Best Starter Digital Piano and Keyboard for Beginners

Pianos are expensive, and yet they’re among the most popular musical instruments at home. The problem is that spending so much money on a piano doesn’t really make sense unless you can actually play it well. Luckily for all of us, technology has advanced so that we can actually buy a piano that can help us learn to play well. Of course, the best pianos to learn on can have a wide range of different features, depending on exactly how you plan to learn.

In the old days, you can get best acoustic piano for beginners would be smaller and cheaper, while you spend money on a piano tutor to visit you. Nowadays the most recommended option is to get a digital piano keyboard for beginners with various teaching tools to help you learn.

Top 5 Pianos to Learn On: Comparison Chart

Name of Piano
No. of keys
View On Amazon
21.46 x 58.94 x 12.8 in
48.5 pounds
10 x 40 x 20 in
24.25 pounds;

46.3 pounds w/ stand

13.3 x 53.3 x 6.8 in
46 pounds
12.8 x 4 x 37.5 in
less than 9 pounds
37.5″ x 14″ x 5″
13.75 pounds

Best Picks of Pianos to Learn On

#1: Yamaha DGX650B Digital Piano

Yamaha DGX650B Digital Piano
  • PureCF-sampled piano: Sampled from Yamaha's acclaimed CFIIIS concert grand, no other digital piano brand at this price delivers recordings from such a high-end instrument.
  • AUX line input: Connect any device with a line output like mobile devices, computers, mixers or even another keyboard and hear it through the internal speakers.
  • 128-note polyphony: Provides enough horsepower for a dropout-free performance while layering two Voices and playing two-handed, sustained chords.
  • 88-note, weighted GHS action: Heavier touch in the low end and lighter in the highs, just like an acoustic piano.
  • "You Are The Artist" Series: Professionally-arranged, play-along songs matched with song books from Hal Leonard. Learn to play songs by artists like Elton John, Taylor Swift, Adele and more.

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is an excellent piano that anyone can be proud to own. A beginner can get this, learn on it, and when they’re very good it still functions like a premium digital piano. It’s for newbies and veterans alike.

The beginners will appreciate how it has the Yamaha Education Suite (YES) that can teach you how to play, and you learn at your own pace. You can download songs and songbooks, and then you can practice with just one hand at first while the piano plays the other hand. The DGX650B even gives you a rating of how well you played, so you have an idea of how you’re progressing in your lessons.

It has a host of other tech features, including Smart Chord that can help you sound great even when you’re just a newbie. As you learn to play, its Style recommender can suggest playing styles that are well-suited for how you play.

It also has features that make it sound and play like a premium acoustic piano. It has 88 keys with weighted action that mimics how heavy or light the keys feel in an acoustic piano. It can handle duets with 4 hands playing, and there’s also a damper function that gives you the same results as that in an acoustic piano.

The recorded sounds here are also from the highly regarded Yamaha CFIIIS 9 foot concert grand piano. The recordings include a wide range of dynamic levels, so you can play a soft lullaby or a rocking tune at full blast.

Highlighted Features
  • The recordings are from an expensive premium grand concert piano.
  • It feels and plays like a real piano.
  • It has lessons that help you learn how to play at your own pace.
  • You get digital features for recording and speaker output,
  • You also have innovative tech features that help improve your sound.

#2: Casio CAS PX150 BK 88-Key

(OLD MODEL) Casio CAS PX150 BK 88-Key Touch Sensitive Privia Digital Piano with Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action
  • Keyboard: 88 keys, weighted scaled hammer action
  • Sound Source: AiR (Acoustic & intelligent Resonator)
  • Polyphony (maximum): 128
  • Tones: 18 Built-in tones, Duet Mode, Layer, Split, Octave Shift
  • Simulator: Hammer Response, Damper Resonance, String Resonance, Lid Simulator

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Casio started out by offering keyboards for children, and they were pretty much just merely toys. Now they’ve grown into producing highly advanced digital pianos that can match up against the best in the industry. This is exemplified by this classic model that have been used and played by so many people already.

This offers several features that can help you learn. These include a duet mode that allows both you and your tutor to use and play the piano together. It comes with a music library with 60 preset songs, and you can add 10 more songs as well. It has a lesson function, as well as a metronome to help you keep the beat.

One of its advantages is that it’s quite lightweight without the stand, despite its full 88-key feature. It only weighs 25 pounds, so you can bring this to the house of your elderly tutor if they’re not up to visiting you at home. You can also just get its stand so you can play it at the right height at home.

It offers a natural sound, and it also features a damper resonance simulator so you get the same sound as when you use a sustain pedal. The keys have been designed to resemble the hammer action of acoustic pianos, and you can affect the sound depending on how hard you press the keys.

The sounds here aren’t limited to just plain piano sounds either. You can press the keys and you’ll get the sound of an organ or a stringed instrument. You can also record your music as well.

Highlighted Features
  • It has 88 keys with 3 sensors per key.
  • The sound source offers the natural sound of a piano, along with the sound of other instruments.
  • It has preset songs and a duet mode to help you learn.
  • It offers a damper pedal and function, and you can connect it to a 3-pedal system.
  • It’s lightweight so you can bring it along to school or to a friend’s house.

#3: Kawai MP7 88-key Stage Piano

Kawai MP7 Professional Stage Piano
  • "88 keysHarmonic Imaging XLRH2 Action with Let-off, Ivory Touch and TripleSensor DetectionUSB Audio - play and record MP3 and WAV files256 Note Polyphony256 Sounds256 User Setups256 User Memories4 Internal/External ZonesVirtual TechnicianSustain pedal sold separately"
  • Harmonic Imaging XL
  • "RH2 Action with Let-off, Ivory Touch and Triple"
  • Sensor Detection
  • USB Audio - play and record MP3 and WAV files

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This may not seem like a simple digital piano, and its numerous settings can be rather intimidating for newbies. But in many ways, it’s a great beginner’s digital piano. You can experiment with the various features, effects, and settings, and if you make a mess you can just revert back to the original default settings.

It’s not just the newbies who like to test things out who can learn on this piano. The students of acoustic pianos can also learn from this, as its feel and sound can resemble that of a regular piano. Even the piano pedal feels realistic, as you can get a different result if you press on it halfway.

If you do want a different feel, then go right ahead and experiment on the various features. The keyboard features can be tweaked to your specifications. You can also have other sounds here, as you have 28 different acoustic settings to choose from.

However, you do need a separate speaker system to plug into this, as it doesn’t have a built –in set of speakers. But in a way that’s also a good thing, as built-in speakers can produce vibrations that can wear out your digital piano in the long run.

Highlighted Features
  • It offers a realistic piano sound.
  • You can tweak the various sounds and produce sounds made by other types of instruments.
  • There’s a USB port that can record your music, and also allow you to upload music to play along with.
  • The feel of the keys and pedal is very realistic as well.

#4: Yamaha PSRE253 61-Key Portable Keyboard

Yamaha PSRE253 61-Key Portable Keyboard
  • 61 full-sized keys are great for learning and developing keyboard playing technique.
  • Duo mode splits the keyboard into two halves, each with their own "middle C" for practicing with a partner
  • The Aux Line Input allows you to connect any music device with a headphone output, such as an MP3 player, a computer, a mixer or even another keyboard, and hear it through the internal speakers. The Portable Grand button and instantly resets the keyboard to the grand piano Voice
  • 32-note polyphony allows for the performance of beginner to advanced level pieces, allowing for sustained notes to ring through without being cut off.
  • The PSRE253 operates on batteries or with a power adapter. NOTE - Power Adapter is sold separately.

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

With just 61 keys, the PSR253 is a more portable instrument so you can bring it along with you to your tutor’s place. It’s truly is a lightweight model at just 9 pounds. You don’t even have to plug it in an electrical socket, as you can use batteries to power it.

You can then put the keyboard in duo mode so you and your teacher can play together as you learn. You can also plug in your smartphone or laptop so you can use the music from your other sources.

Of course, the real educational gem here is the Yamaha Educational Suite. This piano offers 9 stages of lessons, with 3 for the left hand, right hand and for both hands. It also provides you with a score for your play, along with tempo-adjustments that pauses the accompaniment until you press the right key.

It offers numerous tech features as well. It even has an amazing collection of 385 different voices and instruments along with 100 different accompaniment styles.

Highlighted Features
  • It offers 9 different lessons as well as features that help you progress and play at your own pace.
  • It’s extremely lightweight and portable.
  • You get 385 different instruments in just one digital piano.
  • You can use a power adaptor (which needs to be bought separately) or use batteries.
  • It has internal speakers, though you can connect your own speakers or headphone to it.

#5: MK980 Black 61 Key LCD Display Electronic Keyboard 37″

AW 61 Key Electronic Keyboard Digital Electric Piano with Sheet Music Stand LCD Display for Personal Beginner EN71
  • The MK980 61 Keys teaching type digital electronic keyboard is designed for beginners and hobbyists
  • Intelligent teaching function; 8 Demonstration songs
  • EN 71 Certificate; LED display & sheet music stand
  • Dimension: 37-1/2" x 14" x 5"; Power Supply: 110V or 8 'D' Batteries; Amplifier: 5W
  • With the dual speakers and record function of the MK980, you can make your own music and share it with your friends anytime. The MK980 keyboard is popular as it is light weighted, compact and portable. Enjoy your tune

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

While an intermediate or even experienced piano player can have a lot of fun with this, the Black 61-key MK980 is specifically marketed as a “Teaching Type” digital piano. It comes with an LCD screen that guides you on which keys and chords to press and play. With its Intelligent Teaching Function, newbies can start their lessons right away.

This is a portable keyboard, so your lessons can be held anywhere. It can also be powered by batteries so you can enjoy this at the park or in your station wagon. It comes with its own music stand as well.

Highlighted Features
  • It’s compact and lightweight for portability.
  • You can use batteries to power it.
  • It comes with a teaching function and a convenient LCD screen.
  • Your purchase includes a music stand.

Why Do You Need Pianos to Learn On?

You need one if you don’t really know how to play one yet. It’s much difficult to justify the purchase of a topnotch piano when you still can’t play very well.

Yet a cheap piano can be disappointing. The sound and feel aren’t good, and you’re still forced to learn from a tutor or from your laptop.

Now you can get the digital pianos that offer excellent sound that experienced players expect, while you also can get the tech features that can help you learn how to play. With these pianos, you can also record your music so you can edit them and mix them with your other instruments with your music software and PC.

How to Choose a Piano to Learn On

Choosing a piano from all your possible options isn’t always easy. First you need to decide whether you want a traditional acoustic piano with its classical sound and feel along with its technological limitations, or a digital piano.

For beginners, a digital piano makes a lot more sense. That’s because you can find models that offer features that help you learn how to play.

You should also take note about the reputation of the brand, and you should read beginner piano reviews regarding how a piano plays, feels, and sounds. The reviews can also give you an idea of how durable the piano is, as well as how easy it is to actually use.

Of course, the price is also another consideration. You need to fit it within your budget. But it’s possible that the best budget keyboard piano will offer the learning features you need that can teach you to play.

You should also decide if you want a portable unit. If you’re going to play at home all the time, then a bigger model works fine, though it may be a tad more expensive. A smaller unit is better if you wish to play in other places, though you may have to settle for fewer keys. At least a smaller unit is generally more affordable.

Finally, you can’t ignore the quality of the sound. Some brands record the notes made by topnotch pianos, while others make do with more generic sounds.

The point is that with a digital piano it’s great if you can find one that plays and sounds like a terrific premium piano. Add its educational features and the best beginner keyboard lessons, and you’ll have a nice piano to start learning on.

Things to Consider Before Buying Pianos to Learn On

The factors you need to consider when you make your choice should include the following:

  • How much does it cost?
  • What’s the brand?
  • How much does it resemble playing on a traditional piano? Does it feel the same?
  • Is the sound as good as what you’d get from a real acoustic piano?
  • How big is it, and how much does it weigh? This will determine how easily it will be to bring to another venue.
  • What features does it have to help you learn?

Final Verdict

All these are top picks of pianos to learn on, and they offer different features so that you can find the specific model that matches your preferences and needs. Any of them will serve, but our firm recommendation is to get the Yamaha. The Yamaha Education Suite is just terrific, and newbies will certainly learn from the lessons and appropriate assisting features.

In other words, pick the Yamaha PSRE253 61-Key if you want a more portable and more affordable model. Get the Yamaha DGX650B Digital Piano if you want an excellent teaching piano that also offers premium sound features and an authentic feel of a real grand piano.

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