Choosing the best keyboard for beginners can make the difference between sticking with it or giving up. We have reviewed keyboards and digital pianos for all levels and budgets, but that first keyboard is often the most important.
Our list of beginner-friendly choices has something to offer all ages, budgets, and expectations.
Yamaha Piaggero NP-12
The best electric keyboard for beginners
We love the Yamaha Piaggero NP-12 for its simplicity. It’s one of the best first keyboards for starters on the market. Despite its low price and basic feature set, it is a surprisingly professional instrument.
The Piaggero NP-12 is a lightweight/portable (9 lbs) keyboard with 61 velocity-sensitive keys.
It doesn’t come with an extensive list of features like many beginner keyboards do. Instead, it offers a fantastic sound and simple approach to help students stay focused.
It comes with 10 preset sounds, and we have to say, the grand piano tone is amongst the best we’ve ever heard from a beginner keyboard. It’s not just about the grand piano, it has high-quality electric pianos, organs, and strings.
The best keyboard piano for beginners
The Alesis Prestige is possibly the best value for money on our list. It delivers everything a student needs (quality sound and feel) at a great price. It’s also good enough to stay with you as you improve and start to perform publicly.
The Alesis Prestige is a beginner keyboard piano on a budget. It offers a cheaper alternative to instruments like the Yamaha P-45.
It has graded hammer-action keys and a selection of 16 high-quality voices. The best of the voices are the grand pianos, which are surprisingly good. The Prestige has an impressive built-in speaker system, so you are ready to play anywhere.
Along with surprising realism for the price, the Alesis Prestige has some excellent features for learners, like Record mode.
Casio Casiotone CT-S1
A fantastic first keyboard for learners
The CT-S1 is a throwback to the original Casiotone beginner keyboards. It’s simple, fun, and feels great to play, although not so much for adults. Not quite the sound quality of something like the Roland Go:Keys, but it’s cheaper.
The Casio CT-S1 is a 61-key beginner-friendly keyboard that comes in a range of fun colors (red, white, black).
It has very responsive velocity-sensitive keys, 61 voices, and 37 built-in effects. Despite the range of voices/effects, the CT-S1 has a very minimalist layout.
You can use the surprisingly good built-in speaker system to playback your favorite songs, thanks to the CT-S1 Bluetooth connectivity. That means you can also jam along with them or any other material from Casio’s Chordana Play app.
Casio Privia PX-770
The best budget digital piano for the home
The Casio PX-770 is still one of the best digital pianos you can buy for your home. It doesn’t compete with the high-end choices in some of our other top lists, but it doesn’t need to. For the money, it’s hard to fault the Privia PX-770 much.
The PX-770 comes with realistic scaled hammer-action keys and 128-note max polyphony.
The grand piano sound (19 voices total) comes from Casio’s AiR Sound Source, and it’s lovely. While it lacks the richness of a high-end digital piano, built-in chorus and reverb effects enhance the tone.
Casio included plenty of educational features, including Duet mode, 60 play-along songs, and a 2-track recorder to capture and evaluate your progress.
It comes in a traditional upright piano design that looks good anywhere in the house.
A great beginner-friendly digital piano
If you feel you need more than a portable keyboard, the B2SP is one of the best digital pianos for beginners. The playing experience with realistic weighted keys and three pedals will prepare any learner for the real thing. The quality of the non-piano sounds encourages experimentation, too.
Korg’s B2SP is a beginner digital piano that is perfect for anyone serious about learning piano.
It has Korg’s Natural Weighted Hammer Action (NH) keyboard. What that tells you is that you’ll get one of the best-feeling weighted keyboards in the price range.
The B2SP has 12 voices with gorgeous acoustic pianos and electric pianos. Unlike most similar pianos, the B2SP comes with a fantastic software bundle covering tutorials, sounds, and music production.
The most fun beginner keyboard
The Roland Go:Keys might be the most fun beginner keyboard around, right down to its appearance. It has a bit of everything, which is excellent for budding writers/producers, as long as it doesn’t distract from a practice routine.
The Roland GO:Keys is a 61-key portable keyboard, packed with awesome features.
It has velocity-sensitive keys and 10 performance pads. You can use the pads to trigger sounds or effects like pitch bend. There are well over 500 sounds, and the quality of some organ/synth sounds is incredible for a budget keyboard.
What we like best about this starter keyboard is that it encourages songwriting and production with features like Loop Mix and an extensive built-in recorder. It might be fun, but it can seriously help you develop your skills.
The best arranger keyboard for beginners
The PSR-E373 is one of the best electronic keyboards for beginners right now. It’s no surprise, as the PSR series has been helping beginners learn piano for decades. It’s primarily for children and has enough sounds and features to keep them entertained.
The Yamaha PSR-E373 is a 61-key portable arranger keyboard with over 600 voices.
It’s packed with features that will help any learner improve their technique. Features include a 2-track, five song recorder, and 154 preset songs. You’ll never be short of play-along songs.
The synth-action keys are light, but there’s still some room for dynamic playing. Being an arranger keyboard, it will encourage creative kids to explore new sounds and styles.
It also has some great practice features like Duo mode, Touch Tutor, and the Yamaha Education Suite.
Casio Privia PX-S1000
A fantastic beginner to intermediate keyboard piano
The Casio PX-S1000 isn’t the cheapest keyboard piano for beginners, but it suits anyone serious about progressing as a pianist. It’s a fantastic keyboard that should last far beyond the beginner phase. It’s also one of the most realistic keyboards you’ll find in such a slim instrument.
The Casio PX-S1000 is a portable and versatile 88-key keyboard piano. It’s actually the slimmest keyboard piano in the world.
It has scaled hammer-action keys and 18 voices from Casio’s outstanding AiR Sound Source. The grand piano tones are excellent, although it’s at the high-end of beginner keyboards, so we’d expect that.
What we didn’t expect was the PX-S1000 to be so light, considering how realistic the keys feel. As it’s expected to last beyond the beginner phase, we’re glad to see it has plenty of connectivity, including dual audio outputs and headphone jacks.
People learn in different ways and at different rates, especially kids. Some will thrive with lots of fun features, but too many features will be a distraction for others.
The most important thing about choosing a beginner keyboard is that it fits the student’s personality.
If you don’t think these choices are the right fit for your level, make sure to check out our other digital piano and keyboard reviews.