is one-on-one instruction for a total beginner.

The greatest approach to make sure you don’t pick up poor habits and learn the appropriate technique is to use a tutor, a friend, or a family member.

If hiring a tutor is not an option, books are the next best thing.

You can learn how to read sheet music from the majority of beginner keyboard books, which is essential for developing the skill.

You can also get support from a tonne of excellent YouTube videos and online courses.

Nowadays, many keyboards come with an app that you can download to your device that has songs to play along with, lessons, and tests.

Both adults and children will find these to be very beneficial and simple to use, which makes learning the keyboard enjoyable and simple.

What’s the best age for a beginner to start learning the keyboard?

You can learn the keyboard at any age!

It’s never too late to start learning, but there are some considerations to think about if you or your child is starting at a young age.

For a young child with small hands, a keyboard with sixty-one keys or less may be more suitable than a full eighty-eight keys.

A full-sized keyboard may be too big, and a keyboard with weighted keys may be too heavy.

What accessories do I need for my beginner keyboard?

There are a lot of keyboard accessories out there, and pretty much all of them are optional.

It really depends on what environment you use your keyboard in, and what you want to do with it.

One of the essentials is a keyboard stand, which will turn your portable keyboard into an upright for your home.

Many models will have a stand that you can buy separately that is made for that specific model, to ensure that it is the right size and strength. 

If you’re sitting at your keyboard for an extended period of time, you’ll want to be comfortable.

It’s worth investing in a good quality bench that will support you while you practice.

A good set of headphones is vital if you want to practice in silence without sacrificing sound quality.

Most keyboards will have a headphone port or  Bluetooth that you can connect to.

Some keyboards come with a sustain pedal unit, but some will require you to buy it separately.

Either way, they’re a great accessory to have if you want to play particular songs (some need one) and recreate that acoustic piano feel.

Another essential accessory is a music stand, which you’ll need if you’re playing sheet music or learning from a book.

How much should I spend on a beginner keyboard?

Your budget is up to you, but for a beginner, you can expect a decent entry-level keyboard for between $100 and $300.

You could spend more than $500 if you wish, which may support you for longer as you progress, but it isn’t necessary.

With technology in 2023, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a great quality beginner keyboard that has all of the functions that you need.

Best Keyboard For Beginners – Final thoughts

Keyboards have been growing in popularity when it comes to learning the piano because of their vast range of functions and affordable price.

There are a lot on the market, so it can be tough to know where to begin.

We hope our list of the ten best keyboards for beginners in 2023 had something in it for you, and our FAQs answered some of your queries.

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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