Keyboard & Digital Piano Buyer’s Guide – 2021
As a beginner shopping for their very first digital piano or keyboard, there are four main categories from which to choose.
First of all, where should you shop for your first keyboard or other music gear? Sweetwater is our preferred musical instrument seller. They have a top-notch sales department, competitive pricing, and reliable shipping times. We do not receive anything in return for this suggestion. This is simply where we order a lot of our gear for our schools.
$30-80 Keyboard for Kids
Usually, less than 61 keys and NOT touch-sensitive. Touch sensitivity means that the harder you press the key the louder the sound of that note. Only children under the age of 7 should consider these keyboards as they are an inexpensive way to see if your child is really interested in sticking with piano lessons for more than a couple of months. If you feel pretty sure your child will be taking lessons for longer, don't even consider one of these.
$80-$200 Portable Keyboard
In this price range, you will generally find Casio and Yamaha brands are the best quality and value. Most of these have 61 full-sized plastic keys. This is the minimum that you really want. Make sure to get a "touch-sensitive" model. Touch sensitivity means that the harder you press the key the louder the sound of that note. This is the most important thing to look for. It is how a real piano works. The Yamaha Piagerro would be a pretty good choice.
Many of the keyboards in this range have lots of extra sounds and beats built-in. These can be fun but are not necessary to learn to play. In fact, you might choose to get the simplest keyboard so that you aren't tempted to waste time instead of practicing. The practice is the only thing that will make you a better player! Make sure you like the "Piano" sound that the keyboard has to offer. That is the sound that you will spend most of your time listening to.
$350-$700 Digital Piano (Our Top Recommendation for Beginners)
For around $500 or so you can get what many teachers believe to be the best value in terms of playability and sound. Again Casio and Yamaha rule the roost. We almost exclusively use the Yamaha P-45 Digital Piano and absolutely love them. They feel great, are very small in total size and sound really nice. 88 full-sized weighted keys give these the feel and range of a real acoustic piano. The Casio Privia 160 is a close competitor to its quality as well.
There are so many options available in this price range and you can spend thousands on the state of the art models that literally play themselves but what fun is that? In all seriousness, the extra high-end features are not necessary to learn the instrument. After you have played for a while and decide you want to score a symphony you can always upgrade to one of these beauty's that have every sound in the orchestra, band, concert hall, and more!
Please call us at 425-485-8310 if you have any other questions about purchasing a keyboard or digital piano for yourself or your child.
4/4 School of Music