So, what is the best keyboard for a beginner? I’ve been a professional music teacher for the last 16 years and have taught pupils using hundreds of different keyboards. This article gives you my top recommendation on the best keyboard for a beginner in Gesangsschule St. Gallen, along with some other essential advice on choosing a keyboard.
When I started playing the keyboard way back in 1985, my parents bought me a tiny Casio instrument and I used to practice every day, playing songs like Merrily We Roll Along and The Birdie Song.
At the risk of stating the obvious, a heck of a lot has changed since 1985. Personally, I’ve got a lot more wrinkles and my fingers no longer fit on the little keys of my old Casio. But being a keyboard and piano teacher, I’ve played many, many electronic keyboards and seen lots of others get introduced to the market.
Things to consider when buying a keyboard for a beginner
Number of keys – A full-size keyboard has 88 notes, but most beginners will find that 49 keys are enough on which to learn the basics. However, you will definitely need to upgrade to a slightly larger keyboard as you progress. I would suggest starting with 61 keys to avoid spending out on two different-sized instruments in quick succession.
Built-in speakers – It’s very important to have these. Some keyboards need to be plugged into external speakers before you can hear any sound. By having built-in speakers, you don’t have to worry about buying external speakers and plugging in every time to want to practice.
Touch sensitivity – Do you want to be able to put some feeling and expression into your playing? Many keyboards have touch sensitive keys, allowing you to play notes loud or soft – just the same as you can on a piano.
Polyphony – As soon as you start playing more than one note at a time, you will need this function. The polyphony of a keyboard tells you how many notes can be played together… I would suggest looking for at least 8-note polyphony. This allows you to play two chords of four notes together without the keyboard getting confused and refusing to play some of your notes!
My Top Choice!
The Yamaha YPT-230
This keyboard ticks every single box on my Beginners Keyboard Checklist. It covers all of the basic requirements that I look for and more by having 61 keys, 32-note polyphony, built-in speakers and touch sensitivity.
In my opinion, it’s also essential to make learning fun! The 385 voices, including a sound effects patch and 13 different drum kits, together with dozens of different accompaniment settings and 102 built-in songs to learn to make this a fantastically fun instrument.
It also has MIDI capabilities, meaning that you can link it to any computer and use thousands of MIDI song files to help learn to brand new songs!
Two of my pupils have this keyboard and I strongly believe they get more excitement out of their lessons. The Yamaha YPT-230 is made with learning and fun in mind.