When looking for a musical instrument, you want to ensure that you purchase from a reputable company. Yamaha makes high-quality musical instruments such as guitars, basses, and they also carry a broad range of keyboards. This guide will help you find the best Yamaha keyboard to meet your needs.
In a hurry? Here are our top picks..
Yamaha is a Japanese corporation, and they have been in business since 1887. They produce a wide range of musical instruments as well as other products such as motorcycles. They originally started as a piano and reed manufacturer. Their logo reflects this as it’s a trio of tuning forks that interlock. In 1954 the Yamaha Music School was founded. The company plays a large role in musical education, even today. They are the world’s largest manufacturer of musical instruments. Many players start their musical career with a Yamaha. The company is a great choice when you’re looking for a keyboard.
Choosing a Keyboard
There are several factors that go into picking your keyboard. You should weigh all of your options before you buy. Here is what you have to keep in mind.
What do You Need it For?
Decide what you require the keyboard for. A beginner will want something simple and not too complicated. If you’re a professional, you’ll want a product that has all of the bells and whistles. Everyone else will want something in between. Have a good idea of what you intend to buy before you spend as you want to be happy with your purchase. The more features that you add on, the higher the price tag is going to. Beginners don’t require as many features as a season professional..There is no point in paying for features that you may not use for several years. By the time you get around to use them the unit will be out of date. This guide will make it easier for you to find a Yamaha product designed for your needs today.
Number of Keys
The number of keys your keyboard has is a critical factor. Full instruments have 88 keys, but this can be cumbersome to carry around, and it might be overkill for some players. A good compromise is somewhere in between this number. Instruments with 61-76 keys are a popular option as well as ones with fewer keys than this. If you want a full octave range and plan on playing classical music, your best bet is 88 keys. If you want something that is more portable, get one with fewer keys. The best option is to start with 61 keys and work your way up from there.
You will want a keyword that has plenty of connections. This includes ports to hook up to other musical instruments, PA system, or speakers. Most digital keyboards today have these connections, but you wan tot ensure that your product has the connections that you require. Ewer models will also have a USB port for connecting to your computer. This allows you to edit, record, and work with tracks using software.
You may want one that has Bluetooth connectivity, which makes it easier to pair with today’s advanced electronics. A lot of newer keyboard models have this feature, but many do not, so check and make sure your product has the connections that you require. You may want a headphone jack if you plan to practice and don’t want to disturb others in the room.
Voices and Rhythms
A digital keyboard can produce a wide range of tones. A regular acoustic piano can only produce standard sounds, and there is not much versatility. This can be fine if you like a pure acoustic sound. The keyboards today are capable of many different sounds, For example, they can recreate the sounds of woodwinds, guitars, cellos, and many other instruments, so you have a broader range of tones to work with.
You’ll also find that these products come equipped with a lot of different rhythms that can help you write your own songs or help you practice. These rhythms are often in different styles such as disco, pop, blues, rock, and so on, so you have a wide spectrum of sounds to work with.
Some of them have demo songs and song samples. These songs can be used as educational tools to help you learn how to play your keyboard. Some have a few songs, while others have a wide range of built-in songs. Some products come with built-in effects such as reverb, chorus, delay, and more. These effects can spice up your playing or be incorporated into a song for more musical variety. As you go up in price, you’ll find more of these features available to you. Many Yamaha keyboards come equipped with advanced settings.
Many digital pianos and keyboards today ship with educational tools to help you learn. This can be anything from lighted keys that show you where to put your fingers to extensive song lists you can play. Other units will come with editing software that helps you put your own songs together. A lot of this software works with current smartphone technology so it’s easy to use. Keep in mind that not all software works with every system. Make sure your computer and smartphone is compatible with the software your unit ships with. As you add more software programs the cost goes up, so keep this in mind before you buy.
The sound of the unit is critical. Most ship with small speakers so these units tend to fill just a small room. As units go up in price, the speakers improve. If sound is important to you, it’s recommended that you spend as much as you can to get a good unit. If you play live a good monitor and PA system or keyboard amplifier will help improve the overall sound on stage. You may also want a good set of speakers for home use.
Types of Digital Keyboards
There are several different types of keyboards that you should be aware of before you buy. Yamaha carries a wide range of instruments for you to choose from.
The piano style is a keyboard with 88 keys. They mimic the sounds of actual acoustic pianos and also come equipped with many different features. Some are portable, while others look like a regular piano and are stationary. Eighty-eight keys provide the full octave range, but the size can be cumbersome for some players, and you have to have the room for the full keyboard. They are eoten referred to as “digital pianos.”
Most keyboards today are portable. They have all the connections and features you require to make music right away. They are perfect for the home, studio, stage, or music lessons. They come with a wide number of key options, with the standard being 61-88 keys. Serious beginners will want at least 61 keys while those just looking to fiddle around may want to look at a system with less.
A beginner instrument has limited features but provides the student all they require to start learning how to play. Yamaha has a lot of products designed for the beginner in mind. These keyboards tend to have features that are easier to use. They often come with education software to help the student get stated as well as demo songs and other learning materials.
A workstation or arranger keyboard is designed for those that want to work on songs or ar interested in creating their own original music. They tend to come with a broad range of features such as rhythms, song samples, and voices. They usually have editing software so you can hook the keyboard up to your computer and start composing and then editing your tracks into a finished piece. They tend to be complex and aren’t the best choice for a beginner if you want to fiddle with tracks and make your own music, this type of keyboard in the way to go. You have everything that you require to make high-quality music with an arranger or workstation, but they are designed with the professional in mind.
The professional instrument is for those that are playing live or want to record in the studio or at home. They have advanced features and are quite expensive. Thye are be workstations and arranger keyboards as well just at a higher end of the spectrum. They have features that require a lot of knowledge of prior experience to use effectively.
A hybrid instrument may have a combination of all of the different styles. They are well-rounded and provide a bit of everything for most players. You may or may not use all of the features of a hybrid keyboard, and you may never even use some of them. As you add features, the cost goes up, so weight your option before you buy. You could end up paying for more than you require or plan to use in the future.
Caring for Your Yamaha Keyboard
It’s important to care for your Yamaha if you want it to last a long time. Here are some tips to keep your Yamaha performing at its best.
Today’s electronics sound great, but they are susceptible to dust. You should protect your expensive system with a good dust cover. Always have the cover on when not using it. You may also want to buy a hardshell case for the proper storage of your system. Keep it away from open windows where excess dust or moisture can get into the delicate electronics. us an anti-static cloth to remove dust and debris from the unit. Pay close attention tot he keys as this is where debris can accumulate and cause the keys to stick. Never use cleaning solutions as these will damage the surface of your unit. apply even pressure with the cloth to remove smudges or other marks as they should come off without much trouble.
Where to Store
Store your system away from objects that may obstruct the ports on the unit or from shelves where objects may fall onto the unit. It;s a good idea to have a room that is dedicated to your music. A stand is ideal as this keeps the unit off the floor and keeps it sturdy when you’re playing. Most stands are adjustable to meet our needs. Don’t use a table to try to play on your lap as this is not the ideal option. You may also want to purchase a small bench to sit on as you play. Keep the unit in a secure spot where it’s not going to be damaged if there is traffic in the home such as small children or a pet that may wander by and knock the instrument over. The electronics inside are delicate so take care of your Yamaha.
If your system ships with software, this may require updating from time to time. The presets and voices on the system may also have to be updated. Check the Yamaha website periodically to see if any updates to your unit have been released. Thes Updates often include bug fixes that fix problems associated with your system. It’s worth it to download and install these updates if they are available for your unit. Your unit performs at its best if it has all the required software up to date. Always download software that has been authorized by Yamaha and never anything from a third party as this may not work or damage your system.
Take care to ensure that everything is plugged in properly before you turn the unit on. Don’t have the volume full blase when you first power on the unit. Yous should gradually increase the value so you don’t harm the speakers on the system. keep cables tied back if they ar belong so you don’t trip on them. replace batteries often and use an adapter when on stage so the batteries don’t die during your performance. Some units don’t ship with adapters, so you may have to acquire one for your system.
Best Yamaha Keyboard Reviews
1. Yamaha Mini-key PSS-F30 – Best for Complete Beginners
For beginners just getting into digital piano playing a lot of the products on the market can seem confusing with all the buttons and features. Yamaha offers the PSS-f30 mini keyboard which is perfect for today’s beginner.
As a new player, you want a simple digital system that’s not too complex. The PSS-f30 37 keys to help you get started on your musical journey. The mini keys are easier to play than standard keys. You get144 styles and 120 voices so you have all you require to make music right away with little effort. Styles can be played with one finger using the smart chord function. Many of the preset songs are familiar tunes which you’ll enjoy learning. The device includes a metronome to help you keep time as you play. It’s powered by USB or 4 AA batteries. You get a headphone jack for quiet practicing and a built-in speaker.
- Easy for beginners to learn on
- Plenty of voices and sample songs
- Small keys
- May not be enough features for some players
2. Yamaha Mini-key PSS-A50 – Best Portable Instrument
When taking music lessons you require a keyboard that is small and compact. Yamaha offers the PSS-A50 Mini Key which offers everything that today’s practicing musician could hope for.
This instrument is easy to play and sounds amazing. It comes with 37 keys which is perfect for working out ideas at your music lessons or at home. You get 42 voices so you’ll find something that always sounds great. There are 138 arpeggio types to help you sculpt your sound just the way you want. If you have an idea in your head use the phrase recorder to get it down before and work on it at home. It connects to MIDI and USB so it;s compatible with a lot of the music software you already use. It comes with a headphone jack and a built-in speaker. Use the metronome to build speed and to keep in time with the music. This keyboard makes learning to play an easy process.
- easy to carry
- Lots of voices and tones
- Some users experienced durability issues with parts
- Could use more features
3. Yamaha YDP144R Arius Series – Best Traditional Digital Piano Style
Portable keyboards sound great, but you lose some of the acoustic feel with them. For those looking for a traditional feel, look at the Yamaha YDP144R Arius Series stationary digital piano.
This unit is an 88 weighted key digital piano. You get a bench and three expression pedals for authentic acoustic sound and feel. The action is light in the high keys and heavier in the low keys which recreates the feel of an acoustic. You get authentic sounds based upon a CFX grand piano from the Yamaha lineup. Use the Smart Pianist app to control the major functions of your system right from your smartphone so it’s ready to go when you want to play.
Analyze songs and use chord tracker technology to facilitate the learning process. The dual headphone jacks allow you to add another person to your practice sessions. This product comes in several different models and styles to suit your needs. If you crave authentic acoustic sounds and the traditional feel of a classic piano this is the Yamaha product you want to own.
- Authentic tones and feel
- Smart app included
- Not portable
- Some users experienced sticking keys
4. Yamaha P515 88-Key – Best 88 Key Portable Instrument
For those that want a full-featured portable 88 key keyboard, you can’t go wrong with the Yamaha P515. You’ll enjoy a wide range of tones and sound authentic with this digital piano.
USe the piano room feature to choose from different pianos to get the sound and tone that you prefer. The system uses VRM or Virtual Resonance Modeling to help recreate the sound of a real concert grand piano. The natural wood keyboard feels authentic and plays like a real instrument. The two 15 watt amplifiers give this keyboard a lot of rich tone and volume that is not possible with other systems. Use the Smart Pianist app to connect to your iOS device. The touch screen interface makes finding and using settings easy. Load songs and create a chord chart for simple playing along with your instrument.
- Lots of tones
- Sounds like an authentic piano
- Buttons are a little small
- App only works with iOS devices
5. Yamaha PSR-EW300 – Best Bundle
Musical equipment can be expensive, so it’s nice to have a bundle of gear that you need to go with your digital piano. You get that with the Yamaha PSR-EW300
You get a regular keyboard with this bundle along with a power supply and a stand. The stand keeps your equipment secure and stable no matter where you’re playing. It features 76 keys so it can play most songs without much effort. You get a huge 154 preset songs so you’ll always have something new to learn. It comes complete with 165 styles and 574 voices for total control over your music. It has a large data capacity for storing your music.
The Yamaha Educational Suite helps you practice the included songs with the unit. You’ll be able to learn the materials at your own pace. Use the Touch Tutor Lesson Mode to improve your accuracy on the keys. It includes MIDI and USB connections so you can hook it up to software for total control. This bundle has everything that today’s player needs to sound great and save money at the same time.
- Fulls set of songs and presets
- USB connection
- The speakers could be better
- Some users received missing parts for their stand
6. Yamaha EZ220MM EZ Series – Best for Learning How to Play
Learning how to play an instrument can be hard, but the Yamaha EZ220MM EZ Series makes it easy to get started and sound great right away.
This system features 61 keys so it has a good range for today’s practicing musician. You get 392 voices so your music sounds great. You can play drums, synthesizers, saxophones, brass, guitars, and much more on this system. It integrates with your iPad and uses the Yamaha Educational Suite so help you learn how to play. It comes complete with built-in songs so you’ll have something fun to play. You will learn how to play the moment you turn the system on.
The keys are lighted so you’ll know where to place your fingers for songs as you learn to play. This makes learning easier and a lot more fun. It comes with 100 preset styles that act as virtual bands. You will always be ready to jam with the Yamaha EZ220MM EZ Series. Use the Notestar software to display sheet music on your iPad. Use Piano Diary to store and payback songs or your practice sessions.
- Lots of software
- Software only works with iPad
- Might be a bit complicated for complete beginners
7. Yamaha Genos 76 – Best Workstation for Pros
Today’s modern player needs a musical system that they can rely on to help create the best music possible. For professionals looking to make music, the Genos Yamaha Workstation has everything you could possibly need.
This system has all the connections that you need including USB, XLR, wireless LAN, and a 598GB hard drive for storing all, of your music. It has a 9” LCD touch screen so you can see what you’re doing with the system. You get faders and assignable knobs to adjust all of your sounds. It features 76 keys and an unparalleled touch response so the keys perform as you expect them to.
You’ll experience life like real piano sounds with this workstation as well as amazing MIDI drums that sound like a drummer is in the room with you. The Yamaha Super Articulation 2 sound engine recreates the sound of many different instruments. The system integrates with your digital audio software so you can edit and make tracks. The Ensemble Voices recreate the sound of strings so you have a full orchestra at your disposal. The unit also features studio-quality effects and models of vintage amps for even more sound versatility. There are over 1,652 presets for you to use, and 58 full drum kits. It;s easy to recall sounds and use them later with the system. This workstation is designed for today’s pro that needs a wide range of sounds at their disposal. The Genos delivers on that front.
8. Yamaha DGX660B – Best 88 Key System for the Home Player
It’s easy to learn how to play with this system. It has a full set of keys so you have the ability to cover all musical styles. There’s a wide range of acoustic and piano settings that sound authentic. It features connections for a microphone and other audio equipment. Connect the system to USB, and use the audio recorder to create your own tracks. When playing songs you can use the LCD screen and Yamaha MusicSoft software to view the score display and read the lyrics.
The system uses the Pure CF Sound Engine so the music you play sounds like a real piano. This is state of the art technology to help you sound amazing. The weighted action of the keys feels like you’re playing a real acoustic piano. This system has everything that the student or intermediate player needs.
- Included software
- Comes with a stand
- LCD screen could be a bit bigger
- The stand could be a bit better
9. Yamaha CP88 – Best Professional Piano Style System with 88 Keys
For those looking for a system with 88 keys designed for a professional, you can’t go wrong with the Yamaha CP88. it has everything today’s player needs to sound unique.
For professionals looking for authentic digital piano sound, the Yamaha CP88 recreates the sound of five eclectic pianos, two uprights, and three grand pianos all in one compact system. Add in Eq, reverb, and delay to shape your sound just the way you want. The interface is easy to use and the keys feel as close to the real thing as possible. The action is balanced and the wood keys are easy on your fingers. The back of the unit has all the inputs you need for your musical gear.
It has excellent mid-range and clear highs so your music will sound great on the stage or in the studio. It has the power to cut through the band so your paying shines through the mix. A wide range of sounds are included such as pianos, organs, clavinet, bass, and other tones so you have just the right tones at your fingertips. Use the LCD screen to change settings on the unit. The system is easy to update to expand the features available to you.
- Professional piano sounds
- easy to update
- Lots on inputs
- Buttons are small and confusing
- LCD screen is too small
10. Yamaha PSRSX900 – Best Pro Arranger and Workstation
Professionals need a high-quality system that allows the player to maximize their musical potential. You have everything that you need with the Yamaha PSRSX900.
This system has a colored touch screen so you can easily change the settings to your preferences. Use The joystick to change modulation and pitch to suit your musical style. It has assignable control knobs to filter and shape all aspects of your sound. Use the chord looper to record chord progressions and then practice them. Use The rhythmic style features to play music from many different genres. You’ll find just the sounds you need to make your music come alive.
The unit comes complete with many different inputs and outputs and has high-quality speakers for great sound. Hook the unit to your computer and use your favorite software to edit your songs just the way you want. The PSRSX900 has everything that you need to sound professional at home, the stage, or in the studio.
- Large LCD screen for easy control, and access to settings
- Joystick for setting refinement of pitch
- A lot of small buttons
- You will need skills to operate it effectively
You will find a wide range of Yamaha keyboards on the market to suit any style or need that you have. it doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or professional, Yamaha has you covered with high-quality products.
The Yamaha EZ220MM EZ Series is the perfect option for beginners as it contains software that helps you learn how to play. it also has tons of voices and other features to make you stand out in the crowd. For the pure piano player, have a look at the Yamaha YDP144R Arius Series which recreates the sound of real acoustic pianos and provides that authentic acoustic feel.
Professionals in need of a workstation should check out the Yamaha Genos which uses cutting edge technology to help you shape your sound just the way you want. It has a large hard drive and over 1,600 presets so you have everything you need to make professional music today. Another option is the Yamaha PSRSX900 which has plenty of settings and control knobs so today’s professional player has total control over their sound.
No matter what you need, Yamaha has a product designed for you. This is a top-quality musical instrument company and a leader in keyboards and digital pianos. You’re sure to find just the right system to meet all of your needs today and in the future.