13 BEST Digital Pianos & Keyboards For Beginners 2021
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One of the most exciting things you will experience as a new musician is getting your first instrument. It’s something you will remember for as long as you live! I still remember the very first guitar my parents got me when I was twelve.
Back then, I remember having a difficult time choosing the best one for me, and that is what inspired me to write this article. The goal here is to bring the new pianist a selection of digital keyboards to choose from—one that will satisfy their needs as a beginner and stay in their memories forever.
Compare Best Digital Pianos & Keyboards
✔3 types of touch sensitivity
✔Multi-dimensional Morphing Air Sound Source
✔Available in 88-key, 76-key, and 61-key variations
✔Pressure-sensitive, weighted keyboard with action hammer system
✔88 Semi-weighted keys with touch response
✔Built-in 20W speakers
✔Progressive Harmonic Imaging
✔88-note piano sampling
✔Ivory touch keytops
✔Simulated Ivory and Ebony keytops
✔3 Types of touch sensitivity and the option to turn it off
✔88 fully weighted keys
✔Realistic simulated Ivory and Ebony keytops
✔3 different touch settings
✔30 voices and instruments
✔9 touch sensitivity settings
✔Up to 240-key polyphony
✔88-key digital piano with wooden keys
✔Triple-sensor pressure point simulation
✔88 weighted keys
✔5 types of touch sensitivity
✔AWM Stereo sampling
✔Capable of 64-note polyphony
Top 3 Best Digital Pianos and Keyboards for Beginners
Let us start at the very beginning. In this section, I will be giving you my top three recommendations. These pianos are not just perfect for beginners but they are also durable and versatile—perfect to use even as you graduate from beginner to intermediate and even advanced. These pianos have incredible features, effects, and prices, and will always be at the top of my recommendations list.
1. Yamaha P-45
Hands-down, this is by far the best on my list. The Yamaha P-45 looks sleek and compact, but it has full-sized, fully-weighted keys with actual hammers that ensure a realistic feel whenever you play. With this keyboard, you will not have any problems transferring to an acoustic piano.
Despite being fully-weighted, the P-45 is still lighter than many digital keyboards of this type so if you need to move it to and from your piano lessons, you won’t have a hard time doing so. One gripe many people have about this system is that you will have to purchase most of the accessories separately as it comes pretty bare. Still, these should not be too expensive.
The control system is pretty simple and straightforward, so beginners should not have a hard time figuring out how to apply the different functions and modes available. Plus, the auto-off function is a nifty addition to anyone who is looking to save energy consumption.
The set comes with a built-in 6W speakers (built-in speakers are not too common in professional digital pianos and keyboards) which is perfect for a fairly decent sized practice room. This system does not have a lot of effects but it has enough for anyone who is just starting.
- 88-key fully-weighted keyboard
- Keys with Graded Hammer Standard action
- 4 Different Touch Sensitivity options
- AWM Stereo sampling
- 64-note polyphony
- 10 Instrument Sounds including 2 piano sounds
- 20 songs (10 preset and 10 demo songs)
- 2 Modes (Duo and Dual)
- Functions such as metronome, transpose and fine-tuning
- 2 Built-in 6W speakers
- Decent connection options such as USB to Host, Sustain pedal jack, and headphone jack
2. Casio Privia PX-770
This digital piano may be the priciest on the list, but it is for good reason. The keys are fully weighted with hammer action and have three types of touch sensitivity. They respond to how fast or slow you play. If that does not impress you, then perhaps the 128-note polyphony and built-in 8W speakers will!
The sound quality of this keyboard is amazing as expected from Casio’s infamous Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source. You will surely enjoy the 19 different built-in sounds that come with this system.
Not only is the build quality of this system great, but it is also compact—perfect for an any-size apartment. Unfortunately, because of the hammered, weighted keys, this digital piano is pretty heavy so it might be difficult to lug around in places.
This system does not come with an LCD screen, but the controls are pretty neat, minimal, and easy to get used to.
- 88 fully-weighted keyboard
- Simulated Ivory and Ebony keytops and Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II
- 3 Types of touch sensitivity
- Built-in 8W speakers with Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source
- 128-note polyphony
- 5 Piano sounds and 14 other instrument sounds
- Acoustic Simulator with Damper Resonance and Hammer Response features
- 60 Preset songs with an additional 10 User songs
- 3 Play Modes (Split, Dual and Duo)
- Has Lesson Functions
- Concert Play features
- 2-track MIDI recorder
- Metronome, Transpose, Fine-tuning, and Octave shift functions
- Comes with 17 types of temperament
3. Casio CTK-2550
At a little over $100, you would not be expecting a lot from this keyboard. In truth, the keys are not weighted, not full-sized, and do not have a touch response. However, the amount of built-in music in this system is incredible.
Despite the 61-key arrangement with a lower-than-average 48-note polyphony, the device has 400 built-in tones. This huge number is enough for many pianists, especially beginners, to have fun with their instruments. The CTK-2550 also has 100 built-in rhythms, half of which are dance music rhythms.
As for anyone who wants to use this piano for lessons, you will be pleased to find that it is integrated well into Casio’s Chordana app and has amazing functions, such as scoring systems and voice guides, so you can have fun even during practice. The speakers are weak in terms of volume, but you can connect it to speakers or headphones for more private practice.
While it does not have built-in recorders, the ability to connect to USB and the integration to Chordana makes it easy for you to record and store your songs there instead.
- 61-keys with 48-note polyphony
- 400 built-in tones
- Includes sound effects such as hall, reverb, and dance music
- 100 built-in rhythms including 50 dance music rhythms
- 30 Song expansions
- Includes lesson functions such as scoring systems, lesson lite, and voice fingering guide
- Chordana app integration
- Includes functions such as transpose, tuning control, and metronome
- Includes 2 2W speakers
- Plenty of connectivity options such as damper/sustain pedal jack, phone output, Mic line-ins, audio ins, and USB to host
Best Digital Pianos Under 500
Even if you are a pianist on a budget, you do not need to worry about getting a decent piano. This section will give you several cheap pianos under $500 that are as featureful as it is durable. Despite being extremely affordable, you will find that these digital pianos are from well-known companies so you can rest assured that the quality of these pianos is not compromised.
4. Yamaha PSR-EW300
Looking at the EW300, there does not seem to be a lot of features. Unlike other digital keyboards, this unit only comes in either 61- or 76-key variations. The keys are unweighted, the speakers are decent (but not impressive), and the headphone jack is at the back of the keyboard, which makes it hard to reach.
However, this is not where the Yamaha PSR-EW300 shines. This keyboard has arranger keyboard functions and is perfect for any beginner pianist who wants to do a bit of music production. The 48-note polyphony does not sound impressive, however, the amount of effects, preset tones, styles, and preset songs that comes with this device is so immense that you would not have any problems incorporating the sounds you want.
With over 40 effects, 500+ presets, 300+ styles, and 150+ preset songs, you will never get tired of making music with this device.
If you are a total beginner, no problem! The system also includes Keys to Success Lesson Mode which will help you greatly through your studies as well as different play modes for your lessons.
- Option for 61/76 full-sized unweighted keys with 3 Touch Sensitivity types
- AWM Stereo Sampling on built-in 2.5W Speakers
- 48-note polyphony
- Modes such as Split, Dual, and Duo
- 12 types of Reverb effects, 5 types of Chorus effects, 6 types of Master EQ effects, and 26 types of Harmony effects
- 574 preset tones, 165 Accompaniment Styles, and 150 Arpeggio Types
- Includes Keys to Success Lesson Mode
- Includes over 150 Preset Songs
5. Casio CDP-S100
The Casio CDP-S100 is one of the cheapest digital keyboards out there with full-sized, fully-weighted keys with hammer action. It has 3 types of touch sensitivity including the ability to turn it off and simulated ebony and ivory keytops. So, if you have a case of sweaty hands, the surface will not get slippery due to the texture.
This unit may not have a lot of effects or instruments, but it has all you will ever need as a beginner plus a bit of extra. The functions and play modes you need during lessons are all present in this system as well.
Another gripe most users have about this keyboard is that it does not have recording and playback functions. You have to use external methods to properly record your songs and samples. However, with the Dual-Element AHL II, Sound Engine implemented on 2 built-in 8W speakers, the recording will sound crisp and clear.
- 88 full-sized, fully-weighted keys with 3 types of touch sensitivity
- Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard
- Simulated ebony and ivory keytops
- 64-note polyphony
- 10 instrument sounds 3 of which are acoustic pianos
- Dual Layering mode
- Functions such as Metronome, Transpose, and Master Tuning
- Dual-Element AHL II Sound Engine on 2 built-in 8W speakers
- Several connection options such as USB to Host, Headphone jack, Sustain pedal jack, and stereo mini-jack
6. Yamaha Piaggero NP-12
This keyboard is extremely affordable, and with Yamaha’s brand name on it, you can be sure that it is one durable instrument that will last you for many years.
The NP-12 comes in variations of 61 or 76 unweighted keys with 3 types of touch sensitivity. The 64-note polyphony is, at this price, incredible. Unfortunately, this does not have any other effects, such as the reverb effect, but this is all you will need as a beginner and this keyboard is made with the beginner in mind.
Additionally, this instrument comes with playback and recording functions as well as built-in 2.5W speakers which does not seem like much but is still good enough for practicing in a small room.
- Options for 61/76 unweighted keys with 3 types of touch sensitivity
- AWM Stereo Sampling on 2 2.5W speakers
- 64-note polyphony
- 10 preset tones, 1 dual layering mode, and 4 reverb effects
- 1-track MIDI recorder
- Comes with 20 built-in songs (10 demos and 10 piano preset)
- Connections include a headphone jack, a sustain pedal jack, and USB to host
7. RockJam RJ761
The RJ761 is a complete, affordable piano with 61-keys. Upon ordering, the set comes with a pedal, a chair, a stand, and a headset, which means you can start playing right away! It also comes with a free 3-month membership to Skoove. Unfortunately, Skoove is only available on Apple products so if you are an Android user, this is a letdown.
Despite some flaws, this keyboard can be powered by batteries, so it is perfect for musicians on-the-go. It has a touch panel display that is modern and easy to navigate as well as recording and playback and teaching functions.
The amount of voices, rhythms, and demo songs in this instrument is also incredible in size and gives you plenty of options when playing.
- 61 full-sized keys
- Comes with a free 3-month membership to Skoove
- Optional battery power
- Touch panel display
- 200 voices, 200 rhythms, and 50 demo songs
- Record and playback functions
- Has teaching functions
- Comes with a music stand, padded seat, headphones, and sustain pedal
Best Keyboards for Learning
If you currently have piano lessons or if you are planning to have them soon, then this section is meant for you! These are the best digital pianos and keyboards to use while you are studying. These keyboards have tutoring modes and cool practice functions that you will find very useful as you improve. The best part? The digital pianos and keyboards listed in this section are cheap, so even if you are on a tight budget, you will not have to compromise your learning or your first instrument.
8. Alesis Recital Pro
Many professional pianists would scoff at the Alesis Recital because of its affordable price compromising the quality. However, if you are a beginner looking for an instrument to practice on or an intermediate to an advanced pianist who is simply looking for a budget instrument then the Alesis Recital does this job incredibly well.
At a price below $500, the Alesis Recital provides you with an instrument that has 88 full-sized, fully-weighted keys with real hammer action and 3 types of touch sensitivity. The keyboard also comes with an amazing 128-note polyphony which is almost unheard of at this price range.
The system also comes with lots of preset tones and songs as well as different modes for your lessons or duet playing. It has functions like metronome and transpose and several effects for you to play around with. Furthermore, you can power the unit with 6 DCell batteries that allow you to bring it anywhere. Unfortunately, the Alesis Recital is not very lightweight so most users prefer using the AC adapter.
The speakers that are installed in the Alesis are pretty solid too. The 20W woofers and 10W tweeters offer a crisp, clear sound quality.
- 88 full-sized, fully-weighted keys with hammer action and 3 types of touch sensitivity
- 128-note polyphony
- Built-in effects include Reverb, Chorus, Modulation, EQ, and Pedal Resonance
- 12 preset tones, over 20 preset songs (10 piano and 12 voice)
- Play in different modes such as Layer, Split, and Lesson (Duo)
- Built-in transpose and metronome functions
- Built-in 20W Woofers and 10W Tweeters speakers
- Available connection options include 2 line outputs, a headphone output, a sustain pedal input, USB to Host port, and MIDI connection
9. Hamzer 61-Key
Hamzer may not be as well-known as Yamaha or Casio, but this 61-key digital keyboard from that company is something to consider. Costing barely above $100, this instrument does not have weighted keys; in fact, it is not even touch-sensitive. However, it has an LED screen, built-in 4W speakers, and hundreds upon hundreds of timbres, rhythms, sounds, and demo songs.
If that is not enough to impress you, this instrument has recording and playback capabilities as well as a split keyboard mode that is perfect to use for piano lessons. The auto-metronome, tempo, and auto-bass functions will allow pianists of any level to make music quick and easy.
You can power this unit with 6 AA batteries which can last for up to 10+ hours of use. So, if you are someone who enjoys bringing your instrument outside then this one is definitely for you. Furthermore, the unit comes with a complete set of accessories including a microphone, a stool, a music sheet stand, headphones, and a stand.
- 61 unweighted keys
- LED screen
- Comes with built-in 4W speakers
- 255 included timbres, 255 included rhythms, 61 percussion sounds, and 24 demo songs
- Has recording and playback capabilities
- Headphone and microphone connectivity
- Split keyboard learning with auto-metronome, tempo, and auto-bass functions
- 46 level tempo control
- Built-in transpose, vibrato, ensemble, and sustain effects
- Optional 6 AA battery power
- Comes with a detachable music sheet stand, a microphone, headphones, a metal keyboard stand, and a foldable stool
10. Casio SA-76
This may not be a piano that is suitable for pianists who are looking to take their lessons seriously. However, this instrument is specifically made to encourage young kids to develop their musical abilities.
I would not normally include this here but, for something that is marketed as a “child’s toy” this little piano still has some decent specs. The unit comes with an LCD screen to allow children to navigate through 50 rhythms and 10 demo songs with ease. It also comes with a surprisingly decent sound quality for its purpose and price.
- 44 unweighted keys
- 8-note polyphony
- Made with children in mind
- 50 rhythms and 10 demo songs
- LCD screen for easy navigation
Best Keyboards with Weighted Keys for Beginners
The number one problem of people who learn to play the piano in a digital keyboard is the difficult transition to an acoustic one. With most digital keyboards, there is a lack of weight on the keys that do not help at all in developing your fingers. This is what makes it a nightmare to get used to acoustic pianos.
This is why I have decided to include this section of digital keyboards with weighted keys! With these keyboards, you will find that there is very little difference playing on them and playing on acoustic keyboards. Transitioning to an acoustic piano has never been easier!
Furthermore, these pianos are also fairly cheap considering that the keys are fully-weighted and the brands are from well-known piano makers all over the globe.
Aside from being fully weighted, this keyboard comes with a decent 64-note polyphony. At this price range, you might be thinking it is normal or maybe even a little bit on the low side however, that is not the part where the CDP-350 excels.
The CDP-350 is known best for its extensive customization options of over 1000+ tones, rhythms, and songs. While not all of these sounds are unique, there are still so many options that you will likely never tire of them.
The controls of this instrument are easy to navigate through with specific buttons made for a built-in Arpeggiator, and Auto-Harmonize plus a Pitch Bend Wheel for on-the-fly effects. It can also run on 6 AA batteries, so you can play music while you are outdoors. The compact and lightweight design also make it easy to carry around.
- 88-fully weighted keys with hammer action and 3 types of touch sensitivity
- 64-note polyphony
- 700 preset tones, 200 rhythms, 152 preset songs
- Built-in Arpeggiator, Auto Harmonize, and Pitch Blend Wheel
- Has Reverb and Chorus effects
- Built-in functions such as Metronome, Transpose, Octave Shift, Fine-tuning, and 17 preset temperaments
- Dynamic Stereo Sound Engine and built-in 8W speakers
- Includes connection options such as USB flash drive port, USB to Host, MIDI, Headphone, Audio in mini-jack, pedal jack, and Damper jack
- Capable of recording and playback
12. Korg B1SP
This keyboard is specifically designed to be a portable keyboard. It is compact and lightweight, so it is easy to move around and fit in an any-size apartment.
With its 9W built-in speakers, the sound can be heard well in a decent-sized room. The sound quality is crisp, clear, and realistic because of Korg’s Stereo PCM sound engine.
There are not a lot of variations when it comes to effects. The unit also does not come with playback and recording functions or a USB connection, so recording songs can be a bit of a challenge. It does have great built-in functions like a metronome, transpose, and fine-tuning, and the unit comes with a good-quality sustain pedal.
- 88-fully weighted keys with natural weighted action and 3 types of touch sensitivity (light, normal and heavy)
- Stereo PCM sound on built-in 9W speakers
- 120-note polyphony
- 8 instrument sounds 3 of which are pianos
- Duo Partner Mode
- Built-in functions like Transpose, Metronome, and Fine-tuning
- Connection options include a headphone jack and sustain pedal jack
13. Casio Privia PX-160
Casio’s Privia series has been making rounds in the piano community, and for good reason! Let us take a look at this digital keyboard from the Privia series. A glance and you will realize that it has everything you need: weighted keys, hammer action, touch sensitivity, and a decent 128-note polyphony. However, the PX-160 delivers more than that.
The PX-160 comes with 18 instrument sounds, 17 temperament types, and a whopping 60 preset piano songs. Any music you make in the PX-160 can be recorded because of its built-in 2-track MIDI recorder.
If you are wondering if you can use the PX-160 for piano lessons and tutorials, the answer is yes! It has lots of lesson functions and even allows for different types of play modes to accommodate any type of playstyle including tutorials and lessons.
While the system does not come with an LCD screen to help you navigate through the effects, it does come with a user manual to help you get used to the buttons, which you will find to be pretty simple and straightforward.
- 88-fully weighted keyboard with Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II, simulated Ivory and Ebony keytops, and 3 types of Touch Sensitivity
- Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source on built-in 8W speakers
- 128-note polyphony
- 18 instrument sounds (5 of which are pianos) and 60 preset piano songs
- Allows for different play modes such as Split, Dual, and Duo
- Comes with lesson functions and a built-in 2-track MIDI recorder
- 17 Temperament types
- Connectivity options include USB to host, 2 headphone jacks, line out, and a sustain pedal jack
This is just about it for the best digital piano for beginners. Did it help you find the perfect digital keyboard for you? I sure hope so! If you are looking for more options, you can check this article I wrote on The 13 Best Digital Pianos. While the pianos here are for all skill-levels, you might be able to find one that catches your fancy!