Best Beginner Keyboard: Our Top 5 Choices
Updated on 03/12/2018
Excellent keyboard options for learners
For many musicians, the keyboard is the first port of call on the road to musical greatness. Sure, most of us will have dabbled with the humble recorder at school, but it’s with the keyboard that many people with an inclination to learn a ‘proper’ instrument (no offence, recorder fans) will start. So who’s knows who the John Lewis Christmas advert will inspire to be the next Elton John.
Choosing a piano or keyboard can be daunting though. There is a huge range of similar looking, similarly priced pianos out there, so where to start? In this blog we will list our top 5 best beginner keyboard options. We’ll look at five instruments which will enable anyone to get a good start on their musical journey. We’ll also describe the features and capabilities of each option, and how they can help make life easier for you.
There are two big names when it comes to learner keyboards: Yamaha and Casio. Both brands are steeped in history and have helped thousands of budding musos take their first steps. Most importantly, both companies know what learners need from their keyboards, and design them in such a way as to help keep the enthusiasm going.
The Yamaha YPT-260 is designed specifically with younger players in mind. It achieves a great balance of portability and performance. The keys aren’t too big, so won’t overwhelm younger hands, yet there are enough included voices (sounds) to keep things interesting.
In-built lesson functions and backing tracks mean the player will always have something to aid their development, while the ability to record via the included USB connector means you can track your progress easily.
Sticking with Yamaha, the PSR-F51 also features a wide 61-key range which is perfect for encouraging two handed playing. It boasts 120 included voices, which covers strings, organs, piano, guitar and even synths.
114 included backing styles mean you’ll always have something interesting to play over the top of. This is crucial when learning as it encourages the player to stay in time with other musicians, while also providing useful boundaries for learning to improvise using scales.
The Yamaha PSR-F51 menu and interfaces are easy to navigate around, while the included rest means you can keep your favourite learning books visible while you practice.
The Casio SA-46 is a different beast altogether.
This tiny beginners keyboard offers 32 keys, 100 included sounds and a non-weighted keyboard which is ideal for little fingers making their way around the instrument for the first time.
Don’t be fooled into thinking its a toy though; despite its friendly appearance, the SA-46 offers enough functionality to keep beginners interested for years to come.
A step above the aforementioned models is the Yamaha PSR-E263. It includes a vastly expanded voicing section, taking in over 400 sounds like orchestral, woodwind, brass and drums.
The included Yamaha Education Suite provides exceptional resources to help improve your technique and skill. A further indication of its quality is the ability for the user to add various musical effects to their playing. Mix in a dash of reverb or delay and notice how the overall sound takes on a new, more polished feel.
Another great feature is the ability for the player to hook up an iPod or external sound source in order to play along with their favourite music. There are plenty of great online resources offering free backing tracks, so you’ll always find something new and interesting to practice with.
Yamaha P45 Stage Piano
Finally, the Yamaha P45 Stage Piano is worth including. Perhaps you don’t need access to hundreds of different voices or all the bells and whistles. You just want a solid, good quality electric piano which will support you as you continue to develop your skills.
The Yamaha P45 is exactly that. You’ll notice the difference first in the keys themselves. The hammer-weighted, matte finish keys provide more resistance towards the bass end, mirroring the experience of a real piano. This ensures your technique will become trained perfectly.
An on-board USB interface means you can record into a computer or laptop, and a headphone setting means you can practice silently if required. The stage bundle, shown above, contains everything you need to get started, including headphones, a stand, a stool and a sustain pedal.
As you can see, there are plenty of options for the learner. Many features overlap from model to model, so it’s worth visiting your local Dawsons’ store where our specialists will be help. Whatever it is that you’re looking for, we will have the best beginner keyboard for you.
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We recently picked our “5 of the best keyboard amps” for those who are looking to take their music on the road.
For those who are looking for something “grander”, check out our “Beginner’s Guide to Stage Pianos” for advice on where you can progress to in the future.
If you need any help or advice then our Customer Service Team are more than happy to help over the phone on 01925 582420.
As always you can check out the Dawsons website to search our full selection of Keyboards and Pianos.
Quick recap of the keyboards highlighted in the article: