Beginner Keyboard Recommendations
I often get asked about what type of keyboard I recommend for beginners. The info below is to help guide new students and families in purchasing their first instrument.
A lot of families think that they need to purchase an acoustic piano. What they don't realize is that an acoustic piano (upright or grand) is a lot like purchasing a car - and it's often close to the same price! Even if you purchase one used, you should get it from an authorized retailer.
Please, please...DO NOT go on Craigslist or some other online market and purchase a used piano. While there are certainly deals out there, you need to know quite a bit about the engineering of an instrument in order to know if what you are paying is what it's actually worth.
If you can afford a almost new piano, and are willing to keep up with tuning and maintaining it, then, by all means, go for it. I recommend Fields Pianos in Santa Ana or Keyboard Concepts in Fountain Valley. If you visit either of these places, be sure to tell them my name and that I'm your teacher.
Especially for beginners, I highly recommend NOT purchasing an acoustic piano. Digital pianos quite often are not only more affordable, but they are more portable, have tons of extra features for making music (like the ability to play along with rhythms and change the sound). They also can be connected to a computer in many cases, adding even more useful features. Plus, you can control the volume and practice with headphones - which means students are able to concentrate more easily in a distracting environment (and not drive parents and siblings crazy with repetitive practicing).
If you're interested in a digital piano, here are the main features to look for:
- 61+ Keys (no less)
- Full size/Standard size keys
- Touch sensitivity
- Built-in speakers
One other option if you can find it is weighted or semi-weighted keys, but this often adds to both the expense and the overall weight of the keyboard. If a stand, headphones, and sustain pedal can be included in your purchase, that is also preferable.
All of the links below are on Amazon and feature keyboards that have the above recommendations (with the exception of weighted keys). They also are packaged with a stand and headphones, but you may find these for slightly cheaper if you wish to purchase the accessories separately, or already have them.
- Casio Inc. CTK4400 PPK 61-Key Premium Keyboard Pack with Headphones, Power Supply and Stand
- Yamaha DGX230 76-Key Digital Piano Pack with Stand, Power Supply, and Headphones
- Casio Inc. WK245 76-Key Touch Sensitive Keyboard with Headphones, Stand, and Power Supply
If you'd rather go into a store, I recommend visiting Keyboard Concepts in Fountain Valley. They have an excellent selection of both digital and acoustic pianos for almost every budget.
I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or need additional help along the way. Meantime, good hunting!