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Best Pianos for Beginners

kid learning song on piano

Back-to-school is around the corner already! If you’ve registered your child for group piano lessons or private piano lessons, it is essential that they have a keyboard or piano to practice on at home. Music consultant at Tom Lee Music Langley, Colin Sawatsky, shares his top keyboard and piano recommendations for beginner students.


Yamaha NP-12  (61 Note – Non-Weighted Keys) $249.99
black Yamaha NP-2 keyboard

Useful for absolute beginners.  This would be a ‘stepping stone’ keyboard to get you going on a tight budget.  It would be recommended to move up to an 88 note, weighted key digital piano within 6 – 24 months of starting – depending on how quickly you progress.

Entry Level Digital Pianos

Yamaha P45B  (88 Note – Weighted Keys) $629.99 – Optional wooden stand (L-85) for $119.00
digital keyboard overhead

Used in the group classroom for the Pianorama classes, this is an acceptable entry-level digital piano for students in the group classes or beginning students in private piano lessons.  It can be purchased with or without the wooden stand and/or pedalboard. The pedals will not be needed until private lessons start.

Roland FP-30  (88 Note – Weighted Keys) $999.99 – Can be purchased as a package with the wooden stand and pedalboard for $1,299.00
Roland standup keyboard

A great instrument for under $1,500, this digital piano boasts synthetic ivory keys with an escapement that put it in line with the Yamaha Clavinova (although the keys are lighter).  The piano sound is quite dynamic with the only drawback being the small-ish speaker system. Roland’s iPad app connectivity gives this piano a larger feature set than just under the hood.

Hybrid Pianos

Yamaha NU1X PE  (Fully acoustic piano keys and action with a digital piano sound and speakers) $5,599
black Yamaha standup piano

This must be seen in person to fully understand and appreciate.  The cyborg of the piano industry, it has the newest in digital piano technology for speakers and sound, but it has a real acoustic piano feel.  There is no piano tuning necessary (because there are no strings) and full volume control and headphone capability.

Acoustic Pianos

As good as digital pianos have become, they still don’t feel or sound exactly like the real thing (although the hybrid is close).  A digital picture of the Grand Canyon is still nothing like being there in person.  Even beginning piano players can feel and hear the difference between a real piano and a digital piano.  Piano instructors would always recommend a real piano over a digital piano if budget and space permits.

Yamaha B3 PE  (48″ Yamaha Piano – Made in Indonesia) $7,798
Yamaha acoustic piano

Made in Indonesia in a Yamaha factory with a Japanese-made soundboard, hammers, and strings.  This is Yamaha’s most affordable 48″ tall model available. No need to upgrade down the road.

Yamaha U1 PE  (48″ Yamaha Piano – Made in Japan with premium components) $12,398
Japanese made Yamaha acoustic piano

Fully made in Japan, this is the #1 selling piano in the world.  Used in music schools, universities, and homes all over the world, it is the plum line that every other upright piano is judged off of.  An amazing tonal and dynamic range with a very responsive key action and playability for a very competitive price.