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5 Features To Look For When Buying a Beginner Keyboard

Updated on February 6, 2017

Nowadays, you have access to a wide selection of keyboards in the market. With brands constantly innovating and coming up with new specs and features for every new model, choosing your starter keyboard can be challenging. However, if you’re armed with the knowledge of what you really need then it becomes easier.

To begin, you can narrow down your options by identifying the number of keys you need for your keyboard.

Music teachers recommend 61 keys for beginners.

Other keyboards have fewer keys while others go up to 88 keys, so bear in mind that the most ideal number when you’re starting out is 61.

A young girl playing on a keyboard
A young girl playing on a keyboard

Here are a few features to consider when choosing your beginner keyboard

Personally, I think everyone will have different opinions on what makes a good beginner keyboard.

If you have the money, I'm sure a good expensive keyboard with all the bells and whistles (which you probably won't need) will be a good buy. However, if you are a bit strapped on cash, then your list just got a whole lot narrower.

If you fall into the latter category (on a tight budget), here are some pointers for you to help you choose your keyboard:

1. Touch responsiveness

The keys should be sensitive enough that it will correctly respond to the force you’re applying with each finger. You need to train your fingers to modulate the sound.

The keys should get louder as you’re pressing it harder and softer when you’re applying light pressure. This also helps you avoid bad techniques in the long run.

2. Built-in recorder

A recorder is an extremely useful tool to help you keep track of your progress.

You can playback your previous performance to determine which parts need improvement and where you’ve been having difficulties.

There are actually a lot of keyboards that have built-in recorder; you just have to make sure yours function accordingly to your needs.

3. Dual power source

Your keyboard should preferably operate with both A/C power source and batteries.

The cheaper option is to go for AC but there might be a time you can’t plug it in and that’s when the batteries come in handy.

Also, you have to consider the fact that you will be practicing hours at a time so a long-lasting power source is necessary.

4. High-quality speakers

One of the most crucial things you have to consider is the quality of your speaker. If you want to become a good musician, you have to develop a good ear.

No matter how great your keyboard’s features are, if it doesn’t have an excellent built-in speaker then it will negatively influence your listening skills.

5. Key width

The key width should resemble the same key size of an actual piano. This is ideal because the size of keys help you determine the right position of your fingers.

It is important to familiarize yourself with the keys while you’re still developing your fingering technique. And having the proper key width will help prepare your hands when you play a real piano.

There are a few brands out there who don’t follow the standard size, some tend to get smaller and sometimes even larger.

Truly there are a lot of criteria a newbie must look at before buying a keyboard.

To help you even further, you might want to check this website which offers a very comprehensive and detailed beginner keyboard buying guide:

2017’s Top 10 Best 61-Key Portable Beginner Keyboard Pianos Under $200

They even provide this helpful infographic if you want to skip reading thousands of words:


Recommended brands

The recommended keyboards brands are Casio and Yamaha, as both possess technologically advanced and high-quality features that can easily aid you enhancing your music skills.

These are just the major points to take in when buying your keyboard. It’s also important that you personally test out the instrument yourself and see if you’re comfortable playing it.

Don’t hesitate to ask about the keyboard’s features and double-check everything before making your final decision.

Check out this video for the top 10 beginner keyboards

Final words

These are just the major points to take in when buying your keyboard. It’s also important that you personally test out the instrument yourself and see if you’re comfortable playing it.

Don’t hesitate to ask about the keyboard’s features and double-check everything before making your final decision.


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