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  • Writer's pictureJeremy See

Top 5 Beginner Budget Pianos

Updated: Aug 13, 2020

So, you have decided to learn to play the piano. You are a serious student who aspires to eventually play technically complex pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Chopin, but you don't want to spend too much money on your first piano. Due to the massive number of instruments out there for you to pick and choose, it can get confusing for a beginner musician to pick just one quality piano or keyboard that is worth your money.

In this article, I will feature my recommended Top 5 Beginner Budget Pianos that are not above $499 USD for you can pick and choose, depending on what would suit your objectives and needs best.

I have picked out these 5 pianos based on 5 critical features that are extremely important to look out for when getting a piano, the features are as follows:

  1. It must have 88 keys.

  2. It must have full-sized keys that is the same size as a regular, real acoustic piano.

  3. It has to have Scaled Hammer Action.

  4. It has a Damper Pedal, or also known as a Sustain Pedal.

  5. It must have a built-in metronome.

(for the full 10 critical features, check out this article)

Beginner Budget Piano #1

$499 USD

The FP-10 was very recently announced and launched and that explains its price tag of USD $499. It has a very assuring and confident touch that is very close to an upright piano. It also has a very reasonable, good sound that is well-loved by many of the Roland fans. To top it off, the Roland FP-10 fulfils all five requirements.

The Roland brand is also very well established in the market and therefore you would have no problem with the resale value if you intend to upgrade to something else in future.

Beginner Budget Piano #2

$399 USD

The Casio CDP-S100 costs only USD $399 and it is the second cheapest on my list. It meets all five requirements that I have mentioned earlier and has a very decent piano sound. What I like most about the Casio is that it has well textured keys that simulates ebony and ivory on real pianos that makes playing quick passages a lot easier and less slippery, unlike the other brands like the Yamaha and the Korg pianos which has shiny plastic slippery keys where if you sweat a little bit, you find that you will just have your fingers flying everywhere and hence, not be able to play quick passages as fluidly.

Beginner Budget Piano #3

$449 USD

One of the main reasons why it is on this list is because of the Yamaha brand. Yamaha is such a strong brand that if you need to sell this piano in future, it will pretty much retain most of its value. Also, Yamaha is well known for providing parts for the pianos for up to 10 years.

It is also cheaper than the $499 budget that I have set aside — it actually only costs $449 US dollars. The Yamaha P-45 has since been replaced with the P-125, so to speak. The P-125 is a much better piano but the problem is that it is priced significantly higher than $499 US dollars.

Beginner Budget Piano #4

$499 USD

The Korg B1 digital piano fulfils all five criteria that I have listed earlier on and it costs $499 US dollars currently. The Korg B1 is about four years old, so it does feel a bit dated and thus, I just feel that it is not as well constructed and robust as the other brands that I will be mentioning in this list.

One other thing that the shops will not be telling you is that the damper pedal on the Korg B1 actually uses a proprietary plug. The Korg B1 comes with a damper pedal and sustain pedal, and that means that if that pedal stopped working, you cannot just go buy another third party pedal which is cheaper. You would have to go back to Korg and buy a Korg pedal with the proprietary plug.

Beginner Budget Piano #5

$349 USD

One of the main reasons why I have included this piano on this list is because it is one of the cheapest at $349 USD. The Alesis Recital Pro 88 Keys fulfils four out of the five requirements. The only one feature that it has a weighted hammer action but it doesn't have a scaled weighting.

Alesis was a brand that we all looked up to but it is not being distributed in many countries and because of that, it limits the availability of certain instrument parts and if you need to service the instrument in the case of it breaking down, the scarce amount of service centers will pose a problem if you don't have one near where you live.

Pianos to Avoid

Now that I have recommended the 5 best beginner budget pianos, I will tell you about the pianos that you should strictly avoid as they do not fulfil the basic requirements of a piano.

Yamaha PSR Range & Casio CT-X or CTK Range

The keyboards from the Yamaha PSR range and the Casio CT-X or CTK range have only 61 keys and there is also absolutely no weight on the keys. Therefore, it does not have the feel, touch response and touch sensitivity of a real acoustic piano. Don't get me wrong, these Yamaha PSR E- series, S- series, the Casio CTX/ TK are really excellent arranger keyboards but, they are keyboards and they are simply not digital pianos.

Roland Go: Piano, Roland Go: Piano 88 keys, Yamaha Piaggero NP-12 & NP-32

The Roland Go: Piano has only 61 keys and even the Roland Go: Piano, even the 88 keys version, is not weighted. It just looks like piano keys but it doesn't feel like real piano keys at all. It is the same thing with the Yamaha NP-12 and the NP-32. The NP-12 comes with only 61 keys and the NP-32 comes with only 76 keys.

As a closing, I hope that this article has been proven useful for you as a beginner musician looking to buy a good piano. Do check out my other articles to find the perfect and most suitable instrument for you!

Till the next time, bye.

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