Having a keyboard gives you the power to carry a portable piano with you anywhere, allowing you to play out your favorite tunes on the go. In addition to their compact, easy-carrying design, keyboards come pre-installed with amazing features that make it very easy for you to play and record music. The following keyboards have been chosen by our team for their ability to produce brilliant sound quality, amazing features, compact shape, excellent speakers, and plenty of accessories that make playing easier and more fun. Keep reading for our picks of the best cheap keyboards in 2021.
Having the right keyboard means you’re able to easily and conveniently share your talents with others, be that your family or a live audience. We know that playing in front of others might be a scary prospect, but buying a keyboard doesn’t have to be, which is why we’ve created a guide to help you understand everything you need to know.
What is the price range of keyboards?
Prices can vary depending on the keyboard that you get, but they typically range anywhere from 100 to 1,000 dollars. Beginners or casual players will find that a keyboard priced on the lower end of that range will be sufficient for their purposes, even though they won’t get all the extra bells and whistles on their keyboard, such as touch-sensitive keys. Intermediate and advanced players will more likely spend closer to 1,000 dollars for a keyboard that has the extra features they need. What’s more, the more keys a keyboard has, the more expensive they tend to be. Make sure you think about your skill level and what you want out of your keyboard when determining your budget.
Choosing a keyboard
Start by deciding how large of a keyboard you want. Pianos normally feature 88 keys on them, but keyboards come in three different sizes primarily: 76, 61, and 49 keys. The more keys you have, the more space your keyboard will take up in your house or apartment. To play devil’s advocate, though, the more keys you have, the greater musical capabilities you’ll have right at your fingertips. Keyboards with fewer keys, such as 61 keys, tend to be suitable for beginners because the missing keys are, well, hardly missed. Keyboards with 49 keys or even less are the best when it comes to portability, so if that’s your top concern, a small keyboard might be right up your alley.
You should also look for a keyboard that has weighted keys. What weighted keys mean is that they will spring back up once you press down on them, just like regular piano keys. Weighted keys are especially good for beginners because they help you build up your finger strength and technique. If you make the move from keyboard to piano, having played on weighted keys will make it an easy transition for you.
The great thing about keyboards is that they are portable, compact, and typically light. One thing you should look for when choosing a keyboard is that you can adjust the height of the stand it sits on. This will allow you to play in a comfortable position. Plus, if you happen to grow, you can easily adjust the stand to your desired height.
The most important thing you can remember when buying a keyboard is that some will be better for you than others, so take the time to carefully consider your options.
Most important features of keyboards
There are some important considerations before you buy a keyboard.
One of the most important features is the polyphony of a keyboard. Polyphony is the number of individual tones that your keyboard is able to produce. While the number of notes your keyboard can play is not super important to beginners, it does become a relevant factor for more advanced players. Even still, if you’re looking to play complex sounds, you should look for a keyboard that has a 32-note polyphony or 64-note polyphony. For the most advanced players, keyboards with 128-note or 264-note polyphony are better choices.
The number of sounds your keyboard has is another important feature. It can be fun to play with backing instruments such as organs and flutes and they can help enhance your sound. Keyboards aren’t all built the same, so the number of sound samples your keyboard comes with will depend on which one you get. If you’re looking to stick to the basics and just utilize the keyboard, then you can opt for a keyboard with fewer sound samples.
Learning tools are another important and useful feature for beginners. Features such as a metronome, which help you stay on beat and improve your rhythmic abilities, or even built-in lessons can greatly help a beginner player master their skills. Because learning tools are meant to help you become a better player, you’re going to find them on beginner keyboards. If those features aren’t appealing to you, you might need to spend a little bit more money to get a keyboard meant for more advanced players.
You’ll want to also make sure your keyboard has a pedal. If it doesn’t come with one, consider investing in one. The purpose of a pedal is to sustain the sound of the notes you are playing. You’ll find them on a traditional piano, so if you’re trying to emulate the experience of playing on a piano, you’ll definitely want to have a pedal.
The last important feature you should look for in a keyboard is the speakers. It’s important that you can clearly hear the notes you play adequately and that the sound produced is of a high quality. If you live in an apartment and can’t play that loudly, some keyboards come with a headphone jack that’ll let you play as long as you want without receiving any complaints. If you’re looking to play outside of your home and in front of others, you’ll want to make sure your keyboard has output options to connect to external amplifiers or PA systems.
The features you end up picking in a keyboard should be centered around what works best for you.
By Jack Stoneybrook
Jack has been a touring guitarist for almost 20 years, playing in a number of country music and rock bands. Jack loves the road and defines himself as a never-ending student of the guitar and other important instruments or tools that make a musician.