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The Best Keyboards for New Piano Students: A Comprehensive Guide


If you've found yourself here, you're likely asking, "What kind of keyboard should I buy for my beginner piano student?" It's one of our most frequently asked questions from parents looking into piano lessons! We understand that with so many options on the market, the choice can feel overwhelming. Not to worry! Whether you're looking for a full-sized 88-key keyboard or a smaller, budget-friendly option, we've got the recommendations you need.


Why the Right Keyboard Matters for Beginners

Before diving into our top picks, it's essential to understand the importance of investing in the right keyboard for your beginner piano student. A quality keyboard:

  • Provides a realistic touch and feel, helping students transition to an acoustic piano smoothly.

  • Offers a good range of sounds to inspire creativity.

  • Comes equipped with features like built-in metronomes and teaching tools to aid learning.

Key Features to Consider

When browsing keyboards, keep these essential features in mind:

  • Number of Keys: Full-sized keyboards have 88 keys, but there are also 61-key or 76-key options available.

  • Weighted Action: This simulates the feel of an acoustic piano. Full-weighted keys give a more authentic feel.

  • Sound Quality: Ensure the keyboard has a good sound quality, especially for the piano tones.

  • Additional Features: Built-in lessons, metronomes, and recording capabilities can be beneficial.

Our Top Picks: Best Keyboards for New Piano Students

1. Best Overall (Price for Features): Yamaha P-45 Digital Piano

Price Range: Medium


This 88-key, fully weighted keyboard offers an authentic piano experience without breaking the bank. Yamaha is a renowned name in the music industry, and the P-45 showcases their expertise perfectly.


Pros:

  • Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) weighted action gives a heavier touch in the low end and lighter in the high end.

  • Excellent sound quality with Yamaha's AWM stereo sampling.

  • Simple and easy-to-use design, making it beginner-friendly.

Cons:

  • Fewer voices and features compared to higher-end models.

Price Range: Low


For those on a tighter budget, the Alesis Recital offers a fantastic balance between affordability and quality.


Pros:

  • Semi-weighted keys, which, while not as authentic as fully-weighted, offer a decent playing experience.

  • Built-in lessons to aid learning.

  • 128-note max polyphony for more complex pieces.

Cons:

  • Sound quality isn't as refined as pricier models.

3. Best High-End Option: Roland FP-30X Digital Piano

Price Range: High


If you're looking to splurge on a top-tier experience, the Roland FP-30X won't disappoint.


Pros:

  • Roland's SuperNATURAL piano sound engine delivers an exceptional sound quality.

  • PHA-4 Standard keyboard offers an incredibly authentic touch with every nuance captured.

  • Compact and portable, despite its robust features.

Cons:

  • Higher price point might not be suitable for all budgets.

4. Best Non-Full-Sized Option: Casio CT-X700

Price Range: Low


For those with space constraints or a limited budget, a 61-key option like the Casio CT-X700 is ideal.


Pros:

  • Touch-responsive keys.

  • AiX Sound Source technology ensures impressive sound quality.

  • Built-in lessons and a library of songs for learning.

Cons:

  • Lacks the authenticity of an 88-key, fully-weighted keyboard.

Conclusion

Investing in the right keyboard for your beginner piano student can significantly impact their learning experience. The four options we've highlighted cater to various needs and budgets, ensuring that every student has access to a quality instrument.


If you want the best bang for your buck, the Yamaha P-45 stands out for its balance of price and features. It's a keyboard that we have used when traveling, as an extra keyboard with our own kids, and for outside performances with our students. For those on a budget, the Alesis Recital and Casio CT-X700 offer great value, while the Roland FP-30X is perfect for those seeking a premium experience.


Whichever you choose, remember that the journey of learning the piano is a rewarding one, and the right instrument can make all the difference.

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