Best 61-Key Keyboard for Beginners


61 key keyboards are truly awesome instruments. They are excellent learning tools, very portable, and fun instruments that boast a wide range of cool features. These keyboards can boost a musician’s creativity and performance.

However, purchasing an electric keyboard can be a particularly intimidating experience, especially if you’re a beginner. Thanks to the excess of musician jargon and the potentially high price tag, buying an 61-key keyboard can be quite stressful.

Below, you’ll find a list of our five favorite 61-key keyboards. Each one has been hand-selected according to the quality of its construction, its features, and its price.

To help you feel more confident in your purchase, we’ve also included a handy buyers’ guide. This comprises a list of things you should understand and consider before spending your hard-earned cash on an electric piano.

Best 61-Key Keyboards

Casio CT-X700 61-Key Portable Keyboard
RockJam 61 Key Keyboard Piano With LCD Display Kit, Keyboard Stand, Piano Bench, Headphones, Simply Piano App & Keynote Stickers
Alesis Recital 61 – 61 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Semi Weighted Keys, 20W Speakers, 10 Voices, Split, Layer and Lesson Mode, FX and Piano Lessons
Casio CT-X700 61-Key Portable Keyboard
RockJam 61 Key Keyboard Piano With LCD Display Kit, Keyboard Stand, Piano Bench, Headphones, Simply Piano App & Keynote Stickers
Alesis Recital 61 – 61 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Semi Weighted Keys, 20W Speakers, 10 Voices, Split, Layer and Lesson Mode, FX and Piano Lessons
$199.00
$108.06
$199.00
Casio CT-X700 61-Key Portable Keyboard
Casio CT-X700 61-Key Portable Keyboard
$199.00
RockJam 61 Key Keyboard Piano With LCD Display Kit, Keyboard Stand, Piano Bench, Headphones, Simply Piano App & Keynote Stickers
RockJam 61 Key Keyboard Piano With LCD Display Kit, Keyboard Stand, Piano Bench, Headphones, Simply Piano App & Keynote Stickers
$108.06
Alesis Recital 61 – 61 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Semi Weighted Keys, 20W Speakers, 10 Voices, Split, Layer and Lesson Mode, FX and Piano Lessons
Alesis Recital 61 – 61 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Semi Weighted Keys, 20W Speakers, 10 Voices, Split, Layer and Lesson Mode, FX and Piano Lessons
$199.00

Casio CT-X700 61-Key Portable Keyboard

Casio CT-X700 61-Key Portable Keyboard
  • 61 full-size touch-responsive keys
  • 600 tones, 195 rhythms
  • Class-compliant USB-MIDI
  • 1/4″ headphone out
  • Includes AC adapter (or 6XAA batteries, sold separately)

We had to kick things off with the Casio CT-X700 61-Key Portable Keyboard. If you’re looking for a portable 61-key keyboard from a brand that has an incredible reputation, you need to check this one out.

The CT-X700 is ideal for beginner to intermediate players. Some of its features, such as the Step-Up lesson system, are useful if you want to take your practice to the next level.

However, this model also works for more advanced players. It boasts over 600 tones, 195 rhythms, and a library of 100 built-in songs. In fact, this model provides ample opportunities for advanced musicians who want to explore their creativity.

The quality of the sounds provided by this keyboard is also quite magnificent. If you use the piano setting, you’ll hear a gorgeous grand piano. Using the saxophone setting, you’ll hear the natural breath and vibrato.

If you’re looking for a piece of equipment that can enable connectivity and creativity, the Casio CT-X700 is ideal. Its class-compliant USB-MIDI port connects to any Mac, Android, PC, or Android device.

We fall in love with any Casio product, and this keyboard is no exception. The attention to detail is incredible. From the quality of each sound to the built-in smartphone shelf that can hold your device as you play, this model really has it all!

Pros

  • Step-Up lesson system – ideal for beginner and intermediate players.
  • 600 tones, 195 rhythms, 100 in-built songs – great for people looking to explore their creativity.
  • Quality voices – makes for a very realistic sound.
  • Good connectivity – enables musicians to create music easily.

Cons

  • Keys – not fully weighted.

RockJam 61 Key Keyboard

Sale
RockJam 61 Key Keyboard Piano With LCD Display Kit, Keyboard Stand, Piano Bench, Headphones, Simply Piano App & Keynote Stickers
  • The RockJam 561 keyboard piano super kit includes a digital keyboard with 61 full-size keys giving you that traditional piano feel whilst maintaining a portable and compact design that can be powered by either mains power (power supply included) or batteries
  • This RockJam 561 piano keyboard features an LCD display panel that both displays and engages the 100 rhythms, 50 tones, teaching functions, and 30 demo songs that are part of its functionality
  • The RockJam 561 electric piano has record and playback functionality allowing you to build layers to your sound.
  • This music keyboard super kit package includes a keyboard stand that is sturdy in design and can be adjusted to suit keyboard piano players both young and old
  • This electric piano keyboard super kit contains a padded seat that is easily folded and has a thick padded seat for hours of comfortable play

If you’re a total beginner looking for a digital piano that is very easy to use, sounds great, and won’t break the bank, we recommend you look at the RockJam 61-Key Keyboard. It would make the perfect gift for any budding musician (assuming they play the keyboard)!

This model is easy to set up, simple to master, and for individuals who want to learn how to play the piano. It has several teaching functions with all the tools you need to pick up this wonderful instrument.

It also features an LCD panel that displays over 50 tones, 100 rhythms, and 30 demo songs. This makes the keyboard and all of its features accessible.

Although it is mainly for beginners, it has excellent features for creating music. In fact, it has record and playback functions that let you add layers to your sound.

As a bonus, the RockJam keyboard comes with a stand and a padded seat. Both are very sturdy, well-constructed, and allow for total comfort. With this kit, you’ll be able to play for hours on end with!

The stand, seat, and keyboard itself are all very well-built and feel like quality pieces of equipment. Considering the price, it really is something special!

Pros

  • Teaching functions – ideal for beginners.
  • LCD panel – makes this keyboard particularly simple to use.
  • 50 tones, 100 rhythms & 30 demo songs – mean you can explore your creativity with this keyboard.
  • Includes seat & stand – makes this keyboard perfect for complete beginners.

Cons

  • For beginners – not ideal for more advanced players.

Alesis Recital 61-Key Digital Keyboard With Semi-Weighted Keys

Alesis Recital 61 – 61 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Semi Weighted Keys, 20W Speakers, 10 Voices, Split, Layer and Lesson Mode, FX and Piano Lessons
  • The Ultimate Beginners Electronic Keyboard Piano – Electric piano with 61 premium full-sized semi weighted keys with adjustable touch response to suit your preferred playing style
  • Premium Sounds – 10 voices (including Acoustic Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Synth, and more), built-in FX: Chorus, Reverb, and two built in 20W speakers that deliver crystal-clear, room-filling sound
  • Connectivity Covered – ¼” sustain pedal input (not included), ¼” stereo headphone output for private practice and stereo RCA outputs for connection to speakers / amplifiers
  • Play Keys Anywhere – Power via the included power adapter or 6 D cell batteries (not included) for professional piano performance wherever you are
  • Powerful Educational Features – Standard, split, layer, and lesson modes with 128-note max polyphony and Skoove 3 month premium subscription for expert interactive online piano lessons

Alesis is a great manufacturer of keyboards. They have an enormous range of quality instruments that boast professional functions. Alexis keyboards are also beginner-friendly. If you’re looking for a quality keyboard that has some excellent features, check out the Alesis Recital 61-Key Digital Keyboard.

This keyboard closely resembles the feeling of playing a normal piano. It has 61 premium, full-sized, semi-weighted keys with adjustable touch response to suit your preferred playing style. This feature really allows for personalization.

It also boasts premium sounds. It has ten different voices, including the acoustic piano, electric piano, organ, synth, and more. Each of these voices sounds incredibly similar to the real thing, which makes for a great playing experience.

The Alesis Recital 61 boasts two 20W speakers with an incredibly crystal-clear, room-filling, distinctive sound. If you want an electric keyboard that requires no additional equipment, the Alesis Recital is perfect.

The connectivity possibilities are also broad. This model has a ¼-inch sustain pedal input, a ¼-inch stereo headphone output, and stereo RCA outputs for connection to speakers or amplifiers. Whether you want the entire street to hear you play or you want to practice in private, this keyboard has you covered.

When you purchase this keyboard, you also gain access to 60 free virtual lessons from Melodics and two months of free live video lessons from TakeLessons. In these lessons, you can learn from an expert teacher!

Pros

  • Full-sized semi-weighted keys – make for a realistic playing experience.
  • 10 voices – make for a versatile instrument.
  • Built-in 20W speakers – produce a room-filling, crystal-clear sound.
  • Powerful educational features – ideal for beginners.

Cons

  • For beginners – not ideal for more advanced players.

Arturia KeyLab 61 MKII Keyboard

Arturia KeyLab 61 MkII – 61 Key Semi Weighted USB MIDI Keyboard Controller (Black)
  • Get in Command: The original Arturia KeyLab made waves by giving musicians and producers in-depth command of their MIDI environment, while KeyLab MkII streamlined its functionality by giving you instant access to the features you use most often
  • Workflow That Works: Every aspect of KeyLab MkII has been carefully crafted to keep distractions to a minimum, and provide time-saving shortcuts that will keep your mind in the game. KeyLab MkII features three distinct modes that you can instantly switch between for insanely efficient workflow
  • Analog Lab Mode: It�s Analog Lab mode gives you ultimate control over this powerful included software, automatically mapping KeyLab MkII�s controls to specific functions and parameters within Analog Lab. The Category buttons let you immediately refine your search for the right sound, while the jog wheel gives you precise control over preset browsing and selection. The Live button can be used to activate Split mode and set the split point
  • DAW Mode: The DAW mode quickly switches control to elements within your recording software. In this mode, the central jog wheel lets you move the playback cursor; the Next and Prev buttons let you shift focus on tracks by 1 or 8 channels at a time
  • Analog Lab Included: Analog Lab gives you the best of 21 instruments that made music history, all in one convenient place. Analog synthesizers. Digital synthesizers. Acoustic pianos. Electric pianos. Organs. Strings machines

If you’re looking for a keyboard that is ideal to learn on and acts as a controller, look no further than the Arturia KeyLab 61 MKII Keyboard. This top-quality piece of equipment is something every budding musician and composer should try.

Arturia has been producing quality MIDI keyboards for the past few years. We promise you; it lives up to the hype and exceeds the expectations for beginners and veterans.

The KeyLab 61 is a powerful MIDI keyboard of incredible quality. It features Arturia’s Pro-Feel action, which makes this model wonderful to play for those looking for that authentic piano experience.

If you’re a synth player, the smooth and balanced key bed will win your heart. Unlike other models, the key bed doesn’t have any sharp edges or tight keys, so you’ll experience much more free movement.

If you’re looking for an Analog Lab workstation, this product will be an invaluable addition to your music collection. The synergy between the hardware and the software of this keyboard is second-to-none. In fact, we think that this model has some of the best hybrid setups available.

The Arturia KeyLab MKII is one of the most durable and well-constructed keyboards you’ll find. If you’re a touring musician, plan on playing live shows, or even just need to move your keyboard around a lot, this model will definitely be able to withstand the pressure. You can really tell that Arturia made this keyboard to last.

Honestly, if you’re looking for a 61 key keyboard MIDI controller, it doesn’t get much better than the Arturia MKII. If you have a background in piano, this controller is perfect for you.

Pros

  • Pro-Feel action – makes for a great playing experience.
  • Smooth and balanced key bed – makes this far more smooth to play than other digital keyboards.
  • Durable – this keyboard can withstand being moved around a lot.

Cons

  • Price – this is more expensive than others on this list.

Hamzer 61-Key Electronic Piano

Hamzer 61-Key Electronic Piano Electric Organ Music Keyboard with Stand, Microphone, & Sticker Sheet – Black
  • Flawless, authentic range of sound: Built-in speakers offer tremendous sound, complete with 255 Timbres, 255 rhythms, 61 keyboard percussions, and 24 demonstration songs.
  • Integrated learning system: Designed for beginner to intermediate-level use, this multi-function keyboard piano features 61 keys, providing a traditional piano or organ feel for versatile learning and an exciting acoustic experience. Keyboard comes with a complete set of transparent stickers to label the piano keys in order to simplify and accelerate piano mastery.
  • Deluxe effects & features: Ideally suited to master finger control, this portable piano keyboard allows for play with the capacity to select chord timbre, program/edit rhythm, as well as utilize effects such as vibrato, sustain, & ensemble. Additional features include rhythm sync and fill-in, tempo adjustment, accompanying volume, and a master volume control.
  • Record & playback, with microphone & headphone jack: Belt out in song or discreetly practice on headphones, along with the option to record and playback for improved performance. Includes microphone with a 4′ cord, audio input, output, and headphone jack.
  • Easy set-up and adjustable stand: Ready-to-use right out of the box, just power with 6 AA batteries (not included) and take this compact, lightweight musical keyboard on the road or to lessons, or plug the US-standard DC 9V/AC adapter into the wall for extended play sessions. A sturdy metal keyboard stand is included with a 7-position height adjustment from 12-3/4″ to 38-3/4″; attached straps with screws can be used to fasten keyboard to the stand.

Finally, we couldn’t finish this list without including the Hamzer 61-Key Electronic Piano. Rarely do you get such a top-quality digital keyboard that also has a user-friendly design. If you’re looking for an engaging and entertaining instrument, you definitely need to give this one a try.

The keyboard has several timbres, rhythms, and demonstration songs. This is far more than most other electric keyboards. The Hamzer is unique in the sense that it holds hundreds of possibilities for creative and fun playing.

Thanks to its integrated learning system, this model is also ideal for beginners. If you’re looking for a keyboard that resembles the feel of an acoustic piano, this one is perfect. It provides a traditional piano or organ feel that makes for a versatile and exciting learning experience.

The Hamzer has deluxe features and effects that for people who want to master playing the piano. You can play single-fingered and fingered auto-bass chords, and select chord timbre, and edit the rhythm. You can also use traditional effects such as sustain, vibrato, and ensemble.

The Hamzer electronic keyboard is also particularly easy to set up. It is ready straight out of the box. You just need to add six AA batteries! As a bonus, it comes with a solid, easily adjustable piano stand that. What more could you ask for?

Pros

  • User-friendly – ideal for beginners.
  • 255 timbres, 255 rhythms & 24 demonstration songs – make for a very fun and engaging instrument.
  • Easy to set up – perfect for less experienced musicians.

Cons

  • Made for beginners – not ideal for advanced players.

Buyers Guide

Purchasing an electric keyboard can be a very exciting experience. They are incredibly versatile instruments that are excellent for exploring your creativity, nailing your technique, and performing live.

However, we know that purchasing an instrument can also be a daunting experience. There is a whole range of things you need to consider, from the features you need to the style of the keys that would best suit your playing style.

Below, we’ve created a handy buyers’ guide. It comprises everything you need to understand and factors you should consider before purchasing an electric keyboard. To make this process as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, check it out below!

Weighted Versus Non-Weighted Keys

Electronic keyboards can have differently weighted keys. To help understand the different weighted keys, we’ve made a list of the most common and discussed their pros and cons.

Semi-Weighted Keys

Semi-weighted keys use a spring mechanism in combination with weights attached to each key. This provides a slightly weighted feel to the keys.

Semi-weighted keyboards feel significantly different from the keys of an acoustic piano. When pressed, semi-weighted keys will go down with little resistance. They also rise back up a little slower than you would expect from an acoustic piano.

Some techniques are difficult to use on semi-weighted keyboards. For instance, techniques such as a glissando or staccato are tricky to play on such keyboards.

If you’re looking for a more precise playing experience, semi-weighted keyboards might not be for you.

However, a lot of 61 key keyboards and beginner keyboards have semi-weighted keys. The weighted action isn’t always necessary if you’re just learning to play. Also, you might not want to emulate the experience of playing an acoustic piano.

Fully Weighted Keys

Fully weighted keys are like semi-weighted keys. The difference? They have more resistance. Keyboards with semi-weighted keys closely resemble the feeling of playing an acoustic piano.

Fully weighted keyboards are best for players who still want to still develop playing endurance. However, they differ from acoustic pianos because each key weighs the same. On an acoustic piano, the higher keys will provide less resistance.

Fully Weighted Keys With Hammer Action

Fully weighted hammer action keyboards provide the most realistic playing experience. Manufacturers build them with hammer mechanisms installed along with the weights. This improves the feel and resistance of each key.

In particular, fully weighted keys with hammer action closely resemble the variation in resistance acoustic pianos provide. The higher the keys, the less resistance they provide.

How does touch sensitivity impact my keyboard?

Touch sensitivity is an important understanding before purchasing an electric keyboard. Some digital keyboards have it necessary to press down quite hard to produce a sound. This makes playing tricky if you’re a beginner.

If you’re new to playing the keyboard, you will want a particularly touch-sensitive keyboard. With such instruments, light touches will produce a sound. The harder you press, the louder the sound will be.

With some keyboards in the list above, you’ll notice that the description discusses how the touch sensitivity changes depending on your preferred playing style. So think of how you play the piano when considering touch sensitity.

How can the number of keys impact my playing?

All the keyboards in the list above have 61-keys. If you’re a beginner or intermediate player, this number of keys is perfect.

With 61 keys, you can learn how to read notes, perform dynamics, and practice playing some songs. With all the additional features that electric keyboards boast, this is more than enough to keep budding pianists occupied and progressing.

However, if you are looking for an electric keyboard to take your piano playing to the next level, a 61-key keyboard may not be enough. If you want to emulate the experience of playing an acoustic piano, it will be more beneficial to purchase an 88-key keyboard with fully weighted hammer-action keys.

How the size of keys can impact your playing

Most people assume that the size of the keys on a keyboard is universal. However, that isn’t the case. In fact, 61-key keyboards use two distinct categories based on the size of the keys.

Some keyboards will have full-sized keys, and others will have smaller keys. If you’re a keen pianist, we recommend purchasing a keyboard with full-sized keys. These will provide the most pleasurable playing experience.

However, if you’re purchasing a keyboard for a child, or you don’t plan on using the keyboard for more serious practice, a keyboard with smaller-sized keys will be just enough. These won’t feel as realistic as those with larger-sized keys, but they are still playable.

Important for beginning musicians – Educational features

If you’re an experienced intermediate or advanced level musician, educational features won’t be necessary. However, if you’re a beginner, educational features on electric keyboards can be useful.

If you would like a keyboard that aids in your learning and helps you become a better pianist, opt for an instrument that has a few different educational features. These can range from things such as a ‘built-in step-up system’, access to online tutorials, and teacher modes.

Other features on electric keyboards can be inadvertently useful for learners. For instance, a keyboard that has a range of in-built metronomes, chord recognition settings, or in-built bass lines can be very helpful when learning aspects of playing, such as timing and fingering.

The best way to determine the sound quality of your keyboard online

This might seem like quite an obvious thing to consider, however, people often overlook the sound quality of keyboards. Sound quality is one of the most important factors to consider. The sound quality can really make all the difference to your learning and playing experience.

If you’re unsure of whether the sound quality of a keyboard will be good enough, we recommend purchasing one from a trusted brand.

For instance, Casio and Yamaha source their piano sounds from top-quality concert grand pianos. These brands also produce a range of different keyboards that will work for varying budgets.

What does a USB port do for your keyboard?

Not all electric keyboards will have a USB port. If a PC connection is important to you, we recommend looking at the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that there is a USB port.

However, if your preferred keyboard doesn’t have a USB connection, this isn’t necessarily the end of the world. If it instead has MIDI capability, you will connect to devices such as computers.

MIDI capability and how it impacts keyboards

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It is essentially a connectivity standard for transferring instrument data. Electric keyboards, computers, and synthesizers use it.

If a keyboard doesn’t have a USB, MIDI enables it to connect with other devices, such as computers. This can be an important feature for some musicians, particularly those who are writing their own music.

Why a headphone jack is important for keyboards

If you live in a shared house or share thin walls with your neighbors, you want a keyboard usable with headphones. This way, you can practice to your heart’s content without worrying if the neighbors will have a friendly chat with you.

However, not all electric keyboards come with a headphone jack. If this feature is important to you, read the manufacturer’s details before purchasing.

Some electric keyboards also come with a Bluetooth connection. You may not need a headphone jack if your preferred keyboard has Bluetooth and you own a good pair of Bluetooth headphones.

Portability and 61-key keyboards

If you only plan to use your keyboard at home, portability won’t be a problem for you. However, if you plan on taking your keyboard on tour, to open-mic nights, or to your friend’s house to jam, your chosen keyboard needs to be movable.

If this is the case, we recommend looking for a particularly well-built, sturdy, and lightweight model. In fact, you can even look for keyboards designed with touring and portability in mind.

Good accessories for your 61-key keyboard

Unless otherwise stated, keyboards rarely come with bonuses. In these cases, you will need to source the accessories if you don’t already have them. Here’s a shortlist:

  • Seats
  • Stands
  • Lessons
  • Carrying cases
  • Books

What is a reasonable price for a 61-key keyboard?

We know how easy it is to get fooled into believing that we need to buy the most impressive model. However, this really isn’t the case, especially if you’re not a professional musician. Beginners should look for pricing around $200 to $500.

Before you purchase a keyboard, write a list of features that are important to you. This might be weighted keys or a headphone jack. This way, you can eliminate unnecessary options and have those that suit your needs perfectly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Play Most Pop Songs On A 61 Key Keyboard?

Absolutely! Pop songs are pretty simple to play. A 61 key keyboard is likely to be more than enough to play your favorite pop tunes!

Can You Play Classical Music With A 61 Key Keyboard?

Whilst a 61 key keyboard is definitely large enough for a beginner to learn the basics of the classical piano if you’re an intermediate or advanced player hoping to learn how to perform more complicated classical pieces, 61 keys might not be quite enough.

If you’re hoping to master the classical piano, we recommend opting for an 88-key keyboard.

Eli Smith

Yo! I'm the managing editor of By The Barricade. I love hardcore music and make it part of my passion. That's why I'm here. When I'm not editing stuff on here, I'm pretending to be a dinosaur with my five-year-old son.

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