Starting with the entry level keyboards, they are two other brands that compete with Yamaha. The first is Casio and the other is Korg. For the price nothing can beat a Casio keyboard. Yet I do not recommend this brand to someone who wants to become proficient in playing the piano. The sound quality is subpar and in the end you will want to upgrade to a Yamaha or Korg.
The Korg brand on the other hand is a direct competitor to Yamaha in both sound and quality. Yet a Korg is much more expensive and left to professionals or someone who has the money to start out with a high end keyboard.
From my perspective, I see no reason buying into a Korg, when Yamaha provides basically the same sound quality and features.
Yamaha Keyboards – For Beginners
What you pay for a Yamaha is not only for the brand name, but also for the high quality of the sound that it generates. For instance, many of the keyboards listed as entry level come with built-in speakers and with sound samples. These are generally features that only come with the higher-end priced keyboards. And another great thing about Yamaha is the sound samples used are top quality. You are really going to like them.
Now I touched a little bit on the Casio. The best ways to understand what I am talking about is head over to a music store and have the salesperson show you a Yamaha and the comparable Casio. I recommend choosing a PSR or YPT Yamaha series. I guarantee you will hear a difference. Yet if the difference does not bother you, then a Casio will be less expensive. But keep in mind if you plan to progress in playing the piano, then you will need to eventual upgrade.
Now one of the drawbacks of going ultra-entry level is the keys. These keyboards are considered portable arrangers and many only come with 61 keys instead of the 88 key versions.
For true piano recreation, you will need the 88 keyboard. Those can be found with the highly recommended Yamaha DGX-640 with full 88 keys. Another thing I like about this keyboard is the Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) weighted action. What this does is makes the keys feel heavy like a regular piano. This is important if you plan to do any presentation work.
If you sit at a real piano after practicing for days or months on a keyboard, the weight of the key action could cause you some issues. The closer you can come to the real feel of the keys the better.
Out of all the Yamaha’s for entry level students, I recommend the DGX-640 as your starting point. If you don’t have the money for it, then I suggest doing your best to rent time practicing on a real piano then getting into the bad habit of using something inferior.
Intermediate and Advanced Yamaha Keyboards
- Now for those that have been playing awhile and not sure what to move up to the Yamaha CP1 88-Key Stage Piano is ideal for intermediate to professional.
- The features of the Yamaha CP1 88-Key Stage Piano are:
- A full 88 key NW-STAGE wooden weighted makes for a realistic feel.
- The Spectral Component Modeling Tone Generation provides 17 different electric and acoustic versions of pianos.
- It is ideal for pianists who travel a lot.
Finally it comes with Steinberg Cubase AI DAW software. It allows for manipulation of songs on your computer. Link this keyboard up with a laptop and you have a very powerful portable music studio.