Top 10 Best Keyboards for Beginners on a Budget

Dave Mostert
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Keyboard – an indispensable accessory to your computer, but with the vast array of available options, does it make it all the more confusing for you to make the right choice?

Don’t worry, I have you covered! Here’s a list of 10 of the best keyboards for beginners on a budget, along with a buying guide to help you understand each keyboard’s strong points and drawbacks.

NameCategoryProduct
Casio WK-7600 PPK 76-Key Premium Portable Keyboard PackageBest OverallCasio WK-7600 PPK 76-Key Premium Portable Keyboard Package
RockJam 54-Key Portable Electronic KeyboardBudget PickRockJam 54-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard
Casio Inc. CTK4400 61-Key Touch Sensitive Personal KeyboardUpgrade PickCasio Inc. CTK4400 61-Key Touch Sensitive Personal Keyboard

1. Casio WK-7600 PPK 76-Key Premium Portable Keyboard Package

Our rating: 9 / 10

Casio WK-7600 PPK 76-Key Premium Portable Keyboard Package

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Pros:

  • Includes stand and portable carrying case
  • Your choice of black, blue, or white
  • Easy setup out of the box
  • Thousands of programs and rhythms
  • 76 full-size keys
  • 15 hours of battery life with eight AA batteries
  • Includes headphones
  • Ability to record and play back your own song creations

Cons:

  • Some users find the keys to be too soft or too loud
  • Keys are not velocity sensitive

Without going overboard with your budget, you can still get a solid keyboard that’s portable and perfect for beginners and home use. If you’re just starting out and need a keyboard to play some of the popular tunes you’re familiar with, then this Casio keyboard is perfect.

The keyboard comes with everything you need to play right out of the box, including an adjustable stand. One of the biggest perks is the 15-hour battery life, and it only takes eight standard AA batteries. This will give you plenty of time to practice and play without worrying about your electronic dying on you mid-song. It also comes with a free power adapter and carrying case.

2. Alesis Recital

Our rating: 8 / 10

Alesis Recital

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Pros:

  • Affordable option for beginners
  • Multiple voices for quick performance
  • Semi-weighted keys for good touch typing experience
  • Built-in speakers, saving you the hassle of getting an external one
  • 88-key keyboard allows room for optimal touch-typing

This keyboard from Alesis is perfect for beginners who are looking for a keyboard to accompany them as they learn the ropes.

The keyboard features 88 keys, giving you ample room to sprawl your fingers without missing a note. It features a semi-weighted key action, which means the keys require a bit of force to press and simulate the feel of playing a piano.

The Alesis Recital keyboard comes with a built-in USB and audio-in-USB interface so you don’t need to purchase any additional gear. It has a USB port, which you can use to connect your phone/tablet and play music through the keyboard. The keyboard’s built-in speakers allow you to play without an external amplifier.

3. Casio SA-76 EDP Personal Keyboard Package

Our rating: 8 / 10

Casio SA-76 EDP Personal Keyboard Package

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Pros:

  • Great for children (4 to 12 years old)
  • Easy plug and play set-up
  • Comes with headphones and an audio line cord so you can listen to the music you create
  • Includes a very easy-to-use and effective fingering guide
  • Beautiful design and sound quality
  • 61 keys in great touch response
  • Has an audio output jack

Cons:

  • The video lessons are not very detailed and professional
  • It’s not a piano

This is an excellent keyboard for beginners thanks to its simple, easy-to-use interface, accompaniments, and surprisingly beautiful sound quality. It can give you the skills to take it to the next level, and it’s an affordable way to start learning the basics.

It comes with an instructional software package. There are 74 songs and dance music you can use as your learning tools. It also includes 24 original songs by professional composers, so you can play popular tunes.

It has a USB port so you can save your music for a little practice at home.

4. RockJam 54-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard

Our rating: 8 / 10

RockJam 54-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard

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Pros:

  • Comes with educational app
  • Works with many devices including iOS, Android, and PCs
  • Comes with a power supply
  • Solid build quality
  • Variety of colors
  • Backlit keys
  • Compact design
  • Low-cost
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Keys felt very stiff out of the box
  • Keys are loud with a clacky sound
  • Connecting via Bluetooth isn’t as good as separate wire for better sound
  • Only a one year warranty

With a whole lot of features packed into its compact chassis, the RockJam is a solid choice for a beginner keyboard. The most impressive features are its backlit keys, a fairly rare sight in this price range. Overall build quality is sturdy, and its small footprint means it isn’t bulky, awkward to jam in a bag, and great for beginners who are just starting out.

The RockJam is a great choice for beginner keyboardists. With lots of color options, proven software, and lots of functionality, this could be the first keyboard you ever need to get you started out.

5. Casio Inc. CTK2400 PPK 61-Key Premium Portable Keyboard Package

Our rating: 6 / 10

Casio Inc. CTK2400 PPK 61-Key Premium Portable Keyboard Package

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Pros:

  • Affordable and high-quality
  • 61 full-size keys with quick and responsive touch
  • Comes with a built-in tutorial software
  • Adjustable volume for headphones
  • Two power options
  • Freebies such as a sustain pedal and protective case

Cons:

  • Cheap feeling
  • Hard to adjust keys for extended use
  • Might run into a few connectivity issues

The Casio CTK2400 PPK keyboard package is a good option for beginners on a budget. It’s a 61 key keyboard with an adjustable bench stand. It also comes with a set of headphones, a headphone volume control out, 1/4-inch line output, 1/4-inch line input, sustain pedal input, sustain pedal output, and a bench.

The 61 non-weighted keys are pretty responsive, and the keys are fairly sturdy. The sound quality is pretty decent as well as it comes with 256 tones and 62 rhythm variations. There’s also an auto accompaniment feature that will play along with you.

The keyboard will work great with Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 and 8. It also comes with a free 1 year warranty and free technical support.

6. Casio LK-175 PPK 61-Key Premium Lighted Keyboard Pack

Our rating: 6 / 10

Casio LK-175 PPK 61-Key Premium Lighted Keyboard Pack

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7. Yamaha YPG-235 76-Key Portable Grand Piano

Our rating: 6 / 10

Yamaha YPG-235 76-Key Portable Grand Piano

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Pros:

  • Uses Graded Soft Touch technology
  • Features Yamaha's Natural Grand Hammer Action Weighted Action keybed
  • Great option for beginners
  • Easy to use and has a ton of features for the price
  • Sound is superior to other keyboards in this price range
  • Absolutely beautiful piano sounds

Cons:

  • Comes with cheap headphones
  • Not ideal for people with large fingers
  • Sound can be wobbly when you hit the keys too hard

Here’s another product from Yamaha that’s been designed for beginners. It’s a 76-key keyboard with crisp white keys that are easy to distinguish from one another. They also feature a light touch, allowing even newbie piano players to relish the joys of playing without having to deal with overwhelming pressure.

This piano is a fairly lightweight model but it’s still strong enough to handle the toughest playing sessions. Unlike other keyboards that are made primarily from plastic, this one has a metallic frame that gives it enough sturdiness.

8. Casio Inc. CTK4400 61-Key Touch Sensitive Personal Keyboard

Our rating: 6 / 10

Casio Inc. CTK4400 61-Key Touch Sensitive Personal Keyboard

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Pros:

  • Cost-effective budding musician keyboard
  • Nice Pitch Bend and Modulation features
  • Much lighter than a piano or synthesizer
  • Includes a stand and makes for easy storage
  • Has a unique note design, allowing you to play the piano with only one hand
  • Includes many different voices for playing different kinds of music
  • Can handle a number of different instrument types
  • Has a Songbook feature, allowing you to playback pre-recorded tunes

Cons:

  • Some scales are out of tune when you play with a keyboardist
  • Tones can be somewhat sharp, but you can adjust the settings
  • Keys are a little small
  • Some users may find the Casio CTK4400 to be bulky

If you're thinking about trying out a new instrument, why not try the Casio CTK4400 Sensitive Touch Keyboard?

With 60-key touch response and 61 keys, the CTK4400 can make a great addition to your home music studio. It has a wide variety of features, including a digital key touch that simulates that of an acoustic piano.

9. Yamaha DGX230 76-Key Digital Piano Pack

Our rating: 6 / 10

Yamaha DGX230 76-Key Digital Piano Pack

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Pros:

  • Excellent bargain
  • Suitable for beginners
  • 7 x 5 hammer action keys
  • Exceptional quality of the sound
  • Reverb, chorus, and sustain features
  • 88-key range
  • Includes a stand, power adaptor, and headphones
  • Storage compartment for supplies or another piece of music

Cons:

  • Plastic construction may not be durable enough for rough play
  • Keyboard might not feel like an acoustic piano
  • Not suitable for professional or advanced use

The Yamaha DGX230 76-key digital piano is a great keyboard for beginners. It is affordable and offers a lot of bang for your buck. It has many features that will help you learn how to play piano, and that aid in making the learning experience fun.

This keyboard has a stunningly realistic piano sound – it will feel almost exactly like playing a grand piano. It also has the ability to adjust the sounds depending on the situation. The pedals help you immerse yourself in the moment. The full-sized keyboard within five octaves lets you learn how to read easily. Plus, you can use the music storage compartment under the keyboard, making it easy to store your sheet music and the other accessories you need.

10. 61 Key Keyboard Piano

Our rating: 6 / 10

61 Key Keyboard Piano

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Pros:

  • You can select from different sizes, depending on your budget and what you need
  • Available in different colors to suit your needs
  • Editor’s choice
  • Higher quality than some budget keyboards; light and easy to carry
  • Comes equipped with headphones
  • Can play a variety of songs
  • Includes a stand and a pair of headphones

The sound quality on this keyboard is merely average. It’s not the best keyboard for performers, but it is a decent instrument for beginners and kids. The keyboard is lightweight but still feels sturdy; it comes equipped with a stand and a pair of headphones in the box.

You can select from the different sizes of the keyboard according to your budget and preferences – 61, 76 and 88 keys. The variety allows you to choose what’s most comfortable and convenient for you. The size of the sheets of music make it a little difficult to read when you’re a beginner, but this will likely get better in time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best keyboards for beginners?

The best keyboard for a beginner is the one that makes you comfortable and keeps you challenged. If you are just starting out playing the saxophone, it will take not time to realize that most of the keys on your keyboard will go unused.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you're a jazz master, you will quickly max out the capabilities of inexpensive keyboards. This kind of thing happens when you get intermediate level, and you'll have to decide whether or not it's time to upgrade your instrument.

Which Yamaha keyboard is best for beginners?

Yamaha is a brand that offers a wide selection of keyboards to fit any level of need.

Within the beginner range, the best model for all your needs is the P-45 keyboard.

Whether you are a first-time buyer looking for a basic keyboard that is fun to play or someone who is looking to scale your abilities, this offers a wide selection of features of different ranges.

The audio synthesizer is built to help you turn your practice into a full-fledged play while offering a wide range of tones to suit anyoneʼs musical ear. It is also perfect for the amateur musician because it is so easy to learn how to properly play the keyboard and use all of its features, regardless of your prior experience. This product is a great price and a great value, coming in at less than 200 dollars.

Is a 61 key keyboard good for beginners?

Please Note: The 61-key keyboard is the bare-bones version of a full-sized synth-keyboard. You may feel like you haven't got everything you need in terms of keys, knobs, faders, buttons, and sliders. If you're a beginner, you're going to have to be patient and work around this.

The 61 key keyboard is a great place to start. It gives you full control over your sound. Just because it might seem like you're missing a lot, doesn't mean you are. In this case, less is more. You can always upgrade when you feel you need more keys. For now, the 61 key will be a great experiment in the world of synths.

What is the best musical keyboard?

The best musical keyboard is the one that fits your needs and budget. However, we recommend considering a weighted digital piano keyboard, or a keyboard with weighted keys similar to a piano, as this is what is required for practical lessons. Digital pianos are typically a great choice even if you don’t intend to become that serious about your piano playing.

For example, I (Daniel) have been playing the piano for years. I don't have any credentials; I can't read music, and I never took a lesson. I just dabbled on the piano in my spare time. It's a great hobby, and I can play songs from dozens of movies and musicals. The only downside is that I'm not very good and can't play for more than a couple of minutes without my fingers hurting.

Conclusion

Just a month ago, there were a fair number of people asking “what’s the best keyboard for a beginner?” With that said, had there been a proper list of the best products, it would have helped beginners get a sense of some choices while searching for the best keyboard for them. We’ve completed this list and commend you if you’re learning to play the piano keyboard.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Casio WK-7600 PPK 76-Key Premium Portable Keyboard PackageBest OverallCasio WK-7600 PPK 76-Key Premium Portable Keyboard Package
RockJam 54-Key Portable Electronic KeyboardBudget PickRockJam 54-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard
Casio Inc. CTK4400 61-Key Touch Sensitive Personal KeyboardUpgrade PickCasio Inc. CTK4400 61-Key Touch Sensitive Personal Keyboard