Finding The Best Piano Or A Keyboard For Beginners Who Want To Become Professionals

piano keyboard for beginner

Pianos are all about the passion they create when played and the best music our ears can hear on this planet. In order to transfer that passion into feelings, you must be a professional, obviously. Here we can see that all beginners are planning to become professionals at some point.

If you are one of them or your child is addicted to learning the art of the piano, you need the best possible starting option. Would you like to go on a race track with a regular car? Probably not, and that’s why it is important to find a piano or a keyboard that is worthy and can help beginners develop their skills. Precisely this is going to be our mission here.


Three Types of Keyboard Instruments


Before anything else, we must explain that there are three main types of keyboard instruments. Each one is different and comes with a unique set of advantages and drawbacks. Now, we will define and explain the 3 different types.

Acoustic Pianos

In the lack of a better word, acoustic pianos are the best. They offer the best music due to the fact it is completely “natural”. It simply means that the sound is produced by actual strings and wood, so the end result is superior. They are also the best starting option for all of you and they can be used for the longest period of time.

acoustic piano

The only drawback here is the price. These pianos can reach $10.000 or more, which is a significant investment. If you are planning to get a decent acoustic piano, keep in mind that the price starts at $3.000.

Luckily, nowadays you can find plenty of stores and providers that offer rental services. In a nutshell, you can rent a piano and use it as long as you want. We must add that if you are planning on becoming a professional, you must upgrade to an actual acoustic piano at some point.

Digital Pianos

They are considered the best, affordable alternative to acoustic pianos or upright pianos. For example, they also have weighted keys and they are made to mimic the sound acoustic piano can generate. This made digital models very popular on the market and suitable for all kinds of purposes.

digital piano

The prices are very affordable these days. We must say that starting with a digital piano is more than just possible and there won’t be any issues here. Of course, it is recommended for your student to upgrade to actual, acoustic piano at some point.

The only drawback is the sound they can produce. It mimics the actual, acoustic pianos, but there are still a few differences. The sound can’t be 100% matched.

Electronic keyboards

The last type on our list is electronic keyboards. They are the most affordable option and they can be used by all of us. They also come with some impressive features and they are relatively easy to master. If you are looking for a cheap way to produce music, this may be the best option for you.

electronic keyboard

Don’t forget that they don’t have weighted keys and they come in all possible sizes with all kinds of features. The sound quality is completely different than acoustic pianos have to offer and it is recommended to upgrade if you are planning to develop your skills to the professional level.

Don’t forget that investing in the stand and a bench is almost mandatory. Most of these models don’t come with the ability to adjust the height so you will need a stand. A stand and a bench can also prepare you better for the acoustic piano use.

Acoustic Piano versus Digital and Electronic Alternatives

There are a few advantages of the digital and electronic keyboards. First of all, they can be connected to a computer and used with many, training programs. You also don’t have to tune them regularly and the price is far more affordable. In addition, they are usually smaller and more compact, so you can use them whenever you want.

Acoustic pianos are bigger and more expensive, but they produce unmatched sounds and they are essential for all professionals. The natural sound producing is impressive and it can assist you to become an actual artist.


Best Digital Pianos for Beginners
Yamaha Arius Series & Casio Privia Models


#1. Yamaha Arius YDP-103

The tested model is probably the best digital piano you can have today. It is designed to provide superb sound quality and it is paired with advanced features. For example, you get the ability to connect the headphones which aren’t a new thing. But, the system will adjust the spacing and create a unique experience which will result in you playing the piano for hours.

Yamaha Arius YDP103R

Other, important features include the ability to connect your Apple device, primarily iPhone and keep track of your playing, look at the charts and so much more. Of course, recording up to 2 tunes at the same time is possible.

Superior sound quality

The digital piano is designed to provide similar sound quality as the Yamaha 9′ CFIIIS concert piano. We can say that the sound quality is superior and better than most other models can provide. Even the pedals on the unit are optimized to look like half-damped variations.

Yamaha Arius YDP103R piano

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Advanced keys

The keys are weighted meaning that the low ones are heavier than the high ones are lighter. Precisely this is one of the main advantages we all liked. Don’t forget that they are layered with a material that absorbs moisture so you can perform even better.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality.
  • Realistic pedals.
  • iOS compatibility.
  • Song book is included.

Cons

  • Lack of Android compatibility.
  • Hardware fasteners.

#2. Yamaha Arius YDP-143

This is the second unit that is made to mimic the sounds of the Yamaha 9′ CFIIIS concert piano. The results are obviously fantastic and better than some of you would believe. Don’t forget that the digital piano is well-made and comes with a high level of attention to details.

Yamaha arius YDP143 black

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The keys come with added weight for better performances. The pedals are half-damped as well and the overall experience is superb. Add the improved headphone experience and you get a superb digital piano.

50 songs included

In the memory of the digital piano, you get 50 songs which can assist you to master some of the best tunes of all times. You also get memory for recording you are playing, but it is 500KB only, which isn’t much.

Song recorder

It is also a popular and standard feature on Yamaha digital pianos. Basically, you get the ability to easily record up to two tracks at the same time. The system is one-button controlled, so you get the simplicity and advanced experience.

Pros

  • Overall quality.
  • Ability to record 2 tracks at the same time.
  • Professional controls.
  • iOS compatibility.

Cons

  • Poor built-in memory.
  • Expensive.

#3. Yamaha Arius YDP-163

The tested model is very modern and the attention to details is impressive. It is also one of more expensive models with the advanced features. We tested it in the real world with real artists and they were surprised with the features and the sound quality you can get.

yamaha arius ydp 163

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We also liked the ability to mimic the sound quality of actual, concert pianos. The model in question is a superb choice for all of you who are planning to become professionals as soon as possible and have high expectations. Also, you can record your tracks, use headphones and connect the digital piano with your iPhone.

Available in 2 colors

You can choose between dark rosewood and black walnut colors. Both versions are made in the same way with the same features and they look elegant. As we have mentioned, the attention to details is impressive so you get the ability to enjoy the quality and the looks.

Graded Hammer 3 (GH3)

The GH3 is standard for premium digital pianos made by Yamaha. What it means is that the keys are weighted so you get heavier ones in the lows and lighter in the highest tunes.

Pros

  • Available in 2 colors.
  • GH3 is standard.
  • Looks great.
  • Enhanced headphone experience.

Cons

  • Heavy.
  • Sensitive keys.

#4. Yamaha Arius YDP-181

You simply must love this piano. It is beautifully crafted and it comes with all the essentials you can possibly think of. We tested it in various situations and the unit performed well, without any issues. The keys are pleasant to use and they come with all the advantages standard for this brand.

yamaha arius ydp-181

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The standard features such as the ability to mimic the sound of actual, concert hall pianos and included songs are present. You can connect this digital piano with almost any device you use.

Bench is included

The bench you can see on the picture is included in the package. It is a great deal and a great accessory we all need. The bench is made to look similar to the piano and offers a superb level of comfort.

3 song recording

When it comes to recording, you get the ability to record up to 3 songs at the same time. This is a premium digital piano, so you get the advanced practicality and even better list of features.

Pros

  • 3 song recording.
  • Bench is included.
  • USB port.
  • LCD display.

Cons

  • Small display.
  • Poor user manual.

#5. Yamaha Arius YDP-184

The most expensive Yamaha digital piano is right here. This particular model is based on the latest technology and comes with many, useful features. For example, it mimics the concert hall pianos very well and without major issues. Yes, it is expensive, but it still comes in a great package. You get a bench, a stand and a book with 50 best songs.

Yamaha arius YDP184R digital piano

We can recommend this unit to beginners and semi-professionals who are addicted to discovering the full potential of the digital pianos. It is modern, available in two colors and it is extremely well made. As a matter of fact, the YDP-184 is more than just popular among the beginners and newbies. It is loaded with useful features that will help you perfect your skills in no time and systems that make using the digital piano easier than ever. We will also add that the package is slightly above average.

Yamaha arius YDP184R digital piano

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Virtual Resonance Modeling

VRM is a feature that makes this digital piano sounds like it is. It is paired with limitless factors that make concert pianos sound like they do, so we can add that the sound quality or the realistic of the sound is impressive.

Full dot LCD display

The display is well-made and comes with plenty of options suitable for most users. It is slightly better than similar models made by Yamaha have to offer. Also, it displays all important factors and features.

Pros

  • Display.
  • Virtual Resonance Modeling.
  • Great package.
  • Attention to details.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Stand.

#6. Casio Privia PX-160

The PX 160 does come with plenty of useful features and it is still a great value for money. It is commonly considered as one of more affordable digital pianos on the market and it is loaded with all the essentials you are going to need in order to start playing.

Casio Privia PX-160 keyboard

We must add that this unit was redesigned recently. Now, it comes with better speakers and a better design. The base of the unit was redesigned in order to make the digital piano look better and perform as you will want.

2 x 8-watt speakers

The speakers are more powerful and able to reproduce a better sound quality than in the previous version. They are all-new and they are one of the reasons why this model is redesigned. Now, you will enjoy the superior sound quality without any issues. The entire surface feels well-made and there are no vibrations even when the speakers are at the max volume.

Casio Privia PX-160 keyboard

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Enhanced connectivity

Thanks to the USB port, you can easily connect the digital piano to any Windows or Mac computer. There is no need to install drivers which make connection extremely easy. In addition, there is two headphone support.

Pros

  • Value for money.
  • Redesigned model.
  • Better speakers.
  • USB port.

Cons

  • Key texture.
  • Sustain pedal.

#7. Casio Privia PX-350

This is a digital piano all of us like. It is well-made, comes with interesting capabilities and it is still a great value for money. We will have to reveal some of the most important features and the fact you can have it in black or white color. We tested both variations and the attention to details is above the average.

Casio PX350 keyboard

The unit is made for beginners, but it offers a long list of systems that make it more suitable than some of you may believe. Below, we will include 2 main features of the tested model.

3 key sensors

In order to make the keys as sensitive as possible and accurate at any given moment, the manufacturer implemented 3 sensors per a key. They are truly impressive and they offer advanced capabilities. All in order to mimic the sounds of acoustic piano better than ever before.

Casio PX350 keyboard

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250 built-in sounds

With the PX-350 you have the ability to choose between 250 tones and melodies that are built-in. You can try drums, bass, pianos, organs, strings and so much more. It is funny and useful feature that makes it worthy of consideration.

Pros

  • 250 built-in tones.
  • 3 sensors per a key.
  • 3 years warranty.
  • Value for money.

Cons

  • Customer support.
  • Old model.

#8. Casio Privia PX-870

As you can see, the tested model is different than others made by Casio. It is much bigger and it comes with a few upgrades. Obviously, the price is higher, but it is still considered decent value for money. It has been a desirable model by students who need a mixture between the price, features and the quality. Even if you know that this isn’t the latest model, you will still be satisfied with all it has to offer.

Casio Privia PX-870 digital piano

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One feature we liked is the App compatibility. You can connect it easily with your smartphone or a computer and make the learning process easier. This feature also allows you to track the progress in a visual way.

Hall simulator

We tested this feature and we liked it a lot. Basically, the digital piano allows you to listen to the sounds like when they are played in an actual hall. The simulator does a decent job and it is relatively easy to use.

Advanced sound projection

The main advantage is actually hidden from you. It means that the unit comes with 4 speakers, located at the front and at the back of the piano. This makes music more accurate and more similar to the acoustic piano.

Pros

  • Sound reproduction.
  • Hall simulator.
  • Tri-Sensor II Hammer Action.
  • Suitable for all users.

Cons

  • Noisy keys.
  • Foot pedal.

Best Electronic Keyboards for Beginners
Casio CTK Series


#1. Casio CTK-2400

The particular model has been one of the most popular units made by Casio. It comes with a nice ergonomics, with X-stand, and with headphones. Basically, you get all you are going to need in order to use the digital piano and start playing your favorite music. Don’t forget that the unit comes with a built-in mic, so it is suitable for all types of users.

CASIO CTK2400 keyboard piano

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One feature we liked especially is the learning system. It is very helpful for beginners and it is intuitive. It is very easy to use and the end results are impressive, in the lack of a better word. Sadly, this digital piano is difficult to find at the moment.

Implemented sound effects and melodies

The CTK 2400 has been one of the leading units when it comes to the melodies and sound effects. You get 400 voices, 110 songs, 10 sound effects, and 150 rhythms. In addition, all the samples are integrated into the rhythm, which simply makes them even better.

X-type stand

Maybe you are surprised we are mentioning the stand here, but it is one of the main advantages of the tested model. The stand is strong and sturdy. It is also extremely flexible and easy to use. The screws and the user instructions are located in the package.

Pros

  • Great package overall.
  • Samples which are included.
  • Learning feature.
  • USB port.

Cons

  • Difficult to find.
  • No touch response.

#2. Casio CTK-3500

The CTK-3500 is one of the best values for money we have encountered. This digital piano is more than just affordable, but it also comes in a great package. Same as the model we present to you earlier, this one comes with a stand, headphones and all the essentials you are going to need in order to start playing music.

casio ctk-3500 keyboard piano

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Additionally, you will want to consider the educational package which is available as an optional extra. In general, the unit is suitable for beginners, but it lacks the power and features to be used by semi-professionals and those who are planning to become one soon.

Dance mode

Dance mode is one of the more interesting features of the unit in question. There are 50 rhythms that are added to the device so you can use them for improving your skills and making your music even better.

Touch response

Touch response comes with 2 different levels. It is a decent feature and definitely one worth mentioning if we know that this is an affordable model. Selecting the feature is easy and you will need a few seconds. The end result is above average.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • List of features.
  • Stand and headphones are included.
  • Touch response.
  • Built-in samples.

Cons

  • Isn’t suitable for professionals.
  • Lack of presets.

#3. Casio CTK-4400

When it was launched, the CTK-4400 quickly became one of the most popular units on the market. It was an upgraded version of the older digital pianos and it came with many, important additions and the elements. One of many reasons why this is the case is the design. The unit looks better and more desirable than other models made by Casio in the same price range.

Casio CTK4400 keyboard piano

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Once again we must mention that the tested model comes with the stand, headphones and a power supply. Sadly, it is also one of the rare models so finding it may be difficult. The quality is above average and more than just desirable. Anyway, there are two main advantages of the tested model that make it a bit better compared to the similar versions. Let’s discover them right now.

600 AHL keyboard voices

As you can see, this is the first upgrade compared to the previous models. All others have 400 AHL voices while this unit has 600. This made it more suitable for beginners who want to explore and try different options and possibilities. It is still considered as one of best and the most appealing digital pianos for absolute beginners.

Hall effect

If you are wondering how your music will sound in the actual hall, all you have to do is to press hall button. Immediately the digital piano will start playing music that sounds like an actual hall. This feature is rare in affordable models.

Pros

  • Well-known package.
  • 600 AHL keyboard voices.
  • Modern design.
  • Hall effect.

Cons

  • Headphone connectivity.
  • Some elements are made of cheap materials.

#4. Casio CTK-6200

The last model on our list is a bit difficult to explain. For example, it is more expensive than the previous model, but the difference isn’t massive. In return, you get plenty of more advanced options and features. In the package well-known stand and headphones are included, so you can start playing immediately. But, there are a few more things we will have to mention.

Casio CTK6200 keyboard piano

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One of the main advantages is the list of tones that are built-in. There are 700 of them and you also get 10 user-focused tones. All of this creates plenty of different possibilities and allows for you to create any form of music you actually like which brings us to the most interesting features of the digital piano.

Preset Rhythms with Editor

Add the fact there are 700 built-in melodies and the ability to match and mix all of them using the editor and you get limitless possibilities. The editor is an advanced version that is more than just loaded with features and it is commonly considered as one of the best in the class.

Reflex speakers

When it comes to the speakers, we have only the best to say. There are massive speakers in the front and at the back, so the effect they provide is better than many, similar versions have to offer. The speakers are bigger and better than other models come with.

Pros

  • Advanced editor.
  • Reflex speakers.
  • Decent package.
  • 700 built-in melodies.

Cons

  • Complicated to use.
  • No teaching mode.

Conclusion

Now is the time to tell you our verdict. If you have decided to pick a digital piano but have a limited budget, then your best option is the Yamaha Arius YDP-103. But if money doesn’t matter to you, then the Yamaha Arius YDP-184 is a great choice. It is simply the best model on the list and on the market for beginners and semi-professionals. We liked the sound quality, the realistic controls, and the iOS compatibility. Add the songbook which is included and you get it all. All of this means that we will give 4.7 out of 5 stars to the tested model.

However, if you’re not interested in the Yamaha Arius Series, you can choose the Casio Privia Models that we have already mentioned above. They (Privia PX-160, PX-350, and PX-870) are also great, and you can have high expectations from those models. Just choose one that fits your needs.

On the other hand, if you prefer to buy an Electronic Keyboard, then we recommend you to choose the Casio CTK-6200. It offers many advantages and is ideal for beginners who need more advanced options and features.


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