Pianos: Top 9 Best Digital Pianos For Beginners
Most pianists would love to have a big, beautiful acoustic piano, dominating its space with both its size and its sound, just asking to be played in any moment, with the most authentic feel, but for many of us, that piano is just too big (and costly) to commit to, especially for beginners. As a small and more accessible alternative that can have some serious benefits (more on those later), especially for beginners, we want to help you find the best digital piano for you.
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Top 10 Best Digital Pianos For Beginners 2020
- 1. 1 1 Yamaha P45B Digital Piano
- 1. 2 2 Yamaha PSR-EW300 SA 76-Key Portable Keyboard
- 1. 3 3 Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano
- 1. 4 4 Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
- 1. 5 5 Casio Privia PX-160BK 88-Key Full Size Digital Piano
- 1. 6 6 Yamaha PSR-EW300 76-Key Portable Keyboard
- 1. 7 7 Casio LK-190 61-Key Portable Keyboard
- 1. 8 8 Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano
- 1. 9 9 Yamaha NP12 61-Key Lightweight Portable Keyboard
- 1. 10 10 Casio CTK-2550 61-Key Portable Keyboard
- 2 Best Digital Pianos For Beginners Buying Guide
- 3 Conclusion
Top 10 Best Digital Pianos For Beginners 2020
1 Yamaha P45B Digital Piano
(Includes Knox bench, Knox double X stand, headphones, dust cover, sustain pedal and FastTrack Keyboard Method starter pack.)
Summary of features: 88-keys, GHS weighted action on the keys, stereo sampling, USB port, sustain pedal.
- Bundle comes with everything a beginner needs to get started right away
- Keys are well-weighted and feel very real for a digital piano
- Can handle serious beginners as they get into more complex pieces
- Bench and stand are relatively fragile
- Simple, no bells and whistles
- Just 5 voices
This piano is a beginner’s dream—it’s sophisticated enough to keep using for years, especially in combination with 88 keys, a sustain pedal and the 64-note polyphony, allowing for moderately dense passages, but comes with all the pieces for a beginner to get started, including a starter pack for learning the basics.
Choosing a relatively simple piano in terms of features is a great choice for those beginners looking to practice for using an acoustic piano. It is free of extras that can be confusing and overwhelming and focuses on high-quality sound and features that make it as close to the real thing as possible.
But, That’s Not All…
With a full-size, 88-key keyboard and 64-note polyphony, beginners serious about learning won’t grow out of this digital piano quickly – it is equipped for people that will get into complex pieces, using the full range of the keyboard often.
The only downside of this digital piano is that it doesn’t include as many of the built-in tools that other pianos might have, like metronomes and play along songs.
2 Yamaha PSR-EW300 SA 76-Key Portable Keyboard
(Includes stand and power supply.)
Summary of features: 76 keys, 574 voices, 165 styles and 154 preset songs, plus ability to add more with MIDI files.
- Adjustable touch response
- Many, many voices
- Intuitive connection via USB with other devices
- Lesson mode
- Keys are not weighted
- Lower polyphony
- Not full size
The best part of a keyboard is the ability to play with voices and styles. The ability to apply preset and downloaded songs also helps beginners play full pieces as quickly as possible.
This particular keyboard is also very portable because of its size and weight, while still includes many necessary features.
With 76 keys, many voices and styles, and a setting play along and add songs, this digital keyboard has everything. The lesson mode lets beginners get started from the true beginning. No need to commit to paying for lessons, when the keyboard can do it itself.
As beginners get used to its feel, they’ll appreciate the Yamaha PSR-EW300’s touch sensitivity. While the keys aren’t weighted, their touch sensitivity allows players to play to the volume that they want, just as a real piano would.
That’s Not Even The Best Part
The USB to host connectivity with MIDI and audio transfer means that the flexibility of this digital piano is truly unlimited.
Without any pedals and with a lower polyphony than other options (46), beginners will eventually grow out of this digital piano, but not quickly. With so many features to explore, it will make for years of testing and playing.
3 Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano
(Includes stand, three-pedal board and Knox bench.)
Summary of features: 88-keys, weighted hammer action on keys, build in stereo sound system, 3 pedals, 120 voices, AC output.
- Feels like a stand-up piano
- Full size (88 keys)
- 3 pedals
- Great sound
- Not that loud
- One output jack, no MIDI or no USB
- Stand isn’t very stable
This digital piano looks like a real stand up piano and even feels like one when you’re playing it because of the 88 weighted hammer action on the keys. The sound produced can be quite similar too, because of the 120 voices that this piano includes.
It also comes with a stand and a Knox bench, so you can set up your workstation to feel as real as possible, while still having all the benefits of a digital piano. It’s also equipped with 3 pedals, so as you advance with your learning, you can take advantage of them to vary the sound even more.
There Is A Downside Though…
The Korg B1SP isn’t MIDI compatible. That might not affect a beginner just wanting to play a few songs, but if you’re hoping to take advantage of the learning software available through MIDI connections, then this might not be the best choice.
4 Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano
(Includes sustain pedal and power supply.)
Summary of features: 88 keys, sustain pedal, 10 voices (and ability to combine 2 voices), weighted keys, USB port.
- Full size (88 keys)
- Dual mode for combination of voices
- Excellent weighted keys
- Mediocre touch sensibility
- Inconsistency in volume in lower pitch
- Keys are noisy
Contrary to many of the Yamaha digital pianos targeted to beginners, that tend to have excellent touch sensibility but are not weighted, the Yamaha P45 is weighted. It loses some of its excellence of touch sensibility for its weighted keys, though.
When looking for a digital piano as a beginner, weighted keys can be really useful because without them, the transition to using a traditional acoustic piano can be a real challenge. At the same time, the mediocre touch sensibility is a real disadvantage.
Yamaha’s digital pianos tend to have excellent touch sensibility, which means that the volume of the noise emitted varies based on the pressure put on the keys when touching them. If you press hard, it’s loud. If you press softly, it’s quiet.
When touch sensibility isn’t that good, the sound can fall flat, and transition to an acoustic piano will also be difficult, because a normal piano is very sensitive.
The other parts of this piano are great – it has 10 voices but allows for the combination of the voices which can produce an interesting feature. It also comes with a sustain pedal for even more variation of sound.
When deciding about this digital piano, the key is to consider the benefits of the touch sensibility in comparison to the weighted keys and decide which is more important.
5 Casio Privia PX-160BK 88-Key Full Size Digital Piano
(Includes power supply.)
Summary of features: 88 keys, built in speakers, with option to output to larger speakers, duet mode, split and layering capability, USB port, 18 built in tones.
- Full size (88 keys)
- Option to layer voices
- 5 high-quality grand piano voices
- Mediocre sustain pedal
- Delay with rapid repetition of the same key
- Noisy keys
For a digital piano for a beginner, this digital piano checks all the boxes. It’s full size, produces fairly good sound, comes with a variety of voices and some options to split and layer the voices as well as utilize a duet mode. It also has a USB that makes it MIDI compatible and has its own built-in sound system.
The faults for this piano are mostly fairly minor and shouldn’t bother a beginner playing fairly simple pieces. Many beginners won’t start using the sustain pedal, and once they do start, it won’t ruin technique to use a mediocre one. If you advance quickly, the pedal is easily replaceable because this digital piano is compatible with any pedal you can plug into it.
The other problem we found was that sometimes when the same key is played many, many times in succession rapidly, it is possible that you lose the sound of the key after many plays. This is a super specific case, so if the other things about this piano are best for you, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
But, There Is A Catch
The other two issues shouldn’t be bothersome, but there is one that can be annoying to any player. The keys on this digital keyboard are quite noisy. When you press them, they bounce back and make enough noise to be heard over the speakers.
That said, this digital piano is a solid choice and the problems that it has won’t affect beginners too much, so we can still recommend it as an excellent choice for a beginner.
6 Yamaha PSR-EW300 76-Key Portable Keyboard
(includes power supply.)
Summary of features: 76-keys, 574 voices, 165 styles and 154 preset songs, “touch tutor” feature that allows adjustment of touch sensitivity, USB to host connectivity with MIDI and audio transfer.
- Touch sensitivity in keys works very well
- Wide range and variety in voice and style settings
- “Touch tutor” feature is excellent for beginners
- Not full size (76 keys)
- Speakers are relatively quiet
- Not weighted
Where this digital piano specializes, it shines. It boasts 574 unique voices, along with 165 styles and 154 songs. Because it has USB to host connectivity with MIDI and audio transfer, it isn’t even limited to that huge number of styles and songs.
The other excellent part of this digital piano is the touch sensitivity. On its own, it has great responsiveness in terms of touch sensitivity. Then, it also has a feature that Yamaha calls “Touch Tutor.”
“Touch Tutor” is a powerful tool for beginners hoping to improve on their usage of the touch sensitivity feature of a piano. It helps the player be more aware of the pressure that they’re putting on the keys. It also can adjust with the player, taking more or less pressure to raise or lower the volume.
Where touch sensitivity and range of voices and styles do well, this digital piano struggles in other areas. It’s not full size, it is an octave less with 76 keys, which saves weight and space, but means that eventually you will grow out of this piano. Those keys are also not weighted.
Some also found the built-in speakers on this digital piano to be relatively quiet, which can be an annoyance. It does allow for the connection to an outside speaker system, so if they are just too quiet, that can be solved by another connection.
All in all, Yamaha’s PSR-EW300 does great in what it’s good at with some very minor flaws. For a 76-key digital piano, it is a very powerful instrument.
7 Casio LK-190 61-Key Portable Keyboard
Summary of features: 61 keys, 400 tones, 100 rhythms, 60 built-in songs, 48-note polyphony, step-up lesson system with light-up keys, dance music mode with 50 built-in dance music rhythms.
- Lots of learning tools
- Many included music options
- Combine light-up keys with MIDI files
- Not full size (just 61 keys)
- Doesn’t save settings after turning off
- Sound quality is mediocre
- Features not intuitive to use
Casio’s LK-190 keyboard is packed with tools for every beginner. The selling point of this digital piano are the light-up keys which help guide beginners’ finger placement.
It comes with 60 built-in songs to use with the light-up keys feature. It also allows you to use MIDI files that are programmed for light-keys to make the selection of resources almost unlimited.
In addition to the light-up keys, there is an entire lesson system built-in to the digital piano. As you advance, this piano can guide you along the way.
Along with built-in lesson songs there are also 50 EDM songs that can be played through the digital piano. Casio calls this feature “dance mode.” It also has 400 tones and 100 rhythms.
Despite all these excellent features, they can be a little hard to use. They don’t save when you turn the piano off, and they aren’t exactly intuitive.
It also isn’t a full-size piano, meaning the range is limited. The actual sound quality it also fairly mediocre, which can be disappointing.
8 Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano
(Includes power supply.)
Summary of features: 88 keys, 5 voices, standard, split, layer and lesson modes, 128-note polyphony, USB MIDI and AUX ports, adjustable key sensitivity.
- Has all the basic features a beginner needs
- Full size (88 keys)
- Excellent stereo sound
- Key weighting is not very good, keys spring
- Top and low octaves produce mediocre sound quality
- Advanced features are hidden and confusing
The Alesis Recital Beginner Digital Piano really does have all the things a beginner needs. It’s full-size. It features standard, split, layer and lesson modes, which allows beginners to explore many options.
This digital piano also has USB, MIDI and AUX ports, allowing for many different output options. With 5 built-in voices, the basic sounds are all in order without connecting it to an output.
The piano also allows for some growth with a 128-note polyphony and adjustable key sensitivity. The stereo sound is also top notch, which helps beginners train their ears.
The basics are excellent, but the advanced features can be hard to access and difficult to use. While the keys are weighted, the weighting is not very good, causing some keys to spring, which can be very annoying.
It also produces excellent sound in the “sweet spot” in the middle octaves but loses some of that quality in the top and low octaves.
For a simple, quality beginner’s digital piano, this is a good choice. It’s nothing too fancy, but it does get the job done well.
9 Yamaha NP12 61-Key Lightweight Portable Keyboard
(Power adapter sold separately)
Summary of features: 61 keys, 64-note polyphony, USB to host connectivity, IOS app for adjusting settings, recording functions, touch sensitive keys.
- Excellent touch sensitivity
- Simple, intuitive features
- Great sound
- Very light
- Not full size (61 keys)
- Narrow keys
- Not very loud
Yamaha’s NP12’s keyword is portable. It’s small, lightweight and not bogged down by too many features. With just 61 narrow keys, it cuts down on the size of the digital piano, making it easier to transport than any other one on this list.
A portable digital piano can be a real asset to beginners because often beginners don’t want to invest in multiple keyboards to play wherever they are. Ideally transporting this digital piano around is easier, so beginners will practice more.
The features that it does come with are solid, including excellent touch sensitivity and recording functions. There is also USB to host connectivity and Yamaha even has an IOS app that this digital piano is compatible with to play with its settings.
For being a small, simple digital piano, it gives off great sound, although it can be quite quiet, in part because of the small size. The fewer, smaller keys can also be a disadvantage because they are not so authentic to an acoustic piano, so making a transition after using this digital piano can be hard.
That said, this portable digital piano is a great instrument that works well at what it does and makes for a dynamic instrument.
10 Casio CTK-2550 61-Key Portable Keyboard
Summary of features: 61 keys, Chordata Play app integration, Dance Music Mode with 50 built-in dance music rhythms, 48-note polyphony, Step-Up Lesson System, 400 tones, 100 rhythms, touch response.
- Lesson mode which utilizes a small screen
- Many tones, rhythms and songs for exploration
- Great usability, features are intuitive to use
- Not MIDI capable
- Not full size
- Touch sensitivity has just 1 option, not adjustable
Out of all the digital pianos on this list, the Casio CTK-2550 is the least powerful. Most notably it is not MIDI capable, which very severely limits the flexibility of the piano.
It also has quite weak touch sensitivity, that hardly passes for touch sensitivity as there is just one option and it is not at all adjustable. The piano is also quite small at 61 keys.
The features that it does have do actually work quite well, utilizing 400 tones, 100 rhythms and a “dance mode.” There is an app called Chordata Play that the digital piano is also integrated with that does allow for some expansion of the features.
The digital piano also has a small screen that is used in lesson mode. Having a screen helps tremendously with the lessons, making them easy to follow.
If you’re okay with the built-in lesson mode and the app, then this piano would be a solid choice. If you’re looking to go beyond these options, a different one might be a better choice.
Also see: Top 10 Best Roll Up Piano On The Market
With so many different feature possibilities, sizes and connections available, choosing the right digital piano for you can seem like a lot. Beginners that aren’t sure which features might be useful for them when they’re starting out might feel overwhelmed.
Choosing any digital piano on our list is a good start. If you just aren’t convinced yet or you’d like to shop around a little more, there are a few factors that are key in considerations. They are number of keys, weight of keys, touch sensitivity, input/output options, MIDI capability, voices, pedals and polyphony.
Here’s Why They’re Important
Number of keys: a full-sized piano is 88 keys and most learning pianists have the goal of playing on a full-size piano because it gives the most range of sound. Some digital pianos have the complete 88 keys, while others have less, usually either 61 or 76. With these options you lose an octave or two, but the piano is simpler or lighter with less keys.
Weight of keys: weighted keys of any kind help digital pianos feel more like acoustic pianos. There are a few different kinds of weighted keys, which range from hammer action to keys with weights to springs. Each kind has its ups and downs, but in general any kind of weighting helps authenticity.
Touch sensitivity: most digital pianos have some level of touch sensitivity, but the way it works on each one is usually different. In general touch sensitivity is the variation of volume based on the amount of pressure put on the keys, rather than them just emitting a consistent sound if touched at all. In some digital pianos you can adjust the level of sensitivity to fit your style.
Input/output options: options for input and output can vary between digital pianos, ranging from USB, AUX, AC/DC inputs, options to add pedals and compatibility with amplifiers. The key is to think about what you might like to connect the digital piano to.
MIDI capability: MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and basically means the ability for the digital piano to function as an input to another device, such as a computer. With MIDI capability you can hook up a digital piano to a computer and with certain software have many more options.
Voices: in a digital piano, voices are the different kinds of instruments that the digital piano can sound like, such as a grand piano, harpsichord, guitar and many others. More voices means more possibilities, but some users just focus on one, so it’s good to think if you’ll want to sound like another instrument, or not.
Pedals: many digital pianos come in packs and often the packs include a sustain pedal. Usually most beginners are fine without a pedal, but as they begin to improve, a sustain pedal is the first one that a beginner might use. Choosing a pack that includes a pedal, or at least a digital piano that is compatible with a pedal might be a good choice.
Polyphony: the maximum number of notes that a digital piano can produce at one time. If the piano has a higher polyphony, then you can play multiple notes at one time. That’s not incredibly important for beginners, but with more complex pieces and using different features, it can matter as your piano skills advance.
Taking all of these factors into consideration when looking at digital pianos for beginners can help you go beyond our list to find the piano that is best for your goals.
Check out some of our other reviews for more ideas.
Yamaha is probably the most well-known brand when it comes to electronic instruments. They have many lines of digital pianos. We just included the ones that we found to be best for beginners. For a more in depth look at some of the other digital pianos Yamaha has to offer, check out Top 10 Best Yamaha Digital Pianos of 2020 Reviews.
Beginner pianos sometimes lack in sound or features because of their focus on aspects that make them best for beginners like lessons and built in tracks. If you’re not as much of a fan of those kinds of features, and prefer the authenticity above all else, then our Top 10 Best Digital Pianos of 2020 Reviews is a good place to find out more.
One of beginners’ biggest challenges is often funds. The best pianos are often the most expensive ones, but they don’t have to be. Our Best Digital Pianos for Under $500 gives insight into cost-efficient options for beginners not quite ready to commit to the highest-end piano.
The Yamaha P45B Digital Piano takes the cake as the best digital piano for beginners. Its starter pack has everything that a beginner needs from equipment to lessons.
Although it features few bells and whistles, what it does have is top of the notch. The 5 voices are all excellent and the keys are well-weighted and touch-sensitive.
What really makes this digital piano shine above the rest is that it grows with the beginner. Its features are easy enough for a beginner to master, but the dynamic nature of this piano makes it one that you won’t quickly grow out of.