These Keyboards Are Perfect For Beginners On A Budget

Acoustic pianos can sound incredible, but they can also be a major financial investment. The best budget keyboard pianos are fantastic alternatives to more expensive instruments. To recreate an acoustic piano experience at home on a budget, opt for a full-size keyboard piano with weighted keys. Alternatively, a more portable piano or a mini keyboard may be a better fit for casual piano players or for children.

Digital pianos typically come with various built-in features, such as sound effects, rhythms, and recording functionality, so take note of any features you would particularly like your keyboard to have. In addition, consider how many keys you’d prefer, as well as which kind of keys. A full-size piano with 88 keys can offer a comparable experience to an acoustic piano, particularly if its keys are weighted and it comes with a sustain pedal. These features can help you layer sound and control how quietly or loudly you play.

Not everyone wants or needs a full-size piano, though. If that’s the case for you, consider snagging a smaller keyboard piano. Some portable keyboard pianos have full-size keys in a smaller quantity than full-size pianos for easy practicing, while other portable options are all-around miniature with smaller keys to match — these are most suitable for children, but can also come in handy when traveling.

Whether you’re looking for a beginner piano or an affordable option you can take with you, one of these four budget-friendly keyboard pianos is sure to fit the bill.

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A Budget Keyboard Piano That Feels Like An Acoustic Piano

High-end keyboards can cost thousands of dollars, so this $450 Yamaha Digital Piano is actually a really great deal. It’s a full-size keyboard with 88 fully weighted keys, which means it’ll feel pretty darn close to an acoustic piano experience. This makes it a great way to prepare for playing on an acoustic piano, or a great way to enjoy an authentic piano-playing experience on a budget.

Yamaha's Graded Hammer Standard keys are carefully weighted so that they feel heavier to the touch on the low end of the keyboard and lighter at the high end, just like an acoustic piano. The piano also comes with a sustain pedal to help you achieve an acoustic piano sound, as well as a power adapter.

This 25-pound keyboard piano has 10 different voices, including sampled tones from real Yamaha grand pianos, and you can combine two voices together with Dual Mode. Its build-in metronome will help you keep perfect time, and it has a USB port, a sustain jack, headphone jack, and jack to connect an amp. If you're on a budget but looking for a keyboard piano that feels like the real deal, this is your best bet.

For an ultra-realistic experience, you can buy the keyboard bundled with a stand and a bench, or you can opt for just the keyboard.

Positive Amazon review: “I was looking for a reasonably priced digital piano [...] putting the highest priority on authentic keyboard feel, fast key response, and decent sound. [...] I am very pleased with it so far! It can compete with pianos that cost hundreds more. I don't think you can do any better at this price point.”

A Budget Keyboard Piano For Beginners

If you're just starting out with piano, the Alesis Recital 88 Key Beginner Digital Piano may be a perfect match. The keys on this full-size keyboard are semi-weighted, which means they’re less resistant than fully weighted keys, but still a great option for beginners who aren’t yet ready to invest in a more expensive model. Beginner-friendly features include Lesson Mode functionality, which allows you to follow along with a teacher sitting next to you, and a three-month trial of Skoove Premium, which connects you to online piano courses.

Additionally, this piano has a metronome and includes five voices (Acoustic Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Synth, and Bass) so that you can mix things up, plus Chorus and Reverb effects. It comes with a power adapter, but it can also run on six D batteries, which you can purchase separately. A sustain pedal and headphones aren’t included, but they can both be connected. You can also connect an amp for bigger sound.

This piano is also available in a 61-key version, or in white.

Positive Amazon review: “Really great budget piano for beginners. I bought this for myself to learn piano with online classes and it does not disappoint! The included Skoove membership is nice. Plugging in the piano to the tablet I use allows the app to recognize if I'm in sync with the song I'm learning. [...] Really awesome entry-level digital piano.”

A Cheap, Portable Keyboard Piano

While it’s ideal to learn or practice on a full-size keyboard piano, a smaller keyboard with full-size keys like the RockJam 54-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard is a good option if you need something more portable, or if you have limited space. At just over 8 pounds, this keyboard piano is easy to tote around with you. A power adapter is included, but it can also run on D batteries so that you can play anywhere.

It features 100 sound effects and 100 rhythms, has a built-in music stand, can be hooked up to a mic, and can be used with headphones for disturbance-free playing. Keynote stickers, teaching mode functionality, and free access to the Simply Piano app are all great perks for the beginner pianists. The RockJam 54-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard comes with a 1-year warranty, and it's also available as a 61-key keyboard piano if you'd prefer.

You get a lot of bang for your buck with this portable keyboard, but it's most ideal for someone who isn't really picky about how realistic their keyboard sounds. If you're looking for a portable option with higher quality sound, try this reasonably priced portable Yamaha keyboard piano instead.

Positive Amazon review: “I like the portability of the keyboard, and the different sound choices it offers. Great entertainment at a great price.”

An Inexpensive Mini Keyboard Piano

There's a lot of fun to be had with the adorable, 2.9-pound Casio SA-46 Portable Keyboard. It features 44 mini-sized keys and five percussion pads, as well as 100 sounds, 50 rhythm patterns, and both piano and organ tones. The LCD display is simple to navigate, and you can plug in your headphones when you want to play (or you want your kids to play) quietly. It's an all-around solid keyboard piano for anyone who enjoys tinkering around on a little piano — no matter their age.

The Casio SA-46 comes with a 1-year warranty. You can buy the keyboard on its own, in which case you have to add six AA batteries, or you can purchase it in a bundle that includes an additional power adapter. There are also bundles that include extras like key stickers for beginners.

Positive Amazon review: “So cute and convenient while also having an arsenal of unconventional sounds at your disposal. This little keyboard has more capabilities than my huge $150 keyboard I bought from a music store. The synths sound great, the noises are strange, just so much fun packed into one little keyboard. Great gift for someone learning to play keys. Also great if you're a live musician who only uses keyboards to play little synthy riffs.”