Best Yamaha Portable Digital Pianos for BeginnersUpdated on: May 16, 2019
Perhaps, you have your reasons for wanting to purchase a Yamaha digital piano instead of the other types of Yamaha keyboards in the market. One of the reasons people go for digital pianos is that they are less expensive than the acoustic ones. A quality Yamaha acoustic will go for over $50,000 while the inexpensive Yamaha digital pianos will go for less than $300. As usual, the more money you are ready to spend on the digital piano, the higher the chances of getting a high-quality instrument.
The number of keys a digital piano comes with is very important. Even though most Yamaha keyboards come with either 61 keys or 76 keys, they all come with 88 keys, which is the same number to expect with the acoustic versions. The producer focuses more on the sound quality and therefore the pianos do not have many features. You will have to be attentive during the selection process. For an easier selection, here are the five digital pianos to start with.
1. Yamaha NP12 61 Key – Lightweight Portable Keyboard
Portability is among the key features that Yamaha uses to advertise the NP12 Keyboard. The piano itself weighs around 12 pounds and features user-friendly dimensions. The size stands at 46.9 X 14.1 X 7.7 inches, which means that the instrument is compact. If you travel a lot, you will definitely like this feature. And if you own an IOS device, you will be able to connect it to the piano through the offered IOS port. After that, you can use any corresponding app to use this instrument in a better way.
- The piano is highly affordable
- It is highly portable
- It is compatible with IOS
- Comes with limited features
- The piano is unweighted and incomplete
After you start playing at an advanced level, you will require a full keyboard. In other words, you will need to replace the unit. The NP12 offers 61 keys, which should give you a good starting point.
2. Yamaha NP32 – Portable Digital Piano
The Yamaha NP32 Portable Digital Piano offers a combination of simplicity and elegance. The manufacturer designed it to help musicians focus on playing music and the lightweight and compact piano-style keyboard allows for that. If you are a beginner level pianist, you would prefer a grand piano with a sleek and stylish design. Such features will make the piano appear flashier, but they are not important. The purpose of the NP32 is to help you focus on getting better and better and play great sounds. The minimalist design allows the manufacturer to include 76 keys, which are light and feel good to touch.
- The piano offers a simplistic design
- It is budget-friendly
- It is highly portable
- Produces great sounds
- Yamaha offers compatible iOS apps to allow uploading of recorded sounds
- Does not come with a power adapter
- Offers only 10 voices and can only record a single song
- Does not offer hammer action keys - the sounds are different from those of real acoustic pianos
Adjusting from a digital piano to an acoustic one can be a huge challenge, but with the Yamaha NP32, you will not worry about your practising. With the piano, your transition from digital to an acoustic piano will be easy. The Yamaha NP32 will feel and sound like you are playing an actual acoustic piano – when using headphones or not.
3. Yamaha P45B – Digital Piano
There is no difference between the Yamaha P45 and the Yamaha P45B. The B stands for the “Black” colour. The product provides everything you need as a pianist and you will be able to use it regardless of your experience level. It is compact, easier to use and offers great sounds. Speaking of portability, the instrument is highly portable. The piano employs the GHS mechanism, which imitates a real pianoforte. All the notes on its left end are heavy like those of a real piano. The weight will get lighter as you move to the right-hand side.
- It is inexpensive
- It allows you to experiment and spice up the sounds when playing
- The AWM stereo sample offers different recording on triggering of keys
- Allows for USB connection
- The speakers are of great quality
- It is not ideal for the advanced players
- The plastic keys affect the overall sound quality
The piano has a higher polyphony. Polyphony is the total number of notes a digital piano can play at once while still holding down the sustain pedal. A piano with a higher polyphony number allows the player to be more expressive. The piano is simple but offers normal sound.
4. Yamaha P121 73-Key – Compact Digital Piano
The Yamaha P-121 Digital Piano offers 73 keys that combine user-friendliness with great piano performance. The piano is extremely accessible and easily portable. After buying the piano, you will experience all the joy associated with producing quality sounds with a piano. The piano allows for expressiveness and incredible dynamics. The Pure CF Sound Engine consists of the widely known Yamaha CFIIIS 9’ concert grand piano. The piano came because of many years of acoustic piano craftsmanship along with expertise and state-of-the-art technology. The Graded Hammer Standard 73 keys piano provides heavy touch in lighter in the low end and lighter touch in the high end. Therefore, you will play it more as you would play an acoustic piano.
- TIt is easy to use
- It is highly portable
- Produces realistic sounds
- It is touch responsive
- Does not come with pedals
When using headphones, the piano’s Stereophonic Optimizer allows the user to enjoy the dispersed sound you hear when sitting near an acoustic piano. The sounds you hear will feel like they are coming from the body of this instrument. That provides a natural and comfortable experience.
5. Yamaha P125 88-Key – Weighted Action Digital Piano
The Yamaha P-125 Digital Piano comes with 88 keys with Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) Action. It also provides 192-note Polyphony, great piano sounds and effects and stereo sound system. You can use the piano to learn, practice, in small events and in the school. The half-pedal dampener and the resonance allow the production of real sounds. The manufacturer offers USB connectivity and many performance options to allow for flexibility when using it at home or in a studio. Most people use it as a backup piano due to its lightweight when moving to gigs. It looks good and sounds great.
- Offers drum and bass tracks
- Has a clean design
- Comes with a superior sound processor and nice sound projection
- The manufacturer limits the sounds to 24
- It does not come with pedals
The piano offers a nice balance of tone and touch. It has a compact size and it is popular among pianists. The Damper Resonance DSP will recreate the grand piano sounds. To achieve that the dampers should be off the strings.
How to Choose a Portable Digital Piano for Beginners
Some years ago, the only available piano was the acoustic piano. The acoustic pianos are very large and it can be hard to keep one in your house. When people needed portable pianos that could not occupy much space in their homes, they developed digital pianos. Digital pianos are compact instruments that are portable and need less storage space. They also come with many added features that you will never get with the traditional pianos. When choosing a digital piano, here are some of the things to consider.
The sound quality
A digital piano has to produce a sound that is very close to that of the acoustic pianos. Therefore, it is important for any digital piano to reproduce the real acoustic sound. During your purchase, you will have to consider the memory. Pianos with greater memory produce sounds that are more realistic. The inbuilt speakers and amplifiers also affect the sound.
Polyphony refers to the ability of a digital piano to produce several notes or individual tones at once. The best digital piano you should go for is the 32-note polyphony because it is easier to learn. The 62-note polyphony piano produces complex sounds and is ideal for the intermediate players. Some high-quality digital pianos are able to produce 124-note polyphony or 265-note polyphony.
The learning tools
Most digital pianos will come with inbuilt lessons for beginners. If the piano features an inbuilt metronome, it will help you remain in rhythm when playing. Some of them come with displays to show you the key you are playing so that you can press the right key only. Such a digital piano is ideal for the beginner level pianists.
Your budget should be part of the things to consider when buying a piano. You should expect a piano that comes with many features to retail at a higher price. Therefore, start by deciding on what you need and set the price limit. If you are just starting, go for the basic models and avoid those with many complex features.
Digital pianos are portable. If you travel a lot, you will have to consider a lightweight piano, but a compact one. If portability is not a big issue, you can go for one of the large digital pianos in the market.
Number of keys
Acoustic pianos come with 88 keys. It is not the same case for digital pianos. Unless you are a DJ or digital artist, you should stick to the 88 key pianos. You will have an easier time learning with the 88 keys pianos.
Number of tones and sound
Mostly, digital pianos come with hundreds of tones and sounds – from other instruments. If you are in the starter level, you will have to stick to the basic sounds. Most of the sounds that come with many pianos might be of no use at your level. But if you are in the intermediate level or you a professional pianist, a digital piano offering many tones and sounds will be a better choice.
Touch response and keyboard action
A digital piano should not necessarily sound like an acoustic piano but it should feel like one. The sounding will depend on the keyboard action in the digital piano you select. The types of keyboard action include semi-weighted, hammer action and fully weighted. The fully weighted and semi-weighted keyboard actions are better if you want to imitate the feel of real acoustic pianos but the hammer action provides a feel closer to that of the acoustic piano. The touch response also affects the sound of the piano.
As we both know, digital pianos do not work like acoustic pianos because they are electronic in nature. The keys are velocity-sensitive and the force you use to press them will determine the sound they produce. That is the touch response.
Why choose a Yamaha Portable Digital Piano?
Acoustic pianos come with many mechanical parts that make them prone to breakage and extremely heavy. They are also expensive to buy and maintain. On the other hand, a Yamaha portable digital piano will eliminate all the downsides while providing what has made the acoustic piano a long-standing instrument.
Acoustic pianos have weighted hammers that hit steel strings when the user presses a key to produce the nice sounds. Yamaha digital pianos rely on springs to replicate the sound and feel. Their purpose is to provide pianists with the response and dynamics the acoustic pianos provide.
Given a chance, any musician would want to record with one of the quality acoustic pianos because of their superior sound quality. However, due to the large size, fragility and weight, you will not be able to move with one to gigs. Yamaha digital pianos serve the same purpose, are more compact, and come at a lower price.
A portable digital piano offers you the chance to communicate with some other digital hardware or software through MIDI. With MIDI, you can connect the digital piano to a computer and make a simple recording studio. After buying a Yamaha digital piano, you will be ready to start recording your music.
Are Portable Digital Pianos Good for Kids?
The answer highly depends on why your child has to take piano lessons and your budget. If your budget is very tight, lessons with a good tutor are more important than the instrument. Most of the talented pianists used low-quality instruments to learn and later moved to the best instruments. In fact, the key action is great on the acoustic pianos and you will get exactly what you pay for.
With good interactive software, your kid will be able to practice at home with the portable digital piano. The available software programs will help your kids monitor their progress and they offer you a chance to choose the skill level and age.
Digital Pianos vs Keyboards – What is the Main Difference?
A digital piano serves as an acoustic piano alternative. Its attributes are more like those of the acoustic piano. Manufacturers make the pianos to look like the grand pianos or the upright pianos. Most of the available digital pianos do not offer any other sound apart from the real acoustic piano sound. The user can connect the piano to an amplifier for use in big environments.
On the other hand, a keyboard can refer to a synthesizer and a digital piano. Keyboards are smaller and compact digital instruments that use electricity – more like the synthesizer and digital keyboard. However, they have the ability to recreate the sounds of other instruments. Keyboards do not synthesize their sounds. Manufacturers install sounds in them and the user chooses the sounds to use.
It can be hard to say that digital pianos are better than the acoustic pianos or the other way round because you will have to consider your personal preferences and the intended application when buying one. Some people prefer the acoustic pianos to the digital ones because they play in big auditoriums and have no problems with the portability. On the other hand, you will find individuals who opt for digital pianos because of the many features they offer and their portability. Yahama digital pianos are a good option regardless of your skill level.