Yamaha has been making quality keyboards since 1987 and a Yamaha was my first keyboard 20 years ago. In this post, I want to break down the best Yamaha keyboards for beginners that will be suited for all ages of musicians. I won’t be going over digital pianos or workstations as those are usually a bit more expensive than keyboards.
Yamaha beginner keyboards are great for kids as well as adults. Most come with learning features as well as a lot of different pre-set sounds to keep you entertained. I have owned three different Yamaha’s and I still own the first one I ever purchased. They stand the test of time really well, but I am even more excited about their newer models, which I will cover in depth below.
What To Look For In A Yamaha Beginner Keyboard
- Price: The price in a way is what makes these considered beginner keyboards. All of these options will be priced reasonably as they are for a new student.
- Sounds: I am a fan of Yamaha’s stock piano sounds and they typically give you a couple different options. Keyboards will also give you more sounds than a digital piano usually.
- Keys: The number of keys on a beginner keyboard will vary usually from 61-76 keys. You can get 88 keys, but these are typically going to be more expensive and they will be digital pianos. The keys aren’t going to be weighted typically in a beginner’s keyboard either.
- Learning Programs: While, these are not a make or break deal, sometimes newer students like to have these. They are quite helpful in the sense that that will teach you the basics that you would be taught in a private lesson, only for free. Most will come with a few lessons that you can do a revisit when you choose.
- Power Supply: Some keyboards are portable and can use batteries as their power source, whereas all of the others will come with a power supply.
What Not To Do When Looking For A Keyboard
- Don’t immediately buy the most expensive keyboard unless you’re 100 percent positive you’re going to continue playing. There are a lot of keyboards that are on the cheaper side, yet will take you to where you need to be.
- Expect your keyboard to sound like an expensive acoustic piano. Yes, Yamaha keyboards will sound pretty nice, however, an entry-level keyboard isn’t going to sound like a Steinway.
Finding the right keyboard for a beginner is tricky, but it can also be fun. You will always remember the first instrument you learned on, so picking the right one goes a long way. Let’s take a look below.
Best Yamaha Keyboards For Beginners
- A 76-Key portable keyboard with a great piano sound and a powerful sound engine
- The XG Lite voice library is a next-level collection of voices over the General MIDI (GM) collection, designed for playing back songs from Yamaha extensive XG song library
- 48-note polyphony allows for more notes to be played without drop-outs, making more complex passages possible.
- Assignable knobs allow you to manipulate various effects and parameters on voices, styles and more, in real time
- USB to host connectivity with MIDI and audio transfer allows connection to your music-making software. The USB "to device" port allows connection of USB flash drives for Loading and storing data
The PSR keyboards are some of Yamaha’s most popular as they get you in the door as a beginner and can also keep you until you’re an advanced player. This is a 76 key portable piano that gives you a lot of sounds.
With this keyboard, you get 758 different pre-sets and 59 different effects you can use. Effects weren’t really a thing on beginner keyboards when I was learning so this is exciting.
I personally like the speakers on this keyboard and I also like that it has a headphone port for if you want to keep quiet. The speakers on this keyboard have 12 watt and 12-watt amplifiers with 12 cm bass reflexed speakers.
Overall, I believe this is a really solid look at keyboard beginners can use happily until they progress and want something with weighted keys. Because it has 76 keys, it is a little more expensive than 61 key keyboards, but I personally think it’s worth it.
The PSREW300 is another 76 key portable keyboard by Yamaha. This keyboard comes with Yamaha Education Suite which is also known as (Y.E.S). You can practice with this program at your own pace and a lot younger students like this function.
This keyboard has Touch Tutor lesson mode which tracks the velocity the keys are played at in order to teach you dynamics. I think this is a unique feature and I like to see this in keyboards because it’s always good to have a reminder of dynamics.
The faster a student learns that louder isn’t always better, the faster they will grasp the idea of having good dynamics. Many classical songs are built around these dynamics.
Overall I believe this is a great look at a portable keyboard that beginners would really enjoy.
- A 76-Key Portable Keyboard with 574 Voices, 165 Styles and 154 preset songs
- Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S.) allows you to practice using the preset songs (or MIDI files on compatible instruments) at your own pace, one hand at a time, or both together
- Touch Tutor lesson mode tracks the velocity or strength the keys are played at in order to teach dynamics
- USB to HOST connectivity with MIDI and audio transfer means you only need one cable to connect to your music-making software
Yamaha EZ-220 61
- Premium bundle includes the Yamaha EZ220 keyboard, Samson HP30 closed-back stereo headphones, World Tour PA-130 power supply, and World Tour SXKS keyboard stand
- 61 touch-sensitive, lighted keys
- Total of 392 high-quality instrument voices and 100 accompaniment styles
- 100 built-in songs plus 1 demo song for easy learning. Also includes: Fingering guide, Yamaha Education Suite, and EZ-220 Page Turner app for iPad.
- Number of Polyphony (Max.):32
The Yamaha EZ-220 is a 61 key portable keyboard that is on the cheaper side. This keyboard is very much so geared towards beginners. One of the features it has is its keys light up to let you know which notes to hit. It also comes with headphones, a stand, and a power supply.
I don’t personally think this is as quality as the PSREW300, but it is also cheaper. A keyboard like this is nice for kids and even adults who aren’t looking to break the bank with their first instrument.
If you’re looking at beginner keyboards be sure to take your time as it is no rush. Don’t break your bank on your first keyboard either. If you are looking for a beginner, I would also recommend a metronome for piano use as they are one of the more essential items for new pianists.