Piano-playing means different things to different people. Some were forced to play as kids, so while they learned rhythm and discipline, they may still resent their lessons. Others picked the habit more consciously as adults. Some pianists prefer classical pieces or syncopated jazz.
But others are more into pop arrangements and adaptations. It’s all a matter of preference. The type of music you play will influence the keyboard your buy. So if you want to start playing right away, you want the best cheap keyboard piano available. Let’s start with 15 popular models.
If you’re looking for a cheap keyboard, you might be a beginner. Meaning you don’t want to an expensive piano just yet. This Alesis piano is a perfect entry-level device. When you buy it, you get a free 3-month subscription to Skoove’s interactive piano lessons. By the end of your subscription, you’ll be far more familiar with all things piano, including sheet music.
But even if your piano playing is more established, you can enjoy this keyboard. It’s semi-weighted to mimic the feel of an acoustic piano. But you can adjust key weight to suit your preference, making it lightly f0r fast pieces or less responsive for naturally ‘heavy players’. Some of us unconsciously press harder (or softer), so you can tweak them to match your touch.
For buyers that are working with a teacher (or student), you can engage ‘lesson mode’. It splits the piano into two halves with identical octaves, allowing you to play in pairs during lessons or recitals. The piano can work through a power outlet or you can load it with 6 D-cell batteries. The keyboard has 20W stereo speakers and ports for headphones, MIDI, and pedals, USB, and RCA.
Whether you’re a student looking to practice at home or a stage pianist in search of an emergency replacement, the Alesis Recital is ideal. But look out for the shorter key length!
The piano has a semi-weighted full-size keyboard.
You can play in five ‘voices’ i.e. bass, organ, synth, acoustic, and electric piano.
The keyboard can either use batteries or AC power.
The keys are the same width as an acoustic piano but they’re shorter, and that can mess with your fingering, form, and technique as you play.
Just because your keyboard is cheap doesn’t mean it has to be small. This Yamaha P-45 has a full-sized keyboard with 88 keys that match the size, depth, and tone of any grand piano. And in addition to acoustic piano samples, you can play in nine other ‘voices’ that range from electric pianos to vibraphones. If you play in ‘dual m0de’ you can combine two of these voices at a go.
The result is a rich fused sound of – for example – piano and strings. It creates a soothing orchestral effect. But don’t confuse it with ‘duo mode’ which separates the keyboard into twin have that match in pitch and voice. It allows students to watch and replicate their teacher’s exact fingering and posture, making it faster and easier to learn. GHS ensures the keyboard feels real.
For buyers who want a keyboard that matches the sound, size, and key weight of an acoustic piano, P-45 makes a good selection. And at less than 40 pounds, it’s fairly portable …
Graded GHS simulates the feel of an acoustic piano.
The piano has ten ‘voices’ including organ, strings, and harpsichord.
You can use dual-mode to combine ‘voices’.
Most digital pianos have 100 or more pre-loaded sounds so the 64 polyphonic tones on this piano are on the lower side of things.
Hunting for the best cheap keyboard piano requires compromise. How so? Well, to find a musical instrument that matches your budget, you’ll have to give up certain features. In this case, you’re losing a dozen keys. Standard acoustic pianos have 88 keys. The Casio WK-245 only has 76, with 32 to 48 polyphonics. Your notation, fingering, and functionality are easy to read.
They show up clearly on the backlit LCD, which is larger and more detailed than competing brands. The piano also has an impressive number of ports including USB Host, 1/8th inch Aux input, headphone output, Mic In, and USB MIDI. The piano pairs well with computers, iOs, Android, and Windows apps for easy mixing and editing. This includes ‘Virtual Hall’ effects.
This keyboard may seem small but it’s rich in versatility. With multiple preset and rhythms, your tones can achieve a broad musical spectrum. The keyboard is conveniently light at 23 lbs.
It’s pre-loaded with 600 built-in sounds, 180 rhythms, and 152 songs.
You can record up to 5 songs with 6 tracks each.
The LCD shows staff notation and keyboard functionality.
While 76 is a good figure, it’s a few keys short of a full piano set-up.
Digital keyboards need online access to achieve maximum functionality. And since this Roland FP-10 has both Bluetooth and USB, it’s easy to connect it to your phone or computer. But these connections only apply if your target app is MIDI-enabled. So you can use the Roland App on your phone as a remote controller for your keyboard, but you can’t connect ‘in the wild’.
The piano has a powerful set of speakers built-in. And while the keys are weighted, they’re still quiet enough that you can play discreetly, especially if you plug in your headphones. The FP-10 is a table-top keyboard but it ships with a pedal. It’s an entry-level piano mainly for practicing technique so it doesn’t have many preset sounds. You can find some on the app though.
The Roland keyboard doesn’t have too many bells and whistles. But if you’re just starting out and your budget is limited, it does the job. Plus you can connect it to your smartphone.
The keyboard has Bluetooth MIDI for convenient wireless connections.
You can link the keyboard to the Partner 2 Roland app for remote access.
There’s also USB MIDI when you want to link it to your phone.
While the Bluetooth connector can link to Roland’s designated app, you can’t use it for direct playback. It only works with MIDI-enabled software.
Cheap keyboards rarely have stands, but this Lagrima is a console. Meaning once you assemble it, it functions as an upright piano. The cabinet is bolted onto the keyboard, so it’s sturdier than retractable stands or foldable benches. That said, the bolts limit movement because you’d have to unbolt them if you want to make the piano portable. So this piano isn’t ideal for gigs.
It packs a lot of features though. You can record, playback, layer, or split your melodies and harmonies to create more full-bodied pieces. The enlarged LCD screen helps you monitor and experiment with these functionalities. The keyboard comes bundled with practical accessories including a pedal, music stand, power cord, dust cover, and instruction booklet.
Unfortunately, the assembly instructions are inadequate, so find a demo video online. Preferably one wit comprehensible subtitles. Otherwise, you may need a translator.
It comes with 64 polyphonic tones, 80 demo songs, 128 standard tones, 200 rhythmic patterns, and 480 preset sounds overall.
You can play in ‘quiet mode’ via the headphone jack but you have to buy headphones separately.
The piano has a MIDI/USB terminal for easy connections to computers and smart devices.
It’s portable … but only if you unbolt the keyboard from the stand (or if you don’t bolt it down in the first place).
As a piano player that’s reading this article, you’re interested in the lowest price. But depending on your musical experience, you may prefer a full keyboard 0ver a wide set 0f features. This piano is designed for the latter type of player. It has hundreds of pre-loaded rhythms, tones, and voices … but it only has 61 keys. The Hamzer has powerful built-in stereo speakers.
That said, the piano is on the smaller side physically. So all the controls are squashed onto the center panel and that can be confusing. They’re all clearly and intuitively labeled though. You also get headphones and a mic with a 4-foot cord. The piano can plug directly into the wall or you can buy 6 AA batteries for portable use. It doesn’t need any assembly after unboxing.
Both the piano stool and piano bench are foldable with adjustable feet so Hamzer is a convenient keyboard for pianists of different heights and occasions. It weighs 23.6 pounds.
The piano bundle includes headphones, a stand, a stool, and a microphone.
It has 255 ‘voices’ – the most we’ve seen so far.
It also has 24 demo songs, 61 percussion pre-sets, and 255 rhythmic patterns.
The keyboard is on the smaller side so all those labels squeezed onto the control panel can feel overwhelming.
The key reason you’re looking for the best cheap keyboard piano is your limited budget. Which probably means you don’t have money for a piano teacher. RockJam has you covered. Your purchase includes a free one-month subscription to Simply Piano, a phone app with self-directed piano lessons. You can find the app both on iPhone and Android.
The piano doesn’t have a complete keyboard – it only fits 61 keys. But the keys are all full-size so you can play with the same posture and technique as an acoustic piano. The easily adjustable bench and piano stool help you enhance this positioning and comfort. Other features include built-in speakers, pitch bending, recording, and a small LED screen to monitor functionality.
RockJam aims for convenience and comfort. That’s why the accompanying stool and headphones are both padded, allowing you extended playtime at the keyboard.
The piano comes with headphones, a stool, and a stand.
It’s easy to adjust the height using the quick-release knobs on the stool and stand.
For beginners, you can enjoy one free month of online lessons.
The piano is plastic, so if you’re used to playing ac0ustics, you may be unhappy with the (lack of) weight feel and the feel of your piano keys.
Are you a visual, aural, literary, practical, or tactile learner? The One Smart Piano is an excellent teaching tool because it covers all these facets. You can learn at your preferred pace using video demos, lit-up piano keys, lit-up sheet music, games, and interactive lessons. There’s even a crash course built into the keyboard. It only has 61 keys though, so it’s not a full range keyboard.
For virtual lessons, you can use USB-MIDI connectors or you can download the One Smart Piano app on Android or iOs. This piano is intended for beginners so if you’re a proficient player, get something higher up the chain. This is an extremely portable piano weighing just 11 pounds. It measures 36.2 inches by 13 inches by 3.9 inches and can work with AC or DC.
You can plug your smart piano into any outlet or load it with 6AA batteries. It’s a plastic piano so don’t use any solvents, thinners, or corrosive cleaning fluids on your keyboard.
The piano keys light up, making it easier to learn.
The keyboard links seamlessly to the One Smart Piano app on iOs and Android.
It has 4,000+ sheets of music, 128+polyphonics, and 100+ free games pre-loaded.
This piano is a fun way to learn so you’ll stay longer at your lessons. But you may actually take longer to master your skill coz you’re mindlessly following the lights and it might, therefore, take longer to assimilate knowledge and/or acquire muscle memory.
When you buy a cheap keyboard, you should check its year of manufacture. Why? Because it may be an obsolete model, which might be why it’s so cheap. You want a piano that matches current performance standards. Which means it needs at least USB functionality, and possibly a wireless connection for apps and smart devices. Ohuhu does have USB, so that’s a good sign.
It has 61 keys so you don’t have as much melodic flexibility as you’d get from a full keyboard. But it does have 300 rhythms and 300 timbres. You can play via AC or batteries and it has three modes of teaching so you can practice solo or play ensemble. This is the lightest keyboard we’ve reviewed so far at 9.78 pounds. It measures 35 inches by 15 inches and is 5 inches deep.
Ohuhu pianos have a limited keyboard (61 keys) but they make up for this dearth with over 600 preset tunes and tones. It’s extremely lightweight and fun for kids to play.
The piano is loaded with 30 demo songs, 300 rhythms, and 300 tones.
It also has three teaching modes for self-paced learners.
The keyboard has a large LCD screen plus ports for mics, headphones, and USB.
The keys are not weighted or touch-sensitive, which can be a bummer if you’re used to acoustic pianos.
The first you’ll probably notice about this piano is the brightly colored backlit buttons. There are 16 of them, and they function as velocity-sensitive drum kits. The colored ‘drums’ are arranged in two rows and each pair is controlled a rotary dial. The piano also has 8 track sliders and master. These knobs, sliders, and backlit drums are more intuitive (and fun!) than touch-pads.
On the side, the keyboard has a pitch bender, modulation wheel, and transposers that can easily raise or lower the octave. This keyboard is more for mixing tracks than playing melodies or harmonies. So if you want a small portable synth that’s high in functionality, this does the trick. But for more traditional piano play, get one with more keys and less dazzle.
This keyboard works best in conjunction with a soundboard or virtual studio. It has USB host ports and is compatible with both Mac and PC. It’s 30 inches long and weighs a mere 8 pounds.
The control panel is built off sliders and rotary knobs instead of buttons.
If you’ve never played the piano, you may be puzzled by professional descriptions. Some directions are simple – loud, soft, quick, walking pace (andante). But what does it mean when you’re asked to play sweetly (dolce) or sadly? This keyboard has an intensive education suite teaching tools to help you master elements of piano play. ‘Keys to Success’ are mini-lessons.
The ‘touch tutor’ trains you in expressive playing while duo mode lets you mimic your teacher’s posture, fingering, and chord progressions. You can play the simulated notes of nearly 600 instruments, accompanying your melodies with over 16o genre tracks. Then you can record your own compositions or download the songbook for more trips and training.
With all these instruments and rhythms plus a dozen reverb effects, you can get a lot of play out of this Yamaha. And you can use the melody suppressor to jerry-rig kara0oke tracks.
The piano comes with a stand and a power cord.
It’s pre-loaded with 154 songs, 165 styles, and 574 ‘voices’.
It has both USB and MIDI plus an arpeggiator.
Considering it has 165 backing tracks, it seems unfair you can only record five songs and two tracks. You can save more recordings through USB and MIDI though.
There’s a stereotype that pianos are boring, formal, stiff, and classical. Digital keyboards aim to break that assumption, and this CTK-2550 is especially persuasive. It’s a ‘dance piano’ with 50 dance tracks built-in. And if you have Bollywood leanings, the keyboard has 12 Indian rhythms and 13 Indian tones. It also has 48 polyphonic tones and several teaching tools.
These include a vocal fingering guide and a scoring system. The keyboard is about wide and just under 4 inches thick. It’s a little over 37 inches long. The keyboards we’re reviewing are getting lighter and lighter. This one is 7.28 pounds and perfect for tucking under your arm between gigs. But it’ worth spending a little extra to get the stand and a dust cover for longevity.
The Casio CTK-2550 is a small keyboard with a low mass and a friendly price. It’s a gem if you’re interested in dance music, whether it’s bhangra or electronica. Batteries are sold separately.
The piano has 400 tones, 100 rhythms, and 60 songs built-in.
It links to the Chordana app for added functionality.
The keyboard has three teaching systems that include fingering and scoring.
CTK-2550 has no MIDI functionality. You’d have to buy the CTK-2400 for that.
The Alesis 88 Recital is quite popular, but if you want a ‘lite’ version, you could get this Alesis 61 Harmony instead. While the Alesis Recital focuses on fingering and melody, the 320 timbres on the Alesis 61 lets you split and layer your sounds, just like its name implies. With close to five hundred presets, you can whip up beautifully rounded harmonies. The keyboard tapers slightly.
The slope allows you to play more comfortably while keeping your eye-line on the controls and the LCD screen. The keyboard has a chord dictionary and the screen displays relevant chord scores so you can polish your harmonic skills. The keys have adjustable touch functionality so you can tweak the key weight to suit your preferred style, speed, and pressure of play.
The Alesis Harmony is the best cheap keyboard for background harmony. With over 300 ‘voices’ a delightful 6.5 pounds, it’s a truly portable back-up band. Get a carry-case to help it last longer.
It has 320 ‘voices’ and 100 rhythms.
At well under 10 pounds, it’s the lightest keyboard of the bunch.
The keyboard is bundled with 3 months of free lessons on Skoove.
The piano doesn’t have a battery slot so be sure you’re always close to a power outlet or carry enough extension cables. Also, if it’s an outdoor gig, get backup power sources.
If you’re like me, you might rush to buy this keyboard simply because it’s cheap and red. But there are lots of other reasons to love it. The GO-61 has 500 built-in sounds and timbres. Unlike other keyboards where the controls are puzzlingly squashed in the middle, the GO-61 has its control panel spread against its length so there’s more elbow room and less clutter.
At 8.62 pounds, the keyboard is portable and it quickly links to smartphones and other smart devices. It connects via Bluetooth or MIDI. You can even convert your keyboard into an amplifier. Link it to your smartphone or computer and stream your music through the keyboard’s built-in speakers. You can play along with the streaming music using mixed voices.
Roland G0: Key is pretty and versatile. You can compose songs, arrange mixes, or play along t0 streamed tracks karaoke style. Be sure to always have spare batteries on hand though.
The control panel runs across the length of the piano.
It has 500 preset ‘voices’ and sounds from the Roland synth library.
The keyboard has a loop mix for enhanced arranging.
The keyboard only uses batteries and has no option for direct wall plugs so you should probably buy rechargeable dry cells.
We’ve already looked at a 61-key RockJam so let’s explore the full-size one. Its keys are the same width, length, and texture as acoustic piano keys. They’re semi-weighted, but you can adjust the sensitivity of the keys. This tweak lets you play lighter, faster, or in a more heavy-handed manner, pun intended. So you can alter the settings based on the genre of music you’re playing.
It’s a beginner’s piano so it doesn’t have too many fancy features. You can play in 10 voices and emit 24W of stereo sound through the two built-in speakers. The piano has multiple input and output ports including Aux, headphones, and pedals, but you have to buy all the software separately. The functions have blue LED indicators for smoother control and monitoring.
This RockJam piano is an ideal first keyboard. Its features are low-level so you can focus on mastering the basics. But if you need hardware (USB, MIDI, etc.) you’ll have to order separately.
You can adjust the key weight to suit your style.
It has two built-in speakers that are each 12W.
The full-size keyboard pairs well with the Simply Piano app.
The functions below the key are awkwardly positioned. It’s not an intuitive place for them because they can be distracting and uncomfortable to use.