Here is a video blog I made since I get a lot of questions about keyboards. Once you know the difference between the features of home and professional keyboards you’ll have a better idea of what will fit your needs.
A question I get a lot is “What keyboard should I buy?” There are so many out there that it can be confusing.
To start, let’s talk about a home-type keyboard. There are all different sizes in the store, including 61, 76, and 88 keys. If you want a full piano sound, you must have the full range of the piano with 88 keys. You can buy smaller keyboards, but I recommend the ones with 88 keys.
Keyboards intended for home use will have several other markers, including:
- Speakers mounted on the keyboard
- No audio outputs, typically, but possibly a place to plug in headphones
- Built to appear more like a piano so it looks nicer in the home
- Weighted keys feel more like real piano keys
A professional keyboard, or one that people use for commercial purposes, have other features, like:
- Smaller keyboards
- Faders and Synth sound options
- Outputs for the L/Mono R Audio, MIDI, and to plug in to connect a computer
- Places to plug in speakers and headphones
- No weighted keys
- The ability to sound like other instruments, besides the piano
Choose a keyboard based on what you need and the features that are important to you. Compare these needs to your price range. Home-style keyboards will cost between $100 and $1000, depending on the quality and style you choose. Professional keyboards are usually between $1000 and $3500. They require more options and a higher quality sound.
No matter which style you buy, make sure that you buy one with all the features you need. A general rule of thumb is that you should buy a midrange or higher keyboard to get a realistic piano sound when playing.
Please leave your comments below and add to the conversation!
Hey Wade! I will be purchasing a synth keyboard to play some background, or under tones in church as a supplement to the lead keyboard. I was wondering if you could give me a couple of recommendations for a decent synth that isn’t to expensive…not top of the line, but not a tonka toy. It would have to be a synth that can be played without having to be connected to a computer. I’m pretty clueless but am trying to educate myself on using sounds/systems/pads etc. Any recommendations appreciated!
Hi! If you are doing synth stuff you can get a keyboard with less piano keys…even 61 keys or less will work. I’ve never played what I’m going to list but I think it will work out (but you’d probably still want to go to a music store to test it out). Yamaha MX49 49 Key Music Synthesizer/Controller. Be careful…if you go too cheap you’ll be sorry. To be happy I think you’ll have to stay around the $350+ range. Casio XW-P1 Performance Synthesizer.
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Why do you suggest no weighted keys if choosing professional?
Weighted is the right choice for pro. Unless you are wanting to do synth/organ stuff…then it will feel better non-weighted.