Digital pianos are designed to train beginners in the art of playing a piano. Real pianos are extremely expensive and complicated to play, which is why many companies provide these relatively inexpensive electric models in order to train new piano players on the basics of piano operation. However, don’t think that digital pianos are just intended for newbies and children, since some pretty amazing soundtracks are created with the assistance of digital pianos. You can mix and match soundtracks and can also create many complex digital sound effects with the press of a button.
Below, we have listed four of the most popular digital pianos currently available on the market, for you to select from. Choose the one that suits your needs as well as budget, since prices can vary wildly from model to model, depending on its features. If you’re new to music, it would be best to start with something that does not have a whole lot of advanced functions. Go with portability and affordability in that case. On the other hand, if you’re an advanced user then try to get the best internal hardware and build quality that you can for the price. Look for models with tons of built-in presets, lots of sound effects, powerful amplifiers, and a bunch of connectivity options.
RockJam Digital Piano Keyboard SuperKit
The RockJam RJ-561 is one of the most well designed digital pianos on the market, and it is packed to the skin with productivity-enhancing features such as full support for recording and playback, built-in rhythms and demo songs, built-in headphone jack, and USB connectivity. With a 61-key layout, this keyboard allows you to create 100 distinct sounds from key presses alone. You can further customize your music by using any one of the 100 built-in rhythms. Or, you can use the inbuilt mixer/sequencing functionality to mix and create your own custom loop. There are 50 demo songs which are very helpful for beginners, and even advanced users can listen to these rhythms in order to find inspiration for their next masterpiece.
The sturdy keyboard stand is built entirely from steel tubing and you can easily lift it around and move with it inside the house. You will also receive a thick, padded keyboard stool for playing this wonderful piano, and there is a giant backlit LCD display on the top that acts like a HUD and gives you real time information on stuff like battery status, volume, equalizers, sound channels, etc. You can also download the Piano Maestro app for this digital piano on your iPhone or iPod, and sync up the RJ-561 with your iOS enabled device. It is also worth mentioning that you’ll receive 30 frees songs with the app.
STAR BUDGET PICK
RockJam Portable Electronic Piano Keyboard
While the RockJam RJ-5611 was geared towards keyboard enthusiasts and advanced players, its little brother, the RockJam RJ-654 is more of a super-compact, affordable, and newbie-friendly model. With a 54-key layout, this is basically a chopped down version of the RJ-561, and while it still retains the RJ-561’s amazing build quality and crystal-clear stereo speakers, the feature set has been modified to suit the needs of a less experienced player.
This model has got 8 demo songs instead of 50, even though it still has the same number of sounds effects and rhythms as the 561. You will also find that it does not come with an included stool for playing the piano, and also lacks a free piano stand. There is a stand on the top for your iPhone or iPod, and you will also find an easy to read backlit LCD display that shows information regarding the tracks, volume, connected devices, etc. All of the 54 keys are full-sized, and they feel very close to the keys on an actual acoustic piano. The LCD screen will even tell you which chord and note you should play, so beginners will have a great experience with this machine while trying to learn a new note or rhythm.
Yamaha Portable Keyboard
The Yamaha PSRE253 portable digital piano allows you to recreate over 385 unique sounds, and this includes the voices of pianos, flutes, guitars, etc. Thus, it would be incorrect to label the PSRE253 strictly as a digital piano. It has 61 full-sizes keys and these are well spaced, so that your fingers don’t feel cramped while playing the keyboard. The unique grand-piano collection of voices consists of special stereo-sampled piano sounds, which let off a deep feeling of presence, so you feel like you’re actually playing an acoustic piano.
Despite packing the ability to produce so many sounds, record musical sequences, and playback stored music, this Yamaha weighs in at less than 9 pounds.That is the weight of the entire keyboard, including its batteries. You can even use this piano for live performances and on the fly music production with the help of its rechargeable batteries. The built-in 9 stage educational program will train new users and kids, with three stages dedicated to the left hand, three for the right hand, and another three stages for training both hands at the same time. You can use the MIDI and USB ports to connect your computer or recording devices with the piano, so that you can both listen and create music at the same time. Connect your headphone to the 3.55 mm jack and practice in silence, while listening to your favorite artist’s tracks for inspiration.
eMedia My Piano Starter Pack for Kids
Out of all the electronic keyboards and digital pianos that we have on this list, the eMedia My Piano Starter Pack is the best solution for teaching little children how to play a piano/keyboard. When you buy this product, you don’t just get the piano itself. You also get software that contains over 100 video based lessons that your child is going to enjoy! The software pack even includes an animated keyboard trainer that is visually attractive, as well as intuitive and enjoyable to use. There are 49 keys on this keyboard, along with the usual stereo speaker configuration that is useful for practicing at home, or for performing in front of a tiny audience.
In case your kids piano practice sessions are getting a little too loud, you can always plug in a headphone into the 3.5mm jack included on the side of this piano, which will aid with silent practice. A USB cord is also provided for connecting this with your computer, and you can upload music or tracks into the memory of your PC. Then you can mix those tracks, add in EQ, create loops, or do whatever you want inside the music production software suite on your computer. A LCD display is built into the front panel of this digital piano, and it comes with 80 demo songs and is loaded with over 100 realistic sample sounds from various musical instruments.
Also included, are the following super-cool features which would normally be absent from a keyboard intended only for kids – 32-note polyphony, metronome, transposition, DSP effects, sustain, and much more. Just because it is kid-friendly, doesn’t mean that it can’t cater to the needs of slightly more advanced players, or even enthusiasts. This is still a really fun instrument to play with, no matter whether the user is a 5-year old child, or a professional piano player who performs in front of live audiences.
Choosing the Best Digital Piano for Beginners
Most digital pianos come with prerecorded notes, special effects, and sequences that you mix with your own tunes, in order to create new and exciting music. You can even mix and match recordings, synchronize the piano with your PC or Mac, and load in tracks from your mp3 player or iPod. Most digital pianos are targeted towards the budget music enthusiast who wants something less expensive than an acoustic piano, along with the ability to create new and unique sound effects that cannot be imitated on an acoustic model. Think of the difference between electrical and acoustic guitars, the digital pianos work somewhat like that except for the fact that the cost difference between the electric and acoustic models is usually much higher.
When it comes to choosing a digital piano, these are the things that you need to focus on:
Portability and Convenience
Digital pianos are generally much lighter and compact in comparison to conventional pianos. Even the ones that come with a cabinet just like traditional pianos weigh much less than their traditional counterparts. Make sure that the digital piano which you’re buying is compact enough to fit inside your car, so that you can take it around with you whenever you need to go on a trip or shift between place to place.
Volume and Versatility
Digital pianos come with integrated speakers and amplifiers, and these determine how loudly your piano plays when you hit the keys. You can even achieve complete silence in your surroundings by plugging in a pair of headphones. The digital piano must also come with a bunch of digital sound presets built-in, because these will help with recording and sequencing. With the extensive number of sound sets stored inside digital pianos, you can achieve various effects such as woodwinds, brass, drum, electronic, bass, etc.
Recording and sequencing abilities are very important if you plan on creating soundtracks and music labels at home, or if you just want to have some fun with recording and playback. You can record your own music, and mix it in with other recordings in a sequence to create new and unique tracks. Besides being important for song production, recording and sequencing abilities can also help you practice and track progress.
MIDI ports will help you connect the digital piano with amplifiers, microphones, as well as all types of audio gear such as mixers and sequencers. For connecting the digital piano with your PC or Mac, you’ll need a USB port on the piano. This will allow you to mix and match tracks, with the assistance of software in your computer.