Whether you’ve never played before or you’re a professional producer, buying a new keyboard is a daunting but incredibly fun task. There are so many keyboards out there, and at times it can be overwhelming. Especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. A lot of it depends on where you’re at as a musician. A pro needs a pro keyboard and well, a novice doesn’t. But even the list of beginner level keyboards seems to grow by the day.
To help you out, no matter how experienced or inexperienced you are, I’ve compiled a list of keyboard recommendations. It’s not comprehensive but these are the keyboards I think will best suit you, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or pro.
Beginner – Casio CTK-6200
Casio is the king of keyboards, so it makes sense to start with them. They’re a trusted and reliable manufacturer, you won’t go too far wrong with one of their models. The CTK-2600 may be a beginner’s keyboard, but it certainly doesn’t look like one – this is no kid’s toy. It has the full 61 keys that are touch sensitive, 700 synth tones, an LCD screen and audio input option.
You get a great natural piano sound, and I don’t think there’s anything that a beginner keyboard player would be missing with this model. It’s great for learning on because it has built-in rhythms to accompany your playing and a whole host of features to keep you coming back to it. The speakers are unrivalled in its market; they’re built-in and allow CD and MP3 input.
Intermediate – Yamaha P-255
A lot of people skip this level. They move straight from a beginner keyboard up to a pro standard. That can be a big mistake. The transition can easily overwhelm a lot of people. Therefore, if you have the money to do it, it’s worth getting a new keyboard as a stepping stone.
The Yamaha P-255 is the ideal keyboard if that’s what you decide to do. Using a CF Sound Engine, this keyboard gets pretty close to capturing the incredible sound of the company’s beautiful grand pianos. There are also 24 different voices if you want to get a different sound. You can go from concert piano to electro synth – the P-255 does it all so well. It’ll be just what you need; it’s still relatively easy to use but also an obvious step up.
Pro – Yamaha Motif XF8
If you want the very best professional music workstation, this is the one for you! Yamaha pulled out all the stops with the Motif XF8. Of course, we all know the capabilities of the other iterations in the Motif XF series but the 8th installment takes the company to whole new levels altogether.
Get yourself some of the best vst plugins, and you’ll have endless fun with it. The XF8 has a 128-note polyphony with a balanced hammer effect keyboard and a 130,000-note sequencer. There is no beating this one.
Hopefully, this guide will have helped you to decide where your next step in keyboard playing and buying lies. Remember to do your research fully and try out all the keyboards in person before you buy them – don’t just browse them online. There’s nothing like playing it yourself!