Best Beginner Keyboards for Adults to Learn Comfortably!

Author: Tomas Morton | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

If you wanna have a blast learning how to play the piano as an adult, you gotta keep a few things in mind. First off, it's super important to pick the right piano or keyboard to start with. Trust me, it'll make all the difference in the world!

My suggestion is to begin with a digital piano or keyboard instead of going for the real thing. This is because some of these keyboards have a gentler, easier feel and action on your fingers.

It's incredibly convenient to have volume control and headphone access while practicing, especially if you don't want to disturb your neighbors. Many of us have work and other obligations, and some may not have time to practice until late at night or really early in the morning before "real" life starts.

Digital pianos have come a long way since their early versions and now have realistic sounds beyond just plain old piano. It's cool to have different sounds to choose from for different styles of music, even if you're just starting out.

Here are a few models that I believe would be perfect for adults who are just getting started:

7 Best Beginner Keyboards for Adults to Learn on

1. Yamaha Arius YDP-105

Alright, so Yamaha has always been a top player in the keyboard industry. Their GHS-weighted action is well-known for giving you those heavy lows and light highs, which makes it feel like you're playing on a grand piano.

The YDP-105 is a digital console piano that already comes with a stand and bench, and even a three-pedal system that's already installed. The realistic feel is enhanced by its high-quality sounds and samples, and as we all know, Yamaha is famous for sampling realistic pianos.

The speakers are pretty impressive too, and there's even a volume limiter to keep your ears safe. What's really cool is that beginners will really enjoy the Smart Pianist app that comes with the piano. It's got extensive control features and can even analyze songs in your music library to teach chords.

This app and piano combo is perfect for newbies who want to learn their favorite songs and start playing music like a pro in no time.

So, all in all, if you're looking for a realistic, high-quality digital piano with helpful features for beginners, then Yamaha's YDP 105 is definitely worth checking out.


2. Casio Privia PX-770

Casio is one of those companies that has been making digital pianos for a long time. Their Privia PX-770 is a really good-looking console-style piano that comes with a stand and a three-pedal system. This piano has more ways to connect to your computer and can also double as an awesome USB controller for recording.

They added a super fun feature called Duet Mode which splits the keyboard in half, just in case you want a teacher to play along with you in person. This is a really innovative idea and is great for somebody who is just starting out.

On top of that, there's a function called Concert Play that allows you to play along with recordings of some great orchestral pieces. I found this to be a lot of fun and a very inspiring way to practice.

Another awesome way to learn on the Casio is to connect to the Chordana Play app, which has a great visual display that shows you how to play the chords to your favorite songs. It's as easy as having your iPad on the sheet music stand in front of you to follow along with the app.

My only issue with this digital piano would be the actual piano sounds. I don't feel like their AIR engine is quite at the level of some of the other companies.


3. Roland FP-30X

I gotta say, Roland has always been my go-to when it comes to keyboards. The FP-30X has a PHA keyboard with a progressive hammer action that's just top-notch. It's Roland's ultra-pro high-end keyboard action, and it feels more realistic than some real pianos I've played.

But let's talk about the sound quality. The Supernatural Piano is unbeatable. The sound engine is true to its name with amazing real piano sounds, electric pianos, organs, strings, and even synths. This digital piano has more features than your average beginner one.

This Roland has a ton of options to connect to your computer. It's got MIDI connectivity and Bluetooth to support iPad apps for sheet music and Apple's GarageBand for iPad. Plus, the dual headphone output is a game-changer. You can practice with a teacher through headphones or jam with a friend.

My only complaint would be the fact that you have to buy a separate stand and also purchase a three-pedal unit separately. I feel that for the price, at least one of those two should be included.


4. Yamaha PSR-EW310

Another type of digital piano that's perfect for beginners who want to hone their songwriting skills is what we call an arranger keyboard. The Yamaha PSR-EW310 is a slightly smaller keyboard with only 76 keys, but it still has Yamaha's semi-weighted keys.

The best thing about learning to play the piano on an arranger keyboard is the fact that you can jam out to pre-made beats and even tracks just by pressing a button. I always felt like playing along with rhythmic tracks, instead of a normal metronome click, helped me develop my rhythm a lot better.

Rhythm is super important when it comes to learning piano; I would even say it's more important than learning to read music.

If you're already a pro at music production, or maybe a guitarist who wants to start learning to play the piano or keyboard, then this keyboard is perfect for you. It has audio transfer as well as MIDI, so you can jam to your own tracks and use the stock sounds.

The only thing that bugs me about this keyboard is the actual design. I feel like it's a bit top-heavy and has a lot going on in the interface, and I'm not a big fan of the speaker placement. It gives it a semi-pro look.


5. Korg B2N

Korg is one of those professional companies that make excellent workstations and digital pianos. The B2N is their new-generation piano, which is pretty impressive. It has this funky new technology called NT natural touch keyboard, which is like a real piano in that it's heavier on the lower register and lighter on the upper keys.

This one has tons of grand pianos, electric pianos, and organs, which is pretty cool. And the reverb and chorus are excellent, as Korg always is. But if you're looking for a lot of accessories, you might be disappointed.

You have to buy a stand separately, and it comes with a synth damper pedal instead of a full-on two or three-pedal piano system like other models.

But where it really shines is connectivity. It has an awesome USB-to-host port, so you can use it as a controller for your computer sounds and even tablet apps.

And check this out, it has an innovative lightning port to USB option, so you can use your smartphone to play songs on your favorite streaming networks directly through the B2N's onboard speakers. And if that's too much to handle, there's an old-school audio jack too.

If there's one thing that's not totally my thing, it's the Korg piano sounds. I think Roland sounds more realistic. But hey, since it has so much connectivity, you can always use sound libraries on your computer.


6. Yamaha P-121

If you're looking for something portable, the Yamaha P-121 might be just what you need. It's a simple digital piano that you can easily store away when you're not using it. Don't be fooled by its size, though; it still has the same GHS-weighted action as its bigger siblings and packs a punch when it comes to the piano sound.

The folks at Yamaha went all out in trying to replicate the feel and sound of a real piano. They modeled the hammers, the pedal, and the strings interacting inside the piano mechanism. I gotta say, I'm a big fan of this approach because it almost sounds like a piano that's been mic'd up for recording.

One thing that's always missing in digital pianos is the physical sound of a real piano's parts. It's hard to describe, but if you played a real piano and a digital piano back to back, you'd feel what I'm talking about.

Now, let's talk portability. This one is fantastic for that. It's pretty lightweight for having 73 weighted keys, so if you need to switch rooms, no problem. Plus, it's got a great set of speakers and an amazing headphone signal that really brings out all those details I was just talking about.

Oh, and did I mention it's got split mode? That means you can play different sounds across the keyboard. For all you producers out there, it's got a great USB transfer of both audio and MIDI through one cable so you can control sounds on your laptop too.

My only gripe is that it doesn't have a screen. I mean, I get it, not many digital pianos do, but with all the sound options this keyboard has, it would be nice to have access to them without having to go through USB.


7. The ONE Keyboard Piano

Alright, so this one's a bit of a different beast. It's the smallest one of the bunch with only 61 keys, but it's definitely a beginner piano with some advanced features.

The ONE keyboard piano actually has lighted keys, not just lights above the keys, but actual keys that light up completely. This is about as good as it gets to follow along with your favorite song.

Obviously, it has an incredibly complex connectivity app situation with over 4,000 pieces of sheet music, instructional videos, and games that can be streamed directly from an iPad. And get this, it fits snugly on the keyboard's sheet music stand!

This one's got four speaker systems, which is pretty impressive for a smaller keyboard. It gives you somewhat of a surround sound experience.

It also has an incredible amount of sounds, which can all be controlled by their Smart Piano app. And wait, there's more - this keyboard supports USB MIDI, as well as external audio, microphone, and headphones, making it almost workstation-level on the connectivity hub side.

All in all, this keyboard is perfect for anyone who's just starting out. I mean, it's got some gimmicky features that make it feel a bit cheap, but hey, it's not like it's trying to compete with any of the more professional keyboards out there. At some point, you might have to upgrade, but for now, this one's definitely a great choice.


Choosing a Beginner Keyboard as an Adult

I don't really teach piano lessons, but I've helped out many adults and artists whose main instrument isn't the piano to kind of get it. You know, one of the most annoying things when learning piano as an adult is not having enough time or patience.

Even if we're professional musicians and play another instrument, we all have busy schedules. It can be quite a task to learn a new instrument.

That's why I think there are a couple of things we really need in a digital piano when we start out. Here are a few factors that I think you should consider before making a decision.

Simplicity

I'm still convinced that the number one consideration when starting out with a digital piano is simplicity. With so many options available, like MIDI controllers and workstations, digital pianos need to be versatile just to compete.

What you don't want is something that overwhelms and distracts you from the real goal: to learn to play and practice. You may not even need to use it with any other device.

As a beginner, you need something that feels like a real piano, can be stored or moved easily, and has adjustable volume so you can practice anytime you want.

Anything else is just extra icing on the cake.

Keyboard Feel and Action

Okay, so the keys on your digital piano have to feel good if you want to be comfortable playing it. For example, some real pianos have really stiff keys, which can make it tough to learn on. On the other hand, some keyboards have keys that are too soft and don't really prepare you for playing on a real piano.

That's why when you're picking out a keyboard, you should play a few different models so you can find one with the right balance. Even if you're just playing one note at a time, you want it to feel enjoyable to play.

Apps and Programs

So many of these digital pianos and arrangers come with awesome apps for iPads and iPhones that make learning a blast. I wish they had been around when I was learning.

Being able to play the piano naturally is so important, and having more than just a boring metronome click really helps with that. That's why many of these apps let you jam along with anything on Spotify or have cool instruments like drums, bass, and guitar to back you up. Even if you just improve a little bit at a time, it's totally worth it.

Final Thoughts

When I first started learning piano, I did it by ear, not in lessons or by reading classical music. I feel like a lot of musicians start out this way. The reason is that we're inspired to learn to play songs we love.

I remember having my CD player on top of the piano and having just one headphone side on so I could hear the track through one ear and find the notes with the other. Oh, how much has changed, and all for the better!

Honestly, even though I've got a beautiful grand piano, I enjoy playing my digital piano and sometimes even an electric keyboard just as much. It's so fun to play and learn different songs, not just along with their original recordings but also with their original instruments!

For instance, I love Billy Joel, and I like to play "New York State of Mind" on the piano (like the original). But whenever I play "Just the Way You Are" on the piano, it doesn't sound right. I have to play it with a Rhodes electric piano sound for it to feel right. And if I'm getting super legit, I'll say it also has to have a phaser effect slapped on! I can say the same thing about classical pieces; Bach sounds better on a harpsichord sound at times.

This is where learning to play on a keyboard or digital piano really gets fun and ends up helping you so much more, especially as an adult beginner. The fact that you can use technology to speed up the process and make it more fun is amazing. Nobody likes the slow grind at the beginning; we wanna start playing quickly.

There's no doubt in my mind that with realistic sounds, great speaker systems, advanced keyboard action, and iOS apps, learning piano should be at least 5-10 times faster than when I started.

If you had told me 20 years ago that you could pretty much stream any song in the world to play along with and have it in your headphones along with your piano sound without needing a mixer, I would have said, "Keep dreaming."

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About Tomas Morton

Tomas is a record producer, engineer, and synthesizer enthusiast based in Pasadena, CA. He received training at Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA. When not in his studio, he can often be found scouring garage sales or Craigslist ads for vintage gear treasures.

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