The search for the best keyboards this Christmas

Article by Tim Coleman

Of all the supply chain issues, we’ve had over the past 18 months probably the biggest hole in our stock has been that left by the shortage of keyboards, digital pianos and pianos.  There’s various reasons for this, whether its been the increased demand, the COVID restrictions effecting manufacturing capacity, a factory fire which damaged production of chips in these keyboards or just shipping issues. Put all these together and its looking as though choices are going to be slim for this Christmas season! So, we thought we’d take a look at what might be available and give you some options for Christmas 2021 in our Best Beginner Keyboards For Christmas blog!

Great for beginners. The Beale AK-280 Keyboard $299

A portable keyboard for Christmas on a budget?

If you were to ask most teachers they would tell you that the essentials for a beginner player are 61 full size keys which are touch response or touch sensitive.  61 Keys provides you with some range in terms of low and high notes.  Anything less is pretty restrictive for playing.

Touch response or touch sensitivity will mean that the keyboard responds quietly when you play softly and loudly when you play hard, just like on a real acoustic piano.

Most players will want headphones option, USB and an input for a sustain pedal.  With all these boxes ticked, the next thing is to find a good piano sound and perhaps some rhythms.  I recommend looking at the Beale AK280 (here).  Without spending a tonne of money, you get a great keyboard for any beginner player.

Expanded Range?

If 61 is just not enough keys (you’re playing more complex pieces) and you didn’t want the weight or cost of a weighted key piano, then you may want to look at something like the Yamaha NP32.

Yamaha NP32 Digital 76 Note Piaggero Piano

This 76-note keyboard is both simple and lightweight.  With a simple number of sounds such as piano, electric piano, organ etc, boxed touch response keys so it looks more like a piano, headphone option, sustain pedal input, USB output and a cool slim design this keyboard is a great piano replacement or next step for someone who want to go beyond the 61-key portable keyboard.  No fancy rhythms or backing beats, just the essentials for a piano player.

Real Touch of a piano?

For someone who is used to playing on an acoustic piano, the keys of a keyboard just won’t feel the same. The weight of the key is different and this changes the experience as compared to playing on the real thing!  So you might be asking yourself, why am I reading “the best beginner keyboards for Christmas”. Never fear, we haven’t forgotten the piano players.

When you get to this stage, you’ll want 88 notes just like an acoustic piano.  Headphone output, sustain pedal input, USB output, Bluetooth etc are all useful features so if this sounds like you, then why not take a look at the Beale Stageperformer1000 or the Beale DP600BT.  Solid piano sounds and natural piano action combined with all the features need to make a great playing experience.

Need something else or have some more questions?  There isn’t a one size fits all solution to musical instruments so if you need some more advice, get in touch with our team.  We’d be happy to give you our honest opinions.  Just remember, we’re here to help you make music!