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Searching for a cheap digital keyboard for your band? How to find the perfect keyboard for your needs!

Updated on May 27, 2009
A Casio Digital Keyboard
A Casio Digital Keyboard

Is It Time To Add A Keyboardist To Your Band?

So you've been rockin' out in your garage for a few months. You've got a couple of guitars, a drummer, maybe even a bass. One instrument you may be missing is a digital keyboard.

Adding a keyboard to your ensemble will revolutionize your sound and enable you to expand your appeal. Folks get tired of hearing endless thrashing on some guitars. Keyboard melodies and harmonic chords will broaden your band's appeal and help you get more fans!

Digital Keyboard Features You'll Want To Have

Before you begin shopping for a cheap keyboard, you'll want some information about digital keyboard features available. For an amateur band you'll want to have a keyboard that has MIDI ports, audio in, and stereo out. Touch sensitivity and hammer weighted keys are gravy, they're helpful but not really needed in a band where the guitars and drums will mask any subtle volume differences.

MIDI Ports:

Even a cheap digital keyboard should have MIDI ports. You will want these to enable your keyboard to communicate with your computer so that you can utilize a whole bunch of cool VST software synthesizers. If you later upgrade to a hardware synthesizer, such as the Korg MicroKorg, you can use these MIDI ports to communicate with it!

Audio In:

Audio In enables you to route an external audio source through your keyboard. This is can be used as a sort of makeshift audio mixer for those bands that are really cheap.

Stereo Out:

Stereo out is a must!! Your digital keyboard's cheap external speakers will be no match for your guitar amps and drums! You will need a stereo out port to connect the keyboard to its own amp so that it can be heard.

Buying a Cheap Used Digital Keyboard

The best way to find a cheap keyboard is by buying used.  You can find used instruments in a few stores... local music stores are always good.  Otherwise you'll need to buy a cheap used keyboard from private party.  Many used keyboards are in fine condition, the owner is usually just looking to move up to a more expensive, better instrument.  For your needs, however, a cheap one will suffice.

Where to Find a Used Digital Keyboard for Cheap

Classified Ads

Check out your local newspaper's classified ads - either in print or online - to see if any musician is selling their keyboard for a low price.  If you live in a moderately large city then there should be a few low cost options available to you.  Otherwise, especially if you live in a small town like me, you're probably SOL as far as keyboard classified ads go.  For you, I recommend these other options.

In a lot of cases Craigslist has begun usurping classified ads as the method of choice for getting rid of unwanted things.  Using Craigslist you can search all sorts of metro locales for the cheap digital keyboard you've been looking for.  Once you've found your keyboard just negotiate with the seller on shipping and payment and its yours!

The grandaddy of online personal sales, Ebay is home to literally thousands of digital keyboards.  Whatever make or model you want, you can probably find it on ebay for cheaper then you could in the store!


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