May 3, 2024

About the Author: Stefan Joubert

Stefan Joubert is the manager of Online Piano Institute and The London Piano Institute. He is passionate about world-class piano education and learning via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime.

Learning to play the piano is an exciting journey, and choosing the right keyboard can significantly influence how quickly you progress as a beginner.

Piano lessons can serve as personal fulfilment or a way to help your child embark on their musical journey, making it crucial to select the most appropriate piano.

Before diving into the list of recommended keyboards, let’s first discuss some important information about keyboards.

Person hands playing keyboard

Should you choose weighted or unweighted keyboards?

When it comes to keyboards, one of the primary distinctions is between weighted and unweighted keys.

Weighted Keyboards: These keyboards simulate the feel of an acoustic piano by replicating the weight and resistance of traditional piano keys. Weighted keyboards typically use hammer action or graded hammer action to mimic the feel of pressing down on piano keys. This feature is beneficial for building finger strength and technique, making weighted keyboards an excellent choice for serious piano students.

Unweighted keyboards: Also known as synth-action or semi-weighted keyboards, unweighted keyboards have lighter keys that are easier to press down. While they don’t replicate the feel of an acoustic piano as accurately as weighted keyboards, they are often more affordable and suitable for beginners who are just starting out.

Weighted keyboards are typically recommended for beginners. They provide a more realistic and beneficial playing experience similar to that of an acoustic piano. Weighted keys help develop proper finger strength and technique, essential skills for advancing in piano playing.

Despite being more expensive, the investment in a weighted keyboard can be worth it for serious learners looking to progress in their piano studies.

How many keys do you need?

Most standard pianos have 88 keys, spanning seven octaves plus a few additional keys.

However, a keyboard with 61 keys is usually sufficient for beginners to start learning piano.

This range allows beginners to play various music without feeling limited.

However, if budget and space permit, opting for a keyboard with 88 keys can provide a more comprehensive range and better prepare you for transitioning to an acoustic piano in the future.

Keyboards on display in piano shop

Here are the keyboard options:

Option No. 1: Budget-Friendly

Perfect for beginners starting piano lessons, these keyboards offer essential features at a pocket-friendly price, making them accessible for learning and practice sessions.

Alesis Melody 61 MKII1

Casio CT-X700 61-Key Portable Keyboard

RockJam 61 Key Keyboard Piano

Option No. 2: Mid-Range

Tailored for beginners advancing in their piano lessons, mid-range keyboards provide improved sound quality and additional features to enhance the learning experience without overwhelming complexity.

Yamaha, 61-Key Portable Keyboard (PSRE473)

Roland GO:KEYS 61-Key Music Creation Keyboard

Option No. 3: Higher-End

For committed beginners and serious learners, high-end keyboards offer professional-grade sound and realistic key action. They provide an immersive experience that mirrors playing on a traditional piano, ideal for progressing through advanced piano lessons.

Yamaha P-45

Casio Privia PX-160

Korg B2N 88-Key Digital Piano

Things to consider:

Sound quality: Seek keyboards with high-quality built-in sounds and sampling technology. This ensures authentic and realistic tones across various instrument voices.

Built-in features: Many keyboards offer essential features like metronomes, recording/playback functions, lesson modes, and accompaniment styles. These enhance learning and instrument versatility.

Budget: Determine your initial investment for a keyboard. Establishing a budget helps narrow options and find the best value for your money.

Space: Evaluate the available space for your keyboard and practice area. Consider the keyboard’s size and portability, ensuring it fits comfortably in your designated space.

Future goals: Reflect on your long-term musical aspirations. Are you seeking a beginner’s instrument or planning to pursue piano seriously? Understanding your goals helps you choose a keyboard that aligns with your musical journey.

Headphones on keyboard

In addition to the keyboard itself, there are a few essential accessories every beginner should have:

Keyboard stand: Provides a stable and elevated platform for comfortable playing. Look for an adjustable and collapsible design for versatility and easy storage.

Adjustable bench: This bench maintains proper posture and technique with a customizable height. Choose a padded bench for comfort during long practice sessions.

Sustain pedal: This pedal enhances expression by allowing you to sustain notes for a richer sound. Opt for a durable and responsive model for smooth control.

Headphones: Enables focused practise without disturbing others. Select a comfortable pair with good sound isolation for an immersive experience.

Keyboard cover: This protects your instrument from dust and spills, preserving its cleanliness and longevity. It is available in various materials and sizes and is compatible with different keyboard models.


Choosing the best keyboard for starting piano lessons involves considering factors such as key type, number of keys, essential accessories, and personal preferences. By selecting a keyboard that suits your needs and goals as a beginner, you’ll set yourself up for success on your musical journey.

Happy playing!

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