A lot of folks go for digital pianos because they love the sound, look or feel of the acoustic piano but can either not afford the high cost of acoustic pianos or do not have the space for them. Whichever the case, digital pianos are great alternatives to acoustic pianos.
There are a number of digital pianos out there with different features which make them suitable for different needs. Consequently, this review will focus on the needs of the beginner so that you would have found the best digital piano for beginners at the end of this review.
Are you ready? Let’s go…
Top 10 Best Digital Piano for Beginners On The Market Reviews
1 Yamaha P45B Digital Piano
This is the digital piano you choose when you want to train your fingers to play the piano’s weighted keys. Because it comes with 88 standard keys and a realistic acoustic piano sound, it’s an ideal training platform for acoustic piano play.
Let’s take a closer look at it.
As a beginner, this offers everything you need to get started because it comes with all the essentials. This includes the digital piano, a bench, stand, pedal, educational materials and even a headphone for private practice.
Now it’s time to play.
To get started, you can choose either the piano sound or any of the other included sounds. You can also work with your teacher by using the keyboard’s split mode. On the split mode, your teacher can play on one end while you play at the other. Convenient right?
Practicing without a metronome can be counter-productive because timing is a critical element of great play. Yamaha understands this and added a metronome function to help you keep time as you run those scales. In addition, you can also use the transpose feature to practice some difficult passages before returning to the original key.
Here come the extras…
To get you started, this bundle includes two instructional materials. These are Focus on Piano – Complete Piano Book with CD and a FastTrack keyboard DVD. With these, you can start practicing from the day your order arrives.
2 Yamaha DGX230 76-Key Digital Piano
Can’t handle weighted keys? Don’t need 88 keys? Then consider the DGX230 from Yamaha. This is a 76-key digital piano that offers a lot of fun features. It is perfect for a beginner and might also tickle a pro’s fancy.
Here’s what you get…
You get to enjoy a wide range of tones because the DGX230 has almost 500 different good quality tones. If you want, you could play one tone a day for a whole year and still not exhaust all the tones available. Furthermore, you also get a total of 100 songs both in-built and in the included CD.
What do you do with the songs?
Because Yamaha’s educational suite breaks each song into 7 lessons, you have them in small bites that are less intimidating for a beginner. This surely provides an easy way to fast track your learning. By the time you have learned 100 songs perfectly no one will dare call you a beginner.
Now get this…
You also have a six-track recorder that allows you record up to 6 tracks independently and then play them all back simultaneously. Therefore, you can easily record your practice exercises, any inspirations that come to you and more. Play them back and either enjoy them or critique your own performance.
Yes, this does not have hammer weighted keys but they have touch sensitive keys. This means the keys respond to the intensity of your play. That is to say that if you play it hard, it sounds loud and if you play it softly, the sound level drops in the same proportion.
This is a great beginner’s digital piano.
3 Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano
Are you a serious piano student who cannot afford an acoustic piano? Get in here and checkout the B1SP from Korg because this digital piano offers 88 fully weighted keys. That is, the same as an acoustic piano.
Let’s look at this product in some details…
If you miss or love the feel of sitting before an upright piano, then you’ll love this digital piano. You’ll get to sit before 88 keys that are naturally weighted to mimic the keys of the acoustic piano. Right at your feet you’ll also find three pedals that complete the acoustic piano look.
So how about its sound?
Each of the 8 sounds provided have been digitally sampled to present a close resemblance to the original sound. So when you play the piano sound, you will know you are playing the piano. More so, when you add the pedals you begin to achieve piano exclusive expressions.
You can enjoy the rich tone of all the sounds through the stereo speakers working with Yamaha’s MFB technology. You can also choose to connect a headphone to the output behind for private practice time.
What comes with the package?
You get the B1SP digital piano and a furniture stand that offers an upright piano look. You also get three pedals, a piano bench, sheet stand and an AC power adapter. To help with your learning, Korg also adds the Focus on Piano Learning Guide.
Remember, this is for piano students who need something as close to an acoustic piano as possible.
4 Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
Now this is a no-frills 88 key hammer weighted digital piano from Yamaha. You get the feel of the piano keys without all the furniture stands and extra accessories. Actually, this puts functionality over looks so let’s take a look at it.
We already know the keys are hammer weighted like acoustic piano keys. In addition to this, it adds a realistic acoustic piano sound along with some other sounds. The keys are also matt finished to reduce cases of fingers slipping on them.
To add some tonal and expression options to the mix, you can combine tones with the dual mode. Choose string and piano to enjoy the attack of the piano tone plus the flowing sound of strings. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
It gets even better…
You can easily connect this digital piano to a computer or other devices via its USB port and it will extend its capacity. This feature is particularly useful as it can help you connect to additional instructional resources. Conversely, you can simply use it as a midi controller for your studio.
Yamaha presents this as its most affordable digital piano; suitable for beginners. There you have it; a digital piano that gives you the feel and sound of an acoustic piano on a budget.
5 Casio Privia PX160BK 88-Key Full Size Digital Piano
Casio provides in the Privia PX160 a digital piano that many piano students will appreciate. From its realistic feel to its authentic sound and other features, this digital piano is worth a close look.
Let’s do just that…
Most piano students insist on that hammer weighted feel of the acoustic piano when looking for an alternative. This digital piano offers a realistic reproduction of the hammer action of each section of the acoustic piano. And because of this feature, playing on this Casio digital piano comes very close to playing on an acoustic piano.
Apart from the feel of the keys, piano students are also very concerned about the sound. This is another concern that this digital piano takes good care of. Using Casio’s proprietary method, it captures and delivers a realistic piano sound.
Now that’s not all.
Apart from the piano sound, you also get other variations of the piano sound plus additional sounds. It also offers you the option of playing two sounds at the same time. This can yield many interesting new sounds, further increasing your sound palette.
Additionally, you can split the keyboard into two halves so you can play two different sounds on each end. Another variation of this allows both you and your teacher play simultaneously on each end of the keyboard. These can be very helpful options.
Now it gets more interesting…
Wanna hear how your performance sounds? You can record two tracks of your performance and play them back simultaneously. This is a good way to self-critic – hear what you play and know where to improve.
This is one beginner digital piano with good additional features.
6 Yamaha PSREW300AD 76-Key Portable Keyboard
While we may not exactly call this a digital piano, it sure can function as one. This keyboard is ideal for the beginner who wants neither hammer weighted keys nor 88 keys. It will also do perfectly for the beginner who wants a lot more options.
Here’s what we mean.
For starters, whereas most digital pianos have less than 20 included sounds, this has about 574. This does not include the option to merge sounds to create interesting new ones. Imagine how much fun you can have with all those sounds.
How will this keyboard help with learning?
It has some really cool features that will make your learning interesting and easy. In the first place, it comes with the Yamaha Education Suite. With this, you can slowly and easily learn all the included songs or others on midi files.
There is also a feature called the Touch Tutor. In this mode, you will learn dynamics as the velocity at which you strike will be measured. And because dynamic is a critical part of playing the piano, this addition is a huge plus.
The touch sensitiveness of the keys makes the dynamic training possible. While the keys are not hammer weighted, they are sensitive to touch. This makes them perfect for learning how to control your fingering for great dynamic effects.
In addition to all these, you can increase the capabilities of the keyboard by connecting it to a computer or other device. It could become part of a production suite or extend your learning resource.
7 Casio LK-190 61-Key Portable Keyboard
Not everyone needs a high-end digital piano. Therefore, this keyboard from Casio is for anyone looking for simple functionality and affordability. This may be an ideal start for your child who is just venturing into keyboard playing.
The first thing you will notice about this keyboard is that it is not the standard digital piano since it has just 61 keys which are not hammer weighted. This is actually the smallest keyboard we are reviewing here.
So what’s good about it?
This Casio keyboard has some cool features which we will now look at. You get 400 tones with this keyboard. That’s surely more tones than you will likely ever need. It sure is better to have them than not, right?
Apart from the tones, it comes with 100 styles or rhythms. These come in handy when you need some accompaniment to play some pieces. You can easily have a full band backing up your play.
Checkout how it makes learning fun…
There are 60 in-built songs that come with this keyboard. Using the leading lights feature, learning these songs gets easier because it lights up the keys you should play, making it very easy to identify and follow.
Finally, if you love DJing or music production, you will love the Dance Music Mode. This allows you remix or create dance music very quickly. You can have a whole lot of fun with this portable keyboard from Casio.
8 Alesis Recital | 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano
This digital piano can be described as a compromise keyboard and here’s why. Some learners cannot handle the effort required to play hammer weighted keys. Rather than simply going for soft keys, semi-weighted keys provide a form a compromise.
This can allow you strengthen your fingers prior to upgrading to hammer weighted keys, if you so choose. Combining the 88 keys with the semi-weighted response is actually perfect for most learners. This applies more to players who do not intend to play a lot of the piano.
Now to its other features…
The Alesis Recital comes with five carefully sampled sounds which, of course, includes a piano sound. You can further expand this by combining sounds to create new ones. You also have the option of tweaking an existing sound with the included effects to create a different sound.
As a beginner digital piano, it offers some features that aid learning. First, it has a metronome that will help you keep time while practicing. It also has a Lesson Mode that allows student and teacher play together at different ends of the keyboard.
Here’s a BONUS!
With your order, you will get a 3-month premium subscription to Skoove. Here you can get unlimited learning resources which are updated monthly. Talk about value.
9 Yamaha NP12 61-Key Lightweight Portable Keyboard
If you are looking for portability combined with functionality, this is one keyboard you can look at. This is the right keyboard with which to introduce a young player to keyboard playing. 61 touch sensitive keys without hammer weighted response – perfect.
Young people will love this and here’s why…
Apart from its regular keyboard features, it is designed to work with a number of free Yamaha apps. Given how much young people love apps these days, it’s sure to be a hit. Connect it to your iOS device and operate your keyboard’s controls from that device.
In addition to this, you can also use it with these free Yamaha apps: Digital Piano Controller, Sound Controller, My Music Recorder, Visual Performer, Piano Diary, Metronome and NoteStar. This significantly expands the capabilities of the keyboard and your access to extensive training resources.
For the keyboard itself, it is compactly designed and can easily be carried around by a young player. The fact that it can be powered by 6 AA batteries makes it even more versatile. You are not restricted to any space or place as you can take it with you anywhere.
How about its tone?
Good thing you asked. It offers some very lovely tones including an amazing grand piano tone. The keys are soft but touch sensitive, allowing for dynamic play. The 64-note polyphony it’s capable of is plenty for the beginner.
Finally, to fully assess your progress or performance, you can record each performance for playback. This sure is a small but capable beginner keyboard.
10 Casio CTK-2550 61 Key Portable Keyboard
This is another offering from Casio for the beginner. According to Casio, this keyboard was designed for those looking for fun ways of exploring their musical creativity. It sure does sound inviting.
Let’s take a peek at its features…
First, this is a relatively small keyboard with just 61 keys. It is small when compared to the 88 key models. That said, the keys are standard sized keys that everyone can play so on its own, it is not small.
You get an amazing 400 tones with this keyboard. This offers tones that cover almost every genre of music. In addition, you also get about 150 rhythm styles to groove to. Truly it offers opportunities to explore your creativity.
Its integration with a number of apps makes it the perfect keyboard for learning. With an app like Chordana you will easily learn how to play practically any song. You just need to find and download the song’s midi file and you are good to go.
It also offers the option of using the learning light feature which lights up the notes, showing you which to play. You have different learning options to choose from. Since it can be powered with batteries, you can take your fun practice with you anywhere.
Best Digital Piano for Beginners Buying Guide
At the beginning of this review, we looked at the reason why many people go for digital pianos. The primary reason is a lack of funds to purchase an acoustic piano. A second reason is a lack of adequate space for an acoustic piano.
In choosing a digital piano, one of the things to consider is the level of the player. This is because digital pianos have different features that will suit players of different levels. Since we are looking at the best digital piano for beginners, we’ll look at factors beginners need to consider.
There are a few factors that you will need to consider when choosing a digital piano as a beginner or for a beginner. These include: playability, portability, tone options, connectivity options, ease of use, accessories and continuity.
Under this, we will be looking primarily at the type of keys the digital piano has. It could have weighted keys, semi weighted keys or even just touch sensitive keys. Which type will be suitable will depend on the goals of the player.
A beginner who wants to be a pianist has to practice on keys similar to the keys of a piano. This means going for a fully hammer weighted digital piano. A beginner who wants to play synthesizers will do well with semi-weighted model. S/he may even do well with a touch sensitive one.
While this may not be too much of a concern for some, it may be for others. Really, a beginner needs to be able to play as often as possible. A very portable digital piano will make it easier for this to happen.
Another aspect of portability is the type of power it uses. Some digital pianos can be powered by batteries. These types of digital pianos offer additional portability so you can take them with you anywhere.
If you are constantly on the move and do not have a permanent place you can practice for extended periods, this should be an important consideration.
Tone Options and Quality
Most people who get digital pianos mainly play the piano sound. However, having other tones offers more options. With more tone options, you can experiment more and widen your abilities.
The quality of the tone may be of more importance to some players than the quantity of tones. Most intermediate to professional level players will place more premium on the quality of the tone. On the other hand, a beginner pianist will need as realistic a piano tone as possible.
Once again we are back to the issue of the beginner’s end goal. This will determine a lot.
The ability to connect your digital piano to external devices may be of great benefit to you. As a beginner, there are apps that can enhance your learning experience. You should be able to connect to them.
That’s not all.
Ability to connect your digital piano to a computer can open you up to experience music production. Go for a digital piano that offers a lot of connectivity options. Surely, it’s better to have these options and not use them than to need them and not have them.
Ease of Use
The ability to access the functions of your digital piano should be of great importance. If you have to reach for the manual every time you need to access a function, that’s inconveniencing. Therefore, look closely at the controls and be sure they are simple and straight forward.
Some keyboards offer the ability to connect to iOS and other devices for smoother control. Look for features like these so you can enjoy increased ease of use.
Your digital piano requires some other accessories to work better. Things like stands, pedals, benches and others can improve your playing experience. Additionally, they can also have a profound effect on your learning process.
Learning to play the piano without pedals deprives you of some fundamental skills. Without these skills, your piano play will be lacking some expressive components. You will save some money and time when these accessories are bundled with your purchase.
What does this mean?
As you learn, you expect to get more proficient. You, therefore, do not want to get a digital piano today and need to get an upgrade after some months. This again has to do with your goals.
If you are getting a digital piano just for the fun of learning, you may be comfortable with any choice. If, however, you have professional intentions, you may want to look for one that will last a while.
Let’s break it down.
Let’s assume you are aspiring to be a pianist and you get a 61 key, semi-weighted digital piano. As a learner, this may offer you enough challenge. However, as you get more proficient, you will find the range limiting. You will also find that the keys don’t feel like piano keys.
Here’s what you should do; get a digital piano with 88 fully hammer weighted keys. This may prove very challenging at first. However, as you keep at it, it will get easier and will still remain suitable for your increased proficiency.
The points above do not represent all the factors you will need to consider before getting a digital piano for a beginner. However, they can help you properly determine what type of digital piano will suit any particular beginner.
After carefully looking at the 10 products we reviewed, their strengths and weakness, we reached a conclusion. While each of these products are fantastic, three stood out. Since we are looking at digital pianos, we had to look at how well each of them performs as an alternative to the acoustic piano.
We also looked at what each offered in terms of continuity. That is, how relevant will these features be as the beginner grows into intermediate and even professional level? We looked at these and reached a decision.
These made our final list: Yamaha P45B Digital Piano, Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano and Casio Privia PX160BK 88-Key Full Size Digital Piano. However, among these three, the Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano stood out on all our consideration factors.
We, therefore, declare the Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano our winner for the best digital piano for beginners.