The Best Electric Piano
Nothing compares to that feeling of getting home and letting your musical fingers take you away to a calmer and happier place does it? With the sounds flowing naturally from the best electric piano you’ve played you can let the events of the day wash over you; I certainly know I can!
To give you a little helping hand when it comes to finding the best electric piano for you, I’ve taken delivery of 5 of the best and then created a useful buyer’s guide for you too. Perfect for ensuring you find your perfect piano!
What I love about Casio is that you know you’re getting a brand that has been around for not just years, but decades.
This gives your purchase a certain kudos that is hard to match, and it’s precisely what got me curious about how their latest offering performed.
The first thing to say is that I certainly wasn’t disappointed, and the second is that I don’t think you will be either if you make the PX-560 your first port of call in your search for the best electric piano.
A Timeless Brand
What Casio have done here is use their expertise to craft an instrument that really mimics the feel and touch of a grand concert piano.
Few of us can afford the space of such an instrument, so by being able to get a near identical playing experience on your tabletop, you certainly have a choice that will take your home playing to the next level.
Another thing that I really liked about the PX-560 is that it uses an innovative type of sound generation system to provide the professional quality sound you’ll be surprised you can find for the money. They have developed something called an Acoustic and Intelligence resonator which I was amazed by the first time I heard it.
While I’m not going to bombard you with the technical details of how it works, take it from me that it does a stellar job of recreating the sounds and harmonics produced by, a far larger concert-style piano.
A great sounding electric piano from a timeless brand. I love the authenticity and weight of the sound; this made me feel right at home on the keys from the moment I got it out of the box.
The innovative resonator is a nice touch which will make all the difference, even for the most discerning of musical ears. My only criticism is that the PX-560 could do with a simple beginner’s guide piece of software that helps new players get up and running a little quicker.
What I loved about the DGX650B is that it brings everything together in one simple to use package.
From the ability to layer your voice professionally on the recordings to shipping it with a specifically designed playing stool, I liked that they had covered every base.
This is something that a lot of manufacturers miss and really made my life as a purchaser so much easier. I didn’t have to worry about software compatibility and everything else frustrating that comes with it because I was getting everything for my money all in one go.
As someone who has spent their fair share of time playing the acoustic variety of instruments, something I have always missed when opting for a tinkle on an electric piano is the nuanced weighting of the keys.
When you play acoustically, the keys have a different weight of touch depending on their pitch, and this makes a big difference in the way you create a feel and a connection with your music.
If you love acoustic instruments and want to branch out and make full use of the flexibility and adaptability that only an electric instrument can give you, then I think you’re in for a real treat when you unbox the DGX650B and let your fingers lose for the very first time!
Something that’s always worth considering when you opt for electric is where the sounds are sampled from? Many of the budget models will use simple stock sounds that do the job up to a point.
However, as your ear grows more discerning and you get immersed in the nuance of your music, you’ll come to hear only the tinny or raspy harmonics, that shouldn’t really be there.
What I noticed the moment I put the headphones on was that the audio took on a whole new layer of depth and weight. That told me the issue lies in the speakers not entirely doing the sound justice.
That said, if you’re happy to play through the headphones which come with the DGX650B then you’ll be more than pleased with the quality of the sound it produces.
The DGX650B is certainly deserving of its spot on my best electric piano rundown. With all of the extra accessories that come with it and the sampling from a grand piano, I really felt like I was getting a lot of instrument for my money.
While I thought the onboard speakers were the one area in which I was left a little disappointed, the fact that it comes with some professional quality headphones as standard more than made up for it as far as I was concerned.
Highly recommended for the player who wants to future-proof their instrument by starting with all the necessary functionality to take their music in any direction they choose.
Perhaps not surprisingly my third entry is a second offering from the team at Yamaha.
The reason I’ve added the P115 to this list is that in my opinion it really is worth a closer look if you’re looking for an instrument that will make a place for itself in your home for years to come.
The first thing that impressed me was the quality of the sampling. With sounds taken directly from a grand concert piano, I was pleased with the way the keys reacted to my playing.
This is really important for improvers right the way through to advanced players.
When you first start the main task at hand will be to build the rhythm in your hands that allows you to play a piece smoothly from beginning to end. Once you’ve built up a portfolio of pieces you can comfortably play, your ear will then start to focus more on the nuanced features of each note.
It is at this point that you’ll begin to pick out the tinny overtones that are used to make computer-generated sounds. If in doubt, I always opt for a sound directly sampled from a professional-grade instrument.
I really enjoyed the way in which the keys were weighted because this gave me the pure sensation of playing a concert piano. That may sound like a fairly specific point that will only impact a small number of elite players, but I beg to differ.
Think of it like this: if the keys on your one particular piano push back on your fingers in a way that is completely unique, then you’ll struggle to adapt to all other instruments.
This is something that I feel is super important to consider when you’re shopping around for the best electric piano because, without it, you’re constraining your playing style to a narrow class of instrument.
Easy to Get Started
One area where I’ve seen a couple of the entries on my list struggle has been the ease of getting started.
Once you feel at home on your new piano, this is not an issue at all, but in my opinion, there’s nothing more frustrating than having your initial excitement dampened somewhat by the feeling that you haven’t entirely bought what you thought you had.
These feelings pass the moment you start to find your feet, but they can tarnish your first impression and put you off playing for the first couple of sessions.
Within a couple of minutes, my fingers felt at home, and I was busy exploring the features that I had been excited about from the moment I read about them.
I really fell in love with how easy to use and play the P115 was. It enabled me to play with the relaxing sense of freedom that any top class electric piano should, and in that sense, I couldn’t ask anything more from it.
My only criticism would be how quickly one of the keys shifted out of tune, and that this may be an issue if it were to happen to new players whose playing style may be adversely impacted by changes in time that they wouldn’t necessarily detect.
Tying the competition on my list between Casio and Yamaha at 2 – 2 is the CTK2400.
So, the first thing that’s going to catch your eye here is that I’ve included a 61 key instrument rather than the professional standard 88 key options we’ve been looking at.
The reason for this is I want to show consumers of all abilities that there is something out there for them.
In a perfect world, everyone would have the space for an elite instrument that they will never have to upgrade for as long as they love to play. But, not everyone is the same, and others like to build their way up through the instruments and adapt and learn as they go.
In my opinion, this is the gap in the market that the CTK2400 has identified, and from what I saw it does an amazing job of filling it!
A 61 key piano is a great way to get started because it allows brand new players to build a solid foundation by focusing on the basics, and all without running the risk of becoming overawed by a huge range of more advanced options and buttons. What I liked about the CTK2400 is that you get a lot of sound and touch of your money.
There’s one school of thought that says you should always shop for the most advanced instrument, but I beg to differ. If you can find something that is pitched at your skill level and sounds right to your ear when you put it to the test, then there’s nothing more you really need.
Built-In Sampling Microphone
What I really liked was how well the sampling mic was built-in and integrated with the rest of the instrument. So often with interesting features like this, you can tell that they’re an afterthought as it is like having to master two distinct pieces of kit if you actually want to get the full benefit out of it.
That bodes well for new and improving learners who want to find an instrument that does everything they need but is also easier enough to use that they won’t be put off from putting in the hours of practice that will ultimately make all the difference.
I rate the CTK2400 for beginners and improvers because it makes playing and practicing fun again. With a suite of easy to use controls that don’t overwhelm you with options that you aren’t really going to need for some time, it provides the gentle start to regular practice that I think there will always be room in the market for.
What I like about Hamzer is that they do all of the simple things right.
When you’re looking at an instrument like an electric piano, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the wealth of options and functions that are right there at your fingertips, so it’s refreshing to find something that you know how to play from the moment you take it out of the box.
Nothing I found when using the Hamzer broke my stride or rhythm which is a great indicator that this is the perfect entry-level instrument for learners who want to pick up a new skill faster than they can with anything else.
One thing that caught my eye straight away is how easy the record and playback options were to use. I found this to be refreshing because it meant I could experiment and come up with a unique sound without having to master a sophisticated piece of software.
In my opinion, half the battle is in finding a piece of equipment that lets you get creative without having to invest a load of time in learning how to use the software options.
It Even Teaches You!
By being able to enjoy the process of learning and not having to work off, of a tablet or download an app on a different bit of kit to get started, is excellent!
I think you’ll be able to hit the ground running and create little bits and pieces that aren’t just pleasing on your ears, but that will get you hooked and playing every single day before you know it!
If you’re looking for a great introductory instrument, then I would suggest that Hamzer always make it onto your shortlist. There are perhaps a few downsides with the quality of the end product, but I would recommend hearing it for yourself in person.
If you’re happy to play through a pair of your own headphones, or you’re buying principally as a starter instrument with a view to upgrading as you improve up the grades, then I would say you’re onto a winner here!
Best Electric Piano – Buyer’s Guide
Ok, so I’ve brought you my thoughts on 5 of the best that are out there, the question is how do I answer your questions? Well, how about taking a look at my hand buyer’s guide below and seeing for yourself the extra wisdom I have to offer? With years of experience that I’m more than happy to pass on, you’ll find the answers to anything and everything that you’ve been puzzled by. Perfect for ensuring you find the right electric piano to meet all of your needs!
The electric vs. acoustic debate has been raging for as long as the electric piano has been in existence. Concert pianos are a thing of beauty, so why would anyone want to buy an electronic version that looks like it belongs in a home entertainment system?
That’s precisely the way acoustic adherents phrase the question, but there really is a bit more to it than that folks!
By simply wanting to take up an instrument you’re already doing something awesome that you should be proud of, and if there’s a version of the instrument you want to play that allows you to get started then I say: ‘go for it!’
Are They More Flexible?
Absolutely, and really this is just the second part of my answer to the first question!
Some purists may not like this, but listen to any classic rock anthem, and you’ll likely hear a key contribution from an electric piano. The thing to remember here is that you’re not choosing electric at the expense of acoustic, you’re just giving yourself the maximum amount of freedom and flexibility to get creative with your music.
What could be better than that?
Is it Easier to Learn on an Electric Piano?
The technique of playing is no easier to master on an electric piano than on the classical acoustic style piano. It all comes down to how hard you’re willing to work at it and how many hours of practice you’re prepared to put in.
While your technique won’t get refined any quicker, you will find it a little easier to retain your interest on those days when you really do have to knuckle down and force yourself to go and practice for half an hour or an hour.
This is great because it will help playing become an integral part of your day, which in turn will help you build up the hours as you practice in search of perfection.
Do the Built-In Teaching Programs Actually Work?
If you’re prepared to put in the work and practice, practice, practice until you have everything perfect before moving to the next step, then you’ll find the built-in coaches are an awesome resource.
By having some encouragement and guidance always on hand, you can take the pressure off yourself. You won’t be paying for expensive lessons and feeling a bit down on yourself if you don’t progress between every single lesson.
You’ll also be sure of getting tried and trusted tips and pointers as opposed to the hit or miss approach of YouTube tutorials.
I Don’t Know How Many Keys to Go For?
It’s not as if you’re only going to be able to play half of the chords in your favorite songs, far from it!
What you’re doing is opting for a great learner’s and improver’s instrument that won’t take up much space in your home when you’re not busy practicing.
If you have an eye on reaching an advanced level, I’d suggest considering something of the 88 key variety. Even if you don’t use all of the new notes the first time you play it, so what?
You’re investing in a future-proof instrument that will be ready and waiting as you progress up the grades and become the musical master you have always aspired to be.
I Don’t Have a Great Deal of Space, Are They Easy to Store?
An electric keyboard isn’t a super lightweight instrument because a lot is going on inside. Plus, if they were then they could be easily knocked over.
Firstly check the weight; this will give you an idea as to whether you’ll be able to handle it easily and move it from your chosen storage location to wherever in the home you decide to make your practice room.
Secondly, I would suggest checking the stand. A number of electric pianos are sold without stands and advertised as ‘tabletop’ in which case you’ll have to source your own stand separately.
If space is at a premium, then it makes sense to get a collapsible or folding stand. Typically they will have a scissored style construction that allows you to fold the diagonal supports so that they run parallel to one another.
This can be a real space saver when you are short on available space to devote to your new instrument.
Do I Really Need a Stand?
You need to be able to set the height right, and the height of your desk or dining table will not necessarily be what you need to learn to play the piano on effectively.
Think about it like this. If your height is off your posture will be off. If your posture is off, you’ll either be straining your body to get your fingers at a comfortable angle.
That will lead to back and neck ache, or you’ll take what seems like an age to improve. Why? Because your hands and wrists just won’t be in harmony with the keyboard.
Trust me when I say that a stand can make all the difference to your ability to improve. Without one you just won’t feel comfortable, aches will develop, and before you know it a week will have gone by, and you still won’t have done that quick half hour of practice you promised yourself you would do.
Get the right tool for the job, and this won’t be an issue, folks!