Best Beginner Keyboards of 2020 – Complete Guide

Do you remember how much fun Ross (Friends, anyone?) had playing with his keyboard? Ever thought to do the same? Okay, probably you wanted to do better, but, the thing is - playing keyboards on an entry-level is not that hard, especially with current models available.

Comparison Chart of the Best Beginner Keyboards

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Alesis Melody 61 MKII

  • Comes with 300 built-in tones
  • Easy-to-assemble stand included
  • Headphones and microphone comes with purchase
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Yamaha Ypt260 61-Key Portable Keyboard

  • Equipped with Aux input for versatile use
  • Gives access to backing tracks
  • Record and playback function
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Best Choice Products 61-Key Beginners Electronic Keyboard

  • Best Cheap Beginner Keyboard
  • Has eight types of percussion
  • Equipped with built-in rhythm programming
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Donner DEP-20 Beginner Keyboard

  • Best Keyboard with Weighted Keys for Beginner
  • Has a useful backlit LCD screen
  • Designed for easily learning and creating music
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Midiplus 32-Key Midi Controller

  • Best Beginner Midi Keyboard
  • Easy to carry out for performances
  • Equipped with pitch and modulation wheels
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RockJam 61-Key Electronic Keyboard

  • Best Kids Beginner Keyboard
  • 100 keyboard sounds and rhythms
  • Comes with wwo months worth of learning aid
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Plixio 61-Key Digital Electric Piano Keyboard

  • Best Beginner Keyboard for Adults
  • Can be used by adults and children
  • Weighs less than nine pounds
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Alesis Recital 88 Key Beginner Digital Piano

  • Best Beginner 88 Key Keyboard
  • Power adapter allows for better mobility
  • Delivers crystal clear sound
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What Makes a Keyboard Great For Beginners?

If you ever typed on a keyboard, you can play on keys, trust me. It doesn’t require many different techniques or learning how to make a proper grip or how to change your strings. You press the power button and it works. Many come with a headphones output. It can help those who are shy to practice aloud in complete privacy at any time of the day or night.

Alesis Melody 61 MKII

Keyboard is one of the rare instruments that can play the sound of all other instruments. It is considered as a swiss knife of the instruments world. They can do more at the same time than any other instrument. You can start a rhythm, accompany it with the automatic bass line or backing tracks while you play the main theme or lead. And in case you sing, plug in your microphone and there you are - a one-man band that can entertain your friends all night long.

Sure, an entry-level model might not sound so convenient, but if your keyboard comes with a USB port, you need to know that there are computer software instruments that are used professionally. All you need is a USB cable and you can have amazing breath-taking sax right beneath your fingertips.

How to Choose a Keyboard as a Beginner Player

Keyboard world is a very wide playground. You can master one field while being barely average in another easily and keyboards are often made so they excel in some field. That’s why defining your needs before picking a keyboard can save you a lot of time and money.

Age Aspect

Kids can use any adult’s keyboards easily for sure, but the models made especially for them have options simplified and are oriented more towards interactivity so that it can keep their mind more focused.

Adults would benefit more from features and sound options that lean towards professional standards.

Key Size

Small keys are convenient for young kids as it will match their hands. It can save you some space at your home, too.

But, teenagers and adults won’t feel comfortable with it, especially if they want to play anything more demanding as it will be hard not to make mistakes.

Keyboard or Piano?

While both have the same interface (keys), keyboard and piano are quite different instruments. If you want to play classical pieces you should definitely go towards digital piano models as they come with a keybed specially made to recreate piano playing experience.

Review of the Best Beginner Keyboards

As keyboards come in different sizes and features, we have split our review in several categories. We included a special pick for our younger players, too. 

Alesis Melody 61 MKII | 61 Key Portable Keyboard with Built In Speakers, Headphones, Microphone, Piano Stand, Music Rest and Stool

PROS

  • Record on-board while you play
  • Affordable 61 full-size synth-action keybed
  • Comes with 300 sounds and built-in rhythms
  • 2 months of premium subscription from Take Lessons bundled up
  • Excellent starter pack - comes with everything you’re going to need: built-in speakers, headphones, keyboard stand, bench, music stand - even microphone

CONS

  • Metronome option is not present on-board
  • Recording doesn’t playback microphone input 

What Recent Buyers Report

People are delighted. It’s a great keyboard for absolute beginners and they really like what Alesis provided in this bundle. But, in case sound is important to you, don’t expect too much. It is also confirmed that recording doesn’t record voice input, unfortunately.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Alesis thought about everything beginners might need at some point while leaving the keys at full size. A vast number of controls and separate part volume controls are available in a button format. And to put a cherry on the top, 2 months of free online keyboard lessons are provided.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an entry-level keyboard made for home use. Sound presets are suited towards consumer-grade expectations and for those who would love to learn how to play than focus on advanced features. But, kids could be lured into music with one-touch song mode and built-in rhythms presets. 

Bottom Line

If you didn’t have a keyboard before and know nothing about it, you will appreciate this Alesis model. It has everything you may need to learn the basics and decide if you want to go further.

Yamaha Ypt2 60 61-Key Portable Keyboard Bundle With Stand, Bench And Power Supply

PROS

  • Internal record and playback option included
  • 61 full-sized keys equipped with 400 voices, 130 styles, and 112 songs
  • Comes with built-in speakers, metronome, keyboard stand, and bench
  • Yamaha Education Suite on board and free songbook available for download
  • Comes with stereo output. sustain pedal and aux input for external device playback

CONS

  • Pitch wheel could be included
  • Speakers and headphones could be separated at this price

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are very positive towards this purchase. Most buyers are beginners and are satisfied with the features they got at this price range and say it would buy it again. The only complaint we’ve found is from a user expecting more advanced sounds from an entry-level home keyboard.

Why it Stands Out to Us

External device input is a big plus as you can play and jam along with your favorite song. We especially praise that Yamaha provided a regular sustain pedal input as that would be the next step in learning keyboard playing. Of course, the keyboard stand and bench are always welcomed as an add-on. 

Who Will Use This Most

It was designed for kids and those who have never played keyboard before and would like to take some keyboard lessons at home. They will especially appreciate the Yamaha Education Suite installed while those slightly more advanced can fiddle around with accompanied styles.

Bottom Line

Yamaha did a nice job with this home keyboard. It wasn’t designed to be outstanding and it may not provide you with the semi to pro sound quality, but it will have everything to understand the basics of keyboard playing. 

Best Choice Products 61-Key Beginners Electronic Keyboard Piano Set w/LED, 3 Teaching Modes, H-Stand, Stool, Microphone

PROS

  • Comes with USB thumb drive port for mp3 playback
  • 3 different teaching modes on board with record option included
  • 61 kids-friendly keys size with 255 tones and rhythms to play around with
  • Keyboard and music stand, bench, headphones, and microphone included in a  bundle

CONS

  • Keybed is not very responsive
  • Questionable overall build quality

What Recent Buyers Report

Users bought this model usually as a Christmas and New Year’s gift for their kids and are satisfied with how it works in general. It appears to be an ideal size so that even very young kids can use it. However, there are some minor reports about coming broken (especially headphones).

Why it Stands Out to Us

It provides all that a beginner may ever need for a start including metronome support and on top of that, headphones use cancels internal speakers which might be a very convenient feature for practicing purposes. USB thumb drive support offers direct playback of your favorite songs in mp3 format.

Who Will Use This Most

As keys are not full-sized, this keyboard is a perfect match for kids’ hands. It was made for learning purposes. And because of the USB thumb drive port and built-in speakers, it can be used as an additional music player at your home. 

Bottom Line

This model was made for youngsters. It can be an excellent gift that can keep them occupied for hours before and the best thing is that it comes with all the extra equipment you might need to set it up at your home.

Best Keyboard with Weighted Keys for a Beginner:
Donner DEP-20 Beginner Keyboard

Donner DEP-20 Beginner Digital Piano 88 Key Full Size Weighted Keyboard, Portable Electric Piano with Sustain Pedal, Power Supply

PROS

  • Sustain pedal comes bundled
  • Digital piano with 88 piano-like full size weighted keys
  • 2 headphone jacks placed in front - ideal for piano teaching classes
  • 128 notes of polyphony provide an excellent piano playing experience
  • Built-in speakers with a lot of inputs and outputs, even USB thumb drive is supported

CONS

  • Might be a little bit expensive 
  • Quite basic sound presets other than piano

What Recent Buyers Report

They love how the piano sounds, especially on headphones or speaker output. Keybed feel is spot on and it works with computer software perfectly. They also comment that on-board recording works well and that it’s quite intuitive. Other than damage during transport, there is literally no negative report about this product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Keybed is quite decent, resembles the feel and response you would expect from an acoustic piano. 128 polyphony enhances general sound quality a lot and it comes with all types of connection you may need at some point including even a USB thumb drive for mp3 playback and external audio input separately.

Who Will Use This Most 

It’s an ideal home-based digital piano. It was designed for both modern and traditional piano playing. USB port makes it compatible to use with computer software instruments and because of stage piano format, you can bring it to rehearsal while the sound will be good enough to perform in small-to-mid venues.

Bottom Line 

Thanks to the very pleasant all-around features, it’s one of those products that you can buy while still being a complete beginner and continue using it for many years to come no matter how advanced you become.

Best Beginner MIDI Keyboard:
Midiplus 32-Key Midi Controller

midiplus, 32-Key Midi Controller, 32-Key (AKM320)

PROS

  • Small and ultra-lightweight format with less than 2 pounds
  • USB cable handles both power supply and MIDI connection
  • Cheapest MIDI controller on the market - incredibly low price
  • Comes with 32 keys - pitch and mod wheels included along with sustain pedal input

CONS

  • Low build quality
  • Full-size keys would be much more appreciated

What Recent Buyers Report

Users are quite impressed with what they got for such a low price and it’s very hard to find a real negative review about this product. Even those who were skeptical were satisfied after the purchase. It also seems that it works on modern Win and Mac OS flawlessly. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It’s the cheapest MIDI keyboard that comes with all the basic options you would need to play around. We can also approve the miditech choice to provide a bigger 32 key range instead of 25 and that they managed to put pitch and mod wheels for additional control.

Who Will Use This Most

The MIDI keyboard controller doesn’t come with sound on-board. It needs a computer to generate a sound. But, due to a single cable connection, both adults and kids can use it. And while being an entry-level model, studio producers and musicians can also find a way to use it.

Bottom Line

If you spend a lot of time with your computer it’s nice to know that there is a keyboard that won’t occupy too much desk space and be quite useful for occasional playing. You can even carry it in your bag!

Best Kids Beginner Keyboard:
RockJam 61-Key Electronic Keyboard

RockJam 61-Key Electronic Keyboard Piano SuperKit with Stand, Stool, Headphones & Power Supply, Black - RJ561

PROS

  • 61 full-size keyboard
  • Works on provided power supply or 6x D cell batteries
  • Comes with headphones, music and keyboard stand and a bench
  • Free subscription for online lessons provided in both mobile devices and web format

CONS

  • Build quality feels cheap and keys feel a little stiff
  • At this price, it could provide a microphone as well 

What Recent Buyers Report

Comments say that the stand and bench are perfect size even for young kids while being solid enough for an adult as well. The LCD screen works nice and bright with a note display system once pressed. They report that even 5 years-old had fun playing it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like that they included over-ear headphones in the bundle - it will isolate you from external noises. H-stand type of stand will give you more footprint beneath the keyboard. It’s a nice decision to include dual subscriptions so that you can learn your keyboard with any device available at the moment.

Who Will Use This Most

Kids will love the mobile app as a learning tool while adults can aid them with other learning tools provided for computers. Headphones can make it possible to learn in complete privacy as it cuts the external sound once plugged in and thanks to full-size keys design adults could also use it.

Bottom Line

If you have a kid that never played keyboard before, this would be a very nice present. It can be used straight out from the box and comes with everything your kid would need for a perfect start.

Best Beginner Keyboard for Adults:
Plixio 61-Key Digital Electric Piano Keyboard

Plixio 61-Key Digital Electric Piano Keyboard & Sheet Music Stand - Portable Electronic Keyboard for Beginners (Kids & Adults)

PROS

  • 40 tones and 100 rhythms on board
  • Work either on 6x AA batteries or with power supply
  • Cheapest beginners’ full-size keyboard on the market
  • Comes with a music stand and 3.5mm stereo jacks for headphones and microphone

CONS

  • Sustain port could be included
  • Mediocre built-in speaker quality

What Recent Buyers Report

People approve of its price and keyboard feel. It has a similar sound like other more expensive beginners’ models offer. Unfortunately, a very low-noise static sound is generated once turned on and apparently, it seems that it boots with the max volume on always, so maybe you should watch out before pressing any key.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Besides the music stand, it doesn’t provide any additional piece of equipment. This results in a very affordable price, especially if you already have headphones and microphone by some chance. We also like that they decided to use the usual AA type of batteries.

Who Will Use This Most

It’s oriented towards beginners on a budget. Battery operation could save you some space as you could place your keyboard anywhere. Full-size keys are ideal for adults of all ages, while kids can also use them as keys feel and the response is very light.

Bottom Line

If you have someone who can teach you about keyboards and would like to save money this is a model for you. It comes with a similar sound quality like the others minus all the extras they come bundled up (headphones, keyboard stand, online subscriptions, etc.)

Best Beginner 88 Key Keyboard:
Alesis Recital 88 Key Beginner Digital Piano

Alesis Recital | 88 Key Beginner Digital Piano / Keyboard with Full Size Semi Weighted Keys, Power Supply, Built In Speakers and 5 Premium Voices (Amazon Exclusive)

PROS

  • 2 months of premium TakeLessons subscription 
  • Works with included power adapter or 6x D cell batteries
  • 88 full-size synth-action (semi-weighted) keybed with 128 polyphony sound
  • Equipped with built-in speakers, stereo plus headphones output, input for sustain pedal and USB-MIDI port

CONS

  • Keys are not full weighted
  • It could come with more than just 5 sound presets

What Recent Buyers Report

Users say it’s an excellent entry-level digital piano. They comment that the piano timbre and depth are quite decent and that synth-action keys response and feel are similar to more professional models. The only disappointment comes from those who expected a true piano keybed feel from it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is an affordable keyboard with decent sound and comes with great portability options. A battery-powered option is not something we would expect for a model of this size. 2 months of free premium subscription makes it possible to start your learning straight out of the box.

Who Will Use This Most

It was made for those who are about to learn to play piano. Both young and adults can use it equally. Due to its lightweight design and battery-powered operation, it can be used anywhere and because of decent sound presets, you may even perform at some smaller venues.

Bottom Line

If you want an affordable model for your piano learning and don’t have professional goals set yet, you can do great with this Alesis. You will also get a hint of what a professional keyboard could do.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Now that you know the basics, let's take a step ahead or two so that your purchase may last just a little bit longer.

USB Port

We all use computers everyday, so USB connection can be an interesting feature for your keyboard, especially if you’re interested in composing. It enables you to invest in additional recording and virtual instruments software and the good thing to know is that even the most professional ones should be plug and play compatible with every keyboard. So, you can start building your own home studio even with a beginners’ keyboard.

Extra Equipment

Beginners’ model may come with all you need straight out of the box. But, if you already have headphones, a microphone and enough space on your desk, you can save money and pick a model that doesn’t offer such a bundle or buy a better-sounding keyboard at the same price.

Sound Quality

If you’re a music enthusiast, the truth is that beginners’ keyboard may not come with the sound quality that would satisfy your expectations. That’s why we recommend purchasing a MIDI controller and use computer software instruments or save up some money and invest in a budget semi-pro model instead.

Can You Really Find a Quality Keyboard That’s Affordable?

In this price range, you shouldn’t expect too much quality. You need to trade features and decide what’s important so you can save some budget. 

So, for example, if you’re looking for a 88-key model, you shouldn’t expect that it can provide you with many different sounds or that piano will sound stunning at this price. Focus on keybed quality instead as this will be more important for you in the long run.

Also, avoid the most famous manufacturers because they offer fewer features compared to the others for the same price. But, be extra careful with those brands no one ever heard before.

Conclusion

As long as you don’t forget you’re still learning to play keyboards, you may have a real fun time with these keyboards. It needs time before you can take the next step so don’t push yourself so hard. Choose your path and let’s go - step by step. 

People Also Ask

Now that we have cleared your mind a little bit about what model you really need and provide you with the best options out there, let us answer some of the most frequent questions people asked about beginners' keyboard concerning the number of keys and practicing methods advised.

How Many Keys Should a Beginner Keyboard Have?

Think of 49-key models as a minimum. But, if piano playing was on your mind, then we wouldn’t recommend models with less than 73 keys. However, unless you’re very young, it’s more important to find a keyboard with full-size keys. These keys will be much more responsive and you will make fewer mistakes.

How Much Should I Practice When Learning Keyboard?

If you’re a complete beginner, practice an hour or two (without a break) 3-4 times per week. But, please remember that it’s more important how you practice than how much. Try to find some online courses or tips and please try to stick to it no matter how boring or repetitive it may be.