Buyer's Guides

Best keyboards for beginners and kids - start learning piano today!

If you’re looking to get a beginner piano for yourself or the little one in your life to try out the world of keyboards and piano, it’s safe to say you shouldn’t immediately drop 90 grand on a Steinway & Sons grand piano. Unless you’re happy to risk having a very expensive ornament in your home. The prudent pianist-to-be would be well advised to try one of the many brilliant piano keyboards for beginners.

Starting life with a digital piano keyboard will save you thousands. And with prices ranging from under £/$100 up to approximately £/$600, it’s possible to get the best beginner’s keyboard for a big range of budgets. If this is what you’re on the hunt for, this Headliner guide will give you the keys to unlocking your piano journey. Let’s put our foot down on the pedal and dive in!

Alesis Melody 61 MKII Music Keyboard

Starting off merrily with the most affordable beginners’ piano keyboard on our list, the Melody 61 from Alesis is the full package with everything you need to commence your piano journey. Included is a stand, headphones, a bench, and a mic. A fantastic bonus that you won’t find on all pianos aimed at beginners is the 300 onboard sounds, so you can enjoy playing the drums, synths and organ sounds alongside the all-important piano. The metronome is also very useful to keep you playing in time, as is the record function if you’re looking to keep your ideas stored also. And another thing! If you weren’t planning on having a real, human teacher (more on this at the end of the article), a three-month subscription to the music lesson service Skoove is another free add-on. The only downside? At such a low price, don’t expect professional-sounding piano tones.


Casio CT-S1 61-Key Portable Keyboard

You quite simply can’t discuss the best piano keyboards for beginners and not mention Casio once or twice. ‘Twould be madness. There is a good reason so many school music departments go for Casio for their classrooms as so many of their keyboards targeted at young people and beginners are so user-friendly while being feature-packed. The CT-S1 fits this description very nicely, coming at an affordable price point of around £/$200. And, for a beginner piano keyboard, the sounds are pleasing and impressive. Its users enjoy how portable, and it looks lovely and sleek rather than like a cheap, plastic piano. The 61 keys (note: a full piano is 88 keys) are touch-responsive. Choose between red, white and black.


Yamaha PSS-A50

We thought we’d include an option for those with the littlest fingers, and that has to be this miniature prospect from piano legends Yamaha. It may look a little toy-like, but this is Yamaha we’re dealing with, so the sounds truly rival those of larger, more expensive piano keyboards for beginners. Being super portable, there are only 37 keys, but that is part of its charm — the A50 is a loud and proud mini-piano. There are 42 sounds, which all sound pretty good or great, as well as a USB MIDI port, an arpeggiator, effects and more. If you want the more basic versions for little ones, check out the PSS-E30 or the F30.


Donner DEP-20 Beginner Digital Piano

Is this the don of the best piano keyboards for beginners? Donner’s DEP-20 is a lovely big slab of evidence that your first digital piano doesn’t have to be rubbish. It’s our first full-sized 88-key instrument with weighted keys, so it’s definitely an option to explore if piano authenticity is important to you. Which it should be if your vision for you or your little one is to eventually evolve to acoustic piano playing. It looks lovely, and there’s a wooden exterior version of the DEP-20 which looks stunning. You also get all three pedals included, as you would with a piano proper. The 238 sounds will keep you nice and busy.


Roland GO:Keys GO-61K

Roland’s GO:Keys is an interesting inclusion because it sounds so good and packs in enough features, it will appeal to players in the intermediate range also. After all, it’s unsurprising for the Roland name to come up in the best piano keyboards for beginners conversation, or any keyboard debate for that matter, such is their stock in the world of keyboards, digital pianos, synthesizers, workstations, and the rest. While Roland vintage synths can cost tens of thousands, GO:Keys is very much here to be an affordable option for keyboard newbies. The keys feel great and authentic even though this is a smaller keyboard with 61 keys, and you will have a lot of fun with the 500 sound-strong library. There are beats and loops aplenty for you to play along to also.


Korg B2

Hold up…Roland and then KORG in a best beginners’ piano keyboard article? You better believe it, because while Korg similarly are indisputable legends in the world of synthesizers and keyboards, they want a slice of the beginner keyboard piano pie also. And while this may be Korg’s offering to the beginner players out there, the B2 still has that trademark Korg style and sleek to it. Also looking, and feeling professional, are the 88 weighted keys. Sound-wise, Korg has gone for quality over quantity compared to some of the others here, but the 12 included sounds are levels above what you’d expect from a beginner piano keyboard. Five excellent piano sounds, plus strings, organ and electric pianos.


Casio WK-6600

Casio is back, baby. If you want a super-basic instrument that fits your simpler vision of the best piano keyboard for beginners, look away now. Because the WK-6600 also falls under the workstation keyboard category. In layman’s terms, a workstation keyboard is something of a music production computer, as you can build tracks by layering different sounds and beats. Some of the top workstation keyboards can cost thousands, but you can grab this Casio beginner piano keyboard for around £/$300. Its sound bank of 700 sounds blows a lot of the other keyboards on this list out of the water quantity-wise, as well as effects, an onboard mixer and a sequencer. It’s a fantastic consideration if you want your beginner's piano keyboard to have every conceivable bell and whistle.


Yamaha P225B Keyboard

All hail Yamaha, who own a very tasty market share of global piano sales. And when it comes to the best piano keyboards for beginners, the P-225 is yet more evidence of why Yamaha is just so good at this. Its USP is being a digital piano that is portable, light and won’t take up too much space at home while looking and sounding fantastic. The sounds are modelled on the CFX, which is Yamaha’s flagship concert grand piano, using Virtual Resonance Modelling technology. And besides looking authentic, the lovely weighted keys also ensure a premium piano-playing experience. If you go for the full bundle, you will have the full set of three piano pedals and a stand for sheet music. In short, it's a piano keyboard that’s also well worthy of intermediate and more advanced players, not just beginners.


Kawai ES120

Kawai know a thing or two about pianos — they have been making them since 1927, after all. With that said, you’d expect the Japanese manufacturers to feature in the best beginner’s piano keyboard discourse, and the ES120 puts them right in there. Calling it a beginner keyboard is a bit of a disservice, such is the sound and playing quality that it will suit many players of different levels, only billed as such as it is the lowest-priced piano from Kawai. The keyboard itself isn’t too feature-heavy, but once you hook up to the Kawai PianoRemote app using Bluetooth, you can make use of more sounds. It also allows you to go under the hood of the piano sounds, for example adjusting string resonance, damper noise, and piano tuning. If you’re happy to invest a bit more money in a piano keyboard that will serve you for years to come, then this is a fine instrument to go for.


The best way to learn piano

There are now a myriad of ways to learn an instrument; gone are the days when the only option was to look up music teachers in the phonebook. There are countless apps and websites that claim to do the job just as well as a measly human. These can be a great way to get started. However, call us a little old fashioned, but if you’re serious about learning the piano, you really can’t replace having a teacher and regular lessons. Just knowing you need to be fully practised for your lesson on Tuesday is so much more powerful for accountability than an app, which can so easily be dropped at any point.

With all that said, it’s time to take the piano out of your dreams and into your home. Whatever budget and level of skill you have, there is a piano keyboard up there that will have you noodling away in no time.

Further Reading

Best stage pianos