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Best portable keyboards with 61-keys, for beginners & hobbyists
Are you a beginner keyboardist or a hobbyist, or someone who wants to gift a decent keyboard to your near & dear ones?
In that case, you may not want to spend a lot of money on buying a top-end music keyboard, which actually makes sense too.
We are talking about beginner keyboards here, and believe me, though these are entry level keyboards, they have a lot more functionally, compared to what was available on keyboards several years back. Most of these are available for around a couple of hundred bucks.
In terms of brands, the offerings in this price range are from Casio and Yamaha, as you would have rightly guessed.
But what should one choose?
We already have lots of informational articles on this site, so do feel free to check them out.
But if I had to choose, here would be my options. Most of these come with useful bundled accessories.
- These come with 61-full sized keys
- These have lots of features (commonly found on musical keyboards)
The Casio CTK-2400 lets you experience a fully featured, 61-key keyboard for cheap. This one does not come with touch-sensitive keys though. If you’re on budget, this can definitely be your first keyboard, unless your music teacher told you that you should be getting touch-keys.
The ctk-2400 comes with more features and better sampling functions (not that beginners would really need that feature, but its useful for making your own sounds). The package comes with better features, that will suits adults as well.
Key Features: 61 keys. 48-note polyphony. Several tones & rhythms. Built-in Step-Up learning system. USB MIDI. Voice Pad allows you to play sampled sounds; connect CD or MP3 player for practicing along with favorite songs.
Touch Sensitive Keys
Here we take a look at entry level keyboards with Touch Sensitive Keys.
The Yamaha EZ220 has 61-keys (these are touch-sensitive), and the keys light-up (helps to learn the built-in lessons and songs, children love this feature). Comes with lots of features. Perfect for the beginner student.
To someone grown-up but more serious about music, the Yamaha EZ-220 61-key lighted keyboard from yamaha makes much more sense, because of the built-in lessons and the fun element because of the lighted keys. If you’re an adult, you’ll like the overall sound quality of this keyboard. This is your opportunity to own a music keyboard from Yamaha (if you prefer Yamaha) with a much better sound quality. The lighted keys add to the fun.
This lighted keyboard also makes it easy to play songs, just select one of the built-in songs and the keyboard will light up the key that you’re supposed to play. In fact, the song will actually stop and wait for you to find the correct key! It has touch responsive keys, 100 built-in songs, built-in metronome and reverb effects.
Casio LK-280 61-keys
This is another good keyboard (with lighted keys) and touch sensitive keyboard. 61 full sized keys and comes with advanced features as well! Its great to begin learning. If your little one is showing interest and if you think he/she is not going to like the smaller sized Casio, a 61-key keyboard is a good keyboard to use.
This one is fun to play as the keys light up, makes it easy to learn the built-in songs. It has a much better sound quality and comes with several voices, styles, and features, and kids (and even adults) will like it.
In case, you are not a big fan of Casio, then you may consider the yamaha ypt-340 that comes with more or less similar configuration.
Yamaha PSR-e353 is a 61-key keyboard (touch-sensitive keys) comes with better features, good sound, and reasonable price. This keyboard has more tones, styles, and better sound quality compared to the EZ220. It features big piano sound, USB MIDI output, and more.
Buy PSR-e353 | Read more…
The Casio CTK-4400 is a keyboard with 61 touch-sensitive Keys, and has enhanced tools and instructional features that makes it suitable even for amateurs and the intermediate keyboard players, besides the absolute beginners.
Music Keyboards with 76 Keys
- Now you even get keyboards with 76 keys around this price range
- These are perfect for those who fancy playing some popular piano pieces
The Yamaha YPG-235 Portable Grand Piano features 76 soft touch keys that are perfect for the beginner to the expert. The only reason we are mentioning it here is because its a steal at this price. All the keyboard features and 76-keys (not fully-weighted though) that will allow you to play several classical piano pieces.
A USB port is also included allowing you to download new Songs and Styles for playing. The interactive lesson feature lets you set your own tempo so you can progress at your own speed. A 6-track sequencer allows you to record your own music. It’s from Yamaha and has a good sound quality.
Buy YPG-235 | Read more…
If you think you’ll be playing a bit of classical stuff as well, then you should consider this excellent 76 key Casio wk-245 keyboard, that not only gives you 76 keys but also has all the voices and styles that you find on digital keyboards.
The Casio WK245 Electronic Keyboard offers great tones, sampling, and lessons in one great keyboard! This WK245 is amazing! Casio is showing how much they can fit in to this keyboard while offering at a price that makes it impossible to turn down. Get learning and start playing fast with the Casio WK-245’s integrated Step Up lessons, Auto Harmonize, and Music Challenge. Read more…
This is your opportunity to own a music keyboard with 76 touch keys, and that too within 200 bucks.
Without Touch Sensitive Keys
- The following keyboards do not come with touch sensitive keys
- These cost less, almost around 100 dollars
- Some have mini keys, and less than 61 keys
- These are good for exposing your kids to electronic keyboards
Eventually however, as your kids show more potential, you will have to get a music keyboard with touch sensitive keys. To begin with, to test the waters, and just for fun, these are good enough.
The Casio SA-76 comes with 44 keys, is portable, has several tones and styles, and offers all the essentials required for playing those first tunes. 100 timbres, 50 rhythms and 10 integrated songs provide variety. The display helps with selecting and calling up the different music options. excellent keyboard for your kids.
Keep a good piano learning book for kids handy for revising important topics.
Perfect for the Initial Years
In the first couple of years when I was learning to play keyboards, I have used keyboards that were inexpensive. I was not sure at that time if I would be able to play keyboards and wanted to concentrate only on learning.
In fact, my first keyboard was a Casio mini-keyboard. It was only after a couple of years I bought a Yamaha PSR keyboard.
On this page, we discussed the top 5 portable music keyboards sold by various manufacturers, suitable for beginners, learners & hobbyists.
If you’re in the market for a budget portable keyboard, you may wish to consider these models.
- Casio SA-76 44 Key Keyboard (no touch keys)
- Casio CTK-2400 61 Keys Keyboard
- Yamaha EZ-220 61 Key Lighted Keyboard
- Casio LK-280 Lighted 61-keys
- Casio CTK-4400 61-Keys Keyboard
- Casio WK-245 76-Key Keyboard
- Yamaha YPG-235 76 Key Keyboard
Recommended Learning Aid/Products
I want to buy a beginner electronic keyboard, 61 keys preferably. Not sure if I need more than that as of now. How much does a good electronic keyboard cost, and the ones with more keys are they really expensive? By budget is around 300 dollars. Would like to get into music production and create my own music, once I learn the ropes. What brand of electronic keyboard should I buy? – Victor
Can I start learning on an electronic keyboard instead of a Piano? I am not sure if I should be spending so much money on a digital piano right at the beginning. If I start playing on an electronic keyboard, will I face a lot of difficulties adjusting to the Piano if at all I decide to buy a Piano down the line?
You can definitely start learning on an electronic keyboard, if budget is a constraint. Even otherwise, you need to realize that beginning learning on the best keyboard or the piano does not guarantee that you will become good at it in a short span of time. You need to give it time and it can take from a few months to a couple of years before you start performing satisfactorily. So buy an electronic keyboard if you don’t have the budget currently for an expensive piano. – Suresh
Though electronic keyboards could cost anywhere from 200 dollars to 3000 dollars depending on many factors, you can get a decent entry level five-octave keyboard (61 keys) for around 200-300 dollars. All digital keyboards are midi-keyboards, so you can connect yours to a computer and it will help you to create your own music in the future. Read more on digital piano keyboard prices and the popular brands…Raul