Simple Piano Buying Guide: What Piano/Keyboard Should I Get?

Simple Piano Buying Guide: What Piano/Keyboard Should I Get?


– So you’re in the
market for some new keys but you’re not sure if
you should get a piano, a keyboard, a MIDI controller, and then once you’ve figured that out which one should you get. I’m gonna help you figure
that out in this video. (jazzy piano music) Hi I’m Jacques Hopkins and in this video, I’m gonna go over the four different types of pianos and keyboards, and then give you some specific recommendations
within each type. So the four types are,
we have acoustic pianos, digital pianos, keyboards, and we have this thing called MIDI controllers. Let’s go over the pros
and cons of each one. First up we have the acoustic pianos. These are the ones that have
been around the longest, they are probably the most popular, and the reason you want
one is first of all, they’re beautiful, they’re
also a nice piece of furniture you can have in a prominent
place in your home and one of the other biggest advantages is that they don’t require any power, they don’t require being plugged in. But they’re definitely some downsides and reasons why you wouldn’t want to buy a traditional acoustic piano. First and foremost they have to be tuned. I’m sure you’ve heard a
piano that is out of tune and you have to get a
professional to come in and tune that for you and it’s expensive and it has to happen every so often. Secondly, these acoustic
pianos cannot be transposed. Now that’s kinda an advanced
topic but basically, what you play is what you get. On a more digital piano or keyboard, you can actually be
playing in the key of C but have it automatically
transposed to a different key. You can’t do that on an acoustic piano. And lastly, these can be very heavy, very hard to move around
from one place to another or one location to another. Next up we have digital
pianos so these are the ones that look kind of like an acoustic piano but they’re digital, they
need to be plugged in, the sound happens digitally rather than the strings and things inside the piano. Now you may be in the
market for a digital piano if you like the look
of a traditional piano but you don’t want to have to have it consistently tuned correctly or one of the other
advantages that typically, you can plug in some
headphones and so that you can be playing without
bothering anybody else. But hopefully people
want to hear the music that you’re playing on
your piano and if not, you may want to check out
my course Piano in 21 Days. Now the negatives for digital
pianos would be that they’re still somewhat on the heavy
side and also, the key feel. Playing the keys on a digital
piano is never going to feel as good as an acoustic piano but there are some options
that do feel very very good. Look for ones that have weighted keys. These are the ones that feel the most like an acoustic piano. Next up we have keyboards
which is very, very similar to a digital piano, typically
a keyboard is by itself. It doesn’t have a stand
or any other accessory so when you get a
keyboard, you’re gonna want to be able to put it on a desk or to have some sort of stand. And the biggest advantage
to having a keyboard is that it’s very, very portable but the negatives are once
again we have key feel so if you do look for a keyboard, look for something with weighted keys if you’re looking for
the best feel possible. Also you’re probably going to
need to buy some additional accessories if you go the keyboard route. I mentioned possibly
needing a stand already and you’re also going
to want to buy a pedal whereas a digital piano typically already gonna with a pedal already. And last of the list we
have a MIDI controller. And a lot of people don’t
realize this is an option. Now you might be interested
in a MIDI controller if you’re looking for ultra,
ultra, ultra portability. This one behind me weighs seven pounds or if you’re looking for
something very, very inexpensive. But of course, there
are a lot of negatives to having a MIDI controller. The biggest one is that
they don’t have any built-in speakers so if you want to
be able to actually hear what you’re playing, you’re
going to have to connect it up to a computer and
listen through the speakers on your computer. They also, like, keyboards,
have poor key feel and you will need some
additional accessories. Lastly and don’t forget about this one, they can be difficult to set up because you have to connect
them through your computer, you have to make sure
you have the right cable, the right software, things like that. So what do I have, well I
actually have a digital piano and a MIDI controller. I’ve got my digital piano
out in the main living area in my house, this is a piece of furniture, something that the kids can play with, and then my MIDI controller’s what I use for my business and my
online piano course. Now if you’re in the market
for an acoustic piano, I definitely recommend
checking out a website like Craigslist or
whatever the classified ads are best for your particular area. There’s so many people
that used to play piano and they have this thing
sitting around the house and they no longer want it, you can get a really, really good deal on a used acoustic piano this way. Just keep in mind you may need
to get somebody to come in and tune it once you get
it moved to your house. Now if you do want a digital piano, I recommend this Yamaha kit. It comes with a stand,
it comes with a pedal, it comes with a bench, and
it comes with full 88 keys and they are weighted keys. This is a really great option if you’re looking for the digital piano. Now if a keyboard is more your style, then I recommend the Alesis
Recital 88-Key keyboard. I bought my first Alesis
keyboard about 15 years ago and I can’t recommend their
keyboards highly enough. And if you do want to go
with the MIDI controller, then obviously I recommend
the one that I have, it is an M-Audio Keystation 88 keys and it’s semi-weighted keys
and the feel is pretty good for such a light-weight device. So those are all of my recommendations and you can find the links to
all of them below this video and look, you don’t have to
have the best piano around. What you have is probably good enough. At a bare minimum, I
recommend you have at least 49 keys and you have a pedal. The most important thing
is that you’re actually practicing and you’re actually playing. So if you already have
something that meets those two basic requirements, then why
don’t you stick with that for now, get some some really
good results on the piano, and once you do that, once
you’re playing songs you love you’re having fun every single time, you’re at your piano or keyboard, then reward yourself with
something a little nicer. Good luck and let me know
what piano or keyboard or MIDI controller you decided to go with.

89 thoughts to “Simple Piano Buying Guide: What Piano/Keyboard Should I Get?”

  1. I️ bought a Yamaha PSREW400 because I️ can connect my iPad to it and have everything play back through the keyboard. The digital piano (Yamaha NP32) I️ had couldn’t do that.

  2. I play boogie woogie/blues and already have a piano. I am looking into a keyboard just for its crystal clear sound. Anything to help with looking for one?

  3. Yamaha is a good brand for anything, even an outboard motor. They have high standards in everything they do. I'm using a 61 key Casio to start. In my dreams I will someday move up to an 88 key keyboard for around $5-600. An acoustic? No thanks.

  4. Hi Jacques, I’m getting back to playing piano after some years and I’ve been following your videos, quite helpful. I have the chance to buy an Alesis Recital Pro. In your video you recommend the Alesis Recital for Beginners, what do you think about the Pro one? I’m playing some classics and also want to join a whorship band such as hillsong, what should I buy? Thanks!

  5. Sorry but I really dislike this video because of the fact that you have missed out a TON of pros and cons that I could probably even think of on the top of my head. Come on man

  6. I am going to buy a keyboard but i don’t which is better, either yamaha, casio or alexis. Which is better though?

  7. I wanted to buy a piano because I love music and I used to play guitar but I stopped because of a disease… I hope I can buy one someday but not today because I am still a kid and I am still depending to my parents… And I also hope my parents buy me one, I always mention it and they know how much I want it but I need to wait because I am not the one whose gonna spend the money (love from the Philippines and sorry for the grammatical errors)

  8. Thank you so much. Just subbed too. I didn't know which to get, but this helped alot, and especially how you suggested which to get, if it's digital, or keyboard, etc

  9. Is there a headphone/earbud jack on the Alesis Recital? Would it be a good idea to spend the extra money and get the pro version(includes stand, bench, and sustain pedal)? Can it be plugged into a wall outlet instead of being powered of batteries(they get expensive after a while). Do you think the Williams Allegro 2 Plus home package from guitar center would be a better buy? Higher quality? Seems all the same stuff is included as the Pro version of the Alesis Recital with it just don't know if its a better buy or not, the home package seems to have a better stand. I play guitar and drums but I want to try to learn keyboard, any help is appreciated.

  10. I have CTK 1300 very cheap one keyboard. But I think practicing in this one may give some troubles when I use the weighted keys piano. But i think something is better than nothing. I wish to learn through this keyboard until I get a good one. I also tried connecting with PC but this one does not have the midi feature I think. But at least found a way to connect to external audio speakers. Is this keyboard is enough to learn basics?

  11. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AAPIPJW/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A205NGHGNY52SP&psc=1
    opinion on this keyboard?

  12. After years of wanting to learn, and even longer loving piano music, I am starting to look at what option there are. Your video was the first to come up. Thanks for the tips. My goal is to be able to play acoustic piano, but I want to start with a keyboard or digital piano. I appreciate the tips on full 88-key and the weighted keys. Added to my watch later so I can look up the yamaha and alesis.

  13. I play like for 4 years now. At home on a Keyboard that is around 20 years old. And I'm thinking to buy a new one, but I'm not sure about the Alesis Racital, can you tell others options than the Alesis Racital?

  14. can the keyboard in the description be plugged in to a computer and act as a midi controller? or are they two completely different options?

  15. Hey Jacques!
    How much of a difference is there between Semi-Wheigted(Alesis Recital) and Fully-Wheighted(Recital Pro) Keys?

  16. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you saying to use what you have and then get something better later. I've looked at several online piano lessons and this one actually makes me think I can do it. Thank you.

  17. Hi could you please share a little knowledge about keyboard amplifier which one is the best to buy I am looking for good heavy bass sound not for big preference just for a Hall 20-30 people

  18. Hi i play guitar since 16 ( now i am 26 ) but i don't have any music theory i learned all by myself, and i would like to learn piano, and i saw that in my local music store they have a Yamaha YDP-143 B Arius, do you think is too much for a beginner? or too expensive? my biggest fear is that i buy the piano and than i stop playing it because of my lack of music theory.

  19. Hello everyone i need help deciding what to get, i already have a PC with a external sound card (focusrite) and two speaker monitors what should i get
    thanks !!

  20. Hey could you give me an advice? I'm looking to buy a piano and after a lot of research Nektar LX88+ was the best option I found. But I keep reading comments that you can't learn piano without a fully weighted keyboard. If I add some more money I could buy a Yamaha P45 or Thomann DP26 but I don't know if it'd be worth it. What would you suggest? Do you think a semi-weight MIDI like Nektar is good to learn piano and play classical pieces?

  21. Thank you so much for the video. I've played piano for 8 years an i've not touched it for almost 2 years, and recently I was about to get a midi controller, but with all your clear explanations, I guess I would need more a Keyboard. And since you looked sincerely happy about the one you advised us, I may be looking for it now ! you were so clear, thanks for helping me understand that !

  22. Im looking to start learning to play the piano. Im interested in the Alesis digital u recommended. I notice it says semi weight keys… i see the option for full weighted keys.. which do u recommend i get as a beginner who has never played… Thank You

  23. Your suggestions and guide to choosing the right one is pretty sharp and on point… thanks a lot for this video! Was very helpful☺️👍

  24. Hi again, friend. Now thinking in between Alesis Recital and the Privia PX 350, discontinued but still found. Right now the price difference is +25% here in Brazil. Pls, make that huge keypress variation video with your Alesis Recital. I guess it will help a lot of others around the world to know it better on sound department. There's no video like this yet on YouTube, and could help your channel as well. Best and thanks.

  25. I'm looking to buy a keyboard and watching a lot of video like this, I find it odd so many push real acoustic piano, so even fanatical about it. What I find odd is in their pros and cons it's like none of them have every living an apartment, acoustic pianos even played softly are still loud for an apartment. Plus acoustic pianos are big even an upright and you better like having it in you living room because apartment hallways are usually small and tight turns so moving a acoustic piano into another room can be impossible. I would love to have an acoustic piano, but living in an apartment it's out of the question so I'm looking at a slab style digital piano and ones today they have keys very close to acoustic pianos for the better brands and models.

  26. Hey, I'm thinking of buying a keyboard that's currently in the supermarket, being 25€ and 37 keys. Should I buy and practice on it or wait until I can budget for a over 49 keys one? Thanks in advance!

  27. Hi! Maybe you can help me decide: my actual budget is max 200 euros: i've looked at a yamaha psr-e363, yamaha ez220 and nv12.. I dunno if something could fit my budget.. I'd go with the alesis recital but i cant find it in my country (italy) and its a bit big for me (my desk is around 80cm in width)
    Whats my best possible option under 200 that can bring me up to 5 years of non limiting piano learning?
    I don't care about other instruments i just want something to learn the piano that feels and sound really good..

  28. I'm getting the Yamaha P45 for Christmas, had to help pay for it though as it's a little on the expensive side. Though I didn't get the full package so gonna have to get a stand for it yet, but it'll definitely be a fun start down the path of learning to play piano.

    One of my goals is to be able to play Chopin's 'Wrong Note' Etude within a year – year and a half of playing. Might be a little unrealistic, but it's a goal none-the-less.

  29. I started looking into the piano after watching the anime your lie in april. I was never a big music person. But I want to learn piano. Is it possible for me to learn as a 20 year old with no music experience at all say maybe a recorder in 5th grade

  30. Funny that i've found this video right after i've bought a m-audio keystation 61. I've wanted a digital piano or keyboard for the longest time but didn't find anything i really liked until i researched if midi keyboards wouldn't do the trick just fine (for my needs). For the people still looking this might be worth a try. It is really cheap, fairly lightweighted with semiweighted good feeling keys and sounds awesome once you set up the ableton lite and eighty eight software (both come basically for free with the midi keyboard plus a bunch of other software like pro tools first; the software bundle alone is worth the price) which gives you the sound of a steinberg grand piano. I don't think i've ever heard a keyboard in the same price range give me that kind of sound. Of course it will never totally compare to a real acoustic piano but it is close enough in sound. Plus it has all the advantages i was looking for: fairly small and lightweigted and portable plus i get to play around with a lot of new (to me) cool software.

  31. I’ve been playing the piano for 5 years now. I’ve been using this 14 year old keyboard and it broke (because of how much I’ve used it). My family isn’t the most richest and is looking for a digital piano. I consider myself an I intermediate player and what’s the best piano I could use?

  32. Im thinking of buying a Casio CTK-3500 Electronic Keyboard. It seems pretty reliable, as i never had a keyboard/piano before. Looks like a pretty good beginner option. 🧐

  33. Hi, I have the same midi as you. What free or cheap softwares do you regiment I’m mainly trying to just play piano sounds and some times cool downloaded sounds but not important

  34. I wanna learn to play piano..have been thinking about this for long time..now i'm sure of it and so wanted to know what instrument is what and which is the one i need..Your video was really helpful..Thanks..I'm thinking of buying a keyboard.

  35. This guy doesn't seem to know what the hell he's talking about since he says you can't transpose an acoustic piano, but you actually can by hitting different keys

  36. I need an inexpensive keyboard. Please give me recommendations. How many keys, what brand, what model, everything. Thank you so much.

  37. Hi Jacques, thanks for this very inspiring video, but I'm confused…, thought I was finally starting to grasp the difference between a digital piano and a keyboard. However, in the video you recommend the Alesis Recital keyboard, whilst the website says it is a digital piano…. Can you clarify that for me? Thanks 🙂

  38. Hi I have a question. These more pricey digital pianos/keyboards which have weighted keys, are they kind of touch sensitive, as in pressing lightly makes a lighter sound? I have a problem with my cheap keyboard when playing soft pieces the lower notes with chords are so loud you cant even hear the higher melodic notes as theres just one volume which is when you press the key (non weighted). So do these digital pianos or keyboards have the same effect like an acoustic not only in feel but in sound?

  39. Great video. I've been researching digital pianos for the last few hours and I was about 80% settled on that P-45. After seeing that it's your recommendation I think it's time to bite the bullet and start learning piano! Thanks dude.

  40. What impact does having different numbers of keys make? For example, the MIDI controller you have has 88 keys, but the M Audio Code 61 has 61 keys. Are there limitations, or things you're missing out on by having 66 keys opposed to 88? Thanks to anyone who answers in advance!

  41. Not buying a Acustic piano
    Not buying keyboard
    Not buying Midi controllers

    Guess I’m buying a Digital Piano

  42. That's a really nice video and very helpful 🙂 . I am using fl studio and practicing on making my own beats but i don't know to play piano. I want to buy a midi keyboard but because i want to learn piano too I don't know what size i should choose. I am thinking for the Alesis VI61 that has also semi-weighted keys but are 61 keys enough?

  43. Damn, i want at least the electric pianos but im extremely broke as a student, additionally due to financial issues my mother cannot afford one and im stuck with a keyboard that has no weighted keys and it doesnt have all 88 keys but i still consider myself lucky for having it!

  44. The Alesis Recital 88-key keyboard you recommended on Amazon is now (27/March/2019) $299…while during the posting of your video (1/Nov/2017) it was $229.

    An increase of $70 or 31% for the exact same product. Talk about inflation.

  45. Has anyone ever told you that you look like an older version of Claus (excuse my spelling if that’s wrong) from a series of unfortunate events?

  46. Hi friend,
    I'm looking for a keyboard which is suitable for ballad and soft music and my budget is around 200€. Do you have any recommendation for me?

  47. I dont mind paying a lot for an instrument, but can someone tell me why tf there is a $150 cost difference just to add weighted keys to a keyboard?

  48. Can anyone help me? I want to buy a piano but i cant decide between Yamaha YDP163 and Kawai CN29. Which one should i buy and why?

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