Guide to buying an 88 Key Keyboard
Determine which keyboard instrument you want or need. Keyboards come with 61, 76 or 88 keys. Instrument with fewer keys are cheaper and good for beginners. Instruments with 76 keys are better suited to teens and adults due to their compact size. Experienced players will generally go for 88 key keyboards, which is the full octave for a piano and opens up a greater musical range.
Consider whether you want weighted or non weighted keys. You should choose weighted keys if you also play the piano. These weighted keys have the same touch sensitivity as the real instrument and the sound becomes harder or softer depending on how hard you hit the key. It behaves just like a regular acoustic piano. If you plan to play electronic keyboard only, the non-weighted keys are a good choice.
Determine which electronic features you need. If you plan to connect the keyboard to another instrument or computer, you need a digital digital interface (MIDI). Some keyboard instruments also have USB ports and flash drives for connecting to computers.
Determine what sound and rhythm you want. Basic keyboards include a range of instrumentation, drum and bass backing tracks and other sound effects that accompany your playing. Other, more complex audio features may contain keys that match your vocal range. More sounds and rhythms will broaden your possibilities and creativity.
Consider buying a keyboard with learning features. These can include multi-instrument library tools, learning software, and keys that light up to help beginners learn the right fingers.
Make sure the keyboard has a large, easy-to-read LCD monitor. The LCD screen shows such things as the instruments current voice, tempo, rhythms and musical scores.
Look for controls that are easy to use, which are placed intuitively and logically on the instrument, and which seem robust and operate smoothly.
Think of additional features like microphone and karaoke. Some instruments will display the lyrics on the LCD.
Tips and warnings
Regular acoustic pianos have 88 keys, so if you plan to play the piano, it’s best to buy the 88 key keyboard. And preferably 88 key weighted keyboard.
Once you have decided on the features you need and the type of keyboard, it’s to to select one. We recommend this site for 88 key weighted keyboard pianos which are good value and reasonably priced.
Choosing a keyboard instrument may seem overwhelming, but if you understand what you’re looking for, it can actually make the whole process a lot easier. If you have children that are just starting out, learning to play the piano and having piano lessons, then do ask your teacher about the type of keyboard that would be best for them. Almost all electronic pianos/keyboards have a headphone jack which can be very useful to prevent noise pollution (especially for beginners).
In the end it comes down to personal choice budgetary considerations and indeed space. But you can find whatever suits you and your experience. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, you can choose the right keyboard instrument to enhance both your skills and your enjoyment of playing.