Best MIDI Keyboard For Beginners


Learning to play a musical instrument is a noble pastime indeed. All great Musicians were beginners at some time and put in an enormous amount of effort to get to where they are today.

You may not be striving to join the professional ranks, but learning to play any instrument is challenging but rewarding. If the keyboard/piano is your instrument of choice, there are no end of books, lessons, and YouTube guides to get you started on the journey to becoming a proficient player. What are the benefits of learning the keyboard?

When you are fully focused on several things at once, it improves concentration and sharpens the mind. When learning the keyboard you need to think about tempo, pitch, rhythm, and notes simultaneously which gives your brain a great workout. It also teaches you how to persevere, as there are many complex elements to learning the keyboard. 

If you have a favorite song you’d love to play, it increases motivation and encourages you to practice consistently. In addition, it helps improve memory capacity. As the brain is stimulated more it becomes larger and active and you will naturally find it easier to retain information in all aspects of life. 

Playing the piano helps you become a better listener and get in touch with emotions. Music is emotive, and you can’t help but be stirred by it  increasing emotional intelligence and improving connections with others.

There really is a plethora of reasons to learn the keyboard, so let’s look at the practical side and consider some of the best keyboards currently on the market specially for beginners.  

FVEREY 88 Key Foldable Digital Piano Keyboard

FVEREY 88 Key Foldable Digital Piano Keyboard,Full Size Semi Weighted Keys Portable Electronic Piano,Bluetooth Digital Keyboard with MIDI,Speakers,Sustain Pedal,Piano Bag for Beginners

On the top end of the price scale, this digital keyboard is foldable and lightweight and is easy to transport if needed. It comes equipped with a carry case and rechargeable battery. 

It is a full size with 88 keys that are semi weighted and benefits from a 1.1 piano key ratio, meaning it’s easy to master the right-hand position and feels similar to a full-size piano in terms of key weight. 

The keyboard has built-in stereo quality speakers and although digital, it provides an authentic piano sound. The sound quality is second to none and with a sound line that produces three-dimensional, full yet delicate sound, it’s perfect for use with headphones for a fully absorbing experience. 

As a fully digital product, you are able to connect to a PC and other devices through a USB lead and it is also Bluetooth enabled. It’s fully functional with various  apps that have been created for beginner learners. 

The product has many features that include 128 tones and rhythms, as well as demos and additional recording options. The keys can be made into 44 for extra players. All in all a fantastic product for beginners and more advanced players alike. 

Reviews are predominantly positive for this keyboard, with some saying the stand isn’t the best features and slightly inadequate. 

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable 
  • Fully digital 
  • Split key option 

Cons

  • Stand not that sturdy 
Sale
FVEREY 88 Key Foldable Digital Piano Keyboard,Full Size Semi Weighted Keys Portable Electronic Piano,Bluetooth Digital Keyboard with MIDI,Speakers,Sustain Pedal,Piano Bag for Beginners
  • 【Lightweight & Portable】This foldable digital piano keyboard can achieve the same performance as the Grand piano and saves space with folded size 24.8*8*4.7in.It weights only 8.8lb.Equipped with a built-in rechargeable battery and a carrying case,you can easily take it as you go, which is suitable for parties and outdoors.
  • 【88 Premium Full-Sized Piano Keyboard】With standard 88 full-size and semi-weighted keys,the electronic piano has more sensible responses than full-weighted keys.The piano keyboard is exquisitely according to 1:1 piano key ratio.You can maintain correct hand shape and experience the heavy hammer feeling of a piano.It’s suitable for beginners.
  • 【Lossless Sound Quality】Built in double HIFI stereo speakers,the digital keyboard presents 100% piano original sound.Its sound line is full,delicate, and three-dimensional, and it can produce shocking performance on the spot.By connecting with headphone,you can play the piano at night and experience the best sound quality.
  • 【MIDI & Bluetooth Function】MIDI/USB interface allows you to connect computer and other intelligent deices to edit and create music.The Bluetooth function makes it simple for beginners to learn piano by following the piano apps like Garage Band,Perfect Piano and Pop Piano.The piano especially suits kids who have little or even no piano experience.
  • 【Useful Features to Meet All Your Needs】128 rhythms,128 tones and 20 demos make learning more interesting.Also,recording, sustain, metronome, drum kit, dual voice, transpose features are indispensable for beginners.The electronic piano keyboard can be split into 44 keys,so whole family can enjoy playing.It’s perfect learning piano keyboard gift for your kids,music lovers friends and lonely parents.

Donner 61 Key Piano Keyboard

Donner 61 Key Piano Keyboard, Keyboard Piano for Beginner/Professional, Electric Keyboard with Piano Stand, Stool and Microphone, Supports MP3/USB MIDI/Audio/Microphone/Headphones/Sustain Pedal

A cheaper option than the previous offering, this keyboard is ideal for beginners, with 61 piano keys and several teaching modes. Furthermore, it has 40 demo songs, 300 rhythms and a whopping 500 different tones. The integrated speakers offer rich yet simple sound overall. 

The keyboard shows the status of each function that is used at any given time and offers feedback when in teaching mode. 

This multi-functional keyboard benefits from an interface that has several modes such as audio, pedal and midi and can easily be connected to an MP3, earphones, or microphone.

There is no need to buy an additional microphone because it’s included in this package along with a bench and stand. All in all you get a lot for your money with this keyboard. 

Pros

  • Affordable 
  • Teaching modes
  • Multi functional 

Cons

  • Only 61 keys (so can’t be split) 
Sale
Donner 61 Key Piano Keyboard, Keyboard Piano for Beginner/Professional, Electric Keyboard with Piano Stand, Stool and Microphone, Supports MP3/USB MIDI/Audio/Microphone/Headphones/Sustain Pedal
  • 🎄【Suitable for Beginners】The 61 full-size keys piano keyboard with 3 teaching modes is a wonderful learning tool for beginners.
  • 🎁【Simple and Rich Tone】The electronic keyboard has 500 tones, 300 rhythms and 40 demo songs and equipped with 2 high quality speakers, making the sound simple and rich, as soft as the winter sun, bright, warm and calm.
  • 🎄【LCD Display Keyboard】With an LCD display, 61 key piano keyboard can simply and clearly displays the status of the functions being used, and can also provide feedback on the built-in teaching functions.
  • 🎁【General Links】To meet different needs, the electric keyboard has a USB Midi interface, a pedal interface, two audio interface, and can also be connected to a microphone, earphone or MP3. You can play and singing at the same time, fully enjoy the music!
  • 🎄【Exquisite Musical Instrument Gifts】Everyone is a born musician. The gift includes a keyboard, a durable plastic music stand, an adjustable piano stand a piano bench and a microphone. Enjoy the joy of music creation anytime, anywhere.

MIDIPLUS AKM320 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

MIDIPLUS AKM320 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller, Black, 32-key

This midi keyboard is a budget option and ideal for those who just want to dip their toes into the water of keyboard playing. Perfect for small children to create some simple tunes. 

The keyboard is compact and easy to transport. It has 32 mini keys with several functions such as Octave, pitch, transpose, and modulation. In addition, it has a USB connector and can be used on Apple or Windows devices. 

Reviews are mixed but many comments it’s good for the price with a smooth and clear sound. 

Pros

  • Budget 
  • Transportable
  • Multi use 

Cons

  • Not full-size keys 
Sale
MIDIPLUS AKM320 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller, Black, 32-key
  • 32 mini-keys velocity sensitive keyboard
  • Pitch, modulation, octave, transpose function
  • Sustain interface (Not include sustain pedal)
  • USB B-type to connect computer (include USB cable)
  • Plug and play with Windows, Mac devices

Rockjam 61 Key Keyboard Piano With Touch Display Kit

RockJam 61 Key Keyboard Piano With Touch Display Kit, Keyboard Stand, Piano Bench, Sustain Pedal, Headphones, Simply Piano App & Keynote Stickers

The Rockjam is a great mid-priced keyboard. It offers 2 ways of powering, either via mains or batteries (included). It has 61 full-size keys that help produce a piano feel and sound. 

Perhaps the best feature of the Rockjam is the display panel. The touchscreen shows feedback whilst playing and has a teaching mode to fully support your learning. With 200 tones and rhythms and 30 demo songs, it’s the perfect tool for beginner players. 

The playback and record function allows you to capture your music and build layers for improvement. It can fully integrate with digital audio via a cable, included in the package. 

Included in the offer is a comfortable seat that’s foldable and light. In addition, it contains a strong keyboard stand that is fully adjustable and ideal for all heights.  

Reviews are mixed for this product, most agree it’s a fantastic starter keyboard, with some comments on durability and extra costs of some teaching functions. 

Pros 

  • Touchscreen display 
  • 2 power options 
  • Extras included 

Cons

  • Not as durable as some 
  • Extra costs 
RockJam 61 Key Keyboard Piano With Touch Display Kit, Keyboard Stand, Piano Bench, Sustain Pedal, Headphones, Simply Piano App & Keynote Stickers
  • The RockJam 761 keyboard piano super kit includes a digital keyboard with 61 full-size keys giving you that traditional piano feel whilst maintaining a portable and compact design that can be powered by either mains (power supply included) or batteries
  • This RockJam 761 piano keyboard features a touch display panel that both displays feedback and engages the 200 rhythms, 200 tones, a teaching function, and 30 demo songs that are part of its functionality
  • The RockJam 761 electric piano has record and playback functionality allowing you to build layers to your sound and the midi output integrates with your digital audio workstation like Ableton and logic via a single cable
  • This music keyboard super kit package includes a keyboard stand that is sturdy in design and can be adjusted to suit keyboard piano players both young and old
  • This electric piano keyboard super kit contains a padded seat that is easily folded and has a thick padded seat for hours of comfortable play

Vangoa VGK610 Piano Keyboard

Vangoa VGK610 Piano Keyboard, 61 Mini Keys Portable Music Keyboard for Beginners with Microphone, 3 Teaching Modes, 350 Tones, 350 Rhythms, 30 Demos, Pink

For the lovers of pink out there, this dazzling little keyboard is a treat to the eyes as well as a super machine. It offers 61 mini size keys that are unweighted and ideal for little fingers. In addition, it offers plenty of different sounds such as 30 demos, 350 rhythms, 350 timbres as well as vibrato, percussion and customizable sounds. 

The Vangoa comes equipped with instructions, teaching modes, playback, and recording as well as a microphone and headphone jack. 

The keyboard can be powered by mains or batteries and is small enough to carry around if needed. 

Reviews are mixed, but most agree it is a very good starter keyboard for children. 

Pros

  • PINK
  • Unweighted 
  • 2 power sources 

Cons

  • PINK
Vangoa VGK610 Piano Keyboard, 61 Mini Keys Portable Music Keyboard for Beginners with Microphone, 3 Teaching Modes, 350 Tones, 350 Rhythms, 30 Demos, Pink
  • ✔ Mini Size Keys: 61 keys, the unweighted mini keys better fit kids' small finger spacing, worry-free for giving painful fingers after practicing
  • ✔ Customize Beautiful Sound: Built-in 350 timbres, 350 rhythms, 30 demos, 8 percussions, with vibrato, sustain and percussion button, you can customize the sounds and play along with your favorite songs
  • ✔ Easy to Learn: Equipped with 3 teaching modes, instructions manual and adjustable rhythm tempo, perfect for beginners. Record & playback functionality also available for correct the playing. While microphone jack for quiet playing, won't disturb others
  • ✔ Considerate Design: Made of environmental protection ABS, fine workmanship and soft-edge design, safe and very suitable for children. The Keyboard size is 32.7 * 10.9 * 3.1 inches, very portable. It can be powered by mains (power adaptor included) or batteries
  • ✔ Pretty Appearance: Pink music keyboard is lovely, the pink color provides a vibrant and delicate look, help starter more interested in learning music at the beginning

The ONE Smart Piano Keyboard with Lighted Keys

The ONE Smart Piano Keyboard with Lighted Keys, Electronic Piano 61 Keys, Electronic MIDI Keyboard, Home Digital Music Keyboard, Teaching Portable Keyboard Piano, Onyx Black

The ONE keyboard is an all singing, all dancing machine. With 61 keys it also benefits from LED lighting that lights up and helps you follow simple songs. In addition, it has powerful integrated speakers and 128 note polyphony along with recording and midi output. 

The keyboard is ideal for learning and has a free app that contains professional lessons and videos to follow, as well as lots of interactive games and sheet music to use. It’s easy to learn a song quickly, or there is a gaming mode that’s fun and interactive.

The keyboard offers 128 different instrument sounds that can be accessed via the mobile app that is compatible with most smart devices. Furthermore, it comes complete with drum sounds, folk, percussion sets, timbres and GM2 tones. 

Reviews are mixed for this product, but most agree it’s a great way to learn without investing in expensive lessons. 

Pros

  • LED lighting 
  • Lessons and games included 
  • Compatible with Smart devices 

Cons

  • No weighted keys 
Sale
The ONE Smart Piano Keyboard with Lighted Keys, Electronic Piano 61 Keys, Electronic MIDI Keyboard, Home Digital Music Keyboard, Teaching Portable Keyboard Piano, Onyx Black
  • Magical LED Lighted on the keys of this 61 keyboard piano-Follow the LED light and you can play the piano in minutes.
  • Powerful educational functions in the Free APP of the electric portable keyboard piano-professional lessons videos, fun games with learning, creative crash course and thousands of sheet music.
  • With powerful built-in speakers and a 128-note maximum note polyphony. MIDI output and recording.
  • 128+ instrument sounds available via mobile app setting. Device/Connection- iOS 10.0 + iPad 2/4, New Pad, iPad mini1/2/3/4, iPad Air1/2, iPad Pro iPhone 5s/6/6 plus/6s/6s plus/7/7 plus/8/X/XS/XR/XS max Android 5.0+ with USB Host/OTG.
  • 417 timbres, 16 folk instruments, 9 percussion sets, 603 drum sounds, 256 GM2 tones When used alone, the piano preset with 20 instruments.

Xkey 25 USB MIDI Controller Silver

Xkey 25 USB MIDI Controller Silver

This simple but effective midi keyboard is tiny and weighs less than 2lbs. Super easy to carry around, it also benefits from full-size keys. In addition, the aluminum frame means it’s built to last.

The keyboard simply plugs into any PC or smart device and is ready to go. A great portable option that enables you to play wherever and whenever you feel like it. 

Reviews are positive for this keyboard, with emphasis on the power and sound it contains for a small machine. 

Pros

  • Small and transportable 
  • Durable 
  • Compatible with smart devices 

Cons

  • Not many extras 
Sale
Xkey 25 USB MIDI Controller Silver
  • Full Size Piano Keys, Ultra Mobile Award Winning Keyboard
  • Only 0.6 inches thick and weighs less than 2 lbs. – Goes wherever you go
  • Professional playability with velocity sensitivity, Polyphonic after touch & more
  • Rugged anodized aluminum frame built for years of use - NOT plastic
  • Simply plug & play with all formats: IOS, Android, PC, MAC and Linux

Donner DMK 25 MIDI Keyboard Controller

Donner DMK 25 MIDI Keyboard Controller Music Mini Key With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 4 Knobs 4 control faders MIDI Controller WHITE

Another tiny model with a few more features than the previous option.  The Donner DMK offers a super thin appearance and 25 midi keys. The keys are velocity sensitive which means it’s ideal for music production, beat making and visual synthesizer control. 

The air touch bar allows you to octave up and down which controls the range and pitch, giving creative expression and control. 

There are 25 synth action keys and back lit pads to create authentic sounding drum beats. It’s powered via a USB bus.

The keyboard works well with extra equipment for music production. There are transport buttons that allow you to easily control your music session. Furthermore, there are 4 memory options that can be used for recalling preset preferences, along with 4 knobs and sliders compatible with music software. 

This product comes with fantastic reviews with focus on value for money and the ease of making fantastic music. 

Pros

  • Velocity sensitive keys 
  • Air touch bar 
  • Compatible with music software 

Cons

  • No weighted keys 
Sale
Donner DMK 25 MIDI Keyboard Controller Music Mini Key With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 4 Knobs 4 control faders MIDI Controller WHITE
  • 【Ultra-thin design and portability】USB powered MIDI controller with 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for beat maker, studio production, virtual synthesizer control.
  • 【AIR-Touch: Touch Bar】Octave Up and Down Touch Bar let you access the full MIDI keyboard range and Pitch and modulation deliver expressive, creative control. Assignable Touch Bar, can be assigned to send Control Change message (hereinafter called the ‘CC’) or Pitch Bend Change message (hereinafter called the ‘Pitch’).
  • 【Synth-action keys】Premium MIDI controller with 25 expressive synth-action keys.8 Hyper-Sensitive backlit pads make drum beats. USB bus powered - no additional power cable needed.
  • 【TRANSPORT & NAVIGATION】Works with all music production equipment. Navigate your projects: The 6 dedicated transport buttons are always within reach and mapped to control Cycle, Rewind, Forward, Stop, Play and Record.
  • 【4 Program Presets】Four programmable memory banks for instant recall of personal control preferences.This MIDI controller offers 4 assignable knobs and 4 assignable Sliders interface with your music software.

Buyers Guide 

It can be confusing knowing where to start when searching for your first keyboard, so we’ve put together this guide to make the process a little easier.

First things first, prices vary a lot for keyboards and more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better quality, so be sure to do your research and read as many reviews as possible to inform your choice. The next things to look for are: 

Keyboard Action 

The keyboard action refers to how the keys feel when they are played. Most beginners may not have anything to compare with, but those who have learned or played on a traditional piano will understand the difference. 

Keys that are unweighted means that they are easier to push down and are ideal for children’s little fingers or for those that have joint problems but still enjoy playing.

On the other hand weighted keys will feel more like traditional piano and may be the preference for some. If you’re unsure, you could locate a music shop and try out both kinds to identify which you find more comfortable. 

Digital Compatibility 

In the world of modern technology, you can expect keyboards to be compatible with most smart devices for full functionality. Although at the beginning of your learning journey this may not be hugely important, it will eliminate upgrade needs later on. 

MIDI or musician instrument digital interface is fairly common but will differ slightly in what it provides. In electronics, this allows the different programmed instruments to communicate with one another via internal signals; this is a great feature once you become proficient and want to start making some serious music. 

Recording 

A large part of learning is being able to identify mistakes and correct them. With a recording feature you can listen back to the music you create to help make improvements — it also helps when you decide to start making individual compositions. 

Storage/ Input/ Output 

Some keyboards offer storage options, but most storage comes from downloadable software or micro USB cards, so you would need to purchase these separately. 

It’s important to choose a keyboard with the right output as this allows the use of extra hardware such as amps, speakers, and microphones.

Sound And Size

Sound is predominantly the most important feature of a keyboard. The best keyboards are those that can produce the same quality sound as a traditional piano. The word polyphony refers to how many sounds a keyboard can produce at one time, and you may see it used in product descriptions. 

The size of keyboards varies greatly. If you want the full works then you can buy full-sized keyboards with weighted keys which will give you a more traditional piano experience, however they are often limited and have fewer options in terms of electronic music production that are a feature of lighter unweighted options. 

Accessories 

You can find many all-in-one options on the market that include accessories you’ll need as a beginner, however if not you’ll have to purchase them separately. Equipment such as stands for the keyboard and sheet music can be found in any good music shop. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Purchase A Workstation Or Arranger Or Synthesizer Keyboard?

This will largely depend on your individual budget. Workstations are more pricey and come with an integrated computer for those that move onto composition and advanced playing. They can be programmed to play composed music automatically and are often used by professionals.

They contain weighted keys so if you think you may continue onto an advanced keyboard playing a workstation keyboard is a good investment. 

An arranger keyboard is a great option if you want auto accompaniment, but only once you’ve mastered how to play at a basic level it’s not the best choice for a complete beginner. 

A synthesizer is a great choice for beginners. It’s electronic and produces varying sounds from different musical instruments. They are usually small and portable, and great if you’re interested in playing in a band or with other musicians. It’s important to pick the right one, as there is a huge range in terms of quality with electronic keyboards. 

Will I Need An Amplifier ?

As a beginner you will not need to purchase a separate amplifier. The sounds produced by a keyboard will be suitable in the beginning stages of learning. However, as you get more proficient you may want to invest in a good quality amplifier for an all-inclusive experience, especially if performing publicly. 

Do The Number Of Keys Really Matter?

Yes, the number of keys do matter.  Typically, a keyboard will come with 66, 72 or 88 keys. As a beginner you won’t need more than 66 keys, and at an advanced level 72 is ample. However, 88 is ideal if you want to move onto playing a real piano once you’re proficient. 

Many keyboards have fewer than the standard 66 such as synthesizers, especially those that are primarily used for organ music. In a professional setup, keys can be shifted up and down to be played in specific ranges. 

It is exciting to start a new hobby and if music is a big part of your life then you’ll enjoy the challenge. This guide should help you make an informed choice of which keyboard to purchase to help you start on your learning journey. 

Last update on 2022-01-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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